Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Soft and fluffy strawberry cupcakes with creamy strawberry buttercream frosting. Make them in mini size, too!

strawberry cupcakes topped with strawberry frosting

strawberry cupcakes topped with strawberry frosting on a white serving tray

You don’t need to get your eyes checked. Those aren’t giant strawberry slices. The above strawberry cupcakes are, in fact, mini size. I made today’s homemade strawberry cupcakes in both regular and mini size.

Anyway. What a HIT these were. I’ve made strawberry cupcakes before and while I loved previous recipes, I wanted to create a new recipe for them. Complete with strawberry buttercream frosting, of course. That’s what I love most about baking– there is never a stopping point. I love taking recipes I already have and mixing them up to create fresh new versions.

strawberry cupcakes topped with strawberry frosting on a white serving tray

A few important details about the cupcake batter:

Make sure that all of your dairy ingredients are at room temperature. If you’re a regular reader (or baker), you know this is so important. To cut down on time, many ignore this step but it’s crucial to obtaining the best possible cupcake in terms of taste and texture. Room temperature ingredients are smooth and evenly incorporated, which helps produce light, airy, evenly baked treats.

Use my suggested sifted mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. The two produce a DIY version of cake flour. You can, of course, just use cake flour! I’ve noted that in the recipe below. Cake flour (or the DIY version) produces a lighter, softer, and much fluffier cake.

Whip those egg whites! I only use 1 egg yolk in the batter, along with three egg whites. The yolk is mixed in with the creamed butter/sugar, while the egg whites are whipped and then folded into the batter. Why do I do this? It adds air and volume to the batter. Again, creating a lighter, fluffier cake.

2 images of strawberry cupcake batter in a cupcake pan and whipped egg whites in a glass bowl

The strawberry buttercream frosting is where I had a lot of fun. I created wonderful strawberry buttercream candies for Sally’s Candy Addiction Cookbook and used what I learned from creating that recipe to produce today’s flavorful strawberry buttercream frosting. I’ve always had trouble obtaining a perfectly creamy and smooth frosting using fresh strawberries because they are so wet. So, I use freeze-dried strawberries.

When ground up, they make the perfect flavorful “dust” to make a strawberry flavored frosting without any artificial strawberry flavoring.

2 images of freeze dried strawberries in a food processor and freeze dried strawberry crumbs in a food processor

strawberry buttercream frosting in a glass bowl with a spatula

Regular or mini size, these are the perfect treats for the upcoming warm weather.

Print
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strawberry cupcakes topped with strawberry frosting

Strawberry Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Buttercream

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 24 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16-17 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft and fluffy strawberry cupcakes with creamy strawberry buttercream frosting. Make them in mini size, too!


Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 89 large strawberries*
  • 1 large egg + 2 egg whites, room temperature and separated
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch*
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, room temperature*

Strawberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup (about 25g) freeze-dried strawberries*
  • 1 cup (235g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 16-17 cupcakes, so you will have a few cupcakes to bake in a 2nd batch. Please read notes about mini cupcakes.
  2. Slice 5 strawberries and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse until strawberries are a chunky puree. You should have about 1/3 cup. Set aside. Finely chop remaining strawberries. Set aside.
  3. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the 3 egg whites on high speed in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Make the cupcakes: Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. Fold egg whites, 1/3 cup strawberry puree, and finely chopped strawberries into the cupcake batter. The batter will be velvety and slightly thick.
  5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners filling halfway. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Make the frosting: Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add 1/4 cup (30g) more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or 1 more Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Frost cupcakes as desired. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip. Leftover prepared cupcakes can be stored covered tightly at room temperature for up to a day or in the refrigerator up to 5.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cupcakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and the frosting covered tightly in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.
  2. Layer Cake: You can easily turn these into a layer cake. Simply pour batter into two greased and (lightly) floured 9-inch cake pans and bake for 27-35 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Frost as desired.
  3. Mini Cupcakes: For around 36 mini cupcakes, line mini cupcake pans with liners or spray with nonstick spray. Prepare cupcakes and frosting as directed. Bake mini cupcakes for 12-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Strawberries: I highly recommend fresh strawberries. Frozen strawberries are fine. Thaw before using in step 2.
  5. Flour: I use a combination of sifted flour + cornstarch to produce cake flour – if you keep cake flour in the pantry, use 2 and 1/3 cups (268g) instead of the specified all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
  6. Milk: For the richest and moistest cupcakes, use whole milk. Buttermilk would be great too!
  7. Freeze-Dried Strawberries: 25g is accurate– freeze dried strawberries weigh nothing! You can find them in the dried fruit/nut aisle. Or order them online. If you can’t find them, try my raspberry frosting but swap out the raspberry jam for strawberry flavor. Or try my strawberry whipped cream instead.
  8. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: strawberry cupcakes, homemade strawberry cupcakes

You’re going to love these.

strawberry cupcakes topped with strawberry frosting

139 Comments

  1. I followed the directions but my cupcakes sank and are so crumbly 🙁 I am not sure what caused that…my baking powder is fresh, the beaten egg whites separated a little bit by the time they made it to the batter? I moved fast when adding in the flour and milk, not sure what happened but i am sure that piled high with frosting and ice cream will be fine for my daughters birthday!

  2. Sally- Loved this recipe! I had to make double the frosting, for high pile cupcakes. I did two tone frosting on these (white & pink) and they came out beautifully. My husband thought the frosting was a little too sweet (he was the only one). If I wanted to make the frosting a little less sweet next time, how would I do that?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kristy, We are so happy this recipe was a hit! Next time you can try adding an extra pinch of salt to the frosting to help cut some sweetness.

  3. I was wondering, can I use mango in this recipe instead of strawberries?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Faye, We haven’t tested it, but some readers have used other fruits such as mango, blueberries, and raspberries. Go ahead at try it!

  4. Vicky de Pater says:

    Do I need to reduce the strawberry puree like you suggest with the strawberry cake?
    Thanks.
    Vicky

    1. Not in this cupcake recipe– just add it right to the batter. I do have another strawberry cupcake recipe where you reduce the puree if you want to try those instead. They have a stronger strawberry flavor.

  5. Teri Cantrell says:

    I’m a little confused on the freeze-dried strawberries for the icing. our local grocery has 1 oz but 28 grams. your recipe states one cup which is 8 oz. How does that work with a 1 oz bag? do i have to have 8 oz?

    1. Hi Teri, 8 ounces of liquid is 1 cup volume. The ounces you are seeing on the bag of freeze-dried strawberries is weight. (Like grams.) I know it can be confusing. If you use measuring cups, you need 1 cup. If you use a kitchen scale, you need 10-12 grams.

  6. This recipe was great! The cupcake is light and fluffy full of flavor and the buttercream was amazing! The only thing I did was add half a lemon and a little zest. So many people said how they hate buttercream but loved this recipe. Thank you

  7. five stars!

  8. This recipe was awesome! It make 24 cupcakes though, not the 16 you listed. The freeze dried strawberries came in a 1.2 ounce bag and when I crushed them it came to just a little over the one cup you listed, so I just used it all in the frosting which tasted like fresh strawberriest and the color was a nice pink so I didn’t have to use any food coloring.

  9. Best strawberry buttercream frosting ever! Make a day before so that flavor really comes out. So good! Thank you for this recipe!

  10. Can I use this strawberry cake batter mix & the strawberry buttercream frosting to make cake pops?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Belle, YES! Strawberry cake pops would be delicious!

  11. Am i missing something? The ingredient list says 2 egg whites + 1 whole egg and the directions say beat 3 egg whites…

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi April! The whole egg is separated – so 3 egg whites and 1 yolk are needed for this recipe. You use the yolk in step 4. Happy baking!

    2. Erin Downey says:

      Thank you for asking, I had the same question. The confusing part is that it says 1 whole and 2 separated. I think I ended up using 2 egg whites and 1 yolk. Hopefully they will turn out okay!

  12. Made these today for a friend’s birthday and loved them!! The cake itself is delish and the frosting was great. Notes: Made 21 cupcakes and there was plenty of frosting for all of them. My frosting needed a lot more cream but finally got there. The strawberries were an awesome addition and it came out super pink and pretty.

  13. Would I be able to use this recipe to make larger cupcakes, if I just adjust the bake time?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

  14. Will it affect the results if I cut the recipe in half? I know doubling isn’t always good because the batter can get tough, but wondering if there is a problem with halving it. Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jane, you should be able to halve this recipe. Or, make the full batch now and freeze half the cupcakes for later!

  15. can I use kefir instead of whole milk?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lotty, we haven’t tried it ourselves, so we can’t say for sure. It may be too heavy for these cupcakes, so we recommend sticking to whole milk for best results.

  16. I plan on freezing half the cupcakes. Can I half the frosting recipe or can I freeze the frosting?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cheryl, yes! You can either halve the frosting recipe or freeze the leftovers for up to 2 months.

  17. I just made these today, but I topped with a cream cheese frosting. The tang of the cream cheese meshes PERFECTLY. Delicious!

  18. Can I add cocoa powder to make a chocolate strawberry cupcake?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sophie, cocoa powder can be a finicky ingredient (it’s very drying!), so it would take some recipe testing to figure out how best to incorporate it into this cupcake. How about our Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes instead for a similar flavor combination?

  19. You literally never steer us wrong. My seven year old and I are huge fans — we have made so many of your recipes. We just made your lemon curd two days ago and these cupcakes today. We are filling the cupcakes with the lemon curd tomorrow before frosting to make a “strawberry lemonade” cupcake. I used buttermilk instead of milk and holy cow — moist city! Huge fans!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you love these cupcakes, Tara! Thank you so much for making and trusting our recipes.

  20. Michele Kelley says:

    I made the recipe precisely and got two dozen mini cupcakes AND almost two dozen regular sized cupcakes (20 to be exact). They stuck to the liners a bit, but it’s worth picking every last crumb off the liners! The buttercream tastes like the BEST strawberry ice cream you’ve ever had. These were perfect for my daughter’s second birthday party!

  21. Um, my batter before they went into the oven was really thick, ( I did modify using almond milk and gluten free flower ). The cupcakes came out deformed, like the batter did not set, and take form to the pan thing. What happed?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Zania, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flour, but we fear that might be the culprit here. Also, be sure not to over mix, which can cause the batter to become very dense and not bake up as well. Let us know if we can help troubleshoot further.

  22. Love all the recipes I’ve tried so far!
    Question…. I’m making a 2 tier cake. I want vanilla on bottom and strawberry for the 6” top. Will the vanilla naked cake hold up a 6” cake or should I use the wedding cake recipe?
    Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kathy! The vanilla cake will be sturdy enough, but we recommend using proper supports when assembling the cake (like in our wedding cake recipe) Hope this helps!

  23. I love your recipes Sally Could I use freeze dried strawberries to give the batter/cake a pink/red color (instead of food coloring)?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kat! We don’t suggest it, in recipe testing we found that adding freeze dried strawberries to the batter gave it a less than desirable texture.

      1. Thank you for responding!!

  24. I can’t get over how good these are! So light and fluffy and flavorful. I made an Italian meringue buttercream instead, but still used the suggestion of the freeze dried strawberries for flavor. It turned out great! Like someone else said, this recipe made more than 24 cupcakes for me, filled halfway with batter. I’m definitely not complaining 🙂

  25. The cake is very good, but I think the estimating on these is way off. I divided the batter equally between 17 normal sized cupcakes and they flowed out over the top and they look an absolute mess. It would be helpful to have some guidance on how high to fill these cupcakes.

    1. Hi Brian, I’m glad to clarify. It’s best to fill the liners halfway full in step 5. Thanks for trying these!

  26. The ingredients says 1 large egg + 2 egg whites, but the instruction says 3 egg whites…do I use only egg whites for the cupcakes? Thanks

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jenny, you’ll want the 1 large egg separated, so you’ll have 1 egg yolk + 3 egg whites. See Step 4, where we add in the 1 egg yolk early on and then gently fold in the 3 egg whites towards the end. Hope this helps!

  27. will the frosting taste greasy if i add two sticks?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anita, we recommend following the recipe as written for best results. It calls for 1 cup butter (two sticks). Enjoy!

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