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Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

The chocolate-strawberry cupcakes we get at our local cupcake shop are irresistible; brilliant pink frosting made with real strawberries atop moist chocolate cakes. If you’re into all things pink for your party, or just love the berry-chocolate combo, fresh strawberry frosting on homemade chocolate cupcakes is a perfect fit.

This frosting is delicious using any number of fresh (or frozen) berries in season — try raspberries (chocolate and raspberries is a classic combo!) or cherries, pureed in the food processor. If you like, add more berry puree and sugar for a more intense color. A sprinkle of coarse sugar after you pipe out the frosting adds a little bit of sweet glitter.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar for a few minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add a third of the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Add half the milk in the same manner, then another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour mixture, beating just until combined.

Fill paper-lined cupcake tins 3/4 full and bake for 25 minutes, until springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack before frosting. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Strawberry Buttercream

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar (plus more, if needed)
3-4 Tbsp. strawberry or other berry puree (pulse them in the food processor, with a bit of water if it needs it)

In a medium bowl, beat the butter until light. Add the powdered sugar and strawberry puree and beat on low, increasing speed as the sugar is incorporated until you have a spreadable frosting; add a little extra sugar if it needs it, or a few drops of water.

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