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In an age of sometimes intimidating flavor combinations like oysters & watermelon, or bourbon & sriracha, the classics are my safe space in an ever-tasty world. Traditional pairings like strawberries & (whipped) cream, or berries & almond are so comforting in the modern foodie community of juxtaposing flavors. These cupcakes make the most of this seasons star berry by showcasing them as they should be and using almond (amaretto) to give them a hint of nutty essence.
Now that Labor Day has passed, we are all trying to hang on to any shred of summer we can. Well, there is hope in that strawberries are generally available year round nowadays. Although they are best this time of year, we don’t have to say goodbye so quickly. The article Strawberries Are Available Year-Round, but Summer Is Their True Season by columnist Jane Lear, explains why we are able to get our hands on these fragrant, antioxidant packed berries even when it’s frigid outside. So don’t think that if you don’t bake these in the next week, you’ve lost your chance!
I constantly find myself forgetting to buy eggs after a weekend of the hubby’s amazing scramble making sessions, and when I go to bake I realize I have no eggs. These are egg-less and therefore perfect for when you didn’t have time to refill your egg tray, while also cutting down on the cholesterol.
The cupcakes themselves are extremely moist (my apologies to those who don’t like that word) and because of that they work well for when you have to make some treats ahead of time. A stabilized whipped cream allows these to be stored in the refrigerator for several days before your whipped cream loses shape or begins weeping. So, again, they are perfect for a school event or office party when you need to make something a day or so ahead, when you actually have time.
These simple, traditional, and classic flavor pairings are anything buy “basic”. Give them a try and savor what summer has to offer… Or if you don’t get to this recipe until January, make them to cure your summer blues!
- 1 cup cashew or fat free cow’s milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut or vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup fresh strawberries
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp amaretto liqueur
- 1.5 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1.5 cup heavy whipping cream (organic tastes better, trust me)
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp powdered sugar (6 tbsp)
Preheat oven to 350° line cupcake pan with 12 large cupcake liners.
- Measure out the milk and add the vinegar and almond extract to it. Set aside.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the sugar and make a well in the center. Pour in the oil and then the milk mixture over top that. Whisk to combine.
- Divide among the cupcake liners and Bake 18-22 minutes, or until the center of the cupcakes spring back after being lightly pressed.
- While the cupcakes are baking dice the strawberries and place them in a small bowl. Mix in the sugar and amaretto and stir together. Set aside at room temp.
- When the cupcakes are finished, remove them from the oven and allow to cool in the cupcake pan for 5 mins. Then remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, hull out a small hole in the center of each cupcake about 1/2 way down each cupcakes. I used the Wilton 2A piping tip to do so, (See pics) but you can use a small paring knife.
- This next step is VERY IMPORTANT! Eat all the pieces you’ve hulled out. Its imperative to the success of your baking. *Wink, Wink*
- Using a fork , divide the macerated strawberries among the hulled out cupcakes being sure to drain off as much liquid as possible. (This will keep your cupcakes from getting soggy from the inside out.) *Optional*- Reserve a few tsp of these diced strawberries to top your finished cupcakes. Or you can dice up a fresh one and use that for decorating the tops.
Stabilized Whipped Cream:
- Find the recipe method for my Surprisingly Simple Stabilized Whipped Cream here.
- Once you’ve prepared your stabilized whipped cream, using an ice cream scoop, divide it between the cupcakes. Topped with the reserved macerated strawberry pieces.
*Keep cupcakes refrigerated*