White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Jump to Recipe

Delicious REAL STRAWBERRY cupcakes made from reduced strawberry puree. Pure strawberry, no artificial flavors. Topped with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from freeze-dried strawberries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

One of the recipes I’m most proud of is homemade strawberry cake.

From-scratch strawberry cake has always left me defeated because (1) the flavor is usually lackluster and (2) the texture is too wet from the strawberries. Strawberry cakes that have a delicious texture typically rely on artificial flavors. My goal was to produce a soft, fluffy, and moist strawberry cake made from real strawberries. Best texture with zero artificial flavor. Was that too much to ask?

Nope. I did it. And you tried it. And you loved it. You told me it’s “unbelievable” and “phenomenal” and “as if someone had taken Breyers strawberry ice cream and put it into a cake.” 🙂 It’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. You can watch me make the strawberry cake in episode 1 of Sprinkled, my mini video series!

Delicious REAL STRAWBERRY cupcakes made from reduced strawberry puree. Pure strawberry, no artificial flavors. Topped with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from freeze-dried strawberries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Delicious REAL STRAWBERRY cupcakes made from reduced strawberry puree. Pure strawberry, no artificial flavors. Topped with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from freeze-dried strawberries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The secret to packing real strawberry flavor into cake batter without adding too much liquid is to REDUCE THE STRAWBERRIES DOWN. This little trick is a complete game changer and vastly improves both the flavor and texture of strawberry cake. Today we’re doing the same exact thing, but in cupcake form.

To make the homemade strawberry cupcakes extra special, we’re topping them with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from pure white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberries– yet another trick to fantastic strawberry flavor. I admit that the cupcakes don’t have a super strong strawberry flavor– you’ll taste it, but it’s truly brought out when paired with our strawberry frosting.

Before we get to the frosting, let’s begin with the cupcakes!

Reduced strawberry puree for strawberry cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES

The first step is to grab fresh strawberries, puree them into a liquid, then reduce the puree down on the stove for about 20 minutes. Do you see the photo above? That is heavily concentrated pure strawberry flavor– about 1/4 cup of reduced strawberry puree. After making the strawberry cake, readers have said it’s helpful to make the reduced strawberry puree the night before so it has time to cool down.

As a refresher: If we added the strawberry puree without reducing it down first, it would completely ruin the texture of the cupcake and the strawberry flavor would be almost absent. Reducing it is the secret.

What are we doing with the reduced strawberry puree? We’re adding it to my homemade vanilla cupcakes. This recipe produces very soft cupcakes, but I found that the reduced strawberry puree weighed it down. To compensate, I made adjustments to the wet ingredients and increased the baking powder for extra lift.

The rest of the cake batter is carefully formulated; each ingredient serves a crucial purpose to the outcome of the cupcakes. Cake flour produces fluffy cupcakes, 3 egg whites provide structure without weighing the crumb down, sour cream for moisture and to lighten the crumb, milk to thin the batter out, creamed butter and sugar for a buttery and cakey base. They’re all powder ingredients, so I don’t recommend straying from the recipe below!

Strawberry cupcake batter on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cupcake batter is smooth, creamy, and moderately thick. The reduced strawberry puree tints it pale pastel pink. For a more vibrant color, I suggest adding a drop or 2 of pink or red food coloring. I added 1 drop of “dusty rose” gel food coloring.

Tip: Fill the cupcake liners only about 2/3 full to avoid overflowing.

Strawberry cupcakes made from real strawberries on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Strawberry cupcakes made from real strawberries on sallysbakingaddiction.com

WHITE CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY FROSTING

The best strawberry cupcakes require the best frosting!! And if that frosting is as bubble gum pink as Barbie’s corvette, well, that’s even better! This white chocolate strawberry frosting is creamy, lush, and completely PACKED with real strawberry flavor. We’re using two secret ingredients:

  1. Freeze-Dried Strawberries
  2. Pure White Chocolate

Freeze-dried strawberries: Like strawberry cake, strawberry frosting has always left me disappointed. What’s the issue? Two things, actually. (1) The strawberry frosting would curdle from the added moisture and (2) no amount of fresh strawberries could get me the strawberry flavor I craved. The solution is freeze-dried strawberries. Grind them into a powder and use in place of some of the confectioners’ sugar.

Where to buy freeze-dried strawberries? In the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans, Giant, Trader Joe’s, Target, and many other major grocery stores carry them. Keep your eyes peeled– they’re more commonly found that you think!

Freeze-dried strawberries for strawberry white chocolate frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Freeze-dried strawberries for strawberry white chocolate frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Strawberry dust for our white chocolate frosting! ↑

White chocolate: For an indulgently creamy and velvety strawberry buttercream, let’s add pure white chocolate. Grab a white chocolate baking bar from the baking aisle. Two, actually. Most are sold as 4 ounce bars and you’ll need 6 ounces for the frosting. (Hold onto the extra 2 ounces for garnish.) Chop up and melt down. Let it cool for a few minutes, then mix directly into the strawberry frosting.

You’re in for a real treat. ↓

Chopped white chocolate for strawberry white chocolate frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Melted white chocolate for strawberry white chocolate frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Creamy strawberry white chocolate frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Remember the extra 2 ounces of white chocolate? Melt it down and coat some fresh strawberries for the perfect finishing touch to our white chocolate strawberry cupcakes. So beautiful, so simple, so strawberry!

White chocolate covered strawberries on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Delicious REAL STRAWBERRY cupcakes made from reduced strawberry puree. Pure strawberry, no artificial flavors. Topped with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from freeze-dried strawberries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I used piping tip Wilton 8B for the frosting. Start in the center of the cupcake and swirl upward. Love this piping tip, definitely a fave!!

Do you follow the Canadian bakery Jenna Rae Cakes on Instagram? I looooove their gorgeous creations. I got the cupcake decoration inspiration from them!

Delicious REAL STRAWBERRY cupcakes made from reduced strawberry puree. Pure strawberry, no artificial flavors. Topped with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from freeze-dried strawberries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Delicious REAL STRAWBERRY cupcakes made from reduced strawberry puree. Pure strawberry, no artificial flavors. Topped with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from freeze-dried strawberries! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Between the reduced strawberry puree, white chocolate, and strawberry powder– it seems like a lot of finicky steps. And you’re right… these white chocolate strawberry cupcakes definitely require some effort. The good news is that you can get started on almost everything ahead of time (see my make ahead instructions) and the great news is that the result of your hard work is PINK CUPCAKES.

White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200g) cake flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup reduced strawberry puree (see note)*

White Chocolate Strawberry Frosting

  • 1 cup (10-12g) freeze-dried strawberries*
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 ounces (170g) white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (see note)*
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream, half-and-half, or milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional: fresh strawberries coated with 2 ounces melted white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Make the reduced strawberry puree and allow it to cool completely. See note for instruction.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2-3 liners - this recipe makes 14-15 cupcakes. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the egg whites on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour and mix in the milk *just* until combined. Do not overmix. Whisk in 1/4 cup of reduced strawberry puree, making sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. Batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only 2/3 full to avoid baking over the sides. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 35 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature.
  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Time saving tip: When the cupcakes are almost finished cooling, melt the white chocolate used for the frosting. You can melt it in a double boiler or use the microwave. I melt it in the microwave in 20 second increments, stopping and stirring after each. Let it cool down for 15 minutes before using in the frosting in the next step.
  7. 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. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar, strawberry powder, melted and cooled white chocolate, 2 Tablespoons heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Add 2 more Tablespoons of heavy cream to slightly thin out, if desired. Taste, then add another pinch of salt if desired.
  8. Frost cooled cupcakes and serve. I used Wilton 8B piping tip and nestled a white chocolate covered strawberry in the center.
  9. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make ahead tip: I recommend making the reduced strawberry puree, as directed in the recipe note, 1 day ahead of time so it can cool down. Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Cake flour: If you cannot get your hands on cake flour, you can make a DIY version from all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 Tablespoons. Mix in 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. This equals 1 cup of cake flour. I suggest doing this twice, mixing it all up in 1 bowl then removing 1/4 cup since you need 1 and 3/4 cups in this recipe.
  2. To make the reduced strawberry puree: puree 1/2 lb of strawberries. You should have a little over 1/2 cup. Stirring occasionally, simmer the puree over low-medium heat for 20 minutes OR until you're left with 1/4 cup or a little over 1/4 cup. Allow to cool completely before using in cake batter. I recommend making the reduced puree the day before so it has plenty of time to cool down. I cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Use 1/4 cup in the cupcake. Discard any leftovers or spoon on ice cream/yogurt/add to smoothie. Readers have used thawed frozen strawberries with luck, but I personally have not tried it. I always use fresh. Report back if you try it!
  3. White chocolate: For best taste and texture, I strongly recommend using pure white chocolate. It's usually sold in 4 ounce bars in the baking aisle. I love Ghirardelli, Bakers, or Nestle brands. You only need 6 ounces for the frosting, but save the extra 2 ounces for coating fresh strawberries as garnish!
  4. Where to buy freeze-dried strawberries? I always find them in my regular grocery store in the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans, Giant, Trader Joe's and Target carries them. Keep your eyes peeled– they’re more commonly found that you think! Do not use the chewy/gummy dried strawberries. You need FREEZE-dried strawberries which grind into a powder. If you can't find them anywhere, just leave them out of the frosting and add another 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar.
  5. If desired, add a drop or 2 of pink or red food coloring to brighten the color of the cupcakes and/or frosting. I added 1 drop of "dusty rose" gel food coloring to the cupcake batter and to the frosting.
  6. Why is everything at room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.
  7. What to do with leftover egg yolks? Here are recipes using egg yolks.
  8. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Glass Mixing Bowls | Ninja Food Processor | Pyrex 2-cup Glass Measuring Cup | Americolor Pastel Gel Food Coloring | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Wilton 8B Icing Tip | Icing Bags | Cooling Rack | Wooden Cake Stand

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

82 Comments

All Comments

  1. Hi Sally,

    I made these cupcakes – they are delicious! I tried to be careful but I think I overmixed the batter, the cupcakes were tasty but a little dense…would overmixing do that? It was moist, but is the texture of these supposed to be a little dense? Or like cake mix type texture?

    Love your recipes!

    Thanks

  2. Hi Sally,
    I made these cupcakes and they are delicious. However, my cupcakes always flatten out once I take them out of the oven even though I only fill the cups 2/3 full. How do I get a more domed cupcake?

    1. Hi Jodie! My cupcakes are typically as well. But are yours flat and caved in? For cupcakes, you typically want a nice flat top for frosting. 🙂

  3. Does anyone have the nutritional information on these? I’d really like to know before I bake them to decide whether I want to split the recipe or not.

  4. Made these for Labor Day lunch. I used raspberry instead of strawberry, needless to say they were a hit.
    Thank you Sally for another great recipe.

  5. Hi Sally!
    I have a couple of questions, could buttermilk be substituted for milk here? And how far in advance could I make the strawberry purée? Do you think it would be fine if I made it a few days before making the cupcakes?

    1. Hey Jennifer! Glad to help.
      1. Yes, you can use buttermilk.
      2. The strawberry puree is OK in the fridge, covered tightly, for a few days prior to using in the cake batter.

  6. I can’t wait to try these !!! One question – I’m not a fan of white chocolate …. any other recommendations? Could I just omit that ingredient? What would you suggest ?
    Thank you in advance !

  7. I love love this recipe! I have also tried the pistachio cupcake one as well! Brilliant.
    I am wondering could I use this recipe with mangoes instead of strawberries? I love mangoes and was wondeirng if doing the exact same thing with mangoes, work?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Hi Joanna! I actually had a few readers make the strawberry cake with mangoes with big success, so I can’t see why it wouldn’t work nicely with the cupcakes– essentially the same recipe only halved. I haven’t personally tried it though! Let me know how it goes.

      1. Hi Sally,

        Thanks so much for replying. OK so I tried it. I used frozen mangos and reduce them down. Compared to the strawberries, the mangos I used, got stickier and burn a bit more easily than the strawberries.

        Nevertheless, I still used the reduction. The cupcakes texture was great (kudos to your recipe) but the flavour was lacking. Not sure if using fresh mangoes would have made a diference and/or maybe adding mango extract would boost the flavour.

        Guess it’s back to the drawing board ; ) or if mangoes are ever in season for you, hope you can create a cupcake recipe. ; )

        Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Jessica! You can, but the flavor and texture of the cupcake will change. Let me know what you try! The reduced puree is the best method I’ve found for real strawberry flavor without changing the cake texture.

  8. Hi Sally.,
    No need to strain the purĂ©e before reducing it? Mine looks a little chunky and obviously seedy. I know your recipe is using it in the cake, so maybe it wouldn’t matter. I was going to use the purĂ©e in a frosting or mousse layer. Would you recommend straining it then? I guess what I’m asking is would you lose any flavor if it was strained. And if it wasn’t, would that make the texture of a mousse or filling “weird” (for lack of a better adjective!)? Thanks for your feedback!

    1. Hi Mary! Feel free to strain the reduced strawberry puree if you don’t want any of the seeds. Shouldn’t lose any flavor.

  9. Hey Sally! (love your name by the way)

    I was hoping to make these cupcakes with your champagne buttercream frosting for a birthday but they are allergic to strawberries. Do you think I could substitute the same amount of strawberries for raspberries? Or would I need to change the amount of them somehow?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sally! Many readers have made these strawberry cupcakes and my strawberry cake with other fruits. You can definitely reduce down some raspberry puree instead. No need to change the amounts. Let me know what everyone thinks!

1 2

Reviews

Questions

  1. Hi Sally,

    I made these cupcakes – they are delicious! I tried to be careful but I think I overmixed the batter, the cupcakes were tasty but a little dense…would overmixing do that? It was moist, but is the texture of these supposed to be a little dense? Or like cake mix type texture?

    Love your recipes!

    Thanks

  2. Does anyone have the nutritional information on these? I’d really like to know before I bake them to decide whether I want to split the recipe or not.

  3. Hi Sally!
    I have a couple of questions, could buttermilk be substituted for milk here? And how far in advance could I make the strawberry purée? Do you think it would be fine if I made it a few days before making the cupcakes?

    1. Hey Jennifer! Glad to help.
      1. Yes, you can use buttermilk.
      2. The strawberry puree is OK in the fridge, covered tightly, for a few days prior to using in the cake batter.

  4. I can’t wait to try these !!! One question – I’m not a fan of white chocolate …. any other recommendations? Could I just omit that ingredient? What would you suggest ?
    Thank you in advance !

  5. I love love this recipe! I have also tried the pistachio cupcake one as well! Brilliant.
    I am wondering could I use this recipe with mangoes instead of strawberries? I love mangoes and was wondeirng if doing the exact same thing with mangoes, work?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Hi Joanna! I actually had a few readers make the strawberry cake with mangoes with big success, so I can’t see why it wouldn’t work nicely with the cupcakes– essentially the same recipe only halved. I haven’t personally tried it though! Let me know how it goes.

      1. Hi Sally,

        Thanks so much for replying. OK so I tried it. I used frozen mangos and reduce them down. Compared to the strawberries, the mangos I used, got stickier and burn a bit more easily than the strawberries.

        Nevertheless, I still used the reduction. The cupcakes texture was great (kudos to your recipe) but the flavour was lacking. Not sure if using fresh mangoes would have made a diference and/or maybe adding mango extract would boost the flavour.

        Guess it’s back to the drawing board ; ) or if mangoes are ever in season for you, hope you can create a cupcake recipe. ; )

        Thanks so much.

  6. Hi Sally.,
    No need to strain the purĂ©e before reducing it? Mine looks a little chunky and obviously seedy. I know your recipe is using it in the cake, so maybe it wouldn’t matter. I was going to use the purĂ©e in a frosting or mousse layer. Would you recommend straining it then? I guess what I’m asking is would you lose any flavor if it was strained. And if it wasn’t, would that make the texture of a mousse or filling “weird” (for lack of a better adjective!)? Thanks for your feedback!

  7. Hey Sally! (love your name by the way)

    I was hoping to make these cupcakes with your champagne buttercream frosting for a birthday but they are allergic to strawberries. Do you think I could substitute the same amount of strawberries for raspberries? Or would I need to change the amount of them somehow?

    Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×