It is officially strawberry season. I have been eating them every chance I get because there is nothing to compare to local, sweet, red to the core strawberries. I love to walk out into the garden and grab a few still warm from the sun for an afternoon snack. My favorite way to enjoy them is to slice them up and let them macerate in a tiny bit of sugar and toss them with some fresh mint or basil.
Since we are coming up on the last week of school here my son has had lots of requests for desserts to share with friends so I decided to try to incorporate my beloved strawberries into a cupcake that would be perfect for sharing. I incorporated Greek yogurt and finely ground almonds into the batter and folded in lots of chopped berries. We are all about the cream cheese frosting in this household so I added a bit of yogurt to tie all the flavors together.
I topped my cupcakes with some alpine strawberries that I grow in my garden. They have a wonderful floral quality that make me think of pineapple and roses. They are easy to grow and unlike most other strawberries they don’t send out runners so they will stay fairly compact and make a great addition to the garden. I do have one word of warning, they do like to self propagate so if you aren’t good about removing new seedlings as they pop up you might find yourself with more than you bargained for. If you don’t have access to alpines just slice up a few extra berries and nestle them into the top.
These went over so well that I’m currently baking up another batch at a friends request. The beauty of baking for others is that it prevents you from eating the whole batch yourself. This way I can have one or two, indulge my sweet tooth and give a truly unique gift to a friend.
Greek yogurt strawberry cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners, only filling every other tin. This isn’t a mandatory step but will insure that your cupcakes have a nice dome shape.
Line a fine sieve with a few layers of paper towels and place the 1/2 cup of yogurt for the frosting to drain for 30 minutes while you prepare the cupcakes.
Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl combine the sugar, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and whisk until the mixture is well blended.
Toss the strawberries into the flour mixture to lightly coat them. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and then fold in the oil. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tins, filling the cups about 3/4 of the way.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are a nice golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack for 5 minutes, then turn the cupcakes out and let them cool on the rack while you prepare the frosting.
For the frosting, remove the yogurt that has been draining and place in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and mix together until smooth. Add the sugar on low speed, mix until incorporated and then beat on high until the frosting is light and fluffy.
To frost the cupcakes transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a medium-size star tip and pipe onto each cupcake. Garnish with an alpine strawberry or slice a few berries and place on top.