Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry-mascarpone icing

_MG_3683Strawberry cupcakes
1 1/2 C. cake flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter or Earth Balance vegan buttery stick at room temperature, cut into small chunks
2 eggs
1/2 C. coconut milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C. strawberries washed, hulled and chopped into a small dice

Mascarpone frosting
8 tbsp unsalted butter or Earth Balance vegan buttery stick, softened
4 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 tbsp strawberry puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan for 12 with cupcake liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the paddle attachment, mix on low just to aerate the mixture. Add the butter chunks and turn mixer on low briefly, just until the butter pieces are coated with flour. The batter might look strange, but it will come together!
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. Add the egg mixture in three additions to the dry mixture, mixing on low just until it comes together after each addition. This process will allow the butter to blend into the batter. Gently fold in the strawberry pieces with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Divide mixture evenly between cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will not color much, but will feel firm when lightly touched on top. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Wash and dry the bowl of your stand mixer and add the room temperature butter. Beat on high speed until butter is light and fluffy. Scrape and repeat to get all the butter chunks fluffy. Add mascarpone and beat on medium speed until just blended. Sift the powdered sugar over the butter and mascarpone mixture and quickly beat on medium speed until just smooth. You do not want to overwork this frosting, the mascarpone can separate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with the chilled frosting.

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