Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields two dozen cupcakes
2 1/4 cake flour (*see below for instructions on how to make cake flour)
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
3/4 cup pureed strawberries
4 egg whites
1/3 cup milk
1 drop red food dye
CREAM CHEESE ICING
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350»F. Place liners in a standard muffin/cupcake tin.
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point. (Adrianna note: In the original recipe, Deb warned to not try the batter, and of course, I did. And it was incredible. Since then, I've been tempted to skip the baking part and just eat a cup of batter. Gross.)
In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food dye, if using, to blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter amongst the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.
Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes inside the muffin tins and then transfer to wire racks until throughly cooled.
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.
When the cupcakes are completely cooled, ice each cupcake and top with shredded coconut, if desired.
*Let's make cake flour! Grab a bowl and measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift twice. Then measure out whatever flour you need from there.
For this recipe I needed 2 1/4 cake flour. I measured out two cups of all-purpose and added to a bowl. I then added 4 tablespoons of corn starch and sifted it twice. I then measured out 2 1/4 cups of the cake flour mixture from the bowl and I only had a smidgen left over. If I botched the explanation, click for Deb's explanation.