Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strawberry Cup Cakes

Nonstick vegetable spray

All-purpose flour, for pans
Self-rising flour - 3 cups
Granulated sugar - 2 cups
Vegetable oil - 3/4 cup
Pureed and strained strawberries - 1 1 /2 cup*
Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Lemon zest - 1tsp
Eggs - 4 large, beaten
Red food coloring**

*You can use fresh or frozen strawberries.  If you use frozen, let them defrost on a cookie sheet.  Then place in a food processor or a blender and pulse until pureed.  Run through a medium-sized strainer to remove the seeds. 
**I added some food coloring to achieve that perfectly pink color.  If you don’t care about getting the pink color, feel free to leave it out.  I used about 5 drops, but you should add them one at a time until you achieve the color you are looking for.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray and flour muffin pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.

Prepare the cake batter; in a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pureed strawberries, vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs.
Spread batter evenly in the pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 26 to 28 minutes.
Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.
Prepare the cream cheese frosting (recipe below); frost as desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cream Cheese Frosting;
Cream cheese - 1 ; 8 oz package, softened

Butter - 1 stick, softened
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) - 3 cups(approx)
Milk (if needed) - 1tbspn

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly add the sugar in 1 cup batches until desired sweetness is achieved.  You may need less than 3 cups if you like your frosting less sweet. Stir in vanilla.  Add milk slowly if you need a looser consistency.

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