These cupcakes will leave you tickled pink

There quite possibly has never been as much pink in my life as there was this past weekend when my mom and I hosted a baby shower for my sister and brother-in-law.

They’re expecting my niece in Novem­ber, and with my sister being much more of a girly girl than I have ever been, pink was the color of the day.

Pink tablecloths. Pink napkins. Pink gift bags. And, of course, pink cupcakes.

I scoured the Internet for a recipe that looked promising and found one that ended up being the perfect shade of baby pastel pink and was super delicious, especially because it included an amazing strawberry buttercream frosting.

The recipe I used was from “Little Sweet Baker” by Lily Ernst. You can find it at https://www.littlesweetbaker.com/2014/05/01/pink-velvet-cupcakes-with-strawberry-buttercream/. Unlike usual, I didn’t feel compelled to double the vanilla. Ernst and I must be kindred spirits, because she included a perfect amount.

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Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Cupcakes Ingredients

1 cup butter, melted

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1-1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

pink food coloring (or red, used carefully)

Buttercream Ingredients

1 cup strawberries, pureed (fresh or thawed frozen berries)

1 cup butter, softened

5 cups powdered sugar (plus more, if necessary; have an extra bag on hand)

Directions

Put the pureed strawberries into a small pot and simmer on medium-low for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until it reduces by about half. Remove it from heat and let is cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep two cupcake tins with liners and set aside. (This should make at least 24 cupcakes.)

Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla.

Beat in several drops of the pink food coloring, letting the batter get just a shade darker than what you’ll want the final product to be. If you’re using red, very carefully add the color to stay in the pink range.

Dump in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until smooth.

Fill the liners three-quarters of the way with batter. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool completely.

Start the buttercream once your strawberry puree is at room temperature.

Beat the butter in a bowl until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the strawberry puree (this will look slightly like a crime scene. Don’t panic. It will look much better once the sugar gets in there).

Beat in the sugar a little at a time until you reach the consistency you want. It should be able to mostly keep its shape with stiff peaks.

Use a piping bag, a Ziplock with a hole cut out of the corner or a good, old-fashioned spoon to frost cooled cupcakes.

Store in an airtight container, refrigerate overnight and serve.

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These were amazing cupcakes, especially after sitting in the refrigerator overnight. The buttercream got rave reviews at the shower, and it was perfectly pink without any need for food coloring, which I really liked.

I had leftover frosting and used it on a chocolate cake, and it was amazing, too, so I’d highly recommend just the frosting for a variety of applications, if you’re looking for a good recipe.

And, based on the amount of pink at the shower, we all better hope the sonogram technician was right about us being able to expect a niece and not a nephew in a few months, or there will be a lot of returns in my sister’s future.

Either way, I’m sure the new kiddo won’t mind pink cupcakes once they’re a bit older. I think I’ll join my sister in eating cupcakes for two in the meantime.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.