Fiori di Sicilia is the secret ingredient in these cupcakes!
I wish you guys could have seen me and my mom’s faces when we taste tested this cupcake. (It’s a hard job, but we do it for you.) This cupcake is sensational. It tastes like springtime! It’s a beautiful mix of strawberry and orange thanks to the fresh strawberries in the batter and my secret ingredient.
If you haven’t heard of Fiori di Sicilia, please allow me to introduce you. It’s an orange-vanilla extract available at kitchen stores (I get mine from King Arthur Flour) that makes everything taste fancy. That’s the best way I can describe it. It isn’t in-your-face-orange and won’t overpower the strawberry flavor. If you don’t have Fiori di Sicilia, order some. If you want to bake these cupcakes before your bottle comes, use half orange extract and half vanilla extract.
I baked these beauties for my SUCKER Tea Party inspired by the Jonas Brothers music video. They have assorted cupcakes at their garden tea party and I thought whole strawberries on top looked so perfectly spring and complemented the pink vibes in SUCKER. I will definitely be baking these again and again!
2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
1/2 Tbsp Fiori di Sicilia extract
4 large farm fresh eggs
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped
6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp Fiori di Sicilia extract*
4 Tbsp milk
To bake the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add butter to the mixer and beat until it looks sandy.
- Combine the milk and Fiori di Sicilia and add to the mixer. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl as you go!
- Crack eggs into a bowl. This way, you won’t accidentally get egg shells in your cake batter. With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
- Add chopped strawberries and mix until incorporated. Don’t overmix!
- Pour batter into your prepared cake pans. Softly bang the bottom of the pans against the countertop to help settle the batter evenly in the pan.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes or until the a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake will come out clean.
- Remove tins from the oven and place on racks. Cool five minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely before frosting. Frost with Fiori di Sicilia frosting.
To make the Fiori di Sicilia Frosting:
- Cream together powdered sugar and softened butter with an electric mixer. Start with two cups of powdered sugar and half a stick of butter, alternating additions.
- Slowly incorporate vanilla, fiori di sicilia extract, and milk. Beat until smooth. Add additional milk or powdered sugar if needed for desired consistency.
Read more about my SUCKER Tea Party here. Watch the episode: