Strawberry Cupcakes

A trip to Costco this past weekend yielded one of those very large flats of strawberries. After a gazillion batches of strawberry shortcake and pancakes with fresh strawberries, I decided to make cupcakes. While they turned out a sweet dessert, the strawberry flavor wasn't very strong, which could have been due to the factory-like strawberries themselves. I think it's worth trying again when local, organic berries are available, which seem to pack twice as much flavor.

2 cups flour
1 cup evaporated can juice sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed
frosting and additional fresh strawberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cake cupcake pan with cupcake papers. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together oil, vinegar and vanilla. Add pureed strawberries to liquid ingredients and blend. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and fold just until combined. Distribute among cupcake papers and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. When cool, frost and top with a slice of fresh strawberry.

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