Chocolate Cupcakes with a Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with an out of this world strawberry buttercream frosting

This is my last recipe in the “how to use up leftover jam” installment. I promise. 

I have a thing for frosting and always have. One of my favorite parts of being an adult is that I can make and eat frosting without anyone knowing about it. I have frosted many a cake first thing in the morning only to hit SUCH a sugar high before 9 am. It is lovely.

However, it seems that there are many people out there that don’t care much for frosting. I think it is because there is so much overly sweet frosting out there. Don’t get me wrong, I love that sickeningly sweet frosting but I think it is the frosting that gives the rest of them a bad rap.

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with an out of this world strawberry buttercream frosting

I first made this frosting last year for a wedding shower. Be still my heart.

Helloooooo lovely. Where have you been my whole life?

This frosting is perfect. Slightly sweet. Huge strawberry flavor. Incredible texture. It wins over person after person who claims to be a frosting hater. Seriously. Trust me on this.

It is a bit of work to make this frosting. It is a tad technical too. You know what? I believe in you. You can make this. Is it as easy as powdered sugar and butter? No. But it is worth every step of effort, every dirty spatula, every bowl you have to wash.

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with an out of this world strawberry buttercream frosting

If for some reason your frosting breaks/separates (mine did twice) just turn your mixer on medium high, set a timer for 3 minutes, take a deep breath, and then walk away. Both times my frosting broke (second time is above) I did that and both times it came back together. See?

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with an out of this world strawberry buttercream frosting

And it is delicious paired with chocolate. This isn’t my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe to make but it is vegan and I had a dairy free guest I was cooking for (she had hers sans frosting). Besides you need a simple, easy, no fuss, comes together in a flash cake to make up for how much work the frosting is.

You know where else this frosting shines? In chocolate macaroons. I was so pleased to see I had enough frosting left over to fill a batch of macaroons. I was less pleased my macaroons were hollow. Thankfully they tasted delicious despite their flaws.

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with an out of this world strawberry buttercream frosting

My favorite way to eat it? With a spoon. Yes there is a tiny bit still left int he fridge and I have been slowly eating it bite by bite. I don’t feel the least bit guilty.

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with an out of this world strawberry buttercream frosting

One year ago today: Homemade Ricotta

Chocolate Cupcakes with a Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (makes 2 dozen cupcakes and enough frosting to frost them plus a little extra)
Cupcakes from the Wycliffe Cookbook, frosting from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cold water

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Fill lined cupcake pans 1/2 full with the batter. Bake at 350°F. oven for 17-19  minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.

For the frosting:
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor

In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees). You can tell the sugar is dissolved my pinching some of the mixture between two fingers and rubbing- gritty and it isn’t done, smooth and you are set for the next step.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth. If after adding the jam the frosting breaks (mine did) simply mix on medium high for 2-4 minutes or until smooth.

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with an out of this world strawberry buttercream frosting

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