On a sweltering summer day as a child, I remember standing knee-deep in a sea of itchy strawberry plants with an empty bucket and my grandfather saying, “You kids are so lucky you get to pick all these beautiful strawberries!” I didn’t believe him. (So why do I now say things to my kids, like, “You kids are so lucky to get to use a fancy vacuum to clean…?” )
Back to Grandpa. He was helping my sisters and I pick strawberries from my dad’s huge patch; but we had done it so many times before and the large expanse of hidden berries was completely overwhelming.
However, the sweet fruit of my childhood labor was a strawberry dessert. Luckily, my mom never made any silly strawberry concoction like spinach strawberry salad (an adult favorite of mine!) Strawberry season was very short on our farm, so we created only desserts: Strawberry shortcake, ice cream sauce, jam and pies. And then, there were those strawberry cupcakes I got one year for my birthday: Light and pink and fluffy and perfectly sweet.
My ReDuxed version of Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes is a lovely seasonal answer to this month’s The Recipe ReDux Cupcake Conundrum – (asking if we thought the cupcake trend was still going strong or if it was time for other hand held desserts to takeover.) Clearly with this recipe, I voted cupcakes are here to stay!
While I used my classic Best Birthday Cake recipe, I decreased the portion size by using only 2-2 ½ tablespoons of batter in each cupcake…and replacing it with a fresh whole strawberry! The cupcake looked nearly full-size. But I won’t fudge the results of the appearance of the baked strawberry inside: It shriveled a bit and got rather mushy – like what happens in a baked strawberry pie. Thus, should you be serving Strawberry Cupcakes at a classy spring bridal shower, you may want to instead add chopped fresh strawberries. My kids, however loved finding a whole strawberry surprise in the center of their cupcake!
Are you a cupcake fan – or do you prefer another hand-held treat?