Summer Strawberry & Vanilla Cupcakes

I made these cute little cupcakes for two of my friends joint birthday this week, and am quite satisfied with how they turned out! My friend suggested the idea of putting strawberry into the plain vanilla bean cupcake, and it worked really well. They added a nice touch of summer and broke up the sweetness of the vanilla and rich creaminess of the buttercream. Yum!

Cupcakes!

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I know it sounds a bit lame, but I LOVE piping cupcakes. I find it strangely therapeutic, but only when the buttercream swirls exactly the way I want it to :p Which definitely doesn’t always happen!

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I used my trusted vanilla bean cupcake recipe that I have used countless times. The great thing about this recipe is that you can double it, halve it, add anything you want to it (ie. Strawberries!), and the cakes will still be super moist and fluffy 🙂 Unlike macarons, where you can make the slightest of adjustments and every single shell will crack!

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Tower!

Cupcakes always look so pretty in photos, especially when they’re cute girly pastel colours like these ones. I love adding ribbon and cachous and other colour co-ordinated bits and pieces to the photos to brighten them up and to try and make a bit more of a story out of my food. I’m not sure if I’m any good at it, as I know next to nothing about photography, but it’s definitely fun to play around 🙂

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Strawberry Milk Fudge Shots

I LOVE fudge! It has always been one of my favourite sweets, and I always bought a piece at the various craft markets I went to when a was younger (and still do today!). This time, I decided to combine the goodness of fudge with some nostalgia – Strawberry Nesquik!

We had these cute little white and pink straws left over from my little sister’s Mary Poppins party last year, so they were the beginning of my idea. I firstly was going to put the fudge in mini cupcake cases with the straws, but when I got to the shops and saw the mini shot cups, I just thought they would look gorgeous with a mini pink straw and pink fudge. Whilst they do look pretty cute in the photos, unfortunately I burnt the fudge and it split 😦 I was SO close to getting it perfect, but left it for that moment too long 😦 Boo. BUT, on the plus, the flavour was pretty awesome (if you are a fan of strawberry Quik), so I thought I would still post it. Amongst the many triumphs in the kitchen one may have, there will always be a failure (for some it’s the other way around :P). So, I guess this is (one of) my failure(s)!

I’m looking forward to trying this recipe again one day, because it really did taste great and it is very strawberry-y. I adapted the recipe from this natural strawberry website, here, where you can find some other great recipes using fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Milk Fudge Shots: (you will need a thermometer to make fudge)

  • 1 1/2 cups castor (white) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Strawberry Nesquik
  • 1 can (185ml) evaporated milk (I used the light version)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 6 straws, cut into thirds (I’m not sure where we got ours from, but I would suggest looking at boutique party shops and websites)
  • 20 shot cups/glasses

Place straws in shot glasses. Place sugar, Nesquik, butter and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan. Boil over a low-medium heat, and whilst at the boil, add the lemon juice and vanilla bean paste. Stirring constantly, heat the mixture to 112c (235f). You can use the soft ball method here – when the mixture is heated, drop a little into a glass of water and if it flattens in your fingers or on a flat surface when you remove it from the water, it’s ready. Quickly pour fudge mixture into a glass or bowl with a spout. Fill each shot cup. Place each shot cup on an oven tray and let set in the fridge. Yum!

By the way, if you do not know what Stawberry Nesquik is, it is basically a strawberry flavoured powder which you put into milk to flavour and colour it. It also comes in Chocolate and Banana, most kids love it. I am sure there is something similar, if not the same in the United States, and probably the UK, too. And probably the rest of the world, too!

Have a great weekend, and Happy Baking! X