Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kiwanis Cookoff: Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Kiwanis Lemon Cookoff day. More like judging day.
I was going to bake lemon bars. First thought, but I decided to go with something that I know that might appeal to the senses. Strawberry Lemonade. of course, knowing me, in cupcake form. Found them online here, at Annie's Eats, so I claim no ownership to it. =)

For the cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon zest (I just zested two lemons, I was too lazy to measure)
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk (I used soy milk)
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped ( I probably chopped up a little more than 2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line muffin pans with paper liners.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir together with a fork and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy.
Add the sugar and beat until well combined.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated.
Add in the milk and mix until smooth.
Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended.
Fold in the fresh strawberries with a spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners, filling them about 3/4 full. (I just put in about 2 tablespoons full)
Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine took 23 minutes, but read note below!)
Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the lemonade syrup:
1 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

I made my own lemonade concentrate from this recipe but I cut it in half.
Whisk together the lemonade concentrate and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl to make the lemonade syrup.
Poke several holes in the top of each cupcake with a skewer (or I used a toothpick) and pour the syrup over the cupcakes, allowing it to soak in. (I put like 1 teaspoon in, they just wouldnt seep in =( )

Last but not least, the FROSTING!
1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (I used 16)
18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 24)
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I just kind of poured it until it looked about right)
3 tsp. lemon juice (I used about 5 tsp of my lemonade concentrate for this part)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used a little more than 1 tsp)
To make the frosting, puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender.
Strain the puree through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds, and set aside.
Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and very fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
Mix in strawberry puree, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve your desired texture and flavor of frosting (I added all of my puree, about 9-10 tablespoons).
Frost cupcakes as desired and garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices. (I only had strawberries, I just used those)

But they are really good. I think I liked the cupcake part the best, the frosting was a little to frustrating to me because I didn't feel like cutting my butter and cream cheese, so I kinda over estimated, and I'm never good with powdered sugar, so yes. That's what happened to that. The cupcake part, probably needed a little more time in the oven too. That's about it. Oh, the lemonade syrup thing. Good idea, but I think I either needed more lemon, or something. The cupcake itself was just not LEMONY enough. It was sure strawberryish though.

Using the extra lemons and strawberries, I had made strawberry lemonade to go with it. YUM!
PICTURES! they are my pictures so they arent as good and I forgot to take pictures of the cupcakes that actually WENT to the cookoff. OOPS! oh well, it's okay. You get the idea!

The strawberry lemonade was really heavenly today since it was super hot here in Berkeley. SINCE WHEN IS IT HOT IN NORCAL? I miss my socal weather, but I was not ready for it to be this hot today. I have none of my summer clothes, only all my sweaters. I guess that means shopping!

<3 Nina

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<3 Nina

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