After many tries I have finally perfected a strawberry cupcake recipe that is totally natural ingredients (ie: no strawberry jello or other artificial things) but it needs to be pink and taste like strawberry.
A few years ago, a friend asked if I had a good recipe for strawberry cake. I didn’t. She found one that required jello and made it for a party. She was reasonably happy with it, yet it reminded me that I really wanted to create a nice strawberry cupcake recipe.
That is a lot easier than it sounds! There were so many failed batches of attempted strawberry cupcakes. It seems each time I tried something new went wrong. My standards were set high; they needed to be naturally pink (no coloring added), you need to be able to taste the strawberry flavor, and there can be no artificial ingredients like jello or imitation flavoring.
My recipe uses strawberry essence, essentially a pure strawberry extract but it is optional. If you choose not to use it you’ll just get a slightly less intense strawberry flavor.
I chose to use spectrum organic shortening instead of butter to keep ingredients as pure white as possible. Also, using all egg whites keeps the color more pure. If you’d like them to be a little more pink you can add a drop or two of pink coloring to the batter.
An interesting thing did happen while I was working on the recipe. For one attempt, I changed the leavening to baking soda instead of baking powder. The result: an oddly purple color. They taste just like the other version but don’t have the beautiful pink color.
Here is the recipe. If you make them let me know what you think. I’d love to know how it works for you!
They pair beautifully with strawberry cream cheese frosting. Because they are made with shortening instead of butter they taste just as delicious cold as when they are warm.