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Happy Monday everyone! Today I’m bringing you the latest recipe from my Best Bakes – USA series. I dreamed up these cupcakes when thinking about a Summer-y treat to make for our City WI Summer Fete. I originally envisaged cupcakes with crushed fresh strawberries running through them, but the concept evolved into the most nostalgic, Calpol pink and deliciously strawberry Nesquik tasting cupcakes that I’m very proud to say I created! With a dreamily light and pink sponge topped with deliciously fluffy strawberry cream cheese frosting, I promise you won’t regret making these!

Best of all, you could easily tweak this recipe to the milkshake flavour of your choice – chocolate, vanilla, boozy, just by switching out a couple of ingredients.

For the cupcakes – (makes 24 large cupcakes)

  • 300g soft unsalted butter
  • 300g Caster sugar (It might interest you to know that Silver Spoon is the only brand of caster sugar which is grown in Britain, if you’re interested in food miles etc)
  • 5 large eggs or 6 small or medium eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp milk (any kind)
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • Red/pink food colouring – I used Americolor colouring in Electric Pink from eBay
  • 19ml (half a bottle) Silver Spoon Strawberry flavouring – available in Sainsbury’s (or other strawberry flavouring)

For the frosting –

First, let’s get started on the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Ideally in a stand mixer, or by hand, start by adding your soft unsalted butter and caster sugar to a bowl. Beat until light and fluffy – approx 3-5 minutes. Next, add your eggs one at a time with the mixer running until they’re fully incorporated into the mix, followed by your vanilla extract and flour. Now add your milk, checking to see whether everything is combined thoroughly and making sure there’s no lumps.

Lastly, with the mixer still running, add the strawberry flavouring and red gel food colouring. Add the food colouring a small drop at a time (having cocktail sticks on hand to do this is useful)

Spoon your cupcake mix into cases in a muffin tin – aim to fill the cases two thirds full. Cook for 14-18 minutes until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. I like to rotate my cupcake trays in the oven so that none of the cupcakes get too browned.

I used these cute polka dot cupcake cases from Lakeland – the pink perfectly accented the pink of the cupcakes!

While your cupcakes are cooking, let’s make the frosting!

Combine the softened butter and icing sugar in a mixer until the mix resembles yellow breadcrumbs, and then and add the very cold cream cheese. The key to a great cream cheese frosting is not to overmix, so quickly add the strawberry flavouring and enough red food colouring a drop at a time until the mixture reaches the pink colour of your dreams.

Place your cream cheese frosting into the fridge until you’re ready to frost – it will be much easier to pipe when its cold. Once your cupcakes are cool, fill a piping bag with your frosting – I used the Wilton 2D tip and went for some a few rose swirls and then mostly classic swirly swirls (thats the technical term, right?).

After I made them, I realised that these taste amazingly like Nesquik cupcakes………. flashback to my childhood! I went through a serious period of coming home from school, making myself a strawberry nesquik milkshake and settling down to watch Nickelodeon.

Not only do they take you back to being a kid, these cupcakes are also dreamily light and fluffy and the frosting is absolutely gorgeous – with a subtle strawberry flavour and not overly sweet thanks to the cream cheese.

Make them! I promise you won’t regret it

x Kerry