For the mini-cupcakes
2/3 cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries (thawed if frozen)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk , room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
for the frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 24-cup mini-muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree. Add a few more strawberries if necessary, or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (you will need to do 2 batches). Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 12-14 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before frosting.
To make the frosting, cream together the butter and vanilla extractuntil light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners sugar a little bit at a time. The frosting may be a little loose, so add a bit more powdered sugar as necessary. Refrigerate to set for 20-30 minutes. Frost cupcakes and garnish.