These are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. They’re pink, bursting with fresh strawberry flavor, and sprinkled with sweet messages for the one(s) you love. Did you know that Sweetheart conversation heart candies are the number one selling Valentine’s Day candy? Even over chocolate! They were actually invented in 1866 by the NECCO company. These were the original conversation hearts and I remain loyal to them. In fact, they are still produced in a factory in Revere, MA, just a couple of miles from where I grew up. My grandmother actually worked for the company at some point when my dad was younger. I feel a sentimental connection with these candies because they hit so close to home. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the chalky flavor, but I love what they stand for and they make super cute decorations. Even if you don’t have time to make these for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I still recommend trying these cupcakes because they’re absolutely delicious no matter what the occasion.

Strawberry Sweetheart Cupcakes

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Strawberry Sweetheart Cupcakes
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 30
 

These are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat for all the sweethearts in your life <3
Ingredients
  • 2 16oz cartons fresh strawberries
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¾ cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • STRAWBERRY FROSTING
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup strawberry puree
  • ¼ cup strawberry preserves
  • pink food coloring
  • sweetheart candies
  • sprinkles for decorating

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place one carton of strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You will need ⅔ – ¾ cup puree for the batter and the rest can be saved for the frosting, set aside. Chop the other carton of strawberries into small pieces.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. 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 the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended. Stir about 1 cup of chopped strawberries into the batter.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared lined muffin cups. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  7. For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese in standmixer until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar. Beat in extracts, strawberry preserves and puree. Keep adding powdered sugar until desired thickness is achieved.

 

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