14 August 2011

Guest Post - Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff

This is the 3rd installment of guest posts where I've asked some of my favorite blogger/bakers to share a recipe. Have you been enjoying them? And better yet, have you tried out any of the recipes? Today's post comes from Carrie of Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff - we used to compete in the Iron Cupcake Challenges and I was always wowed by her amazing flavor combinations and drool-worthy food photography. I'm so happy Carrie agreed to share one of her recipes here and all I can say is get ready to be swept off your feet too! Here goes.....

This has been a wacky summer. Some days have been rainy and cold, some super hot and humid. There hasn’t been any real, long stretch of one or the other, just a yo-yo type thing. I have been crazy busy with wedding cakes and cupcakes, taking care of my boys, going to conferences and workshops, entertaining guests….but one thing I would NEVER miss, is helping out my friend Cat and getting to do a guest blog for her! I was SO excited when she asked me. What an honor!
She asked for something light and summery and I dreamt of light lemon cupcakes, fluffy strawberry cupcakes, delicious vanilla cupcakes, airy cotton candy cupcakes, but in the long run I was crazy busy and decided to share a favorite of mine from my blog from a while back but I revised just a bit to make it a little more fun.
Thanks Cat for your patience and love. You are awesome!!
So without further ado….

Almond Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes!!!

Macerated Strawberries

• 2 lbs. fresh strawberries washed and diced
• 3 Tbsp. Chambord
• 3 Tbsp. Amaretto
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
In bowl combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
* Puree half of the mixture some for the buttercream and some to mix with the rest of the strawberry mixture.

Almond Vanilla Cupcakes (adapted from Warren Brown's Cake Love)

• 1 cup all purpose flour
• 1/4 cup almond flour
• 2 ounces potato starch
• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (1 tsp at high altitude)
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 cup half and half (1 cup + 2 tbsp. at high altitude)
• 2 Tbsp. Amaretto
• 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp. almond extract
• 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter (room temp)
• 12 ounces sugar
• 4 large eggs (5 at high altitude)
Sift the flours, potato starch, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
Combine half and half, Amaretto, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large measuring cup and set aside.
In bowl of standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on the lowest speed for 5-7 minutes.
With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add the dry and wet ingredients alternating in 3-5 additions. This should take no more than 60 seconds total...you don't want to mix too much.
Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl remembering to get the bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 20 full seconds to develop the cakes structure.
Portion evenly into 24 cupcake papers. Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350 degrees. I find I need to bake mine a whole 25 minutes or they shrink from the sides. They should be a nice dark golden brown on the top, don't worry these are moist cupcakes...amazing! It is now my "go to".

Fresh Strawberry Buttercream
• ¾ lb. unsalted butter (softened)
• 1/2-3 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
• 1/2 cup strawberry puree
• 1/2 cup cream
• 1/2 cup macerated strawberries
Beat butters and instant pudding mix in mixer until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes or so. Turn mixer to low and slowly add the puree and then the cream. Beat for another 3 or 4 minutes. Fold in the macerated strawberries ( I found I kinda had to beat them into the buttercream to get it all to come together once adding the strawberry chunks, but don't worry...it's worth it)

Vanilla Bean Buttercream
1 lb. unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 pkg. french vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (or more to suit your tastes) powdered sugar
In mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter and vanilla bean seeds until smooth and silky. Turn the speed to low and add the pudding mix, when it is all incorporated, slowly add the cream, a little at a time. When fully incorporated bring speed up to high and beat for 5-7 minutes. Turn speed back down to low and add powdered sugar by Tbsp., tasting along the way. When it is sweet to your taste, beat again at high speed for a good 5 minutes to really break down any graininess that you might get from the powdered sugar. Bring back down to low speed and beat for a while that way to get rid of air bubbles.

To assemble these delicious morsels...follow these instructions
• cut a cone in the top of each cupcake..I made mine fairly large to accommodate more strawberries..yum!
• put about a half teaspoon of buttercream into each cone then top with chunks of macerated strawberries and more juice, place the cone cap back on top.
• Pipe the vanilla buttercream around the outer edge of the cupcake and fill the hole in the center of the buttercream with the strawberry buttercream. Ta da!!!


  1. Oh yum! Bookmarking this for sure!

  2. Just bought several pounds of sunny, sweet strawberries at the Farmer's Market. Now I know what to do with them. Thanks Cat and Carrie!

  3. Mmmm these will be perfect for a Labor Day Picnic I've been invited to! So glad to have discovered this recipe!

  4. I love that cupcake paper cup (is there a name for those things?) from the Almond Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake above! So adorable!