Another fantastic fruit that’s just come into season is the strawberry. It seems like everywhere we go here in Oregon you see fresh Oregon strawberries. For me, fresh strawberries is pretty much akin with fresh strawberry shortcake, and I couldn’t help but remake one of my favorite summer desserts into a cupcake. Because seriously, all desserts are better in miniature version, right?
Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
Makes 7 extra large cupcakes
What you’ll need:
For the angel food cake cupcakes:
6 egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup cake flour (you can make your own cake flour too)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
For the whipped cream frosting:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the strawberry topping:
7-8 fresh strawberries
1/8 cup granulated sugar
Start by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) and lining an extra large muffin pan with extra large liners. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar together until frothy. Add the granulated sugar and whisk on high (with an electric mixer) until stiff peaks form. This usually takes between 5-8 minutes, and you know it’s done when the meringue is glossy and can hold it’s shape. Whisk in your extracts at the very end. In another bowl, sift together your cake flour and powdered sugar. If you’re like me and pretty much never have cake flour on hand, you can learn how to make your own using all purpose flour and cornstarch here. Gently fold your dry ingredients into your meringue using a spatula. Once all of your ingredients are combined, spoon the batter into your prepared pan, all the way up to almost the top of the liners (no 2/3 or 3/4 rule here!). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until dry and the top bounces back when pressed.
Now to whip up your toppings! To make the sweet strawberry garnish, slice up your strawberries (small pieces sit more easily on top of the cupcakes) and stir them together with the granulated sugar. This can be made as much as a day or two in advance, or a few hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to use them.
To make the whipped cream, whip your heavy cream in a medium-size bowl until soft peaks form. Add your powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and whip until stiff peaks form. Be careful as the whipped cream can go very quickly from not beat enough to overbeat! We’re talking looking curdled and not so pretty. Spoon your whipped cream into a piping bag, and cut off the tip so you have a large opening. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes so that the edges are higher than the center.
Don’t worry if your cupcakes have fallen a little after cooling; that’s typical of angel food cake (and why you’re typically supposed to cool it upside down) and will actually help you create that little crater in the center to hold the strawberries. Spoon your strawberries into the center and serve immediately.
Angel food cake recipe adapted from Betty Crocker