O Sacred Heart -- How Sweet are Thee

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the love found in the Heart of Our Lord Jesus. St. Bonaventure said, "O Jesus, now that I have been brought into Your most sweet Heart, and it is a great good to be here, I do not want to let myself be easily torn away from it. Having found this divine Heart which is Yours and mine, O most sweet Jesus, I beseech You, O my God: receive my prayers in that sanctuary where You are attentive to them and, even more, draw me entirely into Your Heart."

These sweet treats are a reminder of the sweetness and mercy found in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Strawberries are nature's own sweet little hearts so I chose them for the "sweet heart" of these cupcakes. And each one is topped with a slice of a strawberry -- a perfect little heart revealing the sweetness inside.

I had a difficult time finding a recipe strawberry cake that did not call for strawberry Jell-O. Not that I have anything against strawberry Jell-O, but I did not have any on-hand. I used my favorite white cupcake recipe and substituted some homemade jam that I thinned with a little bit of water for some of the milk. Because of the sugar in the jam, I trimmed down the amount that went into the cake. I did add a little bit of red food color, but not much. I get a little nervous using as much as you would need to make true red cake, so I was content with the deep pink of these. Feel free to add more to suit your own taste.

There are plenty of other feast days on the Church calendar to celebrate with these sweet little cakes -- June 12 is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, October 16 is the feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, in February is St. Valentine's Day, as well as the entire month of June, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Strawberry Cupcakes
Makes 12-15 cupcakes

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup strawberry jam thinned with water to make syrupy (total of 3/4 c. liquid)
1/4 c. milk
10 drops red food color

buttercream frosting (below)
12-18 thick strawberry slices, drained on paper towels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan and a 6-cup muffin pan with paper liners (you may get 12 to 15 cupcakes, maybe 18 depending on how full you fill them).
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
Finally stir in the thinned jam, the milk and food coloring. Beat until batter is smooth.
Pour or spoon batter into the liners (I like to use an ice cream scoop filled about 2/3).
Bake 15-20 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.

Frost with white buttercream frosting (below) and top with a strawberry slice. If you are making them up more than an hour ahead of time, wait until ready to serve to top with the strawberry.

Buttercream Frosting

1/4 c. softened butter
3 c. powdered sugar
4 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla

Beat butter and powdered sugar slowly for several minutes. Add milk slowly, then vanilla. Beat for several minutes until frosting is soft and creamy. Add more milk if necessary.

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  1. These are beautiful and looks so tasty, what a lovely tribute!

  2. The simplicity is absolutely elegant!
    They are lovely! What a great idea!
    Easy works for me! PJ

  3. May I suggest gel food coloring instead... you can use less of it and get more of a color than the traditional liquid kind. They use it for the rainbow cakes, and a little bit goes a long way. You can find it in any grocery store. :)