Monday, 2 August 2010

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Cupcakes with Strawberry and Raspberry Vodka Frosting

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Cupcakes with Strawberry and Raspberry Vodka Frosting - The Inky Kitchen

Unfortunately it seems that Summer has already ended in little old Loughborough. Sunny afternoons sat in the beer garden with friends has now turned to staring out of the window at grey drizzly skies and wishing for sunburn and Pimms. It does not seem to have affected the deliciousness of British strawberries however, and this Saturday I tottered into town and bought up as many boxes as I could carry home (along with some luscious looking blueberries...) restraining myself from elbowing over excited teenagers in the face if they bumped into me and bruised my lovely berries. Word to the wise - do not squish a tattooed cook's fruit, she may poke you with her pairing knife.

The previous weekend we had dined on these lovely strawberries drizzled with balsamic and strewn over homemade (pink) meringues and vanilla whipped cream. Absolutely heavenly and one of the most perfect desserts ever. Every time I make meringues I just can't seem to stop myself tinting them pink, much to Pete's amusement - I am very used to that 'you are SUCH a girl' look.

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Cupcakes - The Inky Kitchen

As I spoke about these cupcakes at work today I got a few funny looks when people heard strawberries and vinegar in the same sentence, but believe me this is a magical combo. The Italians have been doing it for ages and we all know they don't tend to get food wrong. I don't know what it is but something in the balsamic seems to suck out the juicy sweetness of the berries, amplifying it much louder than if you ate them with sugar or indeed nothing at all. Try it for yourself it is just so versatile - over ice cream, with angel food cake, alongside white chocolate mousse or as the topping for the most divine pavlova you could dream of.

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Cupcakes with Strawberry and Raspberry Vodka Frosting - The Inky Kitchen

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Cupcakes with Strawberry and Raspberry Vodka Frosting
Makes 12 standard American size cupcakes

Strawberry Balsamic Cupcakes Ingredients
150ml fresh pureed strawberries
1.5 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
60ml milk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

110g butter, softened
400g caster sugar
1 large egg
, at room temperature
2 large egg whites, at room temperature

Strawberry and Raspberry Vodka Frosting
115g butter, softened
75ml fresh pureed strawberries
2 tbsp raspberry vodka (I used Absolut Raspberry)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
800g icing sugar

Cupcakes Method
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F and line a tin with a dozen standard American cupcake liners or muffin liners.

Mix the pureed strawberries, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar together and set aside for five minutes to develop before adding the milk and vanilla extract. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream the butter for 2-3 minutes and then gradually add the sugar. When well combined and fluffy add the egg and egg whites and mix until just combined. Now add half of the flour mixture and blend, then add the strawberry milk mixture and beat before finally adding the second half of the flour. Mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 22-25 minutes until the tops are slightly golden and spring back to the touch. Leave to cool for ten minutes in the tray, then place them a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Method
Cream the butter with the strawberry puree, raspberry vodka and vanilla extract and then add the icing bit by bit until you reach a spreadable consistency - you may not need all 800g.

To Finish
Spread onto the cooled cupcakes with an angled spatula, tilting it to do a little swirl in the middle to finish, then sprinkle with a little pearlised sugar or the decoration of your choice. Or leave them plain, they're your cupcakes after all, and enjoy the fruity goodness.

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Cupcakes with Strawberry and Raspberry Vodka Frosting - The Inky Kitchen

As you can see I was too impatient to let the frosting set. Or to take the photographs before eating half of the above cupcake. Oops...


  1. These look heavenly. I'm loving the concept of your blog. I checked it out from Cupcakes take the Cake. I can't wait to see more.

  2. Found you through CTTC and LOVE your blog, am following and can't wait to try these!

  3. Thanks so much ladies, I hope you come back and keep enjoying my recipes! If you do try the cupcakes do let me know how they turn out!

  4. Love the look of these cupcakes and they sound delicious. I have always been a fan of Balsamic Vinegar in desserts. Can't wait to try these.

  5. Hello...I just had to pop you a line to say I had much fun trying out these tonight (you had me at the word "vodka") and even though I had to splash out £15 on Raspberry Absolut, I am so glad I did because they are yummy delicious!

  6. I'm so glad you liked them Jessica :) Yes the Raspberry Absolut is a little pricey as you can't buy little bottles, but I love it with ice and lemonade on a sunny day! Bliss!

  7. Thanks for this - tried it out today and went really well - my first attempt at cupcakes too! I'm on a diet so haven't tasted the finished product but my big sis assures me they are gorgeous :) I substituted the vodka for some pink (cranberry) gin I had leftover mmmmmm!

  8. That's a great idea Vicky I'll have to try that! I'm going to be testing out a gin cake recipe soon myself :)