Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes


We were invited to celebrate my niece’s 17th birthday last weekend.  I made cupcakes.  I like the recipe, it’s got good flavor, but next time, I’m skipping the icing and calling them muffins.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with large/jumbo cupcake liners.

4-5 large strawberries

1 2/3 cup + 1 tbsp flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 large egg

1/4 cup strawberry yogurt

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pulse strawberries in food processor until finely chopped (not pureed). Pulsed strawberries should measure about 1/3 cup. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Stir in sugar. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When butter mixture has cooled slightly, stir in yogurt, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the butter/milk mixture into the flour. Gently stir to combine all ingredients. Fold in the strawberry puree. Batter will be quite thick. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners and bake for 18 minutes (375 degrees F) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing.  Makes 12 cupcakes.



Strawberry Pavlova

There is some debate about who/when/where this dessert was first made, but little or no debate that it was made in honor of Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, in the 1920s or ’30s.  She was on a tour Down Under at the time.   There are many variations of pavlova.   Some recipes call for brown sugar instead of white.  The meringues can be formed into individual servings instead of one large circle.  Instead of strawberries, try raspberries, or kiwi, or blackberries, or peaches, or blueberries, or passionfruit, or any delicious combination thereof.  The filling is usually plain whipped cream,  but this recipe also adds some cream cheese.

Strawberry Pavlova


4 egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

pinch of salt

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp vinegar

2 tsp vanilla


1  cup whipping cream

4 oz cream cheese, softened

scant 1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp orange juice


4 cups sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.  Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form.  Beat in sugar, a little at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form.  Then beat in cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla.   On a parchment-lined baking sheet, mound the meringue to form a 10″ circle.  Bake at 275 degrees F for 1  hour or until firm to touch.  Turn oven off and let meringue cool in the oven for another hour.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Place meringue on serving plate.  Whip cream to firm peaks, set aside.  Beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar and orange juice.  Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.  Just before serving, spread filling over meringue and decorate with sliced strawberries.  Cut into wedges to serve.  Makes 8 servings.

Notes on Meringues:    For this particular use, it’s important not to make the meringue too far ahead of time.  It can be made a day ahead, but not in humid weather, when it will absorb too much moisture and go soggy (ew).  Also, it should not be assembled very far ahead of serving for the same reason– it will go soggy from the cream and fruit.  The goal is to retain a bit of crispness to the outer edge and enjoy the chewy, marshmallowly interior.  When forming the circle  meringue on the parchment, indent the middle of the circle to make a slight edge (not too deep, or it will end up being whipped cream with a crusty edge) to help hold the cream and fruit in place.  The meringue is done when it is firm to touch, and it should be starting to turn a very slight golden color.  The addition of cream of tartar and vinegar to the egg whites, help stabilize and give volume to the egg whites.  Lots of recipes only call for a pinch or so of cream of tartar, but if you bump it up to 1/4 tsp per 4 egg whites, it will be easier to incorporate the sugar and other ingredients without losing the volume you worked so hard to beat into the egg whites in the first place.

Good to the last crumb!

Garden Harvest

Do you think there will be strawberries in heaven?  Don was in a sort of strawberry heaven tonight, when he was able to pick a bowlful of delectable strawberries from the garden.  Here’s one of his all-time favorite recipes that combines two of his favorite foods.  Enjoy!

Strawberries and Ice Cream

1 handful of juicy ripe berries, still warm from the day’s sun

2 of scoops of vanilla ice-cream, cold and icy from the freezer

Put the ice-cream in a dish, slice the strawberries on top and mash altogether.  If it’s frozen vanilla yogurt, tell yourself about all the calories you’re saving and have a bit more.  Put the empty bowl in the kitchen sink and sigh with contentment.

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