What's Baking: Angel Food Cupcakes with Strawberries & Whipped Cream

These angel food cupcakes, topped with strawberries and whipped cream, are the quintessential summertime treat. 


 

Organically-grown strawberries have finally reached a price point that my wallet agrees with, and I can't help but buy a pound (or two, or three...) every time I make a grocery run. And while I am perfectly fine with eating them as they are, or quartering several as a topping for a bowl of yogurt, my favorite way to eat strawberries is with a generous slice of angel food cake. 


Mashed strawberries (with a little bit of sugar) and angel food cake was a common summertime dessert in our house when I was growing up. It's so simple, and yet so delicious. And given that a major component of angel food cake is egg whites, it's a relatively healthy dessert as well.


I've made angel food cake before, so I thought I would change things up and make angel food cupcakes. These cupcakes get a delicate burst of citrus flavor from the addition of orange extract and orange zest. If you don't have orange extract on hand, you can substitute vanilla extract, but don't skip the zest. These individual angel food cakes would make a delicious dessert to share at any summertime get-together. 

Angel Food Cupcakes (printer-friendly version)
makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup cake flour 
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon orange extract (or vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

For the strawberry topping:
1 pint strawberried, hulled and quartered
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1. Make the strawberry topping: In a small bowl, combine the quartered strawberries and sugar. Let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Use a potato masher or pastry blender to mash the strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners and spray each lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Add the granulated sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Process until super-fine (powdery) sugar forms, 1-2 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, 1/2 cup of super-fine sugar, and sea salt. Set aside.
5. Add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until frothy and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on, slowly add the remaining powdered sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high, and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Beat in the orange extract and orange zest.
6. Remove the bowl from the electric mixer. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the flour mixture on top of the eggs, and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining flour mixture in three additions, being very careful not to overmix.
7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepped cupcake cups in messy mounds that slightly tower over top the liners. Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 14-16 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for 3-5 minutes, then remove and set them on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. After the cupcakes have cooled, carefully remove them from their paper liners. Top with freshly whipped cream (recipe below) and the strawberry topping before serving.

(adapted from this Food Network recipe)


Sure, you could use the stuff from the can, but you can't beat (ha!) the taste of freshly whipped cream.

Freshly Whipped Cream

1 cup organic heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Chill your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
2. Pour the heavy cream into the chilled mixing bowl, and whip at high speed. When cream begins to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Continue to whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

Comments

  1. I just made these cupcakes this morning for my mom's birthday today and for mothers' day. They are superb! So light, great texture. I wish they were all mine so I could dig in. I know she will love them :) (side note, I made a raspberry buttercream to top them with, but I think strawberries and cream is the way to go!)

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  2. Thanks! So happy to hear you like them. :)

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