For the cupcakes
- 100 g Golden caster sugar
- 130 g margarine
- 130 g self-raising flour
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Food colouring
- 2 drops of vanilla essence
For the buttercream
- 100 g butter
- 200 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
For the strawberry sauce
- 15 strawberries
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1-2 meringue, crumbled
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
2. For the strawberry sauce: remove stalks and slice strawberries into about 6 pieces each. Place them in a saucepan with the sugar and simmer over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. The strawberries will go very slushy.
3. Use a masher to gently squash all the strawberries and simmer with the lid off for another 2 minutes.
4. Run the sauce through a sieve to remove all the pips and pulp and leave to cool.
5. For the cupcakes: lay out cupcake cases. If you use silicon you can lay them on a flat baking tray, if you use paper ones, I advise using a bun tin to make the cakes hold their shape.
6. Whisk the eggs and sugar for at least 4 minutes with an electric hand whisk and beat air into the mix so it fluffs up.
7. Bit by bit, sieve in the flour and baking powder and add bits of butter, whisking the mixture each time to ensure a smooth texture, until fully mixed, then mix in the vanilla paste or essence.
8. Divide the mixture evenly into two bowls. In one bowl mix 4 tablespoons of strawberry sauce. Add red food colouring if the batter is not strongly coloured.
9. Take a spoonful of the white batter and spoon into the middle. Gently make a well with the base of a spoon in the middle. Repeat with pink mixture. Fill cupcake cases about two thirds full.
10. Put the cupcakes into the oven for 15-20 minutes until they feel spongy and the tops have got some colour.
11. Once out of the oven, place on a wire cooling rack to cool down.
12. For the buttercream: cream the butter on its own for a couple of minutes using an electric hand mixer, then add the icing sugar and vanilla essence and beat until light and fluffy.
13. Make a cupcake swirl, but after you’ve scooped the buttercream on, gently drip on strawberry sauce so that it makes a strawberry ripple in buttercream.
14. Sprinkle the meringue over the top of the buttercream.
15. decorate with a strawberry, then try not to eat them all at once.