Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting
These strawberry cupcakes are soft, light, and packed with plenty of flavor from the easy homemade strawberry sauce. The strawberry mascarpone frosting is so delicious and perfect for topping the cupcakes!
8oz.(about 2 cups) sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen
1tsp.fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 and ½cupsall-purpose flour
½cup(1 stick) unsalted butter*, softened to room temperature
2large eggs, room temperature*
½cupfull-fat sour cream
¼cupstrawberry sauce (save the rest for making the frosting)
Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting:
½cup(1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
gel red food coloring, optional
Make the Strawberry Sauce:
Add the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar to a small pot and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the strawberries begin to soften and release their juices.
Whisk the water, cornstarch, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice in a small bowl and add it to the pot with the strawberries. Cook and stir, mashing the strawberries as you do. Bring the liquid to a boil and continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and strain the sauce through a sieve and into a small bowl. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to press as much of the liquid through the sieve as you can, and scrape the strained sauce off of the opposite side of the sieve and into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until ready to use (up to 3 days).
Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
In a large bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat with the butter until well combined, light, and fluffy. Mix in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, until just combined after each. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the strawberry extract, full-fat sour cream, whole milk, and ¼ cup strawberry sauce and mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined and smooth.
Scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, filling each ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 16-17 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly in the pan, then cool completely in the fridge before frosting.
Make the Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting:
In a large bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat the softened butter and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar in 3 additions, mixing on low until just combined after each. Add the strawberry sauce and gel food coloring (if using) and mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
If the frosting is too thin add ¼ cup more powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency. If it's too thick add a little more of the strawberry sauce (or cream) until it's the right consistency. If it's too sweet you can add a pinch of salt (no more than ¼ teaspoon).
Add the frosting to a piping bag with an extra large piping tip (I used a Wilton 2D tip). Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles or a sliced strawberry.
Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
* If all you have is salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe to ¼ teaspoon. *Take the eggs out of the fridge about an hour before using them, or quickly bring them to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes.*Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cream cheese that has a much milder flavor and creamier texture than American cream cheese. It's usually stocked where the specialty cheeses are at the grocery store. The strawberry sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance and kept in the fridge in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.Nutrition Facts for 1 cupcake unfrosted: