Easy Strawberry Cupcakes are moist and sweet cupcakes flavored with freeze dried strawberries and topped with bright strawberry buttercream.
Homemade Strawberry Cupcakes with creamy strawberry buttercream frosting are the perfect sweet treat that everyone is sure to love. Adorable pink cupcakes are great to serve for a birthday party, bring to a bake sale, or make as a Valentine’s Day dessert. They’re ready in about a half-hour and easy to make with pantry ingredients.
The only ingredient you’ll probably have to buy specifically for this recipe are freeze-dried strawberries, which you can find at your local grocery store. By mixing dried fruit in the batter and Buttercream Frosting, you get the perfect strawberry cake flavor for the cupcake base and Strawberry buttercream frosting.
Plus, using freeze-dried instead of fresh strawberries means that you don’t have to wait for strawberries to be in season, or worry about finding ripe fruit. You can make this incredibly delicious recipe year-round!
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- Cake batter: For the most part the recipe ingredients are exactly the same as a regular vanilla cake mix. Butter, whole milk, vanilla extract, sugar, eggs, and other pantry ingredients come together easily into a smooth batter that bakes into velvety, buttery cakes.
- Freeze-dried strawberries: The ingredient that changes this recipe from regular vanilla to strawberry is freeze-dried strawberries. Freeze-dried fruit has a concentrated fruit flavor, which gives the delicious strawberry cupcakes the maximum taste. They’re also easy to break into a powder and mix in with the recipe ingredients. Pulse in a food processor until they turn into a fine powder.
- Buttercream: Just like the cake base, the frosting is made with simple ingredients. Softened butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream make the perfect light and fluffy topping. Add even more strawberry powder for the perfect strawberry flavor.
- Prep time: Start by preheating the oven and lining the muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Set the pan to the side while you prepare the batter. For the best results, you should also get the butter out of the fridge a while before starting the recipe because room-temperature ingredients will do a better job mixing together.
- Wet ingredients: Add the butter and granulated sugar to your stand mixer. Beat butter mixture at medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and milk and continue mixing until smooth.
- Dry ingredients: Measure out about 2 cups of freeze-dried strawberries. Pulse in a food processor, or put in a plastic bag and break into powder with a rolling pin. Once the strawberries are ground into powder, you should have about 1 cup, reserve ½ cup for frosting. Sift all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and strawberry powder into the stand mixer. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir until the flour mixture is just combined.
- Baking time: Use an ice cream scoop to evenly fill each of the muffin cups. Use a rubber spatula to get excess batter off the sides of the mixing bowl. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- Fresh strawberry buttercream: Add soft butter, and ½ cup freeze-dried strawberries to stand mixer. Cream butter at low speed. Add confectioners sugar ½ cup at a time, mixing on low until slowly combined. Raise speed to medium-high, and mix for 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream and continue beating for another minute until light and fluffy. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost cooled cupcakes.
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- Fresh strawberries: Instead of using freeze-dried strawberries, you can make the recipe with fresh strawberry puree. Add fresh strawberries to a food processor and pulse to make a strawberry puree. Mix the pureed strawberries into the batter. Because the fresh strawberries will add extra liquid to the batter, add in an extra tablespoon of flour to even the batter out.
- Decorations: One of the most fun parts of any cupcake recipe is adding fun decorations. For this recipe, you can top it off with some white, pink, or red sprinkles. You could also add edible glitter, chocolate flakes, or nonpareils. To give the recipe a fresh fruit topping, slice actual strawberries and place them on top of the frosting.
- Pink strawberry buttercream: The strawberry powder will make the cupcakes and frosting a pink-ish color, but it might not be as bright as you want. For a bolder pink frosting, add a drop of red food coloring to the mixture.
- Mini cupcakes: Bite-sized mini cupcakes are always fun and adorable. You can easily make this same recipe in a mini muffin tin, reducing the baking time to about 11-14 minutes.
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HOW TO STORE
- Serve: Unfrosted cupcakes will stay good in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Frosted cupcakes should be stored after 2 hours at room temperature.
- Store: Place Strawberry Cupcakes in a ziplocked bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freeze: For a make-ahead dessert, place unfrosted Strawberry Cupcakes in an airtight container, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before frosting.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberry powder , about 1 cup pieces (see note)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberry powder , about 1 cup pieces (see note)
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a 24 cup muffin tray with paper liner cups.
- To a stand mixer add the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add in eggs, vanilla and milk until smooth.
- Sift together flour, freeze dried strawberries, baking powder and salt and add it to the stand mixer on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop fill the cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
- To your stand mixer on low speed cream the butter and the freeze dried strawberries then start adding in the powdered sugar in ½ cup increments until fully combined then raise the speed to medium-high for 1 additional minute.
- Add in the vanilla and heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy for 1 minute.
- Add frosting to piping bag and frost your cooled cupcakes.