Strawberry Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting

for cupcakes---

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/3 cups pureed fresh strawberries (from about 2 cups whole strawberries---puree in a blender until smooth)

1/2 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp lemon zest

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

4 egg whites

for fresh strawberry frosting---

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 pound)

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt (original recipe calls for fleur de sel, which you can find at specialty shops)

8 cups powdered sugar (from two 1-lb boxes)

1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 1 cup whole strawberries)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease 24 cupcake tins.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Whisk together the pureed strawberries, lemon zest, milk and vanilla in another bowl. Also set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg whites gradually, beating after each, until combined. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the wet strawberry ingredients to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tins, filling up 2/3 to 3/4 the way full (depending on the size of your tins...I have really small cupcake tins so I filled mine up all the way). Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes or until golden. Be sure to test using a toothpick to make sure they are completely done in the center. Let cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting! Beat the butter until creamy then add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, sea salt and pureed strawberries. Continue beating (ideally with an electric mixer but you can do this by hand if need be) until very light and fluffy.

Pipe or spread frosting on each cupcake. Enjoy!

Time:

2 hours (includes time to cool)

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