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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: 14-15 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
  • 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 | Icing Bags | 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. These cupcakes were amazing and a true life saver! These were a complete hit! Thank you for sharing your recipes!

  2. Since there’s no sugar in the reduced purée, how do you account for whether the berries are really sweet or on the sour side? Got a bunch from the farmers market and they’re a bit sour.

    1. Hi Anne! For the best flavor we recommend using the sweetest and most flavorful strawberries you can find for these cupcakes, otherwise they may end up tasting a bit bland or sour.

      1. Hi sally want to ask if I can use whole eggs instead of white egg because I prefer cake with whole egg texture, how much should I use in this recipe? Thanks

      2. Hi Ludwina, we highly recommend using the 3 egg whites as written. It would require additional recipe testing to use whole eggs, as they will weigh down the crumb more.

  3. Hi! I forgot to get white chocolate. I already have the puree ready. Can I skip white chocolate from this recipe?

  4. Can I use plain Greek yogurt in this recipe? And if I make these the evening before serving, do I need to put them in the fridge? Will the cake and frosting will turn hard?

    1. Hi Sarah, plain Greek yogurt will work in place of the sour cream / yogurt — same amount. Cupcakes can usually be left out covered at room temperature for 24 hours, but if longer than that (or, if it’s especially hot where you live), we’d recommend storing them in the refrigerator. The cake and frosting won’t turn hard, and you can take them out a bit before serving to bring them back to room temperature.

  5. Hi Sally! I’m planning to make this recipe as a 3-layer 6 inch cake for my dad’s birthday. He likes less sweet frosting so I’d like to make it with the cream cheese frosting on your Homemade Strawberry Cake (9-in) recipe. My question is, does that recipe make too much frosting for a 6 inch cake? Would you recommend scaling it down? Thanks!

  6. I tried out Sally’s recipe today. Yesterday, I pureed frozen raspberries (12 oz bag). Since the raspberries were rather tart, I added 2 tbs of sugar-not sweet at all, just took some of the tartness away. I painstakingly strained the raspberries puree and set it in the fridge. I incorporated the puree today and the raspberry cupcakes came out fantastic. Sally was right. The strawberry (in my case, raspberry) flavor is subtle but there. A wonderful touch! Note: I added 2 dabs of red and super white food gel. Once I added the raspberry puree, the color ended being a dusty mauve with a dab of pink here & there. (I was afraid I’d overmix the batter, so I just folded in the raspberry puree.) Ended up with nice swirls! I did not make the WC Strawberry frosting, though. I had made Sally’s awesome cream cheese frosting from an earlier batch. I’ll be using the cc frosting instead, when I assemble the cupcakes. Thanks, SBA for another awesome recipe!

  7. I’ve made these multiple times and they taste great, but each time whenever I take them out of the pan to cool, 4-5 of the cupcake liners automatically peel away from the cupcake leaving a large gap between the cupcake and the liner. Any thoughts on how to fix this?

    1. Hi Katie, We are so happy you enjoy these cupcakes! Ever since we make the switch to using grease proof cupcake liners, we’ve never had this problem.

    1. Hi Chanit, We don’t recommend it. Margarine does not have the same chemical makeup as butter. It’s much more watery. We strongly recommend using butter.

  8. I was in search of a strawberry cupcake that actually tasted like strawberry When I ran across this recipe. Not only did they taste like strawberry, but the texture was amazing and these are some of the best cupcakes I have ever made!
    It is more than obvious that this recipe and the instructions are absolutely perfect!

  9. I was in search of a strawberry cupcake that actually tasted like strawberry When I ran across this recipe. Not only did they taste like strawberry, but the texture was amazing and these are some of the best cupcakes I have ever made!
    It is more than obvious that this recipe and the instructions are absolutely perfect!

    1. Hi Lena! Strawberry cream cheese frosting would taste delicious on these, but won’t hold intricate piping tip shapes like this strawberry buttercream does. You could pipe a simple design like we did with our banana cupcakes – otherwise stick with buttercream for piping!

  10. Hi Sally,
    We were so excited to try this recipe and my friends and I were planning this baking occasion for weeks. Sadly, it was a giant disaster. I am extremely disappointed. The cupcake was grey, the frosting was clumpy and melty, and the color was gross and overall the taste was nauseatingly sweet. Even the chocolate was grainy and the strawberries were mushy. This was a terrible experience and I expect more from your recipes.

    1. I don’t normally respond to other people’s reviews on baking/recipe sites. Sally’s site is one of my favorites because of the way she explains why/why not to do certain tasks in a recipe. She has great trouble shooting and helpful videos. I have used many recipes from Sally’s site, I find your review very odd. I have made this recipe and the strawberry cake recipe, several times. It has always been a big hit. Our family especially likes it because it’s not too sweet. As for your other complaints, it must be baker’s error on your part. Sally does offer great videos to help you fix your baking issues.

  11. Hi Sally,
    I chose this recipe outside of strawberry season and couldn’t find frozen strawberries, so I opted for a frozen puree of 3 red fruits. However, I never was able to have the pink cupcake color. I didn’t want to use food coloring so I tried beet juice, but still no luck. Have you ever tried a natural food coloring? Some sites suggested blending beets but I’m not sure if that would add too much liquid? The taste of the cupcakes was great (I did only do 180 grams of sugar and think they could be reduced a little more, because of the sugary icing). Thank you for this recipe. They were a hit!

    1. Hi Malia, You can order plant food coloring on Amazon. Just put plant food coloring in the search. There have liquid and McCormick has powdered ones. I really like them. 360 Whole Foods also carries their own brand.

    2. You can also use the powdered.freezw dried strawberries to color your batter.

    1. Hi Jill! See recipe notes – For best taste and texture, we strongly recommend using pure white chocolate.

  12. My son asked for strawberry cupcakes for his birthday. I cheated a little with this recipe and used 2 whole eggs rather than 3 egg whites, and I still thought they turned out amazing! They rose beautifully and are incredibly moist. I separated the eggs and whipped the eggs into the recipe as called for and added the yolks with just 1/4 cup full fat sour cream. Also, just made a vanilla frosting because we didn’t have freeze dried strawberries or white chocolate and we’re currently quarantined so a trip to the store wasn’t in the cards. Thanks!

      1. Hi Michelle! Cake flour and self raising flour are not the same thing. You can make your own cake flour substitute if you don’t have it – details are in this post.

    1. Hi Tia, I wish we could help, but have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful:

  13. I am making these cupcakes for a fundraiser event. Can I make the cupcakes and freeze them for a week, and then ice them the day of the event?

    1. Hi Melinda, Definitely. See note #1 for make ahead instructions.

  14. Hi Sally!
    I love this strawberry cupcake recipe. Instead of the white chocolate, I chose to do a vanilla buttercream. The feedback I got that while this recipe is amazing, they would like to taste more strawberry. What do you think of adding a touch of strawberry extract? If you think it is a good idea, would you replace the vanilla extract, if not, how much of the strawberry would you add?

    Thank you, and thank you for giving me recipes I can always count on!

    1. Hi Hope, you can certainly add strawberry extract – I would try 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp strawberry extract, but you can add more to taste!

  15. Out of all of Sally’s recipes I’ve tried, this one just misses the mark for me. The cupcakes turned out light and fluffy, but were a tad too sweet and did not have a very strong strawberry taste. The icing was also really sweet and I felt like it didn’t go well with cupcakes.

  16. I need to make two batches of cupcake, can this recipe be doubled or do I need to make two separate batches?

    1. Hi Chelsea, we recommend making separate batches for absolute best results!

  17. Hi Sally! Initially, I wanted to make your Homemade Strawberry Cake as a 6-inch cake but in the comments for that recipe, you mentioned that this recipe was similar and the perfect amount for 6-inch pans. I followed this recipe exactly and then split the batter between two 6-inch pans. Each pan was filled about halfway. I wasn’t sure about the baking time since this recipe is for cupcakes, but I started checking around 20-22 minutes anyway, and the middles of my cakes were still jiggly. The recipe for the Homemade Strawberry Cake called for 24-25 minutes, so I waited until then, but still no luck. I read a comment under the Homemade Strawberry Cake recipe from someone who had the same issue, and you suggested they cover the pans lightly with aluminum foil and continue baking. I did that, and after about 10-15 minutes more, the jiggly middles were gone. The toothpick still had some crumbs, but the cakes had already turned a light shade of brown – except for the middles – so I decided to take them out before they were totally burned. I’m concerned about whether or not my cakes are safe to eat. Could you please help me figure out where I went wrong with this recipe?

    1. Happy to help! This recipe for strawberry cupcakes is perfect for three 6 inch cake pans – which perfectly explains the issues you were having. The pans were filled with too much cake batter. We have a whole post on making 6 inch cakes from our cupcake recipes that is helpful for reference as well.

  18. Love this recipe, I accidentally mixed the freeze dried strawberries with the cupcake batter, instead of the purée, and omg it was amazing! With the being said, I was low on freeze dried strawberries and mixed some of the purée with the frosting … it’s a hit!!!

  19. I have noticed that strawberry puree is only recommended to keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Why is that? I have some that is about 8 days old and I was a bit nervous to use it, so after reading the comment above about adding freeze dried into the batter instead, I am going to try that on a batch today.

  20. Hey! Can I make the white chocolate frosting ahead of time and refrigerate? Or is that something you don’t recommend. Thanks!

    1. Hi Richa, This frosting can be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Enjoy!

  21. So, I’m making these for my friends birthday and I was wondering if I could use 2% milk instead of whole milk.

  22. Hi again. So, like I said previously I’m making these for a friends birthday and I was wondering if I can make the purée one day ahead but wait to reduce it for the actually baking part which would be the next day.

    1. Can’t see why not! Cover and refrigerate the puree overnight.

  23. This recipe is perfect! I made a few batches for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower. People are still raving about them! One attendee even said it was the best cupcake they’d ever had.

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