Sweet choices during annual Cape & Islands Bakes for Breast Cancer

Pink ribbon semifredo by The Dunes at Winnetu Oceanside Resort. —Marnely Murray

It’s said that baking for others actually benefits those who bake — the stress relief, plus the feeling that you’re being mindful of another being is rewarding. That’s why we take treats to friends when they are ill (or just need a little pick-me-up), and it’s the reason why local Island restaurants are coming together to bake for breast cancer awareness again this year. It’s a campaign that not only brings awareness to breast cancer research but also provides proceeds to benefit that research.

Treat yourself to any of these delicious desserts, which will be available until June 11 at the following restaurants:

  • The Dunes at Winnetu Oceanside Resort: Pink Ribbon Semi-Freddo.
  • The Terrace at the Charlotte Inn: Lemon curd tartlet with fresh berries, whipped cream and candied mint; donating 100 percent of the proceeds.
  • Copper Wok: an assortment of mochi (Japanese rice cake desserts).
  • Sweet Life Cafe: Chocolate Cake served with cocoa nib, cherries and malted vanilla ice cream.

Proceeds raised will benefit the nonprofit breast cancer organization Bakes for Breast Cancer, which is supporting the research of Dr. Shom Goel at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Goel’s research focuses on combining immunotherapy and a promising new class of drugs called CDK4/6 inhibitors to more effectively treat breast cancer.

If you’d also like to try your hand at baking something deliciously sweet this weekend for a friend, try your hand at these Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes, found on my website, cookingwithbooks.net.

The frosting takes on the color of the fresh berries, making it the perfect treat for friends of all ages.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cake:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ cup whole milk
¼ cup orange juice
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

For the frosting:

1 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F, and prepare a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

Incorporate the eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, and in a smaller bowl whisk together the milk and orange juice.

Add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, alternating each until everything is mixed in. Do not overmix. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chopped strawberries. Using a scoop, pour batter into each lined muffin tin.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Let cakes cool all the way through before decorating.

To make frosting: Whip all the ingredients together for 10-15 minutes, until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes and top with slice of fresh strawberry.

For more information on how to support the second annual Cape & Islands Bakes for Breast Cancer, please go online to bakesforbreastcancer.org.