These fluffy vanilla cupcakes are filled with fresh strawberries and topped with an incredible pink strawberry frosting. No artificial colors or flavors. Delicious fresh strawberries in every bite!
If you’re counting down the days to spring and summer I have the perfect recipe for that first warm day. These Strawberry Cupcakes are loaded with real, fresh strawberry flavor, and they are always met with rave reviews!
The full recipe is below, but I’ll quickly walk you through what makes up this recipe.
Strawberry Cupcakes: These are homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with diced fresh strawberries. The cupcakes are soft and tender with little bits of strawberry all throughout.
Strawberry Frosting: This beautiful pink frosting is flavorful and delicious. This is a typical buttercream frosting with the addition of strawberries.
Start by making the cupcakes, allowing them enough time to cool completely. Once the cupcakes are room temperature, prepare the frosting. Use a piping bag and pastry tip to add the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Flavor: Lots of real strawberry flavor paired with a hint of vanilla.
Texture: Light and tender cupcakes and creamy strawberry frosting.
Real ingredients: These cupcakes are filled with real ingredients (actual strawberries), and no food coloring or artificial strawberry flavoring.
Strawberry buttercream frosting
This frosting is made with butter and powdered sugar and flavored with vanilla, pureed strawberries, strawberry jam, and freeze dried strawberries (optional).
The color of your frosting is going to vary depending on how dark your strawberries are and whether or not you choose to use freeze dried strawberries. Adding freeze dried strawberries deepens the strawberry flavor without making the frosting too thin. Find freeze dried strawberries near the dried fruit in your grocery store.
- Use the best strawberries you can find. The more red and sweet they are, the better! If your strawberries are slightly under ripe, or not very sweet, you might want to hull them, to make sure those flavorless white pieces don’t make their way into the cake or frosting.
- Use room temperature ingredients. See recipe for how to bring milk and eggs to room temperature quickly.
- Bake the cupcakes in the middle of the oven.
Serving and storage
Serving: These are best served within one day of being made.
Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let the cupcakes sit at room temperature (just enough to take the chill off) before serving.
Make ahead: I recommend making these cupcakes the day that you are serving them. The frosting can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Store the frosting tightly covered in the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature just long enough to soften to spreadable consistency before adding it to the cupcakes.
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whole or 2% milk, room temperature
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy, plus more if needed
- ½ cup freeze dried strawberries, optional, see note
- 5-7 fresh strawberries (for strawberry puree)
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
- fresh strawberries, to garnish (optional)
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well combined. Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg, egg whites, and vanilla extract, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add the milk, mixing until just combined. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the chopped strawberries.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop). Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes and place directly on the rack to cool completely.
- If using freeze dried strawberries: In a small food processor, blend ½ cup freeze dried strawberries until they turn into powder. Pour the powder into a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids and seeds, keeping the fine powder that came through the sieve. Measure out two tablespoons of the powder to use in the frosting. Proceed below.
- Place 5-7 strawberries in a small food processor, process until pureed. You will need 3 tablespoons of this puree, add another strawberry or two if needed to get 3 tablespoons.
- With a hand mixer, or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for a minute, until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the beater as necessary. Add the powdered sugar, ½ a cup at a time, beating until combined.
- Add 3 tablespoons strawberry puree, 2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberry powder, vanilla extract, and jam. Beat on medium speed until fully combined, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beater as needed. If necessary, adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar (to thicken) or more strawberry puree (to thin). Note: this frosting is on the thinner side. Place frosting in a piping bag, or use an offset spatula to frost cupcakes (this makes enough frosting to generously frost the cupcakes). Garnish with sliced strawberries, if desired.