sara loves cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcake Fail

So I have attempted strawberry cupcakes once before. I used a vanilla cupcake with strawberry yogurt in place of sour cream in the batter. The cupcakes turned out delicious, but I was not impressed at all with the Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting recipe I had to go with them. It’s possible I didn’t add enough strawberry puree to the frosting, but all I could taste was cream cheese, even when piped onto the cupcake. SO… that being said, I wasted a LOT of cream cheese frosting and my husband ended up eating most of the unfrosted vanilla cupcakes.

This time around, I found a new recipe for the cupcake and the frosting that I was dying to try. This comes from Jamie’s awesome blog, and the recipe is Easy Strawberry Cupcakes.

Sadly, the cupcakes did not turn out the way I wanted, so I didn’t even try to make the frosting as I didn’t want to waste the ingredients if I had no plans on taking the cupcakes to work. The batter was delicious, using a French Vanilla cake mix doctored accordingly with Greek Strawberry yogurt and vanilla pudding mix. Unfortunately, where I failed was the strawberries. The recipe calls for diced strawberries folded into the batter.

Now the cupcakes didn’t bake perfectly, but I knew I would be covering up the imperfections with frosting. I was making the cupcakes for a work picnic and had spent most of the morning putting together my homemade macaroni salad, so I guess my brain was a little frazzled by the time I started baking.

I always turn my oven up to 400 degrees for the pre-heat and then when I place the cupcakes inside, I turn the heat down to 350. I found this adds a really nice dome to my cupcakes. Unfortunately… again, brain frazzled, I forgot to turn the oven down after the first batch of cupcakes went in. So, yes, this meant I overbaked the first batch of 12. They still felt a bit soft around the bottom, so I cut one open and found mush inside. How on earth had I managed to turn the tops dark brown and yet the batter inside didn’t bake all the way through?

After a quick taste, I found the cake baked fine. It was the diced strawberries! They had become extremely soft and mushy and in turn, made the entire cake mush. Disappointed, I baked the second batch properly, but found the same thing happened with the strawberries.

So I didn’t attempt the frosting this go around. I am not sure if I just overbaked both batches, or if there is a trick to baking fruit in a cupcake batter. With my next strawberry attempt, I will make the strawberries into a puree and add that to the batter rather than just dicing the fruit.

The cupcakes, second batch, after proper baking:

And when I cut open the inside… strawberry mush!

So…. Strawberry Cupcakes – 2 Me? – 0!

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