- 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 8 large egg whites
- Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
- 24 small fresh strawberries, washed (hulls intact), for garnish
- FOR ICING:
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla.
4. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined.
5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
6. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat.
7. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
8. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with a heaping 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
9. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Invert cupcakes onto rack; then reinvert and let cool completely, top sides up. Frost cupcakes with strawberry meringue buttercream, swirling to cover. Cupcakes may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
10. Garnish with strawberries just before serving.
1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.)
4. Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in strawberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.