Real strawberry cakes

Photo by Simon Lambert.
Photo by Simon Lambert.

These pretty strawberry pink cakes will put a smile on all faces this festive season.

Real strawberry cakes
Makes 12 medium-sized cakes


2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
100g butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup sugar
1 egg, plus 2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
300g strawberries, hulled and cut in half, plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp icing sugar


cup strawberry puree
100g butter, softened, cut into small pieces
100g mascarpone cheese
2 cups icing sugar


Heat oven to 180degC. Line 12-cup medium-sized muffin tins with papers or grease well with butter and flour lightly; set aside.

Place the strawberries and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until a coarse puree occurs. Remove cup of the puree, as this will be used in your icing. Add the milk to the remaining strawberry puree and mix.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.

Beat in whole egg until well incorporated and then add the whites, beating well, then add vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and strawberry mixture; beat until just combined after each addition, as you don't want to overmix this.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared tins so that each is about two-thirds full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden in colour and a skewer comes out clean (about 20 minutes). Cool then remove from tins.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the softened butter until very light and creamy, add the icing sugar and beat once again until light in colour. Add the mascarpone and combine. Lastly, beat in the strawberry puree. Chill until required.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, either generously apply the pink icing on top of each cake or, if you are feeling fancy, pipe it on and decorate with a little more strawberry.

Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will be demonstrating this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.

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