Chocolate-dipped roasted strawberry cream cupcakes

 Chocolate-dipped roasted strawberry cupcake 

Chocolate-dipped roasted strawberry cupcake 

It was my baby’s birthday yesterday. She turned two years old, which is already shaping up to be one of the most fun, albeit challenging ages...Though I’m sure I’ll say that about every age. 

It has been said that parenting is all joy and no fun. And I get that — parenting is hard. So incredibly hard, to say the least. But, the saying isn't entirely true. Being a parent can be so, so much fun. Like the kind of fun you used to have as a kid. And that's because you get so many opportunities to do things that you haven’t done since you were a kid. Not only that, you get to do them with your kid, who squeals with excitement over the most mundane things.

Strawberry picking
Strawberry picking

As an example, we recently went strawberry picking at Swanton Berry Farms in Pescadero. It was a long drive, and Lulu got cranky in the back seat after about an hour. We had to sing a bunch of songs that I can never get out of my head and scramble for snacks to appease her until we arrived. That was the no fun part. But eventually we made it, and the pure joy on her face when she noticed fields of strawberries as far her little blue eyes could see was... well, magical. 

For every berry we picked, we probably at two more — dirt and all, sometimes. We were having so much fun picking and eating that before we knew it we had 5 pounds of strawberries that I had to figure out what to do with. I came home and roasted half, then I prepped the other half for smoothies and oatmeal. Lulu is still in berry heaven. 

I made this recipe for Lulu's birthday. I wanted cake, but bite-sized cake. And I wanted to make something special that I wouldn't make on just any given Sunday. I got the idea of dipping the whole thing in chocolate from the one and only Miss Martha Stuart. The whole wheat cupcake base is from the lovely and talented Cheeky Kitchen.

So here they are, for my Lulu. My dynamic little human with more personality than I could ever expect in a pint-sized package. 

 Cupcakes with roasted strawberry cream

Cupcakes with roasted strawberry cream

 Chocolate-dipped cupcakes with roasted strawberry cream

Chocolate-dipped cupcakes with roasted strawberry cream

Cupcakes covered in chocolate with roasted strawberries whipped into the frosting. These are truly a treat.

COOKING NOTES

I’m not gonna lie, these are a process. They require several separate steps to make all the elements come together. But, they’re totally worth it for the most special birthday cupcakes of all time. Keep the cupcakes in the refrigerator or at a stable room temperature to prevent the chocolate from melting. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute for regular milk and add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Regular pastry flour or all-purpose flour also works here if you don't want to use whole wheat.

MAKES 2 DOZEN CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

For the frosting
2 cups fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

For the cupcakes
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups white whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup buttermilk

For the chocolate dip
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Sprinkles, if desired

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Spread the strawberries on a pan, sprinkle with the cane sugar, and roast the until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Transfer to a blender and puree.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar into the butter until just blended.
  4. Beat ¼ cup of the strawberry puree and vanilla extract into butter mixture until just blended.
  5. Repeat with 1 cup confectioners' sugar, followed by ¼ cup of the strawberry puree a couple more times. Beat the last ½ cup confectioners' sugar into mixture until just blended.
  6. Heat the oven to 350°F degrees. In a large bowl, beat the butter, eggs, and sugar until creamy.
  7. Add the remaining cupcake ingredients and beat together until everything is incorporated.
  8. Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake wrappers.
  9. Bake in the oven until the center of the cupcakes is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before putting on the frosting.
  10. Pipe a tall mound of frosting onto each cupcake. Freeze the cupcakes about 5 minutes, or until the frosting is firm.
  11. In microwavable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil on High in 2 or 3 (30-second) increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted. Cool until room temperature.
  12. Dip the frosting part of the cupcakes into the chocolate. Decorate with sprinkles, if you wish. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.