3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups finely chopped strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
a few drops of electric pink gel food coloring, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place paper liners into 18 muffin cups; set aside.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.
Place sugar, butter, oil, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl and using the paddle attachment (if available) with mixer on medium speed, beat until the ingredients are fully incorporated and slightly fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add the egg whites and beat about a minute until combined. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with flour. Beat just until flour is incorporated. Drain strawberries, if necessary, then fold into the batter. Stir in the strawberry preserves and add 1 to 5 drops of food coloring, if using. Scrape down the bowl until all traces of flour disappear and the strawberries and food coloring are well integrated into the batter.
Fill each cupcake liner with 4 tablespoons of batter. Place in oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow pans to cool on a wire rack until the cupcakes can be easily handled.
Remove cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with pink frosting and top each with a maraschino cherry.
Note: I believe this recipe is credited to a lady named Patti Paige.