My neighbor is expecting her first baby soon and is hosting guests for the Fourth. Being so pregnant the last thing she wants to be do is be on her feet baking, so I am doing it for her. For the holiday I wanted to give her a fun red, white and blue dessert that was kid-friendly. I decided to do something cute and make blue velvet cupcakes (the same recipe as red velvet, but made with blue food paste instead), and fresh strawberry buttercream frosting. We had a bunch of fresh berries on hand and I knew they would make a tasty frosting with the perfect amount of red and white. I snuck a bite of one before giving the rest to her and they were delicious. The perfect sweet cupcake for a fun Fourth celebration!
Blue Velvet Cupcakes with Strawberry Swirl Buttercream
adapted from Magnolia Bakery
3 1/3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons blue food coloring (or two or three squirts blue food paste)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped strawberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. In a small bowl sift together the cake flour and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. In a separate small bowl whisk together the blue food coloring, cocoa and vanilla, add to the batter and beat well. Note, the batter has cocoa in it so it will take a quite a bit to turn it blue.
4. With the mixer on low alternate adding the buttermilk and flour mixture, ending with the flour. Finally, in a small bowl stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add it to the batter and mix well.
5. Line a 12 cup muffin tin and fill each cup 3/4 full. Reserve the remaining batter for a second batch. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
6. To make the frosting: Add the butter, 4 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, the milk and vanilla to a mixing bowl and beat together. Add in the remaining sugar one cup at a time until thickened and fluffy. If you prefer thicker icing add the final two cups of sugar a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, add the chopped strawberries and beat until just combined.