A while back, I joined up with Iron Cupcake Earth in the interest of stimulating my baking muse. Each month they challenge bakers to come up with creative ways to use a particular ingredient and make nommy cupcakes. Of course, there are PRIZES, too! I love prizes.
The Milwaukee Cupcake Queen’s decree for June: SUMMER BERRIES.
So many possibilities! Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, snozzberries . . . and so many ways to use them. This weekend, the farmers market was full of fresh organic strawberries, and it was high time I took up the Queen’s challenge. This is my first attempt at an Iron Cupcake, and I’m pretty well satisfied with the results. Ginger Man ate three right off the bat! It was a tasty adventure, plus I got to use some of my favourite things:
- Fresh Fraser Valley Strawberries
- Citrus Salt by Maison Coté
- Bonne Maman Prairie Berry Jam: a mixture of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Made in France.
- Silicone Cupcake Liners: super-easy cleanup and no trash!
Strawberry Cornmeal Cupcakes with Prairie Berry Frosting
The addition of a little cornmeal to the batter enhances this cupcake’s texture without making it taste like cornbread. It’s a sweet cake, not savoury, and the baked tops have a pleasant toothsomeness.
Note: Mix the batter with a regular ol’ wooden spoon so the ingredients don’t get overmixed. For the frosting, use an electric mixer for best results.
Cook the strawberries:
In small saucepan, combine 1 pint fresh strawberries (quartered), 2 Tbs sugar, 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice, and a few grinds of Citrus Salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened and reduced by about half. Set aside to cool.
Mix the dry ingredients:
- scant cup sugar (not quite a full cup)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mix the wet ingredients:
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs melted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
Combine the mixtures:
- Gently stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined.
- Do not overmix.
- Fold the cooked strawberries into the cupcake batter.
Bake the cupcakes:
- Divide batter among 12 lined muffin cups.
- Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes.
- Cool completely before frosting.
*At the last minute, I decided to add a little surprise when the cupcakes came out of the oven. While the cakes were still warm, I scooped out the center of six cupcakes and filled them with a few mini chocolate chips. Strawberries love chocolate, and so do I. Covered with frosting, they all looked the same. The little extra chocolate boost was fun to find!
Make the frosting:
- Whip 1/4 cup softened butter until fluffy.
- Gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well.
- Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 Tbs milk. Beat well.
- Stir in 2 Tbs Bonne Maman Prairie Berry Jam
- Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.
- Garnish with berry of your choice.
Flickr Creative Commons Photo
Thanks for your votes! This month’s winning cup cake was: