Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two Layer Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Today I need to step back and take a minute to really slow down.  I keep trying to plan everything a bit to far in advance.  I have somehow already begin planning my fall and trying to decide what weekends I can go visit people or go to a football game.  I have even already started thinking about Christmas vacation.  I have got to STOP...summer is not over and I need to be living in the moment a LOT more.  I think this might be more the nature of the business though or maybe just my nature being a planner.  I plan my springs and falls around work and meetings.  I plan my baking around birthdays and other celebrations.  And I am not complaining here...I will look for any excuse to bake and I really like working and planning meetings.  

I sometimes wish I would run in to a sign like this daily...maybe then I would slow down for just 5 minutes...take a minute to breathe and look around.  Maybe then I would notice the flowers and bees more often....

Sometimes my backyard is more than just weeds and mosquitoes...sometimes something beautiful opens up and I just have to take a second and look around before running into the house or to my car so that said mosquitoes don't have time to attack.

This is how my brain works sometimes when I start dreaming of cupcakes.  The request for this birthday dessert was "a chocolate cake that had strawberries somewhere in/on it."  I have done strawberry shortcake a few ways here in the past year and half.  We have had:

So, I wanted to try something new.  I wanted to see if I could layer cupcakes and have them turn out the way I wanted and they did!  These cupcakes are beautiful and delicious.  They are light in that you can eat one and probably want to eat another.  The vanilla layer mixed with the devil's food in one bite will remind you of a marble pound cake but fluffier.  Top them with whipped cream and strawberries...and well just try them...they will definitely impress!

Two batters ready and waiting...which do you prefer? Chocolate or vanilla?

One layer then the next...

I need to admit I did a little cupcake dance when these came out the way I dreamed they would.

The dance may have a bit of the hip and hand action here...Yes, I am a huge dork sometimes...well a lot of the time.

And the finished product.

Two Layer Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes:
Vanilla Cake Layer: (recipe from Magnolia Bakery's vanilla cupcakes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup self rising flour
1/2 + 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk

Devil's Food Cupcakes:
*makes approximately 22-24 cupcakes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup egg beaters or 1 large egg at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup strong coffee, room temperature

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake tins with a total 22-24 cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray just on the bottom.

Let's start with the vanilla layer :
2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. 

3.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.  Whisk in the vanilla extract and set aside.

4.  In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flours.

5.  Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternate between adding the dry ingredients and milk to the wet ingredients, mix just until combined. 

Then move on to the devil's food cake layer:
6.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well combined.  Add in vanilla and egg yolks, mix well until combined.  

7.  In another large mixing bowl sift together cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

8.  Add the flour mixture and coffee to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and coffee, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour. 

9.  Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons or scoops of vanilla batter into each cupcake liner.  Then, go around with 1 1/2 scoops devil's food batter on top of the vanilla layer.

10.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  While cupcakes are baking prep the strawberries.  Once cupcakes are cool, prepare whipped cream.

Whipped  Cream with Strawberries:
1 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
24 strawberries

11.  In a medium size mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together heavy cream, sugar and vanilla.  Start mixer on a lower speed and slowly increase the speed.  Mix until light peaks form.  Place whipped cream in the refrigerator until ready to be used.

12.  Cut and wash strawberries length-wise.  Top the whipped cream with strawberries and Enjoy!

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