Strawberry Banana Cupcakes

Last summer, we went strawberry picking, and I have to be honest… I was a little weird about it. My sister picked two flats of strawberries and my mother picked three or four in the time it took me to fill one. I was very concerned with selecting the most perfect strawberries on the vines – the ones that I could use as perfect cupcake garnishes and the ones that looked so ripe and delicious that could make the world’s most perfect sorbet or smoothie.

My efforts, as it turns out, were rather fruitless, however (pun not intended). I didn’t consider the fact that those beautiful, ripe, perfect strawberries would only stay quite so perfect for a very short time, and as such, I made exactly one batch of cupcakes with a strawberry garnish, ate a few raw, and froze the rest.Today, I finally used up the last of my frozen berries.

I realize, of course, that we are still a bit of a ways away from strawberry season. But the other day at the store, I came across the biggest, reddest, most delicious strawberries that I’ve seen since the summer. It was then that it occurred to me how much I miss all the fresh berries of spring and summer.

I used both my fresh and my frozen berries in this particular cupcake, along with some overripe bananas that my co-workers gave me a few days ago. I love and adore them because I got to use up leftovers while still coming up with a new cupcake flavor that I’d not made before.

And, to top that off, I also made a strawberry meringue buttercream – a first for me, but definitely not a last! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try – if not now, then in the spring. It’s light and refreshing and tasty, and I just know you’ll love it!