The other day I was making cupcakes (late at night, after bedtime, of course), and I wanted to do something fun and fast that would make them special. With Valentine’s day around the corner, pink seemed like it was in order, so I rummaged through the fridge and this lovely strawberry buttercream frosting was born. The base is a simple buttercream. (Don’t do what I did and melt the butter trying to soften it. The made the texture softer than usual, so I never ended up adding any milk. The leftover was un-pipable after an overnight stint in the fridge, so I advise being patient with the butter and adding milk.) The thing that lifts this above the ordinary is the addition of strawberry jelly. The little Miss tasted it later, and her comment was “Wow! It tastes like strawberries!” You know when a child inadvertently exclaims “wow” that you have a hit. 🙂
1 cup salted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs Milk
1/2 jar strawberry jelly (not jam, if you will pipe the frosting)
food coloring if you like more color
Cream together softened butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Once the butter and sugar are thoroughly creamed together, mix in about 1/2 a jar of good quality strawberry jelly. (I used Trader Joe’s Reduced sugar, since this is already a little too sweet for me.) If you are going to pipe the frosting, you MUST be sure that the jelly is smooth, not chunky. (Add food coloring next, if you are using it.) Now, add the milk 1 Tbs at a time until the frosting is a good piping consistency. I will probably add a little more jelly next time, and cut back on the sugar a tad. This will make the frosting softer, so I will probably end up using less milk.
For an easy, professional look, pipe with a star tip onto mini cupcakes. I like using Trader Joe’s vanilla bean cake mix (+ ~ 1 tsp vanilla) because it is easy and flavorful, and has a more “home-made” texture than most box mixes.