Strawberry Cupcakes & Nail Art (essie summer 2013)

27 August 2013

*Some polishes used in this post were provided to me as a PR sample*

WARNING: A long and picture- heavy post!

So I am a little late with this post... I really need to get back to blogging regularly! But it's the last week of summer and I am away this weekend so it's unlikely I will be posting regularly until September!

My first real baking post is finally here! Yay! Here is a collage of the nail art and the cupcakes... for details on both, continue reading after the jump!

First up, is the strawberry nail art... I wanted to use the coral and lime green from the Essie Summer 2013 Collection for some nail art and I thought strawberries might be perfect!

To create this look:

  • I started with a coat of all in one base by essie followed by 2 coats of sunday funday by essie
  • Using a nail art brush I added the yellow "seeds?" using acrylic paint and the leaves with the more the merrier by essie 
  • I finished off the look with a coat of good to go top coat by essie

I wasn't a 100% happy with the look so I created it again on my other hand with a traditional! To create this look, I used the same step as above and the red I used is forever yummy by essie. Here's how it turned out:

I personally like the red version better and so did a lot of people that saw both in person... which one do you like?

I wanted to make cupcakes for a picnic I attended a couple weekends ago and since it's summer and we have a lot of fresh strawberries available, I decided on these Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes by Java Cupcake. The full recipe (detailed list of ingredients, quantities required and detailed instructions) is available at the end of the post.

The first step to make these cupcakes is to make a strawberry puree to be used in the batter to flavour the cupcakes.

1. The required ingredients are: fresh strawberries (diced), honey, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

2. Add all the ingredients into the fresh strawberries. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. This will allow the sugars to get into the berries to create a delicious syrup. At this stage you will notice a layer of syrup forming over the strawberries.

3. Puree the mixture in a blender/food processor.

4. You will now have a strawberry puree ready to be added into the batter!

The next step is to preheat the oven make the batter for these cupcakes... bake the cupcakes and ice them!

1. The required ingredients are: cake flour (I used all purpose flour), buttermilk, vegetable oil, baking soda, salt, almond extract, unsalted butter, sugar, eggs, strawberry puree (made in the step above), pink food colouring (Wilton Gel- Pink - optional) and seeds of vanilla bean (I did not have that so I left it out)

2. Follow the instructions and make your batter. Although the food colouring is optional, I decided to use it to amp up the pink colour.

3. Fill your cupcake liners 1/2 to 2/3 full and bake them in the oven

4. You should end up with perfect cupcakes that have a nice mound and spring back when you apply pressure! This is the first time my cupcakes turned out so perfect!

5. Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting. The recipe on Java Cupcake uses a Strawberry Buttercream but I chose use this simple Cream Cheese Icing.

The last step is to make the icing...
1. The required ingredients are: cream cheese, butter, vanilla and icing sugar.

2. Beat all the ingredients together until smooth and make sure the icing peaks.

I used this Cupcake Piping 101 tutorial by Java Cupcake to frost my cupcakes... I used a Wilton #1M tip to create a flat rose frosting on each cupcake. I chose a flatter option because I didn't want a huge mound of icing.  Here is the end result:


Strawberry Puree
  • 3 cups Fresh Strawberries (diced)
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 2-3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
Strawberry Cupcakes
  • 3 + 3/4 cups Cake Flour/All Purpose Flour
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • Seeds of 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 12 tbsp Unsalted Butter (room temp)
  • 2 + 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 + 1/2 cups Strawberry Puree
  • Pink Food Coloring (Wilton Gel - Pink) - optional
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp (6 mL) Vanilla Extract
  • 4 + 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
Cooking Directions:

Strawberry Puree
  1. In a medium bowl, add up to 1/2 cup of honey over the diced strawberries. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt.
  2. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula or spoon until the strawberries are completely coated.
  3. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours to make sure the sugars get into the berries.
  4. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender until it reaches a smooth consistency.
Strawberry Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line pans with cupcake liners
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking soda and set the bowl aside.
  3. Measure out the buttermilk, oil and almond extract in a bowl or measuring cup and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, press the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar using the back of a spatula to release the oils from the seeds into the sugar.
  5. Add the butter and cream it with the vanilla sugar for 1 minute with the mixer set on high.
  6. Add the beaten eggs in parts, scraping the bowl and mixing for 30 seconds after the addition of each egg.
  7. Add in the buttermilk, oil and almond extract mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until all the ingredients are completely incorporated.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture that was set aside in step 2 until no more white can be seen. Do NOT over mix at this point.
  9. Add the strawberry puree and fold until combined.
  10. (Optional Step) Add a few drops of the gel food colouring to amp up the pink colour.
  11. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 to 2/3 full... this makes sure the cupcakes will rise into a perfect mound!
  12. Bake for 17-19 minutes. Check with a toothpick and make sure it comes out dry.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a bowl, beat cream cheese with butter and beat in vanilla
  2. Beat in sugar in 2 additions until smooth.
  1. Using a Wilton #1M piping tip, pipe swirls of icing/frosting onto each cupcake
  2. Decorate each cupcake as you choose, such as slices of fresh strawberries or sprinkles!
- Hetal


  1. This post was so awesome to see! Just by the pictures, I'm craving for some sweets now :)

    1. Thank you for always leaving me such lovely comments Lisa! :)

  2. Ahhh those nails are SO cute <3



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