Strawberry Frosting, Forever

It’s October? How is this possible?! Between being a full time grad student, an intern, a ridiculous commute, and finding time to sleep, little time is left to really relax.  Well, let me rephrase that.. Little time is left to devote to stress relief!  In a program so focused caring for the Mental Wellness of others, you would think we’d all be walking around calm as a cucumber… HA!

I love these cheetah tins!

I’m sure that you’re surprised, but for me, baking is my stress reliever.  Having full control of the kitchen, a recipe and ingredients stacked up on the countertop, and the oven preheated to 350, thats my sanity.  (I mean I like going to the gym, playing tennis, and corny jokes, but that really isn’t helping me make my point here…) So naturally, last night after internship, class, and my commute home, I was in the kitchen at 11:30 pulling cupcakes out of the oven.  One of my much loved professors is leaving to have her baby so I decided to give her a proper farewell.

I had a bit fun with photo editing, but my delicious vanilla batter

Oh, pink cupcakes, she’s have a little girl? No, no, she’s having a baby boy! But I know she likes strawberries, and a cream filling. So that’s what she got… and also why I attempted to masculine-ize them by adding blue snow sugar. Which is kicking my OCD into overdrive because they don’t look perfect, and I’m trying to be okay with that.

My first foray with a vanilla bean!
Fun fact: rinse and dry after using and stick it in your sugar jar for vanilla infused sugar!

For the filling, I LOVE pastry cream, I would always make it in the Bakery in huge batches. So I looked up a recipe and found this adorable video/recipe from The Joy of Baking (which totally reminds me of Julia Childs and makes me really happy!) I let mine sit in the fridge overnight before filling them.

If you could just smell my kitchen at the moment this photo was taken… so amazing!

I make these Vanilla Cupcakes from the Magnolia’s Bakery Recipe that I used for the ‘whimsical’ checkerboard cake. They’re amazing. These are dense and moist, and incredibly rich yet not overpowering… mmm!  (Don’t worry chocolate, we’re going to be reunited VERY soon!)

The frosting was actually surprisingly simple. Blissfully Delicious has a great recipe on her blog (which is adorable) for a Strawberry Buttercream that reminds me of strawberry picking in the summertime…. okay, plus a lot of sugar.

My giant hands! Or baby apple!
What in the world would we do without smartphones?

Speaking of picking fruit, we actually just went apple picking this past weekend! I really LOVE the fall, the smell of sweet apple and the bite of cold in the air is really the recipe for the perfect weekend. We made Caramel Apples out of those tiny baby apples that nobody really picks, but they make me feel like a giant when I hold them… yea those. They were so delicious! But I can’t believe it’s really fall time!

Yummy yummy Strawberries!
I’m thinking the frosting would be much fluffier if fresh (rather than frozen) strawberries had been used.

So basically, Bake them. Cool them. Fill them. Frost them. Fridge them. Bring them into the department and get way too excited every time you see someone eating them. :D Success!

I have to admit, I almost didn’t post these on here, because I thought they didn’t look very pretty (aka they weren’t perfect looking), but my love for blogging and sharing recipes got the best of me. So no judgements people! :)

Pink Cupcakes for a Baby Boy

Up next? Hopefully something CHOCOLATE!

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