A month ago, I hopped in my car and navigated across multiple freeways to Glory’s hometown for her first cookbook signing. After an hour on the road, I cruised through her city streets, eventually pulling into a parking spot in her local church’s lot. Inside the building, I spent the evening sampling her sweet treats and laughing along with my new blogging friends.
Just before I planned to leave, Glory introduced me to Ashley, the blogger behind Domestic Fashionista. With only a few minutes before they closed the church’s doors to clean up the party remnants, we promised to follow each other on Instagram before saying goodnight.
After a few weeks of trading comments on photos, we decided to meet again in person. (That’s a big deal for bloggers—we’re normally fairly far apart distance-wise from each other and slightly awkward when we come out from behind our computer screens!) I picked a Panera exactly halfway between our houses, and last Wednesday evening, we both strolled up to the door at the same time.
Once we ordered our caffeinated drinks, we slid into the only empty booth and settled back into the seat cushions. With a gigantic chocolate chip cookie to split, we ended up chatting for 2½ hours—over half an hour past when the restaurant closed!
I laughed and learned a lot, completely inspired by this sweet lady. Ashley even operates her own photography business with her husband in between blog posts! After a few really deep conversations, I realized that I had met someone with a truly beautiful soul that would always to brighten my day with her thoughtful comments and enlightening conversations.
Like Ashley, these Strawberries & Cream Lemon Cupcakes are a sweet and classy treat. Bursting with juicy berries and sunshiny citrusy flavor, these fruity cakes completely embody summer and its fun-loving vibe, from their first tender bite to the last little lick of glaze. It can be our special secret that they’re mindlessly easy to make—you don’t even need a mixer!
These start with my favorite lemon cupcake recipe. Readers have raved about it, calling them the most tender and moist citrus cupcakes they’ve ever made. Even lemon-haters loved their delicate taste!
There are two tricks to creating their light texture…
Greek yogurt. As my secret weapon in healthier baking, Greek yogurt adds all of the moisture of butter and oil but not their excess fat and calories. Plus it sneaks in a little protein boost too!
Alternating additions. Yes, they’re mandatory! Alternating additions prevent over-mixing the batter, which would over-develop the flour’s gluten strands and result in tough, gummy cupcakes. Just stir until each ingredient is barely incorporated. Skip the mixer; a fork works perfectly fine and helps prevent the chance of over-mixing too!
These cupcakes bake slightly longer than the original recipe. Strawberries contain lots of water, which they release into the batter as the cupcakes sit in the oven, and that extra moisture slows down the baking process.
Make sure the cupcakes feel lightly firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cupcakes begin to deflate within 1 minute of pulling out of the oven, pop them back in ASAP! I ruined my first batch by removing them too early, and while the bottoms baked through, the tops stayed slightly gooey and raw. Learn from my mistake—trust that toothpick!
This simple glaze consists of just 2 ingredients: powdered sugar and heavy cream. Yes, heavy cream! It’s the first time I’ve ever used it in a recipe on my blog, but since the cupcakes contain very little fat, I decided to splurge. And I’m so happy I did! The cream adds a richness and thickness to the glaze you can’t quite get from milk. For an even sweeter treat, try using coffee creamer (I absolutely loved BAILEYS Triple Sweet Cream in this glaze!), yet if you don’t have any cream in your fridge, milk works just fine too. (You may want to add a touch of vanilla if you choose milk instead!)
Dainty and sweet, these Strawberries & Cream Lemon Cupcakes are a true favorite of fruit and citrus lovers. Perfect for lazy summer picnics or fun poolside parties too, their irresistible flavor combination will surprise even the pickiest of eaters and keep everyone coming back for more. Trust me—I managed to sneak 3 in a single day!
And with how much the men in my family adore lemon, I’m 200% positive that I’ll be baking these again really soon!