These strawberry cupcakes are some of the best you’ll ever have. They are moist, flavorful, and loaded with chopped, fresh strawberries!
You can top the cupcakes with any frosting you like, but for the full strawberry experience, try using my strawberry buttercream.
I use fresh berries in my strawberry desserts – like my strawberry banana bread and strawberry pavlova and any of my berry cupcakes. Frozen strawberries have much more moisture than fresh strawberries. I don’t recommend substituting frozen strawberries in this recipe.
In the cupcakes, you’ll wash and hull the berries, then chop them finely to be mixed into the batter.
The recipe calls for lemon zest. It doesn’t make the cupcakes taste lemony – it just brightens the berry flavor.
I recommend cake flour to make the cupcakes nice and light. If you don’t have cake flour, you can substitute all-purpose in an equal quantity. It will just be a little more dense.
Sour cream gives this recipe a little tang. If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute yogurt.
How It’s Made
If you’ve never made cupcakes before, start by reading my post on how to make cupcakes.
Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract until smooth.
Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer (you could also use a regular bowl and a handheld electric mixer), mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and butter on high speed until fully combined.
Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix after each addition until they’re just combined.
Mix in milk, again until just combined.
Stir in the chopped strawberries by hand. Stirring them in by hand ensures that the mixer doesn’t break up the strawberries. Doing this also helps keep you from accidentally overmixing the batter.
Fill cupcake liners halfway full. These cupcakes rise quite a bit during the bake. If you overfill the liners, they won’t bake up as nicely.
If you aren’t sure how high to fill the liners with batter, try baking a single test cupcake first to see how it rises. Then, adjust the fill level accordingly.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Take the hot cupcakes out of the cupcake tin immediately and set them on the counter or a cooling rack to cool to room temperature before frosting.
Expert Tips and FAQs
The recipe calls for my strawberry buttercream, but if you are a cream cheese frosting lover, try frosting with my amazing strawberry cream cheese frosting. This frosting uses freeze dried strawberry powder to create an intense strawberry flavor.
You also can’t go wrong with strawberry whipped cream. It is light and luscious, made with fresh strawberries, and turns your cupcakes into strawberry shortcake cupcakes (especially when you use some as a cupcake filling as well!).
Top with fresh or macerated strawberries for even more berry goodness!
Though I always prefer a from-scratch recipe, you can mix fresh strawberries into any yellow cake mix batter and then top them with this strawberry frosting to create your own version.
Yes; the results won’t be dramatically different. The cake will be a little more dense.
Yogurt can be substituted 1:1 for the sour cream.
It’s likely that you mixed the batter too much. Be sure that you mix it until ingredients are just combined and gently fold in the fresh berries with a spatula.
Only fill your cupcake liners halfway. To be completely certain that you are filling the right amount, bake a single test cupcake before baking the rest of the batch.
Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.
Be sure to beat the butter for at least three minutes so it’s light and fluffy. If your frosting is too wet, your strawberries could be too ripe and might be adding unnecessary moisture.
While you can typically use frozen berries and drain off excess moisture after thawing them, I don’t recommend using them in this particular recipe – especially in the the cupcakes themselves.
- Strawberry Banana Bread
- Blueberry Cupcakes
- Raspberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Cream
- Web Story: Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour not self-rising
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest zest from 1 small lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup finely chopped strawberries about 5 large strawberries washed and with the tops cut off
Strawberry Frosting Ingredients
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup strawberry puree about 5 large strawberries food processed until they are a thick seedy liquid
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and butter on high speed until fully combined.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients a little bit at a time until just combined.
- Mix in milk until just combined.
- Use a spatula to fold in chopped strawberries.
- Fill cupcake liners halfway full.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from cupcake tin immediately and set on the counter to cool.
Strawberry Frosting Instructions
- Beat butter for three minutes (or until light and fluffy) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Mix in strawberry puree and salt.
- Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
- Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.
- You can use all-purpose flour in this recipe instead of cake flour. The results won’t be dramatically different. The cake will just be a little more dense.
- Yogurt can be substituted 1:1 for the sour cream.
- Be careful not to overmix to keep your cupcakes from getting gummy.
- Only fill your cupcake liners halfway. To be completely certain that you are filling the right amount, bake a single test cupcake before baking the rest of the batch.
- Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting so that the frosting doesn’t melt.
- Be sure to beat the butter for at least three minutes so it is light and fluffy.
- Use less ripe strawberries. Riper strawberries tend to be more moist and could end up making the frosting too wet.
- Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time and always start on low speed to keep it from making a mess in your kitchen.
- While I don’t recommend frozen berries, if your strawberries were frozen, be sure to defrost them and drain off any excess liquid before using them.
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