My friend has been gone, in Italy to be exact, for over a month now and her return occurs tomorrow. I don’t need more cause for a celebration than that, do you? Her favorite cake is funfetti and she loves fresh strawberries so funfetti cupcakes with fresh strawberry Italian meringue seems fitting.
1/4 cup milk
6 eggs whites, room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Whisk all of the above in a bowl
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Put in the bowl of a mixer and blend together
Add 12 tablespoons room temperature butter cut into tablespoon pieces to the flour mixture
Add 3/4 cup milk to flour and butter mixture. Mix for about a minute and a half
Add egg white mixture in four part, allowing the mixture to blend for about 30 seconds between each addition
Fold in 1/2 cup sprinkles (any kind, this is a great opportunity to use up sprinkles)
Fill lined cupcake pans. Bake at 350 degrees to 16 to 18 minutes.
Allow to fully cool before frosting
Fresh Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting
De-stem and hull about 15 strawberries and puree. Then run through a sieve to catch any big bits. Set aside. You might not need all the puree.
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whisk in a bowl over a double boiler until the mixture reaches 160 degrees.
Pour hot mixture into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until at room temperature – it took me about 12 minutes.
3 sticks of room temp butter cut into tablespoon pieces. Add to mixer while whisking one piece at a time. Allow it to fully blend before adding another piece.
After all butter has been added allow it to whisk a few minutes more then add the strawberry puree (start with about 1/2 a cup) add more until flavor is right. Keep whisking. Eventually the frosting will look like it has broken but don’t panic, keep whisking it will come together.
I used a closed star tip to make it look a little like a rose.