Valentine's Week : "Sprinkles" Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Who doesn't just love Sprinkles cupcakes?  If you haven't tried them, go out and find one (their locations are posted here).  Try the Red Velvet and Strawberry - they are my faves, but all of them are good, so just go ahead and try all of 'em if you're there.  If there isn't one in your area, try this recipe because it's pretty darned close to the real deal!  Candice, the owner, was on Martha Stewart and shared this recipe.  So here ya go...

Here's what you need:
(And some milk.  I forgot the milk in the picture above!)

Put your strawberries in a food processor.
Look at this yummy puree!

Now get your flour, baking soda, and salt... 
 And whisk it up!
 Take that milk I forgot to picture above...
 And mix it up with the strawberry puree along with vanilla. 
 Now cream your butter in a mixer.
 Gradually add the sugar after you cream your buttah!
 Slowly add your egg and egg whites...
 And then half of the flour mixture!
 Now take that beautiful puree/milk/vanilla mixture...
 And throw it in the mixture.
 Only... don't throw.  Drizzle it in.  Or pour.  Or something of the sort!

Look at how beautiful this is turning out!
 Now throw the rest of that flour mixture in ...
 And then evenly divide the batter among 12 cupcakes!
 Look at this beautiful mixture!
 Now ... while those beautiful pink puppies bake away in the oven, take your other strawberries and puree 'em up!
 Sift your powdered sugar.
 Your butter should be somewhat cold and firm.  Now beat the butter with a pinch of salt.
 Then add your powdered sugar.
  And your strawberry puree and vanilla!
 Now, once you take the pink ladies outta the oven, spread the frosting on a cooled cupcake. 
 I just kinda work my way around the cupcake til it looks purty.
 Around and around I go!

 Aren't they beautiful!
 And there you have 'em...
 Of course, I had to put it on a pretty pink plate for you guys...
 And take a bite!
Here is the recipe... enjoy!

"Sprinkles" Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Makes One Dozen

2/3 Cup Whole Fresh Strawberries (Frozen is fine, just make sure they are thawed out)
1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour, sifted
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
¼ Tsp Coarse Salt
¼ Cup Whole Milk, Room Temperature
½ Cup (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg, Room Temperature
2 Large Egg Whites, Room Temperature

½ Cup Whole Fresh Strawberries (or frozen, thawed)
1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 ½ Cups Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
½ Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.  Line a 12 – cup cupcake tin with liners and set aside.  Place strawberries in a small food processor and process until pureed.  You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy.  Reduce mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.  With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture, mix until just blended.  Add the milk mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary, until just blended.  Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.  Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch (22-25 minutes).  Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing. 

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not over mix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.