Freeze-dried strawberries have a naturally sweet, tart flavour that make these cupcakes really pop. And because they're so pretty, these cupcakes are ideal for parties and picnics.
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 1¾ cups (260 g) self-raising flour
- ¾ cup (165 g) caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (125 ml) milk
- ¼ cup (15 g) freeze-dried, chopped, plus extra to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line 12 x ½-cup-capacity (125ml) muffin tins with paper cupcake cases.
- Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring with a spatula, until melted.
- Place the flour, sugar and baking powder in a big bowl and, using a whisk, mix to combine.
- Add the melted butter, the eggs, vanilla, milk and freeze-dried strawberries, and whisk until well combined and smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Wearing oven gloves, carefully remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. Move onto wire racks to cool completely, before spreading with your favourite icing (see recipes, below), and sprinkling with extra freeze-dried strawberries.
Vanilla cupcake icing
Place ⅓ cup (80g) chopped and softened cream cheese and ½ cup (120g) fresh firm ricotta in a medium bowl. Using a whisk, mix them together until lovely and smooth (you can use a food processor for this step if you don’t have time to soften your cream cheese). Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Keep in the fridge and spread over the cooled cakes when ready to serve. Ices 12 cupcakes.