Tea for Two
STRAWBERRIES & CREAM CUPCAKES
Updated: Sep 1, 2022
Whenever summer comes around, all I want is fresh strawberries and whipped cream, so here's our small batch take on strawberries and cream cupcakes.
Watch how to make them below:
Yields: 4 cupcakes
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 15-18 minutes
Oven Temperature: 160°C (fan oven)
muffin / cupcake pan
piping bag (large open or closed star tip)
50g butter, room temp*
50g caster sugar
1 egg, medium, room temp*
50g plain flour (10% protein)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
150g strawberries, frozen or fresh
20g caster sugar
strawberry whipped cream
60ml heavy whipping cream, cold (35-40% fat)
45g mascarpone cheese, cold
1-2 tbsp icing sugar (optional)
3-4 tbsp strawberry filling
4 fresh strawberries, for decoration
*room temp = around 20°C
In a small saucepan, heat 150g strawberries and 20g caster sugar for around 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Pour the hot strawberry sauce into a heatproof jug (see note 1) and blend until smooth with a hand blender. Be careful while blending, the strawberry sauce will be very hot!
Once the strawberry sauce is smooth, cover to the surface with cling film and allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge until ready to assemble.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan oven).
In a large mixing bowl, start with loosening 50g softened butter a little with a whisk or spoon before adding in 50g caster sugar and creaming together until pale and creamy.
In a separate bow, whisk together 1 medium egg (50g) and ½ tsp vanilla. Then add it to the butter-sugar mixture and beat together until it's nicely combined.
Sift 50g plain flour, ½ tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt (skip if using unsalted butter) and fold together with a rubber spatula, taking care not to overmix.
Line a cupcake tin with 4 cases and evenly distribute the batter (approximately 50g each).
Bake at 160°C (fan oven) on the middle rack of the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before assembling.
After the cupcakes have cooled, in a new bowl add 45g mascarpone cheese and loosen slightly with a whisk before adding 60ml heavy cream and whipping on a medium speed for around 30 seconds or the cream just begins to thicken. (see note 2)
Add around 3-4 tablespoons cold strawberry sauce to the cream and whip until it forms stiff peaks.
Transfer the cream to a piping bag fitted with either a large open or closed star tip. Optionally, to add a ripple of colour and extra flavour, transfer half the cream to the bag, then drizzle around 1 tablespoon of strawberry sauce into the piping bag, followed with the rest of the cream.
Using an apple corer or the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole through the top and centre of each cupcake to remove the central core.
Fill the hole with enough strawberry sauce to almost reach the top. Tap the cupcake on the table gently to help move the sauce down if needed.
Finally, pipe on a swirl of cream on the top of the cupcake and decorate with a whole fresh strawberry on top to serve.
Note 1. Use any heatproof container that is narrow and tall to give the small quantity of strawberry sauce enough depth to be blended with a hand blender. Alternatively, don't blend it and embrace a little more texture in your sauce.
Note 2. Cream whips up faster when everything is cold so many bakers will not only keep the cream in the fridge until the very last minute, they will also pre-emptively put the whisk and mixing bowl into the fridge for around 15 minutes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make these cupcakes in advance (the night before)?
I would recommend making some elements of the cupcake in advance, and saving some for just before serving. The cupcake bases can definitely be made in advance the night before. Once they have cooled, store them at room temperature in an air-tight container. The strawberry sauce can also be made the night before and left to cool overnight in the fridge. I would save making the whipped cream and assembling the cupcake until just before serving. This way you can avoid needing to store the entire cupcake in the fridge; this type of butter based sponge will become hard and somewhat dry in texture after being chilled - they are always best enjoyed at room temperature.
What should I do if my strawberry sauce has formed a skin on the top?
If a skin has formed on your sauce, just blend it again with the hand blender. To prevent this from happening next time, make sure the cling film is in direct contact with the top of the sauce when covering.
How should I store these?
Once these have been assembled, they are best eaten fresh immediately. If they do need to sit for a while or be stored for another time, cover them and place them in the fridge but know that the sponge will become harder and slightly dry as the butter solidifies and after a while, the whipped cream may start to weep. After chilling, let the cupcakes sit at room temperature for a little while to allow the sponge to soften back up again (but keep an eye on the state of the whipped cream).