1 ⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose Robin Hood flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup milk
4 teaspoons cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup strawberries, diced, plus 6 extra whole strawberries for garnish
⅔ cup butter, softened
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 325º.
2. Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl.
3. Using a hand mixer, cream the softened butter. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, then mix until well combined. Mix in the eggs. Pour in the milk and mix until just combined. Add in the dry ingredient mixture and mix until no dry streaks remain but combination is still slightly lumpy.
4. At this point, remove approximately ⅓ of the batter. Mix the cocoa powder into the ⅓ portion of batter. For the rest of the batter, mix a few more times until smooth.
5. Place cupcake liners into a 12-portion muffin tin.
6. Place a spoonful of chocolate batter into the bottom of each cup. Bake for 10 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and place a slightly larger spoonful of vanilla batter on top of the set chocolate. Bake for 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness. If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, bake for an additional 2–3 minutes.
8. Remove from oven. Let cool for a few minutes in the tins, then remove and place on a wire cooling rack.
9. While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Place strawberries in the blender and blend until completely liquid and smooth. Set aside.
10. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix well. Add half of the strawberry puree, the vanilla, and the salt. Mix well, then add the rest of the powdered sugar and continue to mix. Add the rest of the strawberry puree. Mix well, until completely smooth.