Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Strawberry" Short Babycakes...

My youngest Matias' third birthday today, and I wanted to give him a little party with his Montessori classmates. He loves strawberry shortcake, but instead I wanted to do it into cupcakes to make it easy on portability without the fuss and mess of slicing and plating. Getting a hold of nice fresh strawberries weren't panning out so I decided to spread the babies with strawberry jam before frosting with fresh whipped cream. A nice hidden yummy strawberry surprise! Moist, not too sweet, and to top it off... for my kids, its all about the colourful sprinkles...

"Strawberry" Short Babycakes
Makes 18 cupcakes (I had to make 13 for school and 5 for home)

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk, at room temperature

2 Tbsp. strawberry jam, mixed with spoon to soften
coloured sprinkles

Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two 12-cup muffin tray with 18 paper or foil liners. Cover the unused tray with foil.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the eggs and vanilla at medium-high speed until smooth and thickened slightly, about three minutes. Add the butter and oil and beat until incorporated, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. 

Add the dry ingredients and milk in three alternating batches, beating well between additions. Carefully pour the batter into the lined muffin trays, filling them about three quarters full. 

TIP: Cover the unused muffin tray with foil to protect the tray it when baking.

Bake the cupcakes in the centre of the oven for 20 to 23 minutes, until springy and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the trays, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whip cream with sugar and vanilla for three minutes or until stiff peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, or cream will become lumpy and butter-like. Spread soften jam onto the tops of the cakes and then dollop whipped cream on top and spread lightly. Add sprinkles or fresh sliced strawberries.

Nothing beats whipped cream made from scratch!

And a second babycake after dinner to enjoy with mommy, daddy and his brothers...


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