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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313 Comments

  1. These were SO good! Delicious, moist, fluffy, all the things you want cake to be. I had tons of fresh berries so I swapped in a different frosting but am super intrigued to try yours another time – I’ve never used freeze dried fruit in frosting before! 

    I wrote about these over on my blog today. Thanks for a great recipe! https://sugarsmith.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/strawberry-cupcakes-with-strawberry-buttercream/

  2. Just finished baking your vanilla cupcakes with this strawberry frosting.  The vanilla cupcakes are perfect!  Though this strawberry frosting came out tasting like cotton candy of all things! Which takes away from the strawberry flavor.  I used organic freeze-dried strawberries but the flavor was so sweet, not strawberry. Oh well.  Kids would probably love it!

  3. Made these at the weekend and they were very yummy. Thanks so much for this recipe. Because the recipe made more than expected (30 cupcakes!) I still had some left over a couple of days later, and I think the icing tastes better for having had that extra time for the strawberry flavour to mature. Or maybe I’m fooling myself 😉

  4. I made these for my best friend’s Bachelorette last year and they were a huge hit (little did I know she is an avid Sally follower!). The cake is so fluffy and moist and the icing is phenomenal. I’m making them again for a 4th of July BBQ and can’t wait, I’d love to do some petite cakes – 6″ because they’d be so pretty but I’m sure about the baking time.

    1. I’m wondering the same thing.  I noticed she mentions using buttermilk but does not say how the recipe should be modified

  5. This frosting is the BEES-knees! It rocks! I have made it one 3 separate occasions the most recent for a friends wedding cake and sure enough everyone thinks it’s the most amazing thing they’ve ever had! I’ve modified to suit my personal pallet but the essence of you is certainly still there! Thanks for being amazing! 🙂

  6. Hi Sally,
    I LOVE this strawberry buttercream recipe and was wondering, have you tried this method with any other fruits? Freeze dried oranges or peaches or blueberries? My son has requested an orange birthday cake this year. Thanks!

    1. I haven’t, actually! I’ve had a reader try it with freeze-dried blueberries though– she loved it! I think any would work wonderfully.

  7. Sally, as usual, any recipe I have made from your site, has turned out perfectly. I used boxed strawberry cake mix since i was short on time. I will try the cupcakes the next time. I did make the strawberry frosting using the freeze dried strawberries. This was the most delicious recipe i have found for strawberry frosting. No extra liquid from real strawberries. Delicious!!!
    Full of flavor. Thank you

  8. Hi! So I’m very excited to try out this recipe however, I was curious about your Tip on making the cupcakes and batter a day in advance. Is this crucial for the recipe? Or could I possibly just whip up the frosting a day before and the cupcakes when needed? Thank you! 

    1. If I’m understanding your question correctly (sorry, it’s early!) — no, you don’t have to make the cupcakes in advance. You can bake the cupcakes when you want to serve them and the frosting can be made ahead of time.

      1. Thank you so much! Also I was planning on making this into a 16inch cake. Would you say this recipe could work for that? 

  9.  Hi Sally, I was just wondering if dried and freeze dried strawberries were the same?  I tried to make these the other day and I don’t think I put enough in each liner.  They were super airy and very crumbly!  I’m going to try again tonight… I did not get to make the frosting yet either! 

  10. Hi Sally,

    I’ve tried many of you cupcake recipes and they all turned out perfect & delicious, you’re a genius. I was just wondering if the fresh strawberries for this recipe can be substituted with freeze-dried ones and how much liquid should I add to keep it moist?.. its just in case I don’t have fresh ones available on hand. Thanks in advance.

    1. That could work, but I’m unsure of the amount of liquid. Perhaps a couple Tablespoons. I’ve never tried it before, so let me know how they turn out.

  11. Has anyone tried to make these cupcakes with buttermilk, if so did you just sub it in or did you need to modify the recipe any at all? 

  12. Hi Sally!

    I have made this recipe twice now, and each time the cupcakes look great coming out of the oven, perfectly fluffy and sized. I follow your instructions and let them sit in the pan to cool, and once they do they shrink away from the sides of the pan and are no longer good sized cupcakes! I tested my baking powder and it is not out of date, so do you have any other suggestions as to what could be the problem? I am trying to make the perfect strawberry cupcakes for a party this weekend!
    Besides the shrinking issue, they are awesome cupcakes! I’m so sad they haven’t held their shape!

    Thank you!

    1. I had the same exact issue too! 
      While in the oven, the cupcakes were perfectly domed but after the 5 min cooling period the center concaved and didn’t keep that beautiful height I had earlier. I immediately tested my baking powder with some hot water and it passed the test. The liners pulled from the sides and in the end I was left with depressing dainty cupcakes. BUT luckily like most commenters, one batch made more the 17 cupcakes. So 2 cupcakes for 1 person, anyone ?! Who can complain with that! 

      ALSO, I was expecting a strong strawberry flavor and all I got was strong vanilla with a subtle strawberry essence  (maybe they weren’t ripe enough). I was thinking I can add some freeze dried strawberries in the batter too. 
      Has anyone done that yet! Suggestions on how much freeze dried strawberry dust to add into the purée and chopped pcs?
      Sally, your advice would be greatly appreciated

      1. P.S. 

        These cupcakes are for my close girlfriends, guy friends and coworkers who are single and waiting to meet the right person. 

        While everyone else gets flowers, chocolates and goes on their Valentine’s Day dinner…we will all be extremely happy with our TWO cupcakes to take home and indulge in the sweet, soft, succulent, strawberry flavors!

      2. Hi Jessica! (And Jenna– I apologize for missing your comment!) I suspect it from too much moisture in the cupcake batter. This is from the strawberries. Strawberry dust– from freeze-dried strawberries like in the frosting– added to the cupcake batter could help. But I would leave out the strawberry puree made from the 5 strawberries. OR try using strawberry extract. It’s not natural flavor– but it certainly is potent and will give the cupcakes that beautiful strawberry flavor.

  13. Hi Sally! Every single recipe I make from your website always turns out fabulous! Even when I mess up. And mess up big time, I did! I only realised I forgot to fold in the egg whites when I was pouring the batter into the last cupcake liner. I was short of time so I popped them into the oven and hoped for the best. They still turned out amazing and was a hit at my workplace’s rspca cupcake day!!! I can only imagine how much better they will taste with the egg whites! Can’t wait to make them again!!! Thanks for the amazing recipe! xxx

  14. Hi! I am about to make these delicious sounding cupcakes and I wanted to double check the number of egg whites needed – the list of ingredients say 2 egg whites but in the directions, it says 3 egg whites. THANKS!!

    1. Hi Laura, the recipe calls for 1 whole egg plus 2 additional egg whites. So that is 3 egg whites. Sorry that’s definitely confusing!

  15. Hi Sally, 

    I have been making quite a few of your cupcake recipes and they all turn out so great! They are by far the best cupcake recipes I have ever tried! YOU ROCK!  For this specific recipe, can I just use the Simply Vanilla cupcake recipe and add the strawberries in there? 

  16. Made these for the super fun February baking challenge and took them to a friend’s baby shower (she’s having a girl!) They were AMAZING!!! That frosting – oh my gosh!!! The absolute best strawberry frosting EVER!!! Thank you, Sally!

  17. Hi, Sally! I made these over the weekend for your alternative February challenge. I, of course, tried the raw cake batter before I added the strawberries and it was divine! Could it stand alone as a vanilla cake batter (or almond), or do I need to replace the strawberries with something to achieve the right consistency? Looking forward to the March challenge!

    1. The consistency would be a little off, but you should try these cupcakes if you want to make vanilla cupcakes. The texture and flavor is out of this world!! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/08/29/simply-perfect-vanilla-cupcakes/

  18. Hi Sally,
    Would it work out okay, if I added 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries to a half batch of your  vanilla buttercream? I would like to make a true strawberry and vanilla swirl. I notice the sugar and heavy cream content vary in both recipes. 
    Thanks
    On a side note, your yellow cupcake recipe is fab.

  19. Like a couple other bakers, I was not able to get full-sized cupcakes once they’ve cooled. I even filled the liners almost completely full. Also, the chopped strawberries all sort of sank to the bottom of each cupcake and made the bottoms kind of soggy–should I have chopped them into smaller pieces or just added them into the batter of each cupcake after filling the liners?

    I read that you suggested leaving out the puree–does this apply to the chopped strawberries as well? How much dried strawberry powder should I substitute into the batter if I omit the other strawberry components? This was my first attempt at these and I’ll probably try making a few adjustments to see if they turn out better. I substituted a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream because I prefer a lighter frosting and it was still good. I was able to get about 22 cupcakes and even though they were on the small side and didn’t quite turn out how I wanted, they were still tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Rachel! You don’t have to leave out the chopped strawberries. I suggest adding maybe 1/4 – 1/3 cup powder if you decide to try it that way.

  20. Hi Sally! What recommendations do you have to get the lightest and fluffiest cupcakes? I’ve been reading some of your posts and see that cake flour is definitely something you recommend. What else would you say?

  21. Hi Sally,

    I want to make a strawberry cake for Easter, but I wasn’t sure which recipe to use- this or your fresh strawberry cupcake recipe. Which do you think is better as a cake?
    Also, if going with cake, would you suggest doing strawberry buttercream or just regular buttercream?
    Thanks!

  22. Hi Sally! Would it be okay to use half and half in the cake in lieu of whole milk? I have so much of it that I’d like to use up…thanks!

  23. Hi Sally!
    First, I want to say it’s always a delight to try your recipes! My favorite is your yellow sheet cake (with sprinkles in a 9×13) topped with your rainbow chip frosting! Absolutely Devine! Always a huge hit. Second, let’s get back to strawberry cupcakes! I made the cupcakes with cake flour and they turned out perfect! Moist and held their shape perfectly. I loved the strawberry flavor without the fake pink colored cake. I couldn’t find dried strawberries so I made buttercream with strawberry jam. I finely chopped one large strawberry and dried the pieces with a paper towel before adding them to the frosting. It was nice to see the small flecks of fresh strawberry in the frosting too! Thanks again for the recipe! I can see these falling into the rotation with the “rainbow cake”, as we call it!

    Ps: I used the strawberry cupcake and frosting for April Sally’s baking challenge! Tagged you on Instagram 🙂

    1. So happy you love this recipe too, Caitlin! And glad you made the frosting work for you! The strawberry frosting and the rainbow chip are two of my favorites ever!

  24. Hi Sally,
    Does the strawberry buttercream need to be refrigerated since it contains heavy cream ? Can I substitute it with milk if I wanted to use it in a cake that could not be refrigerated ? What is the substitution ratio ?
    Thanks!

    1. same amount if you use milk– and up to 1 day at room temp is ok but longer than that, I refrigerate. See the last step.

  25. Hi Sally!
    Planning on making this for mothers day as a layer cake…do you fold in the puree and diced strawberries first then fold in egg whites last??
    Love your blog!
    Thanks
    Michele

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