Sensational Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Photo-Strawberry cupcakesStrawberries are everywhere these days! While it may be another month or two before our own home grown berries a ready for picking, imports from south of the border are already lining the shelves of the local produce section en masse. With so many delicious berries around it’s hard not to want to eat them all the time; for breakfast, sliced into a bowl of granola, for lunch, tossed into a spinach and red onion salad and for supper’s dessert, baked into decadent chocolate cupcakes…stop me, I’m drooling.

The sky is the limit with strawberries but I think you’ll agree that the marriage between these sweet berries and chocolate is truly one made in heaven!

Preheat oven to 350F

12 medium or 24 small strawberries, washed with tops removed

In a medium bowl combine:
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/5 c. unbleached white flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

In another bowl cream together:
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1/3 c. vegetable oil

Once combined, add:
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. sour cream

Line a cupcake tin with wrappers for best results and then place 1-2 strawberries (depending on size) into each wrapper. Mix wet and dry cupcake ingredients together and when thoroughly mixed, pour the batter over your strawberries. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

1/2 c. butter, room temperature
2-2.5 c. icing sugar
1/8 c. milk or cream
1 tsp vanillla

Cream the butter all by itself, until it’s soft and whipped looking.
With the mixer going, add 2 cups of icing sugar, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides. Beat in the milk and the vanilla and then test the consistency. If the icing is too thick, add a splash more milk. If it’s too runny, add a little more icing powder.

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