Strawberry Disappointment

Issue

Let me first say this: Tristan and I both agree that the strawberry cupcakes from Battle 1.2 are sinful, delicious, fluffy diet offenders. Having said that, I am a worrier. I was worried that converting Smitten Kitchen’s cake recipe into cupcakes might not have produced the best possible cupcake. I was wondering if a recipe specifically designated as a “strawberry cupcake recipe,” instead of a “strawberry cake recipe,” would actually produce a better cupcake and outperform the one we just perfected.

Solution

We scoured the internet for an alternate strawberry cupcake recipe. We agreed that La Mia Vida Dolce’s looked the most promising. I whipped up half a batch of these cupcakes in order to see how they would stack up against our version of Smitten Kitchen’s cake.

Result

The Dolce recipe looked like it would be stiff competition from the get go. It used fresh made strawberry puree, which we thought would definitely make the strawberry flavor stand out even more. Then, when baking, the Dolce cupcakes rose like champs. I only filled the liners 2/3 full (I usually just fill to the top of the liners) and they rose well above the top of the muffin pan! However, things went downhill from there. While cooling, these cupcakes also shrank like champs, so much so that they pulled completely away from their liners. I was still optimistic about taste at this point, but that fell flat, too. You can’t taste any strawberry in these cakes (as compared to Smitten Kitchen’s which you can 100% taste and even smell from across the room!)

Product 

  • Shrinkage (notice how they pulled away from the liners entirely?)

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  • Our revised rendition of Smitten Kitchen’s cupcake (top) vs. La Mia Vida Dolce’s cupcake (bottom)

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Conclusion

We have found and perfected an extraordinary strawberry cupcake recipe (thank you Smitten Kitchen for providing the inspiration).

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4 thoughts on “Strawberry Disappointment

  1. I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy the strawberry cupcakes. I’ve not had issues with the cakes separating from the liners, I’ve found that can happen on occasion with the liners that are used. Also I weigh all my ingredients which can make a difference in baking, if you’re up to trying again you could reduce the baking powder slightly. I also used frozen berries because in Ontario are berry growing season isn’t until June-July and the market berries don’t have as much flavour through the winter months, I’ve found it can also make a big difference in flavour. Again, I am so sorry you didn’t enjoy them, ingredients are expensive and time is precious, it’s very disheartening when a visitor doesn’t have a good result. All the best!

    • Thank you for the recommendations and words of encouragement. I, too, was sad when these cupcakes didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. We did use frozen strawberries and weigh our ingredients for accuracy, too (the weights were another reason we loved your recipe), but I like your baking powder suggestion. Since we try to “perfect” each recipe we try, we will definitely attempt these again to try and fix whatever it was that went wrong and produce the best possible cupcake! Thanks again!

  2. Hi Ambre,

    You’re probably going to think I’m crazy but it’s really bothered me that you had difficulty with one of my recipes and that you wasted your good money on ingredients. I made the cupcakes again without issue but I realized I did make an error in the recipe writing, the cake flour which I had listed as 90 g (3/4 cup) should’ve been written at 90 g (3/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons) but in your case this wouldn’t cause an issue because you use a scale to measure ingredients. But I think I’ve figured out the mystery, and I wish I would’ve realized this sooner, the protein content in Canadian cake and pastry flour is higher than the protein content in American cake flour. I’m going to make the recipe again using 100% all purpose flour and adjust the recipe and I’m also going to be mindful of this in future because a good portion of my readers are from the US. I may have to forgo using cake flour or provide the protein content so that visitors can substitute with a flour of the same. By the way, in your post you mention that I used both puree and preserves but my recipe only calls for puree. Again I’m so sorry the cupcakes were unsuccessful.

    • You are not crazy. Unfortunately, as amateur internet bakers, we lack the luxury of an inperson tutorial from the creator of the recipe. So many things can go wrong: the exact ingredients, the temperature of the kitchen, the quality of the oven. Openness to failure is a requirement. I expect failure in the future and it will probably be our fault then :).

      I do think Protein content in recipes is a great idea and everyone who posts a recipe should include it. I’m surprised how much protein varies even among all-purpose flour. Let not even get started on the type of wheat. Amateur bakers just can’t win!

      Thanks for the reply and the concern.

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