Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday in the Kitchen

Yesterday I had a visit from one of my oldest and dearest friends...always the best kind, don't you think? Well I was thinking what to have out for a bit of snacking, and I realized that all of my usual ideas are going to be a problem... over the last few months I have eliminated corn (in all of its forms), wheat and chocolate, add to that reducing my dairy intake and baking can become quite a tricky thing! Enter (one of) my totally amazing sister--when I first realized I needed to make the changes ~ due to nursing my sweet baby-with-a-tender-tummy ~ she got me the best cookbook EVER, Cooking for Isaiah. Most dairy free things these days are simply made with soy, which is something I'm not interested in...but this book suggests using either rice or coconut milk instead and you can't tell even the tiniest bit of difference in your baking! She also has come up with a great "gluten-free all purpose flour" that yields the nicest, fluffiest things I've ever baked. If you are interested in the gluten-free flour recipe, you can see it in the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon, other wise you can just substitute regular all purpose flour... why is that relevant? Because trust me, you want to make these...

These are THE BEST strawberry cupcakes ever!! Best cupcake ever? I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, so I'm going to just stick with best strawberry cupcake ever...REALLY!

 Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

For cupcakes...
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strawberry puree (about 5 ounces of strawberries, I just tossed them in the blender with a little strawberry jam because I was a bit short...if you don't need the jam just add a bit of sugar)
1/2 cup rice milk (or regular milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 drops red food coloring (I left this out)
1/2 cup shortening at room temp. 
1 cup sugar
 2 large eggs at room temp. (Mine were not room temp)

1) Preheat the oven to 350* and line your muffin pan with papers. 

2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
In another small bowl, combine the strawberry puree, milk, vanilla and food coloring.

3) In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the shortening on medium-high speed until fluffy, about one minute. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes (scrape the sides as needed). 
On medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and the strawberry mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan until each cup is two-thirds full (ahem...I am a chronic over-filler). Bake until the cupcakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely In The Pan set on a wire rack.

For frosting...
1 cup shortening, at room temperature 
(I used butter...because I'm French, and shortening is not my thing in frostings)
2-3/4 cups powdered sugar *
1/2 cup strawberry puree
1/4 teaspoon salt
sprinkles for the top, should you happen to have them handy

To make the frosting, in a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat together the shortening (butter), powdered sugar, strawberry puree and salt on medium-high speed until fluffy, pipe or spread over the cooled cupcakes; top with sprinkles. Enjoy!!

*A note for anyone who is also corn-free (although I might be the only person in the universe...), or if you use organic sugar and want to turn it into organic powdered sugar... most powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. Lame. I recently learned that I can make my own however, in the blender. Just substitute equal amounts of regular sugar and pulse until it's powdered. I've heard it can scratch up plastic though, so consider that before you use a plastic food processor or blender... 

What is happening in your kitchen today? Please leave a comment, or if you would like to share on your  blog, please leave us a link so we can see! (And a link back to here is great too...)


  1. Amazing!! They're so cute and pink :) Awesome job. Can't wait to have you bake for me allll summer long :p xoxo, e

  2. Oh, yum!!!! I'm feeling like I need to do a cooking post soon so I can link back here.

  3. I followed your directions and made a batch of these and they were ever so popular!!! Thank you!


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