Note: you can make the frosting first and chill it until ready to use, or make the frosting while the cupcakes cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a standard cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners.
Blend approximately 1 ounce freeze-dried strawberries until pulverized (the cupcakes use approximately .3 ounce and the frosting uses the rest). Pass this through a sifter, and discard the seeds and large bits.
Into a mixing bowl sift the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the strained strawberry powder. Whisk to combine.
In a blender combine the whole strawberries, milk, oil, sugar, and extract. Blend until smooth. Pour wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until there is no visible dry flour. Don't overmix.
Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 19 to 21 minutes or until the centers bounce back somewhat when pressed. You can also insert a toothpick in the center to check for doneness. If it comes out clean the cupcakes are done.
Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.
If you haven't already, now it's time to make the frosting while the cupcakes cool completely. Decorate the cupcakes as desired and serve. See the Notes section below for tips on storing.
Measuring FlourFlour settles as it sits, so if you scoop a cup of flour straight from its container you will get more than is needed. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh flour, but if you don't have one, follow these steps:
Use a whisk to fluff up the flour.
Spoon the flour into your measuring cup so that it's heaped up higher than the rim.
Use a knife to level off the top, scraping the excess flour back into the container.
StorageThe cupcakes are fine at room temperature for the day if you're carrying them somewhere (6 to 8 hours). After that keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.Cupcakes freeze very well, too, frosted or not. Arrange them in an airtight container tall enough to not squish the frosting. Freeze for up to 1 month.