For the cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon lemon zest
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room tempature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
For the lemonade syrup:
1 cup lemonade concentrate
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
For the frosting:
1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
12oz cream cheese, at room tempature
18 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room tempature
2 2/3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the garnish:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the overn to 325 degress F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir together with a whisk and set aside. In a bowl of stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat the eggs in one at a time scrapping down after each addition. Add half the flour mixture to mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Add in the milk and mix until smooth. Add remining flour and mix on low speed just until blended. Fold in fresh strawberried with spatula.
Divide batter evenly between paper liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes then let finish cooling on a wire rack.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, whisk together the lemonade concentrate and confectioners sugar in a small bowl to make the lemonade syrup. Poke several holes in the top of each cupcake with a skewer and pour syrup over the cupcakes, allowing it to soak in. Place wax paper underneath wire rack before pouring syrup over so you dont make a mess!!
To make the frosting, puree strawberries in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree through a mess sieve to get the seeds out and set aside. Beat cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, mix until incorporated. Mix in strawberry puree, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve your desired texture and flavor for frosting. You can add a few drops of red food coloring if you would like a more red color. I just use the strawberry puree as my coloring. Frost and decorate as you like :)