The “Jaliyah”


{Vanilla and Strawberry cupcake with Strawberry Buttercream icing}

This cupcake was designed for my Girls Inc. mentee, Jaliyah, on her 13th birthday. I’ve been her mentor for about two years now, and I’ve really enjoyed watching her become a well-mannered, well-read young lady. Her favorite flavor, and food of choice, is strawberry.


For this cupcake, I return to Little Cakeswritten by the folks at the Whimsical Bakehouse in New York.

I used their “Classic Vanilla Cupcake” recipe and added the strawberry chunks. I also used their “Kids’ Buttercream,” one of three fabulous buttercream recipes in their book. I figured 13-year-old girls are going to want the kids’ version. It also happens to be an easy buttercream to pick up colors, which in this case, is from the pureed strawberries.


Scroll to the bottom for the girls’ sound bites on this cupcake!

Yields 12 cupcakes. The icing recipe has been adjusted to produce an appropriate amount for the 12 cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tsp warmed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 oz (1 stick) very soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 oz chopped strawberries

For the icing:

  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp meringue powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp pureed strawberries
  • 6 strawberries, quartered


Cupcake directions:

1. Sift cake flour and salt into a mixing bowl.

2. Add sugar and mix well.

3. Warm the milk.

4. Cut butter into pieces and add into bowl.

5. Add milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.

6. Beat at low speed until mixture has an even consistency.

7. Add baking powder, and mix well.

8. Add chopped strawberries, and use spatula to mix well.

9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

10. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter.

11. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. The tops should spring back when lightly pressed.

Icing directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter until creamy.

2. Remove the heads of a handful of strawberries.

3. Use a blender or food processor to grind strawberries until they are liquid.

4. In a separate bowl, sift confectioners’ sugar. (If you don’t sift it, there’s a possibility of the icing turning lumpy.)

5. In the bowl of sugar, add meringue powder, vanilla extract and salt.

6. Add entire bowl’s contents to the bowl of butter.

7. Beat until mixture has even consistency.

8. Add 5 tbsp of pureed strawberries from the blender or food processor.

9. Mix well.

10. Ice cupcakes, using the strawberry slices as a garnish right before serving.

*This buttercream usually calls for 2 tbsp of milk, but I have opted out of that in place of the pureed strawberries.



One thought on “The “Jaliyah”

  1. Pingback: The “Marie Antoinette” | Sound Bites

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