Cherry cupcakes with cherry frosting
Spring is almost here, and in some parts of the world it's cherry blossom season. These cupcakes can be made with fresh or frozen cherries. With a creamy, dense frosting they're divine.
This week I’m phone-interviewing intern candidates, which always presents unique interactions ranging from interesting to straight-up shenanigans. Yesterday, for example, I interviewed the most nervous candidate I have ever encountered. When I asked why he wants this internship, I could feel the poor guy shaking through the phone! I am by no means a harsh or tricky interviewer, so when he apologized profusely for his anxiety, I tried to calm him down, Don’t worry about it, it’s really totally fine. Just take a deep breath and start over, you don’t have to apologize, it’s no big deal.
The thing about phone interviews is that you can’t see the person on the other end. Little did he know that the scary and all-powerful Ms. EatRunRead of our e-mail exchanges was me, sitting at my desk wearing running shoes and leggings – a 24-year-old who just ate a cupcake for breakfast.
And what a cupcake it was! Last week I used my free cupcake coupon from Sprinkles to try their cherry blossom cupcake and it was absolutely divine – so good that I couldn’t wait to replicate it. I found Sprinkles’ strawberry cupcake recipe online, and adapted it to use frozen cherries instead. This cupcake has a wonderful almost spongy texture, thanks to its combined use of egg and egg whites. The cherry is very subtle, I think I would add more cherries and less milk in the future to get a stronger cherry flavor.
Cherry cupcakes (from Sprinkles)
Servings: Makes 1 dozen large cupcakes (I usually make little cupcakes, so I got 16)
2/3 cup fresh or frozen whole cherries (thawed if frozen)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
Place cherries in a small food processor; process until puréed. You should have about 1/3 cup of purée. Add a few more cherries if necessary, or save any extra purée for frosting; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and cherry purée; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Cherry frosting (from Sprinkles)
Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes (I guess it depends on how heavily you frost the cupcakes…I had a lot of frosting leftover.)
1/2 cup frozen whole cherries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place cherries in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until puréed. Use an electric mixer to beat together butter and salt until light and fluffy. Slowly add confectioners sugar and beat until well combined. Add vanilla and cherry puree, mix until just blended. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
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