I haven’t been in the kitchen nearly as much as I’d like lately, but for Father’s Day I cook Adam and homemade breakfast (biscuits and sausage gravy) and then we hosted my in laws for lunch. For dessert I made strawberry lemonade cupcakes and the best part - no artificial colors or flavors were used! Here’s how I did it…
For the cupcakes I used a lemon cupcake recipe I found online here. I minimized the batch to a dozen servings, but actually ended up only having enough batter for 10 cupcakes. No problem - we can’t eat that many anyway! The only recommendation I have is to bake slightly less than the 17 minutes suggested. My cake was a little on the dry side - but still delicious!
For the frosting, I modified a recipe I saw a while back online. It’s a basic buttercream base (stick of butter, tablespoon of vanilla, tablespoon of lemon juice and 2-3 cups of powdered sugar). To get the strawberry flavor (this is nuts), I emptied out two boxes of Special K to get all of the freeze dried berries out. My grocery didn’t carry them separately so at 7am on a Sunday morning I had to be creative. And it worked! It ended up being about .02 oz which doesn’t seem like a lot, but was probably a half to ¾ cup. To make them into a powder, I ran them through my coffee grinder and then a fine mesh sieve. I admit I’m not super perfect with measuring - I like to taste and adjust as I go. This made for a pretty thick frosting - you could add a little milk or more lemon juice to thin it out to your desired piping consistency.
I love this idea especially because of the lack of food coloring (which I’m not all together opposed to, but the more natural you can make something, the better in my opinion). The flavor is great too! Down the road I will experiment with other fruits too (I know Target carries freeze dried fruit for my own future reference). I think I might try adding powdered fruits to my favorite cream cheese frosting - maybe a swirl of plain and flavored? Mmmmmm.
I topped my cupcakes with fresh farmer’s market berries. I find the smaller local berries to be much more flavorful than the jumbo kind available year round.
These make for a perfect June treat!