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Strawberry Cupcakes | Cookies and Cups


These are the best-ever strawberry cupcakes! They’re soft, fluffy, and swirled with homemade strawberry frosting, bursting with fresh berry flavor from the inside out.

My strawberry cupcakes are right up there with some of my best strawberry recipes. If you’re looking for more delicious cupcakes, try these confetti cupcakes and my favorite vanilla cupcakes.

Four strawberry cupcakes frosted with swirls of strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with fresh strawberry halves on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe

My favorite strawberry cupcakes are made from soft, fluffy vanilla cake bursting with fresh strawberries. I love these cupcakes topped with “fancy” swirls of Swiss meringue buttercream infused with strawberry puree. Every bite tastes like a strawberry shortcake! These cupcakes are:

  • The softest cupcakes. This recipe makes the softest vanilla cupcakes ever, choc full of juicy strawberry chunks. A handful of ingredients make all the difference in their unbeatable fluffy, moist texture. I’ll walk you through them below!
  • Made with fresh strawberries. These cupcakes are brimming with real strawberries from the inside out, right down to the creamy strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream. They’re the perfect summer dessert to make when berries are ripe for the picking.
  • Easier than you think. Yes, it’s possible to make bakery-worthy cupcakes at home. You don’t need to be a pro to do it, either. These strawberry cupcakes will blow you away with how easy they are to make from scratch.

What You’ll Need

These strawberry cupcakes aren’t complicated, but they do call for a few important ingredients to make them super moist and very, very tender. I’ve included my notes here. Scroll down to the recipe card for a printable ingredients list and recipe details.

  • Flour – The vanilla cake base for these strawberry cupcakes uses a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour. Cake flour is the key to an extra soft crumb in recipes for vanilla cake. If you don’t have cake flour, you can use only all-purpose, or you can make a homemade cake flour substitute.
  • Leavening – Baking powder and salt. Make sure you’re using baking powder and not baking soda, which isn’t the same thing.
  • Butter – You’ll need room-temperature butter for the cupcakes as well as the buttercream frosting. I like to use unsalted butter in baking, but salted works, too. Just skip any added salt in that case.
  • Sugar – Regular granulated sugar works best here.
  • Eggs – You’ll need whole eggs plus one egg white. Adding an egg white is the secret to making bakery-style vanilla cupcakes.
  • Milk – This can be whole milk, 2% milk, or 1%.
  • Strawberries – I fill my batter with fresh strawberries when they’re in season. You don’t have to be too precious about how you chop the berries, coarsely chopped is fine. See below for more options.

For the Frosting

  • Strawberries – Like the cupcake batter, you want the strawberries for your frosting rinsed, hulled, and chopped. This time you’ll blend them into a puree.
  • Egg Whites – The key ingredient for the meringue in Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Sugar – You’ll use granulated sugar since it’s going to be dissolved into the egg whites.
  • Butter – Cut your room-temperature butter into cubes about one tablespoon in size.
Close up of a strawberry cupcake frosted with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with a fresh strawberry half, with more frosted cupcakes on a plate in the background.

What Kind of Strawberries Should I Use?

  • Fresh. My first choice for these cupcakes is always fresh berries. They come into season in the summer and I always pick them up from my local farm stall. Rinse the strawberries well, pat them dry, and remove the stems before you chop them.
  • Frozen. You can make these cupcakes with frozen strawberries. You’ll want to thaw them completely and drain off any excess moisture so that it doesn’t leak into the cupcake batter.
  • Freeze-dried. Chopped-up freeze-dried strawberries also work great in this recipe. The chopped berries will rehydrate in the batter, and you can blend them into a powder to add to the frosting.
Two halves of a frosted strawberry cupcake topped with fresh strawberries on a plate.

How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes

One thing I’ve found is that most cupcakes (or any cake, for that matter) tend to turn out great so long as the ingredients get measured correctly, and the batter doesn’t get overmixed. Go easy when mixing so that the flour is just combined, and your cupcakes will rise up tender and fluffy every time.

The short step-by-step below will get you off on the right foot. Check out my tips further on, and scroll to the recipe card for printable recipe instructions.

  • Sift the dry ingredients. Start by sifting the flour and leavening through a fine-mesh sieve (or sifter). Sifting is important as it gets rid of any lumps that might find their way into the batter.
  • Mix the wet ingredients. Next, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Gradually add the eggs and egg white, mixing in between.
  • Combine. Alternate adding the dry ingredients to the batter along with the milk until everything is combined. Finally, fold in the strawberries.
  • Bake. Transfer the cupcake batter to a lined muffin tin, and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely outside of the pan before you frost them.

The Best Strawberry Frosting

I frost these cupcakes with a strawberry version of my Swiss meringue buttercream recipe. If you’ve never made meringue frosting before, that post has lots of helpful tips and details. This is the BEST frosting that’s light, fluffy, and filled with sweet strawberry puree. Here’s how to make it:

  • Puree the strawberries. Before you begin, blend the strawberries into a puree using your blender or food processor.
  • Prepare the meringue. Dissolve the sugar in egg whites over a double boiler. Afterward, whisk the egg whites until they form fluffy, stiff peaks. Next, beat in the butter, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Finish the frosting. Once the butter’s mixed in, add the pureed strawberries. Keep stirring until the frosting is smooth, then you’re ready to get piping!

If you’d prefer a frosting without meringue, you can frost these cupcakes with a variation of my classic vanilla buttercream made with strawberry puree. Simply fold in the puree right at the end as you do in this recipe. I also have a roasted strawberry buttercream that would taste great here.

A piping tip piping a swirl of strawberry frosting onto a strawberry cupcake on a plate, with unfrosted cupcakes in the background.
Overhead close up view of a frosted strawberry cupcake topped with a fresh strawberry half.

Helpful Tips

  • Measure the ingredients correctly. I can’t recommend a kitchen scale enough when it comes to baking. It’s the best way to accurately measure ingredients. However, if you’re without a scale, your next best bet is to use the “spoon and sweep” method when measuring out ingredients like flour. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup, and then level it off. This avoids over-measuring, which happens when you scoop the flour directly from the bag.
  • Don’t overmix. I repeat: Do not overmix the batter! If you’ve ever had a batch of cupcakes that came out of the oven looking dense and flat, the batter was likely overworked. Follow the recipe closely and only mix until the dry ingredients are just barely combined. The less you handle the batter, the better, especially with a delicate cake recipe, like these strawberry cupcakes!
  • Try not to overfill the pan. Only fill the cupcake liners between ½-¾ of the way full so that the batter doesn’t spill over as the cupcakes bake.
  • Use a double boiler. You can DIY a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water.
  • Don’t overheat the meringue. Warm the sugar and egg whites slowly. When it’s ready, the mixture will be warm (not hot), and it should feel smooth when you rub it between two fingers.
  • Store the frosting. The strawberry Swiss meringue frosting can stay airtight at room temperature if you’re using it on the same day it’s made. Otherwise, you can prepare the frosting up to 3 days ahead and keep it covered in the fridge.
  • Make a sheet cake instead. You can bake this strawberry cake batter in a 9×13” pan. Keep an eye on the cake and test it for doneness, as the baking time will be different. Also, check out my strawberry sheet cake recipe made with strawberry jam.
  • Decorate these cupcakes. Be as creative as you like! I top my cupcakes with fresh strawberry halves. They’d also be perfect with sprinkles, or with a drizzle of strawberry syrup
Side view of strawberry cupcakes frosted with swirls of strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with fresh strawberry halves on a plate.

How to Store

  • To Store. Strawberry cupcakes will keep for 1-2 days at room temperature. After that, I’d recommend moving them to the fridge. Cover the cupcakes with plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container.
  • Freeze. The best way to freeze these cupcakes is before they’re frosted. Let the baked cupcakes cool to room temperature and then store them airtight. Keep them frozen for up to 3 months, and thaw them at room temperature.

More Strawberry Recipes

Print

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Description

These soft and fluffy strawberry cupcakes with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting are bursting with fresh berry flavor from the inside out!


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries

For the Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 sticks of butter, at room temperature and cut into Tablespoon-sized cubes

For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat to 350ºF and line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. In your mixer’s bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and egg white, one at a time, mixing in between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk over low speed, beginning and ending with the flour until well combined.
  6. Fold in chopped strawberries by hand.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared cupcake pan. Fill each cupcake liner 1/2 – 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Puree the strawberries in a blender or processor.
  2. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler (see note). Whisk continuously until the sugar has dissolved into the egg whites and the mixture is warm. It should feel smooth, and not grainy when rubbed between your fingers.
  3. Starting slowly, beat the egg white and sugar mixture using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form, and the mixture is fluffy and glossy. After about 8-10 minutes, the mixture will have cooled.
  4. With the paddle attachment fitted onto the mixer, add the butter 3 Tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when all the butter is combined and smooth. Then, reduce the speed to low and continue to mix for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add pureed strawberries and beat the frosting on medium until everything is well combined, then stir with a spoon or spatula until smooth.

Notes

  • If your stand mixer has a heat-proof bowl, you can also place this over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the simmering water underneath.
  • Store the frosting airtight at room temperature if using the same day, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
  • Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

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