Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 1st February 2013

I haven’t made cupcakes in a while and I’ve been craving the taste of sweet, juicy strawberries unfortunately the strawberries at my local market aren’t as sweet and juicy this time of year. Thankfully I tucked a few flats away in the freezer during the peak of Ontario strawberry season making them perfect for using throughout the winter in recipes like this one for Strawberry Cupcakes. It’s the best way I know how to give my winter-baked goods a kiss of summer.

Close up photo of a Strawberry Cupcake with Pink Strawberry Frosting decorated with white sugar pearls in red dotted pink cupcake cup.

Although the process is a little time consuming especially when you’re freezing a few flats nothing beats the taste of fresh, in-season berries. The process for freezing berries is quite easy; wash, hull, pat dry and freeze in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with baking paper (to prevent sticking to pan).

A photo taken looking down on five Strawberry Cupcakes with Pink Strawberry Frosting decorated with white sugar pearls.

When the berries are completely frozen, portion (I freeze in 226 g or 8 ounce portions), transfer to resealable plastic bags and return to freezer for storage.

A photo of two Strawberry Cupcakes displayed in two glass cupcake stands with cloches on white cloth base with pink, white and red heart sprinkles.

The other benefit of freezing berries in-season aside from the obvious health benefits is the cost-savings, fruit is much cheaper to purchase during the growing season. I’m ashamed to share that when I was working I rarely thought in terms of cost savings but now that I’m home and my income has dropped it’s become a priority.

A photo of a Strawberry Cupcake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream in red foil cupcake liner decorated with a single red heart sprinkle on top displayed on white cake stand.

Funny thing is I started preserving on a larger scale for the savings but now, I can’t not preserve because of taste especially when my kids notice the difference.

A photo of Gourmet Strawberry Cupcakes with Pink Strawberry Meringue Buttercream frosting decorated with white sugar pearlsin red dotted, pink cupcake cups placed in a v-formation on white cloth.

Frozen berries can be used in many different ways, smoothies, frozen fruit pops, cocktails, muffins, pancakes, crumble, coulis, mousse, the list goes on and on. Having said this, there is a big difference in the texture of fresh berries and frozen berries, after defrosting the berries tend to become mushy.

Close up photo of a Strawberry Cupcake with Pink Strawberry Meringue Buttercream displayed in pink striped cupcake cup and decorated with white sugar pearls.

I wouldn’t use frozen berries in certain sweet treats where texture is important like this Strawberry Tart or these Strawberry-Yogurt Mousse Cakes.

A photo a Strawberry Cupcake with two additional cupcakes set in behind and blurred.

For these Strawberry Cupcakes I used a combination of plain flour and cake flour because I wanted a tenderer crumb; they’re moist and light and the in-season berries provided a sweet strawberry flavour. I adore the flavour combination of strawberry and vanilla so I added a touch more vanilla in the cupcake batter and added vanilla seeds for an extra kick of vanilla flavour to the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream frosting.

Close up photo of three Strawberry Cupcakes displayed in a row, one behind the other, on white rectangular shaped dessert platter.

I would’ve preferred to top the cupcakes with fresh berries but that wasn’t an option so I chose to decorate with sugar pearls and sprinkles instead.

A photo of four Gourmet Strawberry Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream each decorated with one red heart sprinkle on top in red foil cupcake liners displayed with milk in a glass bottle with red and white striped straw.

My daughter, Liana, was the taste-tester and as she took her first bite (without frosting) I waited with bated breath for her reaction. A little side note, Liana loves strawberries, most berries really but she’s particularly picky (actually very picky) about the use of berries in sweet treats. I couldn’t believe it when she said, “You know what mom I didn’t think I was going to like these but they’re really good”. Yes! The reaction I was hoping for.

A photo of Strawberry Cupcakes with Pink Strawberry Meringue Buttercream frosting decorated with white sugar pearls displayed on pink and white striped cloth napkin.

If you were planning to send treats to school for Valentine’s Day these Strawberry Cupcakes would be a flavourful alternative to regular vanilla or chocolate cupcakes. If your children have their heart set on chocolate cupcakes adding strawberry purée to the batter and topping with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream would also be a tasty option.

A photo of Gourmet Strawberry Cupcakes on white cake stand.

Happy weekend!

Close up photo of a Strawberry Cupcake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream decorated with a single red heart sprinkle on top in red foil cupcake liner.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Mini Desserts, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (30)

30 Responses to “Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream”

  1. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen Says:

    These look gorgeous! I can’t wait to try the strawberry meringue buttercream, MMM :)

  2. Laureen Says:

    Grace, will the buttercream recipe work with regular sugar, or must it be superfine?

  3. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Laureen regular sugar would be fine but I prefer the finer sugar because it dissolves quicker, if you have a food processor you can blitz the regular sugar for about 30 seconds.

  4. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    These are so pretty! Good to know that the frozen strawberries worked so well.

  5. Cupcake Ideas Says:

    love the Meringue Buttercream!, do you mind if i re-blog this recipes?

  6. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Jane, to clarify, are you asking if you can use one of the images and then provide a link back to my site like you have with other cupcake posts on your site? If yes, that would be fine and thank you very much for requesting use first.

  7. Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife Says:

    That strawberry Meringue buttercream sounds so amazing!

  8. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Erika it’s really tasty, you’ll have to try it sometime.

  9. Amanda Says:

    For the cake part your recipe says 3/4 cup cake and pastry flour. Does this mean 3/4 c of pastry and 3/4 c of cake?

  10. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Amanda, sorry, in Canada they label cake flour – cake and pastry flour, usually I catch myself when I’m writing the recipe and list it as cake flour, therefore it’s only 3/4 cup of cake flour, will change recipe right away to clear up the confusion.

  11. Ela Says:

    Hi Grace, your Strawberry Meringue Buttercream looks so good, I always love how your present your food. I remember making buttercream with just butter, powdered sugar and strawberry puree I had a difficult time piping it. Yours looks so perfect! May I know if I can I use the cupcake to make just vanilla cupcakes? If so, what do I have to substitute for strawberry puree in the recipe? Thank you.

  12. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Ela, I would recommend increasing the milk to 240 ml (1 cup). Ela have you ever tried making Swiss Meringue Buttercream? I prefer this type of buttercream or Italian Meringue buttercream over the icing sugar type frosting, the texture is silky smooth but beautiful for piping and it’s not as sweet.

  13. cupcakes warrington Says:

    Nice Post. I have been working in the food and catering industry for a long time and love to read on the latest stuff whenever got time. I just came through to your blog post and you have nicely outlined about the cupcakes etc. Thanks for writing such a good post and hope you will be posting stuff like this on regular basis as I have subscribed to your blog.

  14. Ela Says:

    Thanks, Grace. I’ve not tried making Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but based on your pretty pictures I would love to make some. Can you pipe flowers/roses for example with this kind of frosting? Where do you store your cupcakes after frosting it? Thanks!

  15. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Absolutely Ela, I very rarely make the icing sugar based frostings anymore. For cupcakes I store at room temperature because they don’t last long with the kids and their friends but you can store in airtight container in the refrigerator making sure to let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (the butter in the frosting firms up in the refrigerator) before serving. I usually store in my cold room if they’re not gobbled up in one day.

  16. lyly Says:

    Beautifull cupcakes. Love it. Have a great weekend !

  17. Barbara Says:

    These look amazing- I especially love the individual cupcake stands. Will definitely be trying these for Vday- thanks for sharing!

  18. Cheryl S. Says:

    I am NOT a cupcake lover however, these look absolutely wonderful!
    I “definitely” will be making these little beauties.
    Two questions. Did you fill the insides of these cupcakes with buttercream?
    And two, about the tip.
    You indicated the size but didn’t reference which tip you used. As I really liked the effect seen in your gorgeous photos, I was wondering what tip you used.
    Thank you.

  19. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Cheryl – thank you for your kind words. I didn’t fill the insides with frosting but you could. I think you’ll find if you use the swirl technique taking it around three times it will probably be enough frosting for one standard cupcake. I’m sorry for not putting the tip number, I usually try to remember this, I will update the post immediately. I used the Wilton 1M, which is sometimes referred to as the swirl tip. It’s one of my favourite tips, I use it often. Please come back and let us know if you enjoyed them.

  20. cupcakes warrington website Says:

    Nice Post. I have been working in the food and catering industry for a long time and loves to read on the latest stuff whenever got time. I just came through your blog post and you have nicely outlined about the cupcakes etc. Thanks for writing such a good post and hope you will be posting stuff like this on regular basis as I have subscribed to your blog.

  21. Cheryl S. Says:

    Hi Grace,
    So I made the “Pink Beauties” and set them out on the dessert table after church service. Seconds later,they were gone! People said they were the most beautiful cupcakes they had ever seen and were just about swooning over how delicious they were.
    I used your recipe for the moist vanilla cupcakes then filled them with a strawberry curd.
    Thank you so much for the treasure trove of consistently delicious recipes you graciously share with us.

  22. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    So good to hear Cheryl! Thanks for coming back to share – I always get a spring in my step when someone’s enjoyed one of my recipes. The strawberry curd sounds amazing – will definitely have to try next time.

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  24. Vanessa Says:

    Hi Grace! I found your wonderful recipe after my sister asked for a strawberry dessert for Easter. Unfortunately, the cupcakes turned out okay but my frosting didn’t (I’m relatively new at baking and the meringue was difficult). I tried again last night and achieved moderate success! At the least they are tasty and the frosting is spreadable. Just wondering–both times my cupcakes turned out quite moist and a little dense; is this normal? Also, with the meringue buttercream, I found it lost its texture very easily and would curdle (I had to beat after every addition of puree), is this due to my lack of finesse with meringue? Offhand is there something I might be doing wrong? Thank you for the recipe!

  25. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Vanessa, the cupcakes should be light and moist not dense. And are you weighing ingredients or using measuring cups? (I weigh all my ingredients – more accurate.) Did you cream the butter and eggs in a stand mixer or electric hand mixer? What capacity is your mixer? I have a professional one and I find if the batter is on the smaller scale I can’t whip enough air through the creaming process (this batter is on the smaller capacity). How did you handle the butter, was it room temp? Did you sift the flour mixture? Meringue can be tricky, it shouldn’t lose its texture. Did you add extra puree? Buttercream will curdle but with beating it should become smooth. Sorry for all the questions but it will be easier to assess what went wrong.

  26. Vanessa Says:

    Hi Grace, no, thank you for the questions and for trying to help me figure out what went wrong! I only have basic baking supplies, so I use measuring cups and an electric hand mixer. The bowl I used was a relatively small stainless steel one. I tried to do the butter exactly per your instructions; I took it out of the fridge already cubed while I was beating the eggs and sugar, so it had about 12 minutes to warm up but may have not been completely room temp. I also wasn’t able to get the egg whites to form the stiff peaks but I stopped after 12 minutes because I didn’t want to over beat them. I didn’t sift the flour mixture first unfortunately. Didn’t add any extra puree to the cupcakes or the frosting. I was wondering if maybe I didn’t strain the puree well enough and the density of the cupcakes was due to the puree being too thick.

  27. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Vanessa I’m going to pass on a very important tip with respect to baking after purchasing a scale I noticed a huge difference in my baked goods. If you like to bake I would look at purchasing one, there are some that are fairly inexpensive, you don’t need anything fancy but if you can get one with a tare function it’s really convenient because you can weigh everything together in one bowl ie add flour to bowl hit the tare button and it basically zeros out the weight and you can add your next ingredient to the bowl. When measuring dry ingredients with cups the weight will always vary ie if you measure out 3 separate cups of flour using a measuring cup I can guarantee the weights will all be different, same with sugar etc. The scale is always accurate. Sifting is really important, it aerates the flour making baked goods lighter. I use a fine mesh sieve and a sheet of parchment paper, hold the sieve way up high over the paper and shake away (the higher you hold the sieve the more aeration) (you can also sift into a bowl) then using a large balloon whisk mix the ingredients together to make sure the baking powder is well disbursed (whisking also aerates the mixture). When using a hand mixer it will be necessary to beat for a longer period of time because it doesn’t have as much power as a stand mixer. Not beating to a stiff peak would be the cause of the meringue not holding its shape. The butter was probably not the issue, it’s better if it’s slightly cold rather than really warm and really soft. Again continuing to beat will make the mixture smooth. How long did you process the strawberry mixture? Was it difficult to push through the sieve? And was the puree slightly cold? For the cupcake batter, again when using a hand mixer you may need to cream the butter and sugar (creaming aerates the mixture giving you a lighter texture) for a longer period of time until the mixture is pale in colour. I would also recommend using a higher setting than what’s called for when using a stand mixer. Please let me know if I can clarify anything further for you. I hope some of these tips help.

  28. Vanessa Says:

    Thanks again for the tips; they are very helpful and I will be keeping all of these in mind next time. I have just recently taken an interest in baking and so didn’t realize the importance of some of the steps and equipment. Based on your advice I will be purchasing a scale and fine mesh sieve. Since I used a strainer made of material, it may not have worked as well on the puree as the mesh ones did. I’m looking forward to trying some of your other recipes as they look amazing.

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