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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318 Comments

  1. Sally, do you think you could add rhubarb to the cupcakes? Have you ever tried this? I got some fresh at the market this weekend and would love to add it.

  2. Hi Sally, thanks for the recipe. Please I’ll like to know if I can double it to make a bigger cake or there needs to be some adjustments. 5 teaspoons of baking powder looks like it’s going to be a bit much.

  3. Oh my goodness  –  using ground-up, freeze-dried strawberries in the icing is just brilliant!  I have been looking all over for icing just like this!  Thanks so much for recipes that use quality (and real food) ingredients.  

  4. Could you give quantities needed of strawberry buttercream to fill & coat a sponge 12″ hexagonal cake I’m making  for my grandsons christening.

  5. I made these for my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration. They are SO delicious! Light, fluffy, and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. I used the recipe for your raspberry frosting and swapped the raspberry jam for strawberry. The frosting was delicious and very easy to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. Hi there! I made these yesterday and LOVE the strawberry flavor, so light and perfect for warm weather. My cupcake texture ended up being a little dry; I am wondering if you could help troubleshoot because I’d like to make them again. I used my convection oven set to 25 degrees less (per manufacturer directions), and baked them a total of 21 minutes + 5 min cooling time in the pan. Did I over-bake them? Or is that the result of overmixing? Your thoughts are appreciated!

    1. It would be overbaking, not overmixing. You can also try adding 1-2 more Tbsp of whole milk to the batter.

  7. Sally,
    II feel so bad asking for you to do this but you are the only one who responds and has fantabulous cupcake recipes (as well as many others).
    For the following can you make cupcakes?
    Summer camp snacks.
    Parties.
    Hanging out with friends and family. 
    Holidays.
    Thanks as always,
    Annie

    1. I’m not sure I understand your request Annie? Here are all of my cupcake recipes you can browse: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/cupcakes/

  8. I am going to make these for my wife’s birthday. She picked them out especially from your website. I hope it goes well!

  9. I made this into a double layer cake for my daughters 3rd birthday. I didn’t have the freeze dried strawberries so I took from your fresh cupcake recipe and added pure strawberry preserves (jelly) into the frosting with a little extra on the heavy whipping cream. It had rave reviews. This was literally the most delicious cake I think I’ve ever had…then I made the lemon blueberry one =) They were both amazing. Thank you!!

    1. I actually used real strawberries in the frosting and it turned out wonderful. I puréed the strawberries in a liquid and gradually blended them into the butter cream. Everyone loved then fresh strawberry taste in the cupcake and butter cream.

  10. I made these cupcakes for my daughters birthday!.. absolutely loved it.  For the frosting I made strawberry puree, cooked it and then strained it before adding to the simple buttercream recipe. The frosting turned out smooth without the seeds.

  11. So I’m making the cupcakes and the batter is going further than 16-17 cupcakes.. More like over 24 lol is that okay? 

    1. I somehow made 27 cupcakes! Some of them were definitely under-filled… I’m not complaining because these are DELICIOUS. I might have whipped my egg whites a bit too long… The amount of icing was enough for all 26 (I ate one before they were iced! haha.) I love-love-love this recipe. I baked for 20 minutes and they are perfect.

    2. I had the same experience.  Mine filled 24 standard cupcake cups a very generous halfway to 3/4.  My egg whites were also perhaps a bit past soft peak and I folded the berries and puree in first to avoid flattening the egg whites.  They smell divine and are puffing nicely in the oven now.  

  12. A few comments, mostly for people like me who read comments before baking. First you can add me to the list of people who got more than 16-17 cupcakes from this – I got a full two dozen standard sized cupcakes out of this recipe. Glad I listened and filled only halfway instead of my usual 2/3rds, they puffed up and filled out the paper nicely. Second don’t be like me and try to be clever. I thought I’d save washing out my food processor between steps and grind up the freeze dried strawberries for the frosting (which I LOVED, and am now eyeing other freeze dried fruit options) first. By the time I got around to making frosting the powder had turned into a gummy mess that I had to re-process. Lesson learned! Overall delicious, will definitely be making again!

  13. Hi Sally! 
      I love your recipes and all the amazing work you put into your site! I do have a question for you. What would be the cause of my cupcakes shining in the middle. They taste great but are really dense. I followed your directions strip by step. I also made my own DIY cake flour. Could it be the egg whites? Thanks for your help! 

    1. Hey Leah! Sorry yours are a little dense. Did you whip the egg whites as directed? I wonder if there’s a touch too much flour as well? Did you scoop and level? Here are some tips on measuring flour!

  14. Hi Sally, I tried your strawberry cupcakes, white wedding cupcakes as well as the mini cheesecakes for a birthday party this weekend. All of the items were amazing but I had one slight problem with the strawberry cupcakes. Once I took them out of the oven, they all collapsed from the middle. It didn’t matter so much since I covered them with your yummy strawberry icing but I was wondering why that happened. Another issue I had with these was that they felt wet/slightly uncooked at the bottom. Is this normal because of the fresh strawberries? They were still very yummy and everyone’s favorite:)

    1. Neha, I wonder if the cupcakes were not cooked all the way through. An extra 2-3 minutes in the oven will help next time. You can also try reducing the amount of strawberries (either in the puree or chopped in the batter).

  15. Hi Sally,
    Love the strawberry frosting idea but I’m curious- will it hold up well being at room temp for a while? I would like to bring it to a birthday celebration but don’t want the cake to look droopy by the time I get there. Thanks!

  16. Loved the idea of the cupcake, my daughter made them for me but they seemed to greasy and buttery.  Also I wish they could be less sweet, even after adding the salt.  I guess I should realize the amount of sugar that goes in it.  They just seemed very greasy.  What recommendations can you give? 

  17. Hi Sally,
    Do you know the weight of your strawberries for the batter? The organic strawberries I have range in size from medium to small-no large I could do eyeball the equivalent of a large strawberry, but I just dont want to end up with too much moisture in the batter.

  18. Do you know the weight of the fresh strawberries? The batch of strawberries I have only have small and medium size. I can estimate, but I dont want to have any extra moisture

    1. I don’t, but after pureeing them you’ll need about 1/3 cup puree. So I suggest pureeing some at a time until you reach 1/3 cup.

  19. It seems as though when I added the egg whites it changed the look and texture of my batter. Is this normal?

  20. Made this cupcake lastnight, although it is very fluffy and great in texture it isn’t screaming strawberry, it taste more like a vanilla cake with bits of strawberry pieces. It’s good just not shouting strawberry like I expected. Next time I will use frozen strawberries in syrup to give it that kick. 

  21. hi, those are absolutely gorgeous!

    I’m just wondering if I can use the strawberry buttercream as a macaron filling? 

    Thanks much!

  22. Hello there! I plan on making these this week for my hubby’s birthday. I LOVE your idea of freeze dried strawberries, instead of adding gelatin! I have dried strawberries (not freeze-dried) and/or strawberry jam. I am hoping between the two I can make a fabulous cake! I also think I will use buttermilk instead of regular milk to add some moisture. Though, so far I haven’t read any comments about dryness, so maybe I will just stick to the regular milk. Thanks so much! Greetings from Italy!

  23. My daughter (8) is obsessed with Cupcake Wars. She found your recipe this morning and we decided to spend the last few days of summer baking these magical bites! They were absolutely delicious and by far, the best recipe ever. EVER. And the buttercream was perfection. I’m not a fan of dried fruit but love that it could be used in the frosting.

    Thank you for sharing this and making our last days of summer that much more memorable.

    We’ll be making these again….soon!

  24. I just made these for my coworkers in mini form – they were gone in minutes, and got rave reviews! Just fantastic. I’m now thinking of making them into a layer cake and frosting them with either your strawberry cream cheese frosting or your strawberry whipped cream. Thanks for the recipe!

  25. How might one convert these for high altitude (3000-6000 ft  above sea level). I plan to consult Joy of Cooking but was wondering if you or anyone had specifics for this recipe?

  26. I bake a couple times a year for our town’s Senior Center fundraisers, so I am always looking for new and interesting recipes. These cupcakes were a big hit. I did use a slightly different buttercream and just added some more of the strawberry puree. I froze a few of these for my son and daughter and even after they were defrosted my son said they had a great fresh strawberry taste.

    What I really wanted to mention is the number of cupcakes I got as there were previous comments about getting more than the recipe says. I doubled the recipe, filled each about half as instructed and when I was done I had 108 mini and 36 regular size…a lot more than anticipated. Leftover mini’s were dropped off at our police station.

  27. The recipe calls for 1/4c cornstarch (60g).  I always do recipes by weight when given the choice.  60 grams of cornstarch was looking like an awful lot, so I spooned it and it filled a 1/2 cup measure!  There’s no way it’s that far off.  Which is correct?  1/4c or 60g?  I suspect 1/4 c since a few people mentioned they got way over the number of cupcakes – I bet they weighed instead of measured.

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