With strawberry season winding down, I have cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchinis budding in my little garden alongside my patio. I'm looking forward to creating some new recipes for my "hearty" section of the blog, so look for some fresh new creations with my garden greens in the weeks ahead.
Every year, I'm amazed at how much my garden is able to produce in such a small area. I would love to someday have a house with acreage so I can have endless rows of strawberry plants and garden goodies. I've been browsing trophy whitetail properties and have my eye on a country home with a spacious lot for a garden and my 2 Papillons to roam. My husband could have the pole barn he always dreamed of and the kids could spend the afternoon fishing in the pond or swimming at the nearby beach.
Right now, however, I'm enjoying my little garden and everything that surrounds it. These Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are a reminder of the good things I have in my life, yet they aspire me to dream of what my family can achieve someday down the road. As my kids are entering high school, I'm dreaming of an expansive lot, but I'm appreciating my "little garden that could." Hope your summer is filled with the goodness of the season, as you hold high hopes for what lies ahead in your life.
Here's how I made these Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes with fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and lemon zest:
Cupcakes: 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 cup sugar; 2 tsp. baking powder; 1/2 tsp. salt; zest of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 cup whole milk; 1/4 cup vegetable oil; 1 egg; 1 tsp. vanilla
Strawberry Icing: 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar; 2 sticks butter; 1/2 cup strawberries with stems removed; 1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. In another medium size mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, milk, egg, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Use an electric mixer to mix ingredients for 2 minutes on medium speed. Fill cupcaKe liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean.
Strawberry icing: Rinse strawberries and cut off stems. Use a blender to puree strawberries. Set aside. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed until combined. Place icing in a piping bag. Pipe icing onto the center of each cupcake. If desired, top each cupcake with a strawberry. Makes 12 cupcakes.