When I think of two flavors that really sum up summer for me, its strawberry and basil. They’re fragrant, sweet, and pair perfectly with one another! I wanted to do one last summer cupcake before launching into fall and all of its pumpkin spice-goodness, so these seemed perfect! Fresh pureed strawberries make the cake moist and light and freshly snipped basil makes the frosting aromatic and sweet. I have a feeling I’ll be making these again and again long after summer is over!
Cake recipe adapted from Oprah.com
(makes 12 cupcakes)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp coarse salt
2/3 cup (8-10) fresh strawberries
¼ cup milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
Basil Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup milk
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
1 eight oz package of cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
Extra basil leaves for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
(1.) In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. (2.) In a food processor or blender, process strawberries until pureed. (3.) Pour puree into a small bowl and stir in milk and vanilla extract. (4.) In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
(5.) Beat in egg and egg whites until just mixed. Slowly add half of the flour mixture and mix until blended. Add milk and strawberry mixture and beat until blended. (6.) Add remaining flour mixture and mix until completely blended. (7.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again. (8.) Divide batter between muffin cups and place in the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Pop cupcakes out of the muffin tin and place on cooling rack for another 20 minutes or until completely cool before frosting.
While cupcakes are baking and cooling you can prepare your frosting!
(9.) In a small sauce pan add milk and fresh basil and heat on high. (10.) Once milk comes to a simmer, reduce heat to low. (11.) Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep milk from burning on the bottom, until mixture is reduced by 2/3rds. (12.) Add to a food processor or blender and puree for 10-15 seconds. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
(13.) In a medium bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth. (14.) Add vanilla extract and milk and basil puree. Stir until mixed. (15.) Slowly beat in powdered sugar, scrape down the sides, and beat until smooth. (16.) Add frosting to a piping back and frost cupcakes once completely cooled. Add a small basil leaf for garnish and serve!
These can also be made the night before. Just add garnish right before serving!
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