The BEST Cupcake I've Ever Had

/ Monday, April 26, 2010

For years I have searched for a cupcake that I love as much as the ones that come out of my family and I's kitchens: all have fell short. There is always something that keeps them from being wow! - dry cake, too much frosting, gloppy frosting, no flavor, no pizazz. And then I went to LA. There the lady of all ladies, Ms. Cera, and I experienced Sprinkles Cupcakes for the very-first-time, together.

Here we are. Sprinkles Cupcakes. A buttercream oasis in the middle of Beverly Hills. It may not look like much from the outside. Living in New York, you get used to the kitsch feeling of Cath Kidston-inspired bakeries, complete with muted polka dots and retro details. Instead the clean lines and minimalist approach to Sprinkles flushed away that fluff and leaves nothing to focus on besides their real star: sweets!

And trust me, they're worth the attention.

We sampled three: strawberry, dark chocolate marshmallow and vanilla (To see how technically skilled a chef is you ask them for eggs. If you want to see how kick-ass a bakery is you order the plain vanilla: if they can make the most simple cupcake stand out, you know you have a winner.) The verdict was unlike anything I expected.

These were by far the most delicious, moist, and interesting cupcakes I've ever had the pleasure of eating. The dark chocolate marshmallow had a deep chocolate flavor and was filled with a homemade marshmallow creme. I could have eaten tubs of it! My only complaint is that I wanted more creme. The vanilla was divine. It had a full vanilla flavor that was tangy and buttery. The top of the cupcake was fully covered in white sprinkles giving it a crunchy coat ontop of the rich buttercream. But the real delight was the strawberry. It had the most incredible strawberry flavor that clearly came from the real-deal, pureed and mixed into the batter and frosting. It had the same tanginess as the strawberry; definitely buttermilk.

Best news of the century: you can make these at home! Check out the recipe on Martha Stewart's website. Or get it here...



  • 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer 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; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
  7. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.


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