Strawberry cupcakes are made with plenty of strawberry flavor, then topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting.
If you love strawberries, then I guarantee you will love these strawberry cupcakes. There is an abundance of strawberry flavor, yet the cakes are tender and soft with little bits of fresh strawberry throughout. Nothing pairs better with strawberry cake than cream cheese frosting.
Why this recipe works: There is fresh strawberries in the cupcake batter, but also freeze-dried strawberry powder for the ultimate strawberry flavor. The cream cheese frosting has a bit of freeze-dried strawberry powder as well, which gives the cupcake a beautiful pink hue.
How to make strawberry cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Cream the sugar and butter with an electric mixer, then add the eggs and vanilla.
- Alternate adding the dry mixture and buttermilk. Mix just until combined. Stir in the fresh strawberries
- Divide batter among prepared cupcake liners. Bake 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely.
How to make strawberry cream cheese frosting
- Beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the freeze-dried strawberries, confectioners’ sugar and mix until combined. Add vanilla and salt, then mix again.
- Transfer frosting to a frosting bag and frost cupcakes. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Gather all your ingredients first and bring them to room temperature. Now is a good time to make the freeze-dried strawberry powder by pulsing the freeze-dried berries in a food processor. I suggest using a kitchen scale for accurate ingredient measurements. Avoid over-mixing the batter when alternating the buttermilk and dry ingredients.
For the frosting, make sure the cream cheese and butter are room temperature (about 65 degrees F). If you are in a warmer climate, don’t leave the ingredients sitting at room temperature for too long or you’ll get a frosting that melts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any big name grocery stores carry freeze-dried strawberries. I found mine at Whole Foods. You can also buy the powder online.
The strawberries were too juicy or wet. I suggest patting them dry before adding them to the batter.
Most likely it’s because you are in a warm or humid climate and the cream cheese sat at room temperature too long. Place the frosting back in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes, mix for 10 seconds, then frost the cupcakes.
Yes, but defrost the berries first and pat them dry. Fresh strawberries will have more flavor though.
Yes, if frosted, place the cupcakes on a plate in the freeze for an hour until frosting is firm, then wrap the cupcakes in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-bag or airtight container for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature and servings.
Strawberries make a wonder addition to many dessert, but particularly strawberry shortcake. Make the biscuits and whipped cream from scratch for a delicious dessert. You could also use fresh strawberries in a homemade cobbler and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. For a super easy recipe, try these strawberry muffins with a crumble topping.
Strawberry cupcakes are a pink-filled dessert that I find fitting for birthdays, baby showers and Valentine’s Day. They are also just the dessert you need in peak strawberry season (May and June). What occasion will you bake these cupcakes for? Let me know in the comments and tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media when you bake!
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup (57 g) freeze-dried strawberry powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 cup small diced fresh strawberries
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup (225 g or 8 oz package) cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup (28 g) freeze dried strawberry powder
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt
- Strawberry halves, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, strawberry powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix again.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until mostly combined. Add the buttermilk and mix again until combined, then add the remaining dry ingredients, being sure not to overmix. Fold in the fresh strawberries.
- Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ of the way, then bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting, about 30 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip cream cheese and butter on high speed for two minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and strawberry powder until it is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until incorporated (about 10 seconds, avoid over mixing).
- Transfer to a frosting bag fitted with a frosting tip (I used Wilton tip 1A). Frost the cupcakes, garnish with halved strawberries, and serve.