Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chee's Cakes

Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

One of the greatest pleasures about cooking is sharing food with appreciative eaters and I can honestly say I have met the most appreciative eater on the planet. Chiaki (or Chee as she has been nicknamed) came to us from Japan to study in the theatre department for the 2009-2010 year. Back in November, I invited her to spend the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with me gorging herself on two very American hobbies: eating and shopping. Chee was definitely up to the task. Not only did we eat our way through a decadent traditional Thanksgiving feast (Chee met my Pumpkin Cheesecake with definite approval) but I enjoyed cooking her several other meals including flank steak stuffed breakfast burritos and french onion mac & cheese. But it didn't end there. I love bringing homemade snacks to work, rehearsals, and end-of-the-quarter class showcases. Without fail, Chee would meet these treats with a cry of glee: "Snacks for Chee!!!" So . . . here we are: spring quarter and the last of this year's acting showcases. Just for Chee (the World's Most Appreciative Eater) I put together this spring-themed cupcake recipe. I hope she enjoys them. And with this sweet, little, cupcake I will always remember the petite gal from Tokyo who ate her way into my heart.


- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- 3 tsp. vanilla, divided
- 1/4 c. strawberry jam
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- fresh strawberries, stems removed, and sliced lengthwise in half

Preheat oven to 325˚ F. Line a muffin tin with papers and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together 1 stick butter, granulated sugar, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. With the machine running on low, add flour mixture to butter mixture in batches alternating with eggs, making sure ingredients are thoroughly incorporated after each addition. Add 2 tsp. vanilla.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each liner about halfway. Place in oven and bake about 20-25 minutes until cupcakes begin to turn light golden brown on top. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Recipe should yeild about 2 dozen cupcakes.

While cupcakes are baking cream together 1 stick butter, mascarpone, vanilla, powdered sugar, and strawberry jam to make frosting. Frost cupcakes when they have cooled completely and top each cupcake with a strawberry because it looks pretty!

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