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Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

These strawberry cupcakes are moist, flavorful, and loaded with fresh strawberries! Frost them with whichever strawberry frosting you like: strawberry buttercream, strawberry cream cheese frosting, or strawberry whipped cream.

Leave them as-is or decorate with strawberries or conversation hearts to create perfect Valentine’s Day cupcakes!

cupcakes frosted with three types of strawberry frosting on a white background with some scattered strawberries

To make these strawberry cupcakes, I adapted my vanilla cupcake recipe which has been extensively tested and is a favorite for thousands of readers. These cupcakes are light and airy and packed with fresh strawberries.

Strawberry cupcake cut open so you can see the inside

What Makes These Strawberry Cupcakes Work?

Mixing strawberries into strawberry cupcake batter

Using fresh strawberries is the secret to perfect strawberry cupcakes. Finely chop the strawberries and add them directly to the batter.

Plus, the addition of strawberry frosting gives these cupcakes an even stronger strawberry flavor!

Do These Cupcakes Use a Cake Mix?

One strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream frosting and a strawberry on top

This recipe is made from scratch and does not use a cake mix. I’m a big proponent of from-scratch baking.

Tip: If you prefer using cake mixes, try mixing fresh strawberries into any yellow cake batter and top the cupcakes with strawberry frosting to create your own version of these cupcakes.

Are Strawberry Cupcakes Easy to Make?

These cupcakes have been made by complete beginners. Even if you have never made a homemade cupcake before, you can make these!

What Are the Ingredients in Strawberry Cupcakes?

Cake Flour

a box of swans down cake flour

Image from product website

Cake flour is very finely milled flour and is perfect to use if you want a cake that is light and soft.

Sometimes cake flour is sold as self-rising cake flour. That cake flour already has leavening agents mixed into the flour. This is NOT what you want in this recipe.

Tip: 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.

Baking Powder and Baking Soda

All cupcakes need something to help them rise. In this case, we use both baking powder and baking soda. Baking soda requires something acidic in order to work, and the sour cream in these cupcakes does the job.

Salt

Salt brings out the flavors of the other ingredients in the recipe. Don’t skip it!

Sugar

I use granulated sugar in this recipe.

Tip: If you like the taste of brown sugar, try replacing half of the sugar in the recipe with light brown sugar.

Lemon Zest

Lemon zest brightens up the flavors in this cupcake.

zesting a lemon with a microplane zester into a glass bowl

The easiest way to zest a lemon is to use a microplane. Be sure to wash and dry the lemon thoroughly before zesting it.

Butter

Adding unsalted butter to dry ingredients

Always bake with unsalted butter. That way, you can add salt to your taste.

The butter must be at room temperature. You should be able to lightly press into it with your finger and leave an indentation. It’s too soft if the butter smooshes completely down when you press it.

Tip: You can bring butter to room temperature by microwaving it. Microwave the butter for five seconds at a time until it reaches room temperature.

Eggs

Eggs

The eggs provide moisture and fat to the recipe. Most cake recipes, including mine, call for large eggs at room temperature.

Tip: Don’t do the same microwave trick that I suggest with the butter to bring eggs to room temperature. Put the eggs in a bowl of hot – but not boiling – water for a few minutes to warm them up.

Sour Cream

Sour cream adds fat and moisture to the cupcakes. The good news is that you can replace the sour cream with yogurt or Greek yogurt and not notice any difference at all. I’ve extensively tested yogurt as a substitute for sour cream and it works wonderfully!

Vanilla Extract

I suggest using pure vanilla extract, but any vanilla extract will do.

Milk

Adding milk to strawberry cupcakes

To make moist cupcakes, you need a really light batter. Cupcake batter should not be thick like cookie dough. I use milk as the liquid in this recipe.

Tip: While I use whole milk in this recipe, you can use any kind of milk – even almond or soy milk.

Chopped Fresh Strawberries

chopped strawberry

These wouldn’t be strawberry cupcakes without fresh strawberries.

Tip: Frozen strawberries have much more moisture than fresh strawberries. I don’t recommend substituting frozen strawberries.

How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes

Whisking eggs, sour cream, and vanilla

Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth and soupy.

Whisk in a glass bowl of wet ingredients that have been mixed

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, and sugar with butter in a separate bowl. You can do this with an electric mixer or by hand.

If you use an electric mixer, start on low speed and then increase to high until the ingredients are fully combined.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients a little at a time.

Mixing wet ingredients into dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer

If necessary, pause and scrape down the side of the bowl during mixing.

Tip: If you use a beater blade like the one shown in my photos, the blade will scrape the side of the bowl for you.

cupcake batter in the bowl of stand mixer with the blade lifted

Mix in the milk to lighten up the batter. Be careful not to overmix. Mix until just combined.

Tip: Overmixing batter can make the cupcakes gummy. Read more in my post on overmixing cake batter.

completed strawberry cupcake batter without the strawberries in bowl of an electric mixer

Stir in the chopped strawberries by hand. Stirring them in by hand ensures that the mixer doesn’t break up the strawberries and helps keep you from accidentally overmixing the batter.

stirring strawberries into strawberry cupcake batter with a pink spatual

Fill cupcake liners about halfway full. Use an ice cream scoop/disher to easily transfer the batter to the cupcake liners.

Tip: 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 about how high to fill the cupcakes, try baking a single cupcake first to see how it rises. Then, adjust the other cupcakes accordingly.

Strawberry cupcakes ready to be baked

You’ll know the cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Take the hot cupcakes out of the cupcake tin immediately and set them on the counter to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Which Frosting Goes with Strawberry Cupcakes?

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

I always suggest strawberry frosting for strawberry cupcakes. But, which strawberry frosting you pick depends on your preference. In the recipe below, I use strawberry buttercream. Strawberry buttercream is the most popular choice as it is an extremely versatile frosting that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Strawberry Cupcakes frosted with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

If you are a cream cheese frosting lover, try frosting these cupcakes with my strawberry cream cheese frosting. This frosting uses freeze dried strawberry powder to create an intense strawberry flavor.

Vanilla Cupcakes With Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting

Finally, you can’t go wrong with strawberry whipped cream. It is light and luscious and made with fresh strawberries.

If strawberry frosting is too much for you, try frosting strawberry cupcakes with:

How to Decorate Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes with conversation hearts for Valentine's Day

I use a drop flower tip (Wilton 2D) to pipe the strawberry frosting onto these cupcakes. I spiral from the outside edge of the cupcake in toward the center.

Place fresh strawberries on top of the cupcakes or decorate with some conversation hearts and share with someone you love.

Best Tips for Making Strawberry Cupcakes

  • Use fresh strawberries.
  • Be careful not to overmix to keep your cupcakes from getting gummy.
  • Only fill your cupcake liners halfway.
  • Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.

If You Like These Cupcakes, You May Also Like…

  • Banana cupcakes (These do for bananas what this cupcake does for strawberries – the banana flavor really shines through!)
  • Apple cupcakes (If you have apple on hand, these are a must!)
  • Strawberry pie from The Little Epicurean (This looks so wonderful!)
  • Strawberry banana bread (It’s one of my favorite ways to have cake for breakfast.)
  • Strawberry pavlova (If you’ve never made one, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is to make a pavlova.)
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cupcakes frosted with three types of strawberry frosting on a white background with some scattered strawberries
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4.55 from 22 votes

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

These strawberry cupcakes are moist, flavorful, and loaded with fresh strawberries! Frost them with strawberry frosting for strawberry perfection!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword strawberry cupcakes, strawberry frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 15 cupcakes
Calories 357kcal
Author Stef

Ingredients

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 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

Instructions

Cupcake Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

For the 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.
For the frosting:
  • 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.
  • If your strawberries were frozen, be sure to defrost them and drain off any excess liquid before using them.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 357 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 211mg9%
Potassium 105mg3%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 645IU13%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!
Moist and flavorful cupcakes loaded with fresh strawberries! It\'s easy to make and made for complete beginners! A perfect surprise for special someone on Valentine\'s day, birthday or any occasion!
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19 comments on “Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting”

  1. Christinasays:

    5 stars
    This is an incredible recipe! I love how pretty and tasty they are!

  2. Joaniesays:

    5 stars
    This is such a wonderful recipe! I love the bits of strawberries in the batter. My daughter has requested I make these again for her birthday.

  3. Stephsays:

    5 stars
    How gorgeous are these! I love strawberry desserts and can’t wait to make these for our party this weekend!

  4. Annasays:

    5 stars
    I love how fluffy these cupcakes turned out! Just perfect! Also, I could totally eat the frosting with a spoon. :D

  5. Courtney O'Dellsays:

    5 stars
    These cupcakes are so delicious and your instructions helped so much!

  6. Julie Blannersays:

    5 stars
    Yum! Can’t wait to make these!

  7. Allyson Zeasays:

    5 stars
    This frosting is sooooo delicious! Making again for my friend’s baby shower! It’s a girl!

  8. Pamsays:

    5 stars
    These cupcakes were a hit with my daughter and her friends! Super yummy!

  9. Karyakusays:

    a combination of food flavors that provide extraordinary sensations

  10. Rebeccasays:

    the tops of my cakes came out good but the bottoms came out soggy and not good. Could it have been that I used too much strawberries. I used fresh strawberries. Could it have been that I uses overripe strawberries? I tried to paper towel off the liquid from the strawberry before putting it in the batter.

  11. Shawn Kaptainsays:

    Hello
    I wanted to make theseahead on an event. Do you think they would do all right put into the freezer?

  12. Shawn Kaptainsays:

    I am not sure what I did wrong but these cupcakes had more of a muffin type texture and flavor. Any suggestions?

  13. Ashley Mendozasays:

    5 stars
    Would this recipe be okay without the lemon zest?

  14. Asiasays:

    1 star
    I followed the directions and the cupcakes turned out terribly. The consistency was off and they didn’t rise. The taste I was decent but they were incredibly flat. I had to start over with a different recipe. I’m not sure why this recipe has so many positive comments. I used Betty Crocker’s cake mix (not self rising as instructed), so I’m not sure what the issue was.

  15. Johanne Raymondsays:

    These cupcakes tasted delish and were very moist. I will definitely make these again!

  16. Suesays:

    4 stars
    Found recipe, just having one of those days, Thanks you so much for sharing. plan to keep your site handy, as I love to bake!

  17. Amy Pedrinisays:

    Mine didn’t rise very much and browned slightly on the top very quickly… Did Indo something wrong??

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