With Adam's help, I settled on Strawberry Fields Forever by the Beatles.
And, of course, I couldn't decide on just one cupcake so I made 2. They're just slightly different. The first one is a traditional vanilla cupcake topped with Mozzarella Cheese Icing (yes, it's yummier than it sounds) so you get that increasingly popular savory-sweet sensation.
And - SURPRISE! There's a whole strawberry baked right in the center of the cupcake!
The second one, which I didn't enter in the competition, is a vanilla and strawberry swirled cupcake with Mozzarrella Cheese Icing.
Since I decided to compete at the last second (the deadline to enter is noon today), I went with the KISS methodology - Keep it Simple Stupid! The cupcake is just a Pillsbury White Cake mix. Doesn't get much easier than that, huh?
Let's start with the first cupcake:
1 white cake mix + ingredients required on box
12-18 fresh, small strawberries
Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box.
Drop a little bit of batter into your paper cupcake liner. Then, place a whole strawberry (that has been washed and the greens leaves have been removed) in the center. Continue to add cake batter until the strawberry is covered. However, be careful not to overfill or you'll have a cupcake with a huge muffin top! Bake the cupcake as directed on the box, or until the center is set. Then cool it on a wire rack.
Ok, now let's try the swirled cupcake:
1 white cake box mix + ingredients required on box
1/2 cup seedless strawberry preserves
red food coloring
After mixing the cake batter, transfer approximately half of it to another bowl. To this half, add 1/2 cup of seedless strawberry preserves. I added a little bit of red food coloring to give the color a boost.
Spoon a small amount of the vanilla batter into the bottom of a cupcake liner. Then, spoon a small amount of the strawberry batter on top. Using a toothpick, swirl the flavors together. Bake according to the package instructions, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Here are the cooled cupcakes ready to be decorated:
Now, it's time to make the icing:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
In a food processor, process the mozzarella cheese until you have crumbles.
Meanwhile, cream the butter and shortening in your stand mixer.
Gradually add the mozzarella to the stand mixer and mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients. Whip the buttercream on high for a few minutes to get it nice and fluffy.
Using the decorating tip 1M, pipe the icing in a swirl on the top of the cupcake. Top it with red sugar sprinkles, a fresh basil leaf, and a fresh strawberry.
The prizes for Iron Cupcake Earth have been generously donated by:
- The Demy™ by Key Ingredient
- Hello, Cupcake by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson
- Bella Cupcake Couture
- Cupcake Stackers by Gourmac
- The Cake Mix Doctor Returns! by Anne Byrne