White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

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
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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!

221 Comments

  1. These are delicious! I followed the recipe almost to a T except that I didn’t have freeze dried strawberries, so I excluded them from the frosting. I made mini cupcakes, and even though the recipe said it would yield around 35, I somehow got 60 perfectly-sized mini cupcakes. Does anyone know the nutrition on these things though??

    1. I have not made this recipe but looks cool

  2. I adapted the cupcake recipe to make a sheet cake. It was brilliant. Soft, fluffy and light and we could taste the strawberries. So delicious.

  3. Hi can you use buttermilk?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maddie, yes! Feel free to substitute the regular milk with buttermilk.

  4. Hi! I want to make these in August. I know we are no longer in peak strawberry season now, but mid July is closer than early August to strawberry season (I’m in Virginia if it matters). Should I buy my strawberries now and make and freeze the puree? Or is there not much difference at this point and I should just buy them when I am ready to make the cupcakes?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carrie! The strawberry puree yields incredibly concentrated strawberry flavor so it’s really up to you and your personal preference. If you make it now, you’ll be one step ahead- if you make it when you’re making the cupcakes, you won’t have to thaw it. Up to you! I hope these cupcakes are a hit!

  5. If I was going to do this as three 6” cakes, for the three tiered berry cream cake this month, how long would I bake the cakes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Abby, Sounds delicious! You can follow the baking instructions in the post 6 Inch Cakes.

      1. This link is not working, any chance someone could direct me to the 6” update?

      2. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Sharon. Here is the post on 6 inch cakes!

  6. Made these last week…Love the cupcakes. I did find the frosting overly sweet so next time I’ll probably skip adding the white chocolate.

  7. Try Aldi for Freeze dried fruits.

  8. Treasure Campbell says:

    Hello! These cupcakes are always a huge hit with my friends and family. If I wanted to use this icing on a three tier strawberry cake, would multiplying the icing recipe x3 yield enough icing? What would you recommend? Thank you!

    1. Hi Treasure! So glad you enjoy these strawberry cupcakes. Tripling the frosting recipe would be a little too much for a 3 layer cake. Doubling the recipe would be plenty.

  9. Have made this recipe two times and both times the results were amazing! This is a great recipe if you love strawberries. First time, I followed the recipe exactly. Second time, I added a few splashes of Grand Marnier when reducing the strawberry puree. Then I chopped some fresh strawberries, blotted them as much as I could, mixed with some cream cheese, a bit of heavy whipping cream, and another splash of Grand Marnier and filled the baked cupcakes with this mixture, then topped with the frosting. As long as you are not serving to kids (since alcohol in the filling is not cooked out), these were over the top! Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Hi, I have made your strawberry cake and it’s a hit. We are trying cupcakes now for my daughters zoom party. She would love them to look like a snow owl from Harry Potter. Do you have a buttercream white chocolate frosting? Would you add freeze dried strawberries in addition to the cupcakes for color? Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maria, Sounds like an adorable cake! You can leave the freeze dried strawberries out of the frosting for plain white chocolate buttercream. We don’t recommend adding the freeze dried berries to the cake batter itself – Sally tried it as a test recipe and it did NOT work 🙂 Best to use the reduced strawberry and add red food coloring if you wish for a more vibrant color.

  11. Hi,

    If I wanted to leave white chocolate out of the frosting, would I need to make any substitutions in the other measurements?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi CC, for a strawberry frosting without white chocolate, I recommend using our strawberry frosting recipe!

  12. In the cake recipe it calls for sifted cake flour. The cupcake recipe doesn’t call for sifted. I’m new to baking. Does it matter if it’s sifted or not when making the cupcakes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tina, The difference is in how much a cup of sifted vs unsifted flour weighs. We want a lighter weight for the cake which is why we call for sifted flour for that recipe. No need to sift your flour for these cupcakes!

  13. Made these strawberry cupcakes for my daughter’s first birthday. I used Sally’s lemon buttercream recipe for frosting though. Turned out as a hit! Thank you for the recipe!

  14. Hi Sally! I love your recipes so much, and I’ve been following your blog and channel for years I was just wondering if you have any recipe for strawberry frosting that does not require freeze-dried strawberries? I’ve searched high and low for them in my area and I haven’t found any store that sells them, but I want a strawberry-flavored frosting (either cream cheese or SMBC/IMBC) for your strawberry cupcake and cake recipes (which I want to make for my mum’s birthday this coming weekend). Is it possible to just add strawberry reduction to your cream cheese or BC recipes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kaye, Some readers have found the freeze dried strawberries for purchase online if you wish to try that. You can add some of the leftover reduced strawberry puree to the frosting, just keep in mind it will be thinner and the strawberry flavor won’t be as strong. You can add a bit of strawberry extract for more flavor if you wish!

  15. I made these yesterday and they were such a hit! Would it be possible to do the same thing but with raspberries? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin! A few readers have used raspberries for the reduced puree and freeze-dried raspberries in the frosting with no issue. Glad you enjoyed these and let us know if you try a raspberry version!

  16. Okay, I am still toying with this recipe. My first impression was that they did not meet my expectations. I was expecting a stronger strawberry flavored cake with the texture of a cloud! I didn’t get that. HOWEVER, this icing/frosting is BOMB! That, one could eat by the spoonful! And I am not even an icing person!!
    But what I will tell you, each time I made these, people loved them. I am giving them four stars because they seem to be a crowd pleaser and the icing is absolutely delicious BUT they weren’t as light as I had hoped.
    Note: This is also a fairly involved process so prepare yourself for that X-D! But I am okay with that, I knew what I was getting myself into beforehand 😀

  17. Sharvani Divekar says:

    Hi Sally !
    I wanted to know if I can half this recipe !
    Thank you !

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sharvani! That usually isn’t a problem. Halve all of the ingredients.

  18. I made this as a six-inch cake yesterday (lemon and strawberry frosting though). The cake was delicious and just as I had hoped! I wanted to report that I had great success using frozen strawberries since fresh are completely unavailable where I am. I also used French type 45 flour instead of cake flour because I am in Switzerland and there is no cake flour here. It worked beautifully. Thank you!

  19. I’ve made these several times, although I normally throw in an extra 1/8 cup strawberry puree. My sister and her friends tried them and said the icing was perfect, but that the cake wasn’t sweet enough. I’ve never noticed… But is that a general consensus with this cupcake?

  20. I made this recipe last weekend and it was delicious but my only problem was after spending a night in the fridge, the white chocolate got very hard, making it difficult to enjoy the cupcakes the next day. Any suggestions on how to keep the icing soft?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Yaneri! Try letting them come to room temperature before enjoying, that should do the trick. So happy you enjoyed them.

  21. My daughter has an egg allergy; any advice for substitutes? Love all your recipes and trying to see how I can adapt it for her cake smash tomorrow. Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, we haven’t tested this recipe with any egg substitutes. We would love to hear what you try!

      1. 6 TB of aquafaba worked beautifully for the egg substitute! So delicious!!!!! A new favorite recipe in the house, and safe for our daughter’s first birthday!

  22. Hello! Can I use fresh strawberries instead of freeze dried strawberries? Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hannah, freeze dried strawberries are imperative to the flavor of these cupcakes, we don’t suggest substituting them.

  23. Hey there. I was wanting to make a strawberry zebra cake With that strawberry white chocolate frosting. Would you have any hints on how much strawberry purée to add to half of the cake?

  24. Hi, I am going to make strawberry cupcakes in the next couple days for a 12 year old’s birthday. I found this recipe, because it was the cupcake version of the one recommended to me (https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/strawberry-cake/#tasty-recipes-66510), but also a separate one that pairs with a strawberry buttercream, https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/strawberry-cupcakes-with-creamy-strawberry-buttercream/. I see they are similar cupcake recipes, but not identical, for instance, the one that pairs with the buttercream omits the sour cream and doesn’t reduce the pureed strawberries; it seems to be more basic. In your estimation, would this cupcake recipe work well with a strawberry buttercream (instead of the white chocolate here or the cream cheese of the cake version), or do you recommend I go with the recipe that is already paired with it?
    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ilana, these cupcakes would be perfect with Strawberry Buttercream. Let us know how they go!

  25. I will make the strawberry cupcakes as stated.
    I found I will use a different frosting recipe that utilizes the exact same technique as used in this cupcake batter. Will make a buttercream frosting to pair with the cupcake batter.
    Using either fresh or frozen strawberries!
    I will use 12 oz of frozen sliced strawberries, heat up in microwave, use a hand held blender to “purée”, than I will reduce this amount to jam consistency. Split that amount in half. Cool it down completely in the fridge. Then make the batter and frosting.

  26. There isn’t much to say about this cupcake except that it turned out better than any cupcake I’ve ever ordered, even at cupcake stores specifically. 20/10 would make again. I found piping with just the bag and the thing to hold in the tip. Due to the freeze dried strawberries, some of the chunks were too big to come out

  27. Hi sally. Fresh strawberries for puree are not readily available in our place. May i please know if i can use strawberry jam or strawberry toppings in can, the ones they usually use as toppings on cheesecakes, work for the cake batter? Or can i substitute it with strawberry powder/strawberry flavoring or powdered freeze dried strawberries?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jo, do you have access to frozen strawberries? Many readers have reported success using thawed frozen strawberries in place of fresh strawberries for the puree. That would be the best alternative here!

  28. This may be a dum question on this white chocolate strawberry frosting. When you say everything should be at room temp, does that include the heavy cream?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Renee! Not a silly question at all – it’s best if the heavy cream is at room temperature as well. Hope you love these cupcakes!

  29. Hi,
    I’m 10 and I want to make this recipe.
    What if you don’t have piping materials can you use instead?

    Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mari! You could use a large plastic bag with one of the bottom corners cut off for a simple piping bag, or you could spread the frosting on with a butter knife. Happy baking!

  30. Nivedeeta Pereira says:

    I made this into an 8 inchcake for my daughter 1st birthday. It was a huge hit.. i layered the strawberries directly on the cake layers so that the juice oozes into the cake.. the cake was moist the icing was not too sweet . I dint have frozen strawberries so just left it out. Since I wanted a tall cake to make a castle I tripled the recipe. And used 1 and a 1/2 times the icing recipe. I covered the outside of the cake with white chocolate ganache frosting .. all in all it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe

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