For 20-24 Cupakes:
White or Vanilla Cake Mix
1/2 cup milk (whole milk preferred)
1/4 cup (half of a stick) melted butter
1 - 1 1/2 cups frozen whole strawberries (divided)*
zest and juice from 1-2 limes
2-3 Tbsp. Tequila
For the Icing:
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar (not powdered sugar)
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup Strawberry puree*
zest and juice of one lime
2-3 Tbsp. Tequila
Optional for decorating:
Pastry bag with Tip 1A (or 2A)
Sparkling sugar sprinkles
Sliced fresh limes
Sliced fresh strawberries
*Note: Defrost the strawberries. Strain about 1/4 cup of the juice. Puree the remaining strawberries and juice. Use 1/2-2/3 cup in the cupcakes, save the remaining 1/3 cup for the icing.
Make the Cupcakes
I prefer using defrosted frozen strawberries for a few reasons:
- They are always available, and relatively inexpensive.
- They tend to puree better.
- They have a stronger flavor after you drain off the juice.
You can either use a microplane, a zester or even a vegetable peeler. The key is making sure you don't get any of that white "pith" under the zest. You only want the green parts. Then mince it up as tiny as possible. You don't want to bite into a big piece of zest!
Mix like you would any cake mix, 30 seconds on low, then scrape down the bowl. Then, two minutes on medium speed.
*Please note that this scoop is not an ice cream scoop, those are usually closer to 1/2 cup. This is a dough scoop.
Make the Icing
While the cupcakes bake and cool, work on your icing.
Begin by wiping down everything you need to use for the icing with a paper towel dampened with vinegar. (mixing bowl, whisk, beaters, candy thermometer) This helps ensure you will not have grease on anything. Grease will make it difficult for the meringue of your icing to get to a stiff peak.
If you've never made a "Swiss Meringue Buttercream" icing, Click the link to see my complete tutorial, which should help answer some questions. It is a bit fussy, but so, so, so worth it!!
With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter, strawberry puree, lime juice, zest and tequila.
I, again, combined all of my liquid to make sure the total amount wasn't more than 1/2-3/4 cup. If you add too much liquid, you may make the icing get too soupy.
*I added 3 Tbsp. of tequila to the icing. I thought it was harder to taste it in the icing than in the cake batter. This surprised me.
*Please note!!! When you add the butter and other ingredients, your icing will immediately go from stiff peaks to liquid soup. This is normal! When you turn the mixer up and let it keep mixing... it will come together. If it doesn't, try putting it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then mix it again. It may be too warm.
Decorate the Cupcakes
Tip 1A or Tip 2A, Pipe a swirl on the top of the cupcake.
(Click the link to see my tutorial: How to Make a Cupcake Swirl.)
Click the Links Below to See:
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
My Favorite Strawberry Icing
How to Doctor a Cake Mix
Banana Pina Colada Cupcakes
Beach-Themed Pina Colada Cupcakes
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