I went to the market recently, and one of the first things I saw by the entrance was a sale on pints of strawberries. I bought a couple for my family to eat as-is, but after noticing how ripe and delicious they were, I decided to go back and buy a few more to make into a dessert.
I learned after making the pineapple coconut cupcakes that icing has love and hate factions in my house, so I made these without icing. But if you’d prefer to add icing, be my guest!
- 1 box angel food cake
- 2 pints of ripe strawberries
- Sweetener to taste (Honey, agave nectar, Splenda, sugar–whatever you prefer. I went with Splenda.)
Preheat your oven to 375.
Rinse your strawberries and remove the tops. (I used a paring knife, cutting a circle in each strawberry that was deep enough to encompass everything in one go-round.)
Pulse some of the strawberries in a food processor, adding more in batches until all have been used. I did this lightly, a few pulses at a time, so there were small chunks of strawberry, as opposed to a completely pureed mush.
Place the cake mix in a large mixing bowl. Add the strawberries and the juice a little at a time, until you can stir the batter and it resembles a typical angel food cake batter. (For me, this was at about 2/3 of the strawberries used, but I discarded some from the packages before processing, so might mean a little less strawberry for your batter.)
Line muffin pans with muffin cups–paper or foil. Add batter to each of the cups, to just shy of the top of the cup. I got about 28 cupcakes once all the batter was poured. (I’m fortunate enough to have 3 muffin pans, but make the cupcakes in batches if you need to.)
Place the pans in the oven, and bake until the cupcakes are golden and the tops are set. (Some words of caution: It might be difficult to see the cupcakes reach a golden color, because they will turn pink from the strawberries. Also, the cupcakes tend to burn quickly, so check back regularly.) Let the cupcakes cool when you take them out of the oven. Add icing at this time if you want to.
While the cupcakes are baking, take the remaining processed strawberries and add your sweetener to them, to taste. Mix thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate them. You’ll be using this to top the cupcakes, as a strawberry sauce. (Again, my strawberries were in small chunks, but if you’d like your topping a little smoother, you could pulse it a bit more in the food processor until it’s more like a puree.)
Whenever you’d like to eat the dessert, take one or two cupcakes, remove the paper, split them in half, and place them in a bowl. Top them with some of the sweetened strawberries (I used 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup). Optional: You could also top the pureed strawberry with a little whipped cream.