When Candace Nelson left her job in finance to start baking cupcakes for a living, she hardly expected the outpouring of love that ensued. It propelled her shop, Sprinkles, to become perhaps the most recognized cupcake brand in the world—today there are numerous stores across the country and even a location in Kuwait.
Just in time for summer, she shared with us the recipe for her strawberry cupcakes.
Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen
- 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. Place strawberries in a food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary and save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes
- 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a food processor; process until pureed.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
Everyone understands a cupcake. They represent celebrations and special moments.
“This is actually my husband’s favorite,” Candace says. “He grew up in Oklahoma eating strawberry cake so it’s on our menu to honor his upbringing.” While Candace admits, strawberries may be off-season, she suggests using frozen ones to achieve the same flavors of summer.
Candace’s Tips for Pursuing Your Passion
1. Listen to Your Gut
“If I didn’t pursue the idea, I would never have forgiven myself. It kept gnawing at me. I couldn’t not do it.”
2. Know That It Won’t Be Easy
“Starting your own business is incredibly trying physically and emotionally. There were so many days we slept on the kitchen floor because we couldn’t make enough cupcakes to fill our orders.”
3. Prepare to Be Questioned
“It took us a year to open and during that time everyone said it wouldn’t work. A lot of people just didn’t understand what we were doing.”