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Adapted from vanilla cupcakes and strawberry cake, these white chocolate strawberry cupcakes combine creamy white chocolate, real strawberries, and fluffy cupcakes. Reduced strawberry puree and freeze-dried strawberries are the secrets to real strawberry flavor.

strawberry cupcakes with white chocolate strawberry frosting topped with white chocolate dipped strawberry

From-scratch strawberry cake has left me defeated for 2 main reasons:

  1. The strawberry flavor is usually lackluster.
  2. The texture is too wet from the strawberries.

Strawberry cakes typically rely on artificial flavors. My goal was to produce a soft and moist strawberry cake made from real strawberries. I finally accomplished my baking goal with my strawberry cake. You tried the recipe and loved it too. After baking it in your own kitchen, you told me the cake is “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 and now it’s time to transform the recipe into cupcakes.

strawberry cupcakes on a wood slice cake stand
strawberry cupcakes with white chocolate strawberry frosting

Video Tutorial: How to Make White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

To make the strawberry cupcakes extra special, top them with white chocolate strawberry frosting made from pure white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberries. 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.

But before we get to the frosting, let’s walk through the cupcakes.

Reduced strawberry puree in a glass bowl

Reduced Strawberry Puree is the Secret

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.

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.

Strawberry cupcake batter in a glass bowl

How to Make White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

This recipe is adapted from my strawberry cake, vanilla cupcakes, and fresh strawberry cupcakes. The ingredients are carefully formulated; each serves a crucial purpose. For example, cake flour produces fluffy cupcakes, egg whites provide structure without weighing the crumb down, and sour cream adds moisture. Milk thins the batter, creamed butter and sugar create a buttery and cake-y base, and the reduced strawberry puree adds flavor.

Beat the strawberry cupcake batter together with a mixer. 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.

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

strawberry cupcake batter in cupcake pan before baking
baked strawberry cupcakes in a cupcake pan

White Chocolate Strawberry Frosting

White chocolate 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 adapted from my plain strawberry frosting. It’s creamy, lush, and completely packed with real strawberry flavor. We’re using two special ingredients:

  1. Freeze-dried strawberries: Like strawberry cake, strawberry frosting used to leave me disappointed because (1) the strawberry frosting curdled from the added moisture and (2) no amount of fresh strawberries could get me the strawberry flavor I craved. The solution is freeze-dried berries. (Also the solution to raspberry flavor in our raspberry sugar cookies!) Grind freeze-dried strawberries into a powder and use in place of some of the confectioners’ sugar. You can find freeze-dried strawberries at stores like Wegmans, Giant, Trader Joe’s, Target, and many other major grocery stores, too. Keep your eyes peeled because they’re more commonly found that you think.
  2. 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.
2 images of freeze-dried strawberries ground into powder in a small food processor
2 images of chopped white chocolate and melted white chocolate in a glass measuring cup
Creamy strawberry white chocolate frosting in a glass bowl

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
overhead image of white chocolate strawberry cupcakes

I used piping tip Wilton 8B for the frosting. Start in the center of the cupcake and swirl upward. Love this piping tip! Do you follow the Canadian bakery Jenna Rae Cakes on Instagram? I got the cupcake decoration inspiration from them!

This cupcake recipe definitely requires some effort, but the good news is that you can get started on almost everything ahead of time. And the great news is that the result of your hard work is pretty pink cupcakes!

strawberry cupcake with white chocolate frosting and a white chocolate dipped strawberry

More Strawberry Recipes

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strawberry cupcakes with white chocolate strawberry frosting topped with white chocolate dipped strawberry

White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 1415 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Strawberry cupcakes made with real strawberries and zero artificial flavor topped with white chocolate strawberry buttercream!


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (207g) 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 (about 25g) 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, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional: fresh strawberries coated with 2 ounces melted white chocolate


  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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: 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 | Piping Bags (Reusable or Disposable) | Cooling Rack | Wooden Cake Stand
  3. Cake Flour: If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, you can make this homemade cake flour substitute. 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.
  4. 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. It can be refrigerated to speed up the cooling process. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Food Coloring: 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.
  8. 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.
  9. What to Do with Leftover Egg Yolks? Here are recipes using egg yolks.
  10. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: white chocolate strawberry cupcakes

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I had some strawberries going soft and milk thinking about going sour, so made this recipe. It’s fiddly, but produced delicious results.
    The use of strawberry puree and freeze dried strawberries is genius!

    1. Just made these and everyone loved them ! Now that we have left strawberry season, is there any reason using frozen strawberries cooked down for the cake wouldn’t work?

      1. Hi Kim! Readers have used thawed frozen strawberries with luck, but we have not tried it. Report back if you try it!

      2. I’m one of Sally’s readers who has used frozen strawberries to make the puree with absolutely no problems. In fact I’ve used both. Out of the two I prefer the frozen strawberries. For some reason they tend to have a lot more flavor. Hope this was helpful. Good luck and Enjoy…

  2. The icing alone makes these cupcakes. So much strawberry flavor and it’s wonderful getting that kind of color on the icing without all the food coloring. This recipe is a keeper!

  3. I have tried this recipe so many times and they just come out too try or too tough. I do not over beat the dough. I follow the recommendations for beat time in the instructions. I use and oven thermometer. I bake one pan at a time on the middle shelf. I really don’t know what I am doing wrong.

  4. I just made these and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. Definitely a good recipe to make in stages. I made the strawberry reduction and frosting last night then baked and assembled today. Perfect recipe as written.

  5. Could you substitute ruby chocolate for white chocolate? I’m not a huge fan of white and thought ruby might make it that bit pinker too!

    1. Hi Kirstie, we haven’t tried this recipe with ruby chocolate so we’re unsure of the results. Let us know if you do give it a try!

  6. Could you make the strawberry puree a week in advance and freeze it?

    1. Absolutely! Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

  7. I love the original strawberry cake recipe, so I wanted to give this a try. Problem is I can’t tell if I’m doing it right, or wrong. Cupcakes taste good, very moist – BUT they came out “stiff” little hard, despite moist. I can’t tell if I did something wrong, or if that’s just the texture. Unless they’re suppose to be extremely soft and fluffy, either way I loved it.

    1. Hi Jj, I wonder if the cupcakes were over-baked at all? I’m trying to imagine a stiff-textured cupcake. I wonder if reducing the butter down to 7 Tbsp and adding 1 Tbsp vegetable oil could help. I don’t suggest reducing the flour. You could even try adding a little more baking powder, perhaps an extra 1/2 teaspoon.

  8. Since the strawberry recall I have been iffy on using strawberries. Is there any way to sub real starwberries with something else?

    1. Hi Jasmine, real strawberries are the best way to get the strong strawberry taste in the finished cupcake. We recommend following the recipe as is for best results.

  9. The last couple of times I made this frosting the white choc blocked the nozzle. It seem to set very quickly making it very difficult to pipe. Any suggestions on how to prevent this happening please?

    1. Hi Rita, make sure that the butter isn’t too cold before adding the melted + slightly cooled white chocolate and other ingredients. If the butter is cold, it will solidify the white chocolate. The heavy cream/milk should also be room temperature.

  10. Thanks Sally, I always try and make sure everything is at room temperature, however the butter may have still been a bit cold. I will make note for next time as this is one of my favourite and most popular cakes. Thank you for responding 🙂

  11. This recipe looks fantastic! However, I have an allergy to both sour cream and yogurt so I’m looking for a substitute. I’ve seen things like buttermilk + butter, mayonnaise and vegan sour cream (I can’t use any cheese products either). Wondering if you have any experience with this or would recommend one. Thanks!

    1. Hi Clarissa! We would try a non-dairy yogurt. Happy baking!

  12. These turned out perfect. The flavor intensified the next day – for the two that were left! YUM. Will make again. They are just right for summer gatherings.

  13. The flavor or these cupcakes were really bad. Definitely one of the worst recipes or yours. I followed all of the steps and ingredients correctly but they came out tasting bad. Definitely ruined my birthday

  14. Made these for a birthday and they were a big hit, but I have a ton of leftover frosting. Can I freeze the frosting for later use or will it have a weird texture when I defrost it?

    1. Hi Sandra! You can cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. After thawing or refrigerating, beating in a splash of heavy cream or milk will help thin the frosting out again, if needed. (It stiffens in the refrigerator.)

  15. These turned out a little dryer than i was hoping. Not sure if i did something wrong

  16. I can find freeze -dried strawberries anywhere but still want to make a strawberry icing. Can I use real strawberries? Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Jessica! Freeze dried strawberries are really imperative to this strawberry buttercream recipe’s texture and flavor.

  17. I am planning to make these tomorrow and very excited to try the recipe out. Can I confirm which size of eggs to use as can’t tell from the recipe is it medium or large?

      1. Thank you. These cupcakes turned out incredible. I love how even though I am still only an intermediate level baker sallys recipes make me feel like I’m a pro. The icing tastes exactly like strawberry ice cream and the cakes turned out like perfection so fluffy and light!

  18. Hi Sally,
    I’m making thises for my daughter’s 7th birthday party and my daughter has lots of allergies (as do several of her classmates), I was planning on subbing Ripple for milk, vegan butter for regular butter, coconut milk yogurt for the sour cream and aqua faba for the eggs – am I crazy, is that too many substitutions? Do you think it will work?

    1. Hi Margaret, we haven’t tested those substitutions but please let us know if you do! For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for those allergies.

  19. Hi Trina, I did it! I had a bit of an accident and I mixed most of the wet ingredients together except the eggs and butter so I creamed the vegan butter and sugar together then added 2 whipped aquafaba eggs and one real egg white in until it was light a fluffy. I then added the rest of the wet and mixed briefly until blended. Then the dry ingredients on low for a short bit before I folded the rest by hand. The batter was light and fluffy. I scooped it into the muffin tins and baked as directed. They came out perfectly- light, fluffy and moist with a nice crumb. Thank you!

    1. Hi Beth, For best taste and texture, we strongly recommend using pure white chocolate. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers that prevent them from melting properly. High quality white chocolate chips may work in a pinch, but we really recommend the white chocolate bars if you can!

  20. Will these cupcakes hold up to a strawberry filling like you use in the strawberry shortcake cupcakes ? I love this recipe but I’d like to fill them.

  21. Can just the unfrosted cupcakes be made a day in advance and left in a container on counter? Thanks!

    1. Hi Deb, you can definitely make them in advance, but we recommend storing them in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

  22. Love these cupcakes. Will this frosting work for your rose/hydrangea piping design? Thank you.

  23. Can I use strawberry yoghurt instead of the sour cream/plain yoghurt. It’s all the supermarket had today?!?! Thank you!

    1. Hi Fiona, that should work in a pinch — make sure the yogurt is full fat for best results!

  24. My daughter loves these cupcakes but each time I make them the mixture curdles and separates. All ingredients were at room temp and I added everything slowly. What am I doing wrong. I live in the Caribbean, could the humidity be affecting it?

  25. Frosting is fantastic. Cake tough as a brick, and I followed it to a T, not over mixing. Thinking its something with that puree. Anyway, the frosting on a light fluffy vanilla cake would be divine

  26. Made these into mini cupcakes for my daughter’s second birthday and the cake had a different, delicious flavor. The icing is the best part though!! Normally I can’t make homemade icing without it being gritty and weird. I sifted my powdered sugar and it turned out amazing!!

  27. Hi Sally, i am just wondering if i can use this recipe as a filling for a layered white cake and if it holds well if stacked on top of another tier of cake. Thank you

    1. Hi Hana, the frosting from this recipe would be great between layers of a white cake. Are you asking about using the cupcake batter for the top layer of a tiered cake? If so, that should work just fine!

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