Strawberry Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Buttercream

A burst of sweet and tart strawberry in every bite

Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes

If you are looking for a dessert that will wow your family or friends or co-workers or bake sale patrons or anyone lucky enough to eat it, look no further than Strawberry Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Buttercream. I’ve made these intensely strawberry flavored confections for my family and my friends (and, yes, for my co-workers and for bake sales and for other lucky people who deserve my thanks) and no one can get over the berry explosion that is this cupcake.

Full transparency: the first time I made these cupcakes, I ate 3 in a row. One right after the other. I don’t know what came over me. I mean, sure, I have a big sweet tooth, but usually I also have some self-control. But that day, I just had to have more and more of that fluffy strawberry cake and creamy frosting. Now when I make them, I also make a batch of mini-ones; that way, if I eat more than one (or two) at a time, I don’t feel so bad.

The cake is rich (thank you, butter, sugar, and vanilla) but it is also so light and moist (thank you, whipped egg whites) and the strawberry puree and chopped up berries inside create that marvelous sweet and fruity flavor. Then when you frost these beauties with the Creamy Strawberry Buttercream that gets its berry burst from powdered freeze-dried strawberries, well…it’s just strawberrylicious!

Coffee or tea or a glass of cold milk (regular dairy milk or any alternative one, like Almond Milk) are good accompaniments for these sweet treats, but I have to say I’ve had them with a Mixed Berry Smoothie and that was pretty great. Some desserts just lend themselves to all kinds of drinks (Rosemary Greyhounds, anyone? Because if you’ve never matched strawberries with rosemary–and vodka!–you should. And like the cupcakes, this lovely drink is pink!)

The Keys to Light and Fluffy Cupcakes

There are two keys to the ultra light and fluffy texture of these cupcakes. The first is adding cornstarch to your flour. What this does is lower the gluten formation in the flour, making it more like cake flour, which is very low in gluten: the less gluten, the softer the cake. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes: you can use gluten-free flour in this recipe.

The other key to a perfectly light cupcake is the egg whites. When you beat them to stiff peaks and fold them (gently!) into your cake batter, they add air and create volume, resulting in a light, airy texture. Make sure your bowl and your whisk attachments are completely clean before beating the egg whites; any contamination can result in your egg whites not whipping properly.

Ingredients

  • 8-9 large strawberries divided
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 egg whites room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes

How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Buttercream

Step 1: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (177°C) and lining a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. You’ll bake a second batch for the remaining cupcakes.

Step 2: Puree 5 strawberries until chunky to get about 1/3 cup, then finely chop the rest. Set both aside.

Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes

Step 3: Beat the egg whites to soft peaks using a mixer with a whisk attachment, then set aside.

Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes

Step 4: Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg yolk and vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to this mixture, then fold in the egg whites, strawberry puree, and chopped strawberries.

Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes

Step 5: Fill cupcake liners halfway with batter and bake for 20-24 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Step 6: For the frosting, process freeze-dried strawberries into a powder. Beat butter until creamy, then gradually add confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, cream, and vanilla extract. Adjust thickness and sweetness as needed, then frost the cooled cupcakes.

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

It’s best to bake the cupcakes as soon as you make the batter (because of the egg whites) but the buttercream frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The frosted cupcakes can be kept tightly covered on the counter for a day, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Temperature matters

Make sure all of your ingredients, including the butter, the dairy, and the eggs, are at room temperature before you begin making the batter and the frosting–this makes for easier blending, which ensures smoothness.

Be berry berry picky about your berries

The star of this cupcake show is the strawberry! So be sure to pick fruit that is ripe (but not overripe!), a beautiful red color, and firm to the touch.

Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes

Serving Suggestions

You guys know me: I often like to take a flavor to its limits, so I can tell you that these Strawberry Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Buttercream go so well with Strawberry Ice Cream and even Strawberry Basil Ice Cream (I love a dessert with herbs). For some old-school whimsy, try serving the cupcakes with a Strawberry Ice Cream Soda or, if you think the cupcakes have more than enough strawberry, a delicious Vanilla Milkshake.

Sometimes, though, it’s nice to pair a cupcake with another dessert that has a similar flavor profile (fruit) but a different texture, so I like Poached Peaches with Raspberries alongside these cupcakes, or Chia Seed Pudding with Mango and Blueberry. And speaking of mixing cupcakes with something creamy (was I speaking of that? I was…), these cupcakes are amazing with Almond Amaretto Panna Cotta because strawberries and almonds are another terrific combination.

Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes
Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Buttercream

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Course cupcakes
Cuisine American
Servings 16 cupcakes
Calories 518 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8-9 large strawberries divided
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 egg whites room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (177°C) and lining a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. You’ll bake a second batch for the remaining cupcakes.
  • Puree 5 strawberries until chunky to get about 1/3 cup, then finely chop the rest. Set both aside.
    Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes
  • Beat the egg whites to soft peaks using a mixer with a whisk attachment, then set aside.
    Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes
  • Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg yolk and vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to this mixture, then fold in the egg whites, strawberry puree, and chopped strawberries.
    Delicious Strawberry Cupcakes
  • Fill cupcake liners halfway with batter and bake for 20-24 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  • For the frosting, process freeze-dried strawberries into a powder. Beat butter until creamy, then gradually add confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, cream, and vanilla extract. Adjust thickness and sweetness as needed, then frost the cooled cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 518kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 3gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 160mgPotassium: 267mgFiber: 2gSugar: 59gVitamin A: 702IUVitamin C: 184mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 4mg
Keyword homemade strawberry cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes
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