Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

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

Well, hellooooooo beautiful.

I’m currently hypnotized by light pink swirls… or maybe delusional after a weekend roughing it in the woods. Ha! We all had a blast camping, but it’s good to get back to electricity and GASP! fast-speed internet.

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

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

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. I was merely testing the recipe and instead of baking two batches of standard size cupcakes, I thought it would be more fun to crowd my counter with 16 regular size cupcakes and about 1 million mini cupcakes.

Perhaps I’ve always been delusional?

Anyway. What a HIT these were. I’ve made strawberry cupcakes before and while I love that recipe, 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. Like how I turned this classic fruit pizza into a whole new, exciting version.

Today’s homemade strawberry cupcakes are a mishmash of these yellow cupcakes, these vanilla cupcakes, and my fresh strawberry cupcakes. I took what I love about each recipe and created what I think to be one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. Now, that says a lot! And I’m very, very picky about cupcakes. Cupcake Snobby is the actual term.

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

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.

Homemade Strawberry Cupcakes

The strawberry buttercream frosting is where I had a lot of fun. I created wonderful strawberry buttercream candies for Sally’s Candy Addiction Cookbook (out this September) and used what I learned from creating that recipe to produce today’s flavorful– and totally girly!– creamy strawberry buttercream frosting. I’ve always had trouble obtaining a perfectly creamy and smooth frosting using fresh strawberries. They are so wet! It’s just never been able to work according to my frosting standards (Frosting Snobby). So, I use freeze-dried strawberries.

These aren’t my favorite things in the world to eat straight up because I don’t really like their texture. BUT, when ground up, they make the perfect flavorful “dust” to make a strawberry flavored frosting without any artificial strawberry flavoring.

Homemade Strawberry Cupcake Recipe

The Creamiest Strawberry Frosting completely from scratch! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So much strawberry flavor. So much fluffy. So much PINK! Regular or mini size, these are the perfect treats for the upcoming warm weather. Plus, how cute for showers and Mother’s Day?

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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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 (10-12g) 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: 10-12g 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.

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

Fluffy strawberry frosting without artificial flavoring! Grab the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Homemade strawberry cupcakes made with real strawberries and strawberry frosting!

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345 Comments

  1. I tried a similar strawberry buttercream frosting made with freeze-dried strawberries a few years ago — I think from Cooking Classy — but I can’t remember how it tasted or if we liked it. I will definitey be trying again with this recipe. Your little cupcakes are adorable! P.S. I can’t wait for your new cookbook!!!!

  2. Marzia [Little Spice Jar] says:

    Freeze dried strawberries for powder pink buttercream frosting — what a clever idea! I am loving these cupcakes and they are so beyond perfect for Mothers day!

  3. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    So pink and pretty! Wish I had a baby shower or something similar to attend so I could bring these – they would be perfect! Then again, I’ve never needed a special occasion for fancy cupcakes. Tuesday sounds like a good enough reason! 🙂 Glorious.

  4. Elle @ Only Taste Matters says:

    Freeze dried strawberries? Brilliant! I would have never considered them since I don’t like eating them either. Thanks for the great idea!

  5. Sally, i am in the process of finally getting a new oven and want a convection. Do you use a convection, do you recommend a convection? I am an avid baker like you and have read quite a bit both ways, and respect you enough to want your opinion. Thanks

    1. I have always used a conventional in my own kitchen, however my family uses a convection and I often bake there as well. I have no preference either way. When using convection, it’s best to drop the temperature down 25 degrees or so (especially with cakes, cupcakes, and cookies).

  6. I just want to sit outside on a beach chair (preferably by a pool) with a glass of sangria, a tub of strawberries, and a bowl of THAT FROSTING. I just want to jump in there. It’s so fluffy!

  7. Eleanna (foodaki.gr) says:

    I’m living a dream…. A strawberry pink dream! I’m speachless and drooling, a very dangerous combination for my laptop’s keyboard. I’m so making them next weekend! Thanks for sharing Sally <3

  8. Oh, my gosh, I wish I was sitting in your kitchen! These look glorious.

    PS Sally, did you have separation anxiety from your oven while you were hobnobbing in the woods camping? Or did you make-do with the campfire and created a lush dessert while making up ghost stories? 🙂

    1. I brought along TWO cookie recipes on our trip and to be honest, it was really nice to have a break from the kitchen! I made these cookies if you’re interested!
      https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/01/03/almond-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/
      AND
      https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/03/08/chewy-oatmeal-mm-cookies/

  9. Hi Sally! These cupcakes look delicious…so much pink and strawberry goodness, I can’t wait to make them! Just curious, would you ever consider posting step by step instructions on how you frost your cupcakes, and what you use to frost them? Mine never turn out quite as pretty as yours 🙂 Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful recipes!

    1. Here is a little tutorial on swirling frosting I posted last year. I also teach how to use the 1M swirl tip: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/how-to-make-swirled-frosting/

  10. I’ve spent the last hour or so looking for that perfect strawberry cake/cupcake recipe. I think this is it! Thank you so much!

  11. Sally these look great. Perfect for my non chocolate eating friend… buuuut I can not make frosting to save my life. It always turns out too runny. I followed your recipe on the frosting for the carrot cake to the T. It was runny. Any advice?

    1. Did you use brick style cream cheese or cream cheese spread? That usually is the culprit. If this buttercream turns out too runny, start with only a little bit of heavy cream at a time.

  12. Andrea Gray says:

    Yeah I used the brick style. Should I maybe not use the heavy cream at all unless its too thick then just add a tsp at a time?

    1. Sounds like a good plan. Let me know how it goes!

  13. Julie - Lovely Little Kitchen says:

    Love your trick for keeping the frosting from being too wet! The color is so pretty too!

  14. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    Such gorgeous cupcakes, Sally! I just love that strawberry buttercream!

  15. This looks so delicious! 🙂

    tonixox.blogspot.com

  16. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says:

    Sally – I hope you had a blast on your camping trip. We had wonderful weather in Connecticut. These cupcakes are beautiful. I love that you used dehydrated strawberries in the mix. 🙂

  17. These are HAPPY FOOD and I am just dying to draw smiley faces and rosy cheeks on them.

  18. Sally I love the idea of freeze dried strawberries!!! These look so gorgeous!

  19. Lynn @ The Actor's Diet says:

    How I love the strawberry dust! I recently worked w blueberry “dust” to make meringues…such a heavenly color!

  20. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says:

    These look AMAZING!
    Usually strawberry frosted stuff from the store just tastes so GROSS.
    What an inspiration to use freeze dried berries.
    Can’t wait for local berries to show up here.

  21. Neeli @ Neeli's Unique Creations says:

    Sally, I love the fact that you used freeze-dried strawberries. I have been experimenting with these kind of strawberries and I think they are great. This recipe looks so good and I love the frosting.

  22. Leslie Haasch says:

    You read my mind – I wanted to make something like this now that the weather is finally warming up in Boston. Yum!

  23. Eve @ Baking the Day says:

    The colour of the unbaked batter is gorgeous! I have been looking for a 100% natural strawberry cupcake recipe and I think this is it, pinned!

  24. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    These cupcakes look fantastic Sally! Plus, if you say they are one of your favorites then I know they must be good. Bookmarking this recipe!

  25. Sally, do you think there is a way to turn this into a cake? I’d love to bring it in to work sometime, and a cake is much easier to transport. Really, I just want an excuse to make this frosting. Thanks!

    1. Yes– see my notes.

  26. Chineka @ Savor The Baking says:

    I’m all in for anything with strawberries and this is the perfect time for these cupcakes!

  27. These look delicious! Might have to try them out with frozen strawberries – but when fresh strawberry season finally arrives they’ll be awesome!

    Could you bake this in one 9 x 13 inch pan?

    1. Absolutely, but I’m unsure of the bake time Laura. Enjoy!

  28. Hi! In the narrative above, you say one yolk and three whites, but in the printable it says two whites. Can you advise? Thanks!

    1. 1 full egg + 2 egg whites = 3 egg whites in total. The yolk and white are separated.

  29. I made these TWICE and they were PHENOMENAL!! I added a lil more if the diced strawberries the second time and it was even better! Hit recipe, just like your other desserts

  30. Hi ! Shani from Mexico here again,
    I am about to bake 3 cakes for a huge party as per request of my SIL, who loves my cakes which are actually yours 😉
    She requested the strawberry one, now I have made your Fresh Strawberry cupcake recipie several times turned into a cake but now I see this.. Which do you think makes a better cake?
    So hard to make up my mind.. the pink frosting is sooooo pretty! however freeze dried strawberries are not available here. 🙁
    And for the other choices a yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting and maybe a chocolate cake with a mocha frosting 😉
    Thanks !

    1. Both recipes make exceptional cakes! I find this one to be a little lighter and fluffier in texture.

      1. Great! The cake pan I use is quite large, big families down here 😉 and I would say last time I made the fresh strawberry cake it was quite dense, still super yummy. But maybe I should try this for a more cake like texture less bread like …and also going to try your cornstarch tip . Thanks!

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