I came across this recipe for Strawberry-Lime Stuffed Cupcakes on the Food Network last week and it immediately went into my “must try” pile. Armed with a little extra time and a brand new jumbo muffin tin today, I decided to give this a whirl.
I was slightly concerned from the very beginning. After mixing up the batter, it seemed very thick. Not pourable like a regular cake batter but stiff….almost like a scone batter. Hmmm… Well, nothing left to do after that but press forward.
I became even more discouraged when they came out of the oven. Sure enough, I didn’t have pretty, smooth cakes…I had stiff, crunchy peaks. Hmmmm… Well, move forward I did!
When I got ready to stuff and frost, I decided to go ahead and even out my cakes by cutting off the tops. The cake was extremely dense. It was not looking good for the home team at this point.
I mixed up the lime frosting. It tasted really really sweet. Like really sweet. Too sweet. To top it off, I only ended up with enough to frost 4 of my 6 jumbo cupcakes. Uh-oh.
Well, when it was said and done, and I had spent an entire afternoon fiddling with these damn things, I was ready to chalk it up to another trial that ended up in error. HOWEVER, after the cakes were stuffed and the frosting set for a couple hours, the flavor actually turned out to be very good. The strawberry helped cut the sweetness of the frosting and the juice sort of moistened up the cake a bit. I’m not sure I would make these again, as they were a lot of work, but it they were certainly something new and different. I’d be interested to see if anyone else has better luck than I did. So, if you make these, please let me know!
STRAWBERRY-LIME STUFFED CUPCAKES (Recipe Source: Foodnetwork.com)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 drop green food coloring (I omitted)
6 large ripe strawberries, hulled
Green sanding sugar
Fresh mint leaves or candied leaves (I omitted)
Equipment: 6-cup jumbo muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.
While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin.
Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.
For icing: Mix the confectioners’ sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and mix with an electric mixer to make a firm but pourable icing. (If needed, add up to 1 teaspoon more juice, but take care if the icing is too loose it doesn’t set properly.) Add food color to make a pale pastel green icing.
To assemble: Remove cupcake from its liner. Cut and remove a strawberry (coned) shaped portion of cupcake from the top of each cupcake, leaving about 1/2 to 1-inch of cake in the bottom. (This was where I cut off my tops.) Stuff each cake with a strawberry and cover with a little bit of cake. Spoon and spread icing over the top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle with green sanding sugar. Top with small mint leaves or candied leaves.