for the Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons table salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but slightly cool, cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs
3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons strawberry liqueur
For the frosting
1/4 cup pureed strawberries
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon strawberry extract
pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons white rum
decoration as desired (I used red sprinkles and cocktail umbrellas)
For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar on low speed. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and combine until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the eggs, 1 at time, and mix until fully combined. Add the milk and vanilla, increase the speed to medium, and mix until the batter is light, fluffy and free of lumps.
Fill the lined muffin cups three-quarters full, being careful not to overfill. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, pour strawberry liqueur in a small bowl. Either dip or using a pastry brush, infuse a bit of liqueur into each cupcake. Let set while you make the frosting.
To make the frosting, place butter and strawberry puree in the work bowl of your stand mixer. Whip to combine. Add strawberry extract and salt, then add the confectioners sugar. Whip until very fluffy. Add rum and whip again. You may have to add a little more confectioners sugar if the rum makes the frosting liquidy again. Let set in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
Frost cupcakes liberally and garnish as desired. Store cooled until ready to serve.