Tuesday, June 3, 2008

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

There’s really not much of a story on these cupcakes – they were made as per a friend’s request for his 30th birthday. I sent him an email listing all the possible flavors of cake and frosting I could make. He picked white chocolate, vanilla, lemon, and strawberry, and I decided on white chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

Most white chocolate cakes and cupcakes are very dense (which is why I generally dislike them), so I made sure to make these cupcakes light and soft (yogurt is my new best friend when making cupcakes). The frosting is a standard Swiss meringue buttercream with a thick strawberry reduction added at the end, and the cupcakes were finished off with half of a locally grown strawberry that is small and ruby red and actually tastes like a strawberry.


White Chocolate Cupcakes with
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

(makes 24 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup lowfat yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
2-3 tablespoons sugar
[Alternately, use 3-4 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam in place of the strawberries + sugar]
6 egg whites
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and at room temperature.
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 small strawberries, hulled and sliced in half lengthwise


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 wells of a muffin pan with papers and set aside.

Put the white chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and heat on medium power for 90 seconds, stirring halfway through and when the 90 seconds are up. All of the chocolate should be melted; if it is not, return the bowl to the microwave for another 15 seconds. Set the chocolate aside. [Alternately, you can melt the chocolate over a double boiler.]

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set it aside. Whisk the milk, yogurt, and vanilla into a medium bowl and set it aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture, all of the milk mixture, and the remaining flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the melted white chocolate. Mix on low speed to combine.

Divide the batter between the cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans after 12 minutes; the edges will be lightly golden and a toothpick should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes and let them sit on the rack until they are completely cooled.

Puree the 1 pint of berries. Strain the strawberry puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Depending on how sweet the berries are, add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar to the puree. Gently simmer the puree over medium-low heat until it is thick and reduced to about ¼ cup; this will take 20-25 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool.

Put the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer. Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan and set the mixer bowl on top of the pan. Whisk the egg white mixture until it is 130 F – the mixture will turn thick and white, and this should take about 3 minutes.

Transfer the bowl to a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the egg white mixture on high speed until it is cool, thick, and glossy, about 10 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-high and add the butter a few pieces at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated before the next addition. After all the butter has been added, continue beating the frosting until it comes together – this will take a minute or two.

Add the reduced strawberry puree (or jam) and mix to combine. Frost the cupcakes and top each with a berry half.

These are the cupcakes I took out on Saturday night (yes, they're in a cardboard
box - they were being transported to a bar, and yes, those are little chocolate
letters on top that I piped out and transferred onto the cupcakes)


John said...

Again: yum!

I wonder what those miracle fruits would do to sugar!

Anonymous said...

Roopa! Those look DELICIOUS!!

Grace said...

strawberries are my absolute favorite things to pair with white chocolate--these are magnificent!

BMoreSweet said...

Piped...chocolate....letters.... that are so perfect they absolutely look like typeface....Roopa....you amazing overacheiver, you!!! And I believe you are now the official Buttercream Queen!

Fearless Kitchen said...

These look amazing! I'm glad you've found a way of keeping white chocolate cakes from being too dense.

TheCooker said...

You have taken over my 'must-bake' list.
Can't wait to try youghurt in cupcakes.
What kind of tip did you use to pipe the frosting?

roopa said...

TheCooker - I used an Ateco 825 (large star) tip.

Mithila said...


I enjoy reading this blog. Really appreciate your original recipes (tried the agrodolce albeit minus some ingredients - turned out great!)

Tried this one out too. We were stumped by the buttercream frosting and needed three attempts to get it right. But we did it - they were delicious.

Minor squabble: Frosting ingredients list includes 3 sticks of butter (6 ounces). 6 ounces corresponds to 1 1/2 sticks.

Danielle said...

Hi there! I stumbled upon your blog just the other day. I made the cupcakes (not the frosting) and they are pretty darn yummy! Do you know how I could get even more of a white chocolate flavor in them? I new to all this baking stuff :) Thanks!

roopa said...

Danielle - I don't find white chocolate to have much of a distinct flavor and so my only suggestion would be to use the best quality white chocolate, as I find that has more of a flavor than, say, Toll House white chocolate chips. Hope that helps!

Anita said...

Hi! I just used your strawberry buttercream recipe to make a topping for Giada DeLaurentis's mascarpone cupcakes from the Food Network website. It came out delicious! I didn't bother to puree the strawberries first and just smashed them with the back of a spoon instead (because I hate cleaning out my blender). Also, it took me a lot longer with my hand mixer to get the frosting to come together. Thanks so much for the recipe...I know I'll use this again and again!

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