Admittedly, I’m a sucker for the upcoming sappy Hallmark holiday. How can I not be a fan of a holiday whose celebratory color is pink?! Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to eat chocolates, bake, and have one too many raspberry sorbet bellinis. Do we really need a holiday to do all that? No, but it surely makes it that much more fun! I took my favorite summertime cocktail, a strawberry daiquiri, and turned it into a boozy dessert cupcake. It seemed like the perfect occasion to make pink alcoholic treats complete with a darling heart garnish.
Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes
makes 18 cupcakes
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
10 oz. strawberries, pureed
1 tsp. lime zest
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp. aged rum
3 drops red food coloring (optional)
For Strawberry Daiquiri Buttercream:
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup strawberries, pureed
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. lime zest
1 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. aged rum
Preheat oven to 350°F and line your cupcake pans with baking cups. In a small bowl zest one lime (1 tsp. zest for cake batter and 1/2 tsp. for buttercream). In another small bowl juice the lime (1 tbsp. juice for cake batter and 1 tbsp. juice for buttercream). In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor and combine them in another bowl with milk, rum, food coloring, lime zest and lime juice. With an electric stand mixer or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add four eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Alternatively, add flour mixture and pureed strawberry mixture, mixing well after each addition.
Divide batter evenly into prepared lined cupcake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then remove them from pan and let cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare your icing. With an electric stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed. Add lime zest, lime juice and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar and then fold in half of the pureed strawberries. Repeat again with remaining sugar and strawberries. Add rum and beat until light and fluffy. If the icing is too thin, add more sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Place in a pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes.
To make heart garnishes for all 18 cupcakes you will need 9 strawberries. Take a sharp pairing knife and cut a V-shaped notch on top the the berry and remove the berry’s core. Trim a thin slice off of both sides of the strawberry, revealing the heart shape. You may have to trim around the pointed sides of the V shape too, to curve the tops.
Slice each strawberry in half to get two hearts. I used very small strawberries, so I got two hearts per berry. If your strawberries are larger you can slice each berry thinner to get more hearts per berry. Place on top of each iced cupcake.
I couldn’t be more happy with how these came out. The use of freshly pureed strawberries in both the cake and buttercream makes for a supremely fruity cupcake. The lime zest and juice adds a nice layer of citrus and aromatics and really brings the cocktail element of these Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes to life. The rum added a slight touch of booze that was more prominent in the buttercream but also added a caramelized flavor to the cake.
I put food coloring in the cake batter hoping they would come out a reddish or pink color, but I didn’t achieve quite the color I was hoping for — play around with adding more if you’re wanting a saturated color, or just go au naturel. The pink hue of the icing is from the pureed strawberries, and the strawberry heart garnish brings everything together. These Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes were insanely delicious and are sure to impress your sweetheart or gal pals this Valentine’s Day. If the weather permits, please serve them with a side of frozen strawberry daiquiris. Preferably poolside. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Author and Photography by Natalie Jacob