This wonderful recipe was submitted by Heather King. She has been chosen as one of our winners for 2013 Best Valentine’s Day Cupcake Contest! This recipe is so sweet and delicious that it’s perfect for the sweet and treat filled holiday. She also submitted a wonderful step-by-step method with pictures that we’ve posted below. Visit her recipe for more directions on how to make these festive cupcakes!
For more great Valentine inspired cupcakes visit our other winner’s other recipes.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake tins with 15 cupcake liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
3. Using a fork, mix in the butter until the batter is crumbly. Stir in the egg, milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix well. The batter will be thin.
4. Fill the cupcake cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
5. To make the strawberry filling combine the sugar, chopped strawberries, lemon juice, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture starts to boil slowly mix in the cornstarch and pectin. Continue stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool in the refrigerator.
6. Using a knife cut a circle in the tops of the cooled cupcakes. Gently pull a small piece off so that there is a hole in each cupcake for the filling. Reserve the top piece of cake that was cut off for later.
7. Spoon a small amount of the cooled filling into each cupcake. Place the top piece of the cupcake back on top, sealing in the filling.
8. To make the buttercream pour a half cup of water into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Place a heat proof bowl on top of the saucepan and add in the egg whites and sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved but do not boil.
9. Immediately remove the egg whites from the heat and using a hand mixture beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture has cooled and stiff peaks have formed.
10. Cut the butter into pieces and add them to the egg whites one piece at a time on medium low speed until the butter is incorporated and the buttercream is smooth.
11. Increase speed to medium and add in the strawberry puree. Mix until smooth.
12. Pour in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time while still mixing on medium speed until desired consistency is reached.
13. Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
14. Melt the chocolate candy melts in the microwave in 30 second intervals until they are totally melted. Holding each strawberry by the stem, dip into the chocolate, let the excess dip off into the bowl, and then lay on waxed paper to cool.
15. Place one cooled chocolate covered strawberry on top of each cupcake.