My Girly Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes:
2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries (I used a mix of both)
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites

Ingredients for frosting:
1/2 cup frozen strawberries thawed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, preferably sifted
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. (I ran out of the paper liners, so used some of my silicone baking molds as well - but I prefer the paper liners any day; you'll see why in a bit)

2. Puree the 2/3 cup of strawberries till smooth - you should have about 1/3 cup of puree.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer (just think, a couple of months ago, I couldn't even make this darn recipe - oh how my world hath changed! For the better!) fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed till light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar until well combined. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture till just blended, then all the milk mixture till blended, and finally the remaining flour mixture till blended. (remember to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl)

6. Divide batter evenly in the baking pan, and bake the cupcakes for 22-25 mins. Transfer to a wire rack (also a recent purchase) and let cupcakes cool completely before icing.

7. For the frosting: Puree the strawberries. Once again using your electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and salt on medium speed till light and fluffy. Slowly add in the confectioners' sugar until well combined. Add vanilla and about 3-4 tbsp of the strawberry puree. Mix until just blended - do NOT overmix. Consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice-cream. Using a piping bag, or an off-set spatula, or anything you please, go ahead and frost the cooled cupcakes. Refrigerate them for about 20-30 minutes before starting to devour them one by one.