Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summery Birthday Cupcakes & A Winner!

My sweet angel boy Sam would have turned 6 years old this past August 15th. It's hard to believe that that much time has passed. Every year we celebrate by baking him up a cake or cupcakes, and going to the cemetery for a balloon release. This year was no different only Hayden was with us and he sent the balloons up to his big brother. He will always be my first born even if he's not here. And I will always celebrate his life as long as I'm his momma. This year it was with strawberry lemonade cupcakes. 

Strawberries and lemons just scream summer to me and these were the perfect refreshing treat. They were sweet and tangy, bright and loaded with lemon zest in the cupcake, in the filling and in the buttercream. I found the recipe at Four Points Foodie and adapted it to my liking. I can't say that I've seen a cupcake filled with fresh diced lemony strawberries before so I was definitely intrigued. These were delicious and perfect for celebrating a sixth birthday. 

There are a few more days of Summer left and if you're looking for a seasonal recipe to whip up for your Labor Day weekend, these might be the cuppies for you! For the winner of the "Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinner?" cookbook head to the bottom of this post. 
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes adapted from Four Points Foodie

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For The Cupcakes:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
For The Strawberry Lemon Filling:
  • 1/4 cup diced strawberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
For The Lemon Buttercream:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
For The Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 8 cupcake tins with paper cups.  

In a mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy then add the sugar and mix well. Add the egg and the vanilla  then stir.  Alternately add the flour and the milk, mixing well after each addition. Add the salt and baking powder then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest then stir well.   

Scoop into cupcake papers filling no more than 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 
For The Strawberry Filling: In a small bowl, mix the strawberries, lemon zest and the sugar and let sit for 10 minutes.   

For The Buttercream: In a medium bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest then slowly add the powdered sugar til well combined. Mix well then add the lemon juice and beat until fluffy.

To Assemble The Cupcakes: Cut the center of each cupcake out with a sharp paring knife. Spoon strawberry lemon filling into hole then using a large tip, frost over the filling on each cupcake.   

NOTE: Makes 8 cupcakes. Recipe can be doubled. 

The winner of "Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinner?" by Lisa Caponigri chosen by is my friend Heather of Kitchen Concoctions. Yay! 


Coleens Recipes said...

Brilliant idea of nesting strawberries in the cupcake, just brilliant.

Memória said...

Happy birthday, Sam!!!!!!

The cupcakes look yummy. :)

Abby said...

Beautiful cupcakes and a sweet story.

Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

Aw, Monica, these are always such sweet and special posts. What a great way to honor and remember Sam. These cupcakes look amazing, I totally love lemon and strawberry together! Oh, and thanks for the giveaway! I can't wait to "read" that cookbook!

Hennifer said...

Those cupcakes are everything I love about summer! I can't wait to try them!

Happy Birthday Sam!

Unknown said...

Happy Late Birthday, Sam :)

You're posts are always so sweet and have so much meaning. It's nice that you still do these little birthday celebrations for your boys :)

MarthaT said...

We celebrate my Josh's birthday every year too. It is hard to believe that he would have turned 29 last month. I am going to save this receipe and think of Josh and Sam when I make them.

Maaika said...

Hi Monica, I always read your post and I always want to make your food... Never feel like commenting to one of your post because you don't know me... But this time I really want to express to you how sweet you are... Sorry for the poor english I'm from the netherlands =D

Beautifull how you celibrate Sams birthday...


Unknown said...

My heart goes out to you dear, and know that one day you will see Sam again...I'm excited about trying some of these recipes...Blessings!!!

trump said...

Just wanted to wish you a happy Labor Day to you and your readers. Richard

Autism United said...

What beautiful looking cupcakes, just makes me think of summer.
Great job!

Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey said...

What a sweet way to celebrate Sam's birthday. My heart goes out to you. I have little boy named Sam & I almost lost him few months ago.

Your cupcakes looks so wonderful. I stop by from Coffee Friday at Paloma's and I am absolutely in love with your blog :-)

Paloma said...

Hey Bibi! I knew you would love it!

Mothering From Scratch said...

{Melinda} Visiting here from Paloma's place. These look so amazing. Strawberry Shortcake is one of my favorite desserts! So sorry about your sweet boy. I can't imagine losing a child. I have a son with cystic fibrosis and it has made me value life and time with my children in a completely different way. God bless you!

Laura said...

These are adorable! And unlike many "cute" things we do for our kids' birthdays, these look delicious also! I'm pinning them!

Keeley said...

Happy birthday, Sam! This is a beautiful tradition. I'm just catching up on my blog reading, but I'm thinking of you at this time. It's really nice that Hayden will always know about his older brothers.

Karen said...

Happy birthday to your son. :)

I was wondering if you know the times and speeds I can make this with a hand mixer. I do not own a stand mixer.

Monica H said...

Karen, I didn't make these with a stand mixer. I also used my hand mixer. To cream the butter and sugar, beat over medium speed for about 2-3 minutes or until light and creamy. Do the same for the frosting.

Hope that helps!


Anonymous said...

You'll always be Sam's momma. May every year be special, yet celebrated in a different way. As Hayden's momma, too, you surely care about the health of planet Earth for his generation. was created to educate others of the issue of balloons as litter & their effects on wildlife & the environment. Balloons may disappear from sight, but they do not biodegrade and they're devasting on innocent wildlife - whether by ingesting or tangling. Please "Like" to promise never to let balloons go again - and help spread the message on the deadly effects of balloons. Critter mommas thank you. ~melinda

Unknown said...

I've featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don't mind, but if you do, please contact me and I'll remove it. All the best.

Heidie said...


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