We found inspiration for our Sweetie Pie cupcakes from two places. First, we knew we wanted to use fresh strawberries in our June cupcake since they are ripe for the picking. Second, with Father’s Day this month, we couldn’t overlook my father’s favorite summertime treat: fresh strawberry pie.
We set the stage with a moist yet dense, buttery pound cake and drizzled it with strawberry gelatin to mimic the ooey-gooey pie filling. Then we mounded on a generous layer of delectable fresh-strawberry buttercream icing. To top it all off—and to pay homage to Mom’s crumbly shortbread crust—we sprinkled shortbread cookie crumbles over a crown of pretty pink frosting.
Much to our surprise, even my husband (who is more of a salty/greasy kind of eater and rarely partakes in dessert) was swept off his feet by this recipe–so much so, in fact, that he devoured two to my one. Score one for Mommy!
When it came time to name our creation, Kaitlyn didn’t hesitate a bit. “Sweetie Pie,” she announced as if it were already fact, “that’s what Grandpa always called me.” And that settled it. So here it is, a summery cupcake as sweet as Grandpa.
THE SWEETIE PIE cupcakes recipe
Servings: 32 cupcakes
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces (no need to soften)
- 3 cups finely granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
Do not—I repeat—do not preheat your oven for this recipe.
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (this will take several minutes).
Add eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together twice. Then alternate adding the flour mixture and whipping cream to the creamed mixture.
Scrape the bowl one last time; then mix in the almond extract.
Using a pastry bag, pipe the batter into lined cupcake tins, and fill each cup ½ to ¾ full.
Place the cupcake tin in the center of the oven. NOW you can set the oven to 325° F. Bake the cupcakes for approximately 45 minutes. You’ll know the cakes are done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the middle cupcake: you want a few crumbs but no batter.
Allow cupcakes to cool while you prepare the “pie” filling.
- 1½ cups water (divided)
- One 3-ounce package of strawberry-flavored gelatin
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and gelatin. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; then remove from heat.
Stir in ½ cup cold water.
Pierce the top crust of the cupcakes 2-3 times with a fork, but do not poke too close to the edge of the cake. Slowly pour 1-2 tablespoons of filling over each cake. Do not pour too quickly or the gelatin mixture will not go through the holes and, instead, you will end up with gelatin-soaked cupcake papers.
Put in the fridge to set for about an hour.
Strawberry buttercream frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (no need to soften)
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- Dash salt (to taste)
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup strawberries, mashed
- 1–3 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream
- 1–2 cups shortbread cookies, crumbled
Using an electric stand mixer, whip butter until smooth and creamy.
Add shortening, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Mix well.
Slowly add powdered sugar to butter mixture. Whip until well blended.
Add mashed strawberries one tablespoon at a time and mix well. Continue adding until desired consistency and flavor is attained.
Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Then sprinkle with shortbread cookie crumbles.
*Cupcake recipe adapted from Paula Deen at foodnetwork.com.