These strawberry cupcakes are naturally colored using freeze dried strawberries. The baked cupcakes are topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground freeze-dried strawberries*. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined. In a small bowl, mix together milk and strawberry puree.
Add about 1/3 of flour mixture into the creamed butter. Mix at low-medium speed. Add 1/2 of the milk mixture. Continue to mix until almost combined. Add another 1/3 of flour mixture followed by the rest of the milk mixture. End with the last 1/3 of flour mixture. Continue to mix until batter is smooth and there are no longer any dry streaks of flour left.
Divide batter between 12 cupcakes. Bake for 20-24 minutes until cake is done and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in tin for a couple of minutes before unmolding and let cool completely on wire rack. Let cool to room temperature before frosting.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cream until smooth. Sift together ground freeze-dried strawberries and confectioners’ sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add sifted ingredients. Once all in, beat at medium speed until frosting is smooth. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe over cooled cupcakes. Decorate with a sliced strawberry.
*Use a spice grinder or food processor to grind freeze-dried strawberries into powder.