Sweet Recipe… Basil Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

I had an opportunity to make cupcakes this week for work.  Several folks are retiring and the entire team is celebrating all the good work done for this year.  I made some obligatory “normal” cupcakes but decided to try my hand with something different.

Basil Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting!  Basil is not just a savory herb… it can be used in so many deliciously sweet ways.  For this recipe, I took a basic vanilla cupcake recipe by Martha Stewart and added a few steps to basil-ify the cupcake.

Basil Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • Basil – 10 sprigs (at least)
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 3 cups, all purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons, baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon, salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks), unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups, sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons, pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Next step in making this all things basil… place the milk in a sauce pan with at least half of the basil.  Five sprigs of basil should produce about 20-25 leaves.  Place the pan on low heat and allow it to cook together for about 10 minutes.  Ensure it doesn’t start to boil.  After this, set it aside and pour the milk mixture through a strainer into a separate bowl.  This will remove the basil leaves from the milk.  Push on the basil in the strainer with the back of a spoon.  Then let it cool to room temperature.  (You can also place it in the fridge to cool until you’re ready to use it.)

Take the remaining basil leaves and pulse in your food processor.  Make sure it is diced into small pieces.  Set this aside.

Line your cupcake pans with liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.  Often times, I’ll just use a fork to mix it together and break up the flour.  Next, cream the butter, sugar and diced basil in your mixer until light and fluffy.  Begin adding one egg at time – mixing in between eggs.  Then, mix in the vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix.

Divide the batter among the liners, filling the liners about 3/4full.  Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes or until the top springs back with the touch of your fingers.  Or, use a toothpick.  If it comes out clean, the cupcakes should be done.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.


Now… what are we missing?  Oh yes – the frosting.  I used the strawberry frosting recipe from Giada de Laurentis.  I made one alteration – instead of 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam, I added 4 tablespoons.  I suggest placing this frosting in the fridge to chill before piping it onto the basil cupcakes.

Pipe Frosting… Take a Bite… and Enjoy 🙂


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