Strawberry Cupcakes

These Strawberry Cupcakes are super moist, fluffy, and bursting with strawberry flavor. We pair them with a swirl of strawberry buttercream that will absolutely melt in your mouth.

You’re going to love this easy strawberry cupcake recipe!

Strawberry cupcake with tall swirl of strawberry buttercream.

Easy Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Cupcakes have never been my first choice of dessert, but looking at these photos of Strawberry Cupcakes makes me want to get in the kitchen and whip up another batch IMMEDIATELY.

Even I, a notorious lover of crumbles over cupcakes, was unable to resist these. This cupcake recipe is adapted from our beloved Strawberry Cake, which gets its intense strawberry flavor from the triple whammy of pureed strawberries, diced fresh strawberries, and strawberry jello.

The recipe converted beautifully into cupcakes, and, paired with the dreamiest strawberry buttercream, became an instant family favorite.

Strawberry cupcakes in parchment paper lines on a cooling rack.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • They’re super easy to make. These are, essentially, a cake mix cupcake with a whole lot of zhuzh. We add an extra egg, some strawberry Jello, and substitute pureed strawberries for water to make cupcakes that are rich and moist without a lot of effort.
  • They taste like strawberries! These cupcakes taste like bright, sweet, and tangy fresh strawberries, not like the cloying, artificial flavor of say, a strawberry starburst (which is good in its own right, but definitely doesn’t resemble real strawberries).
  • The.frosting.is.perfect.– I normally like to pair strawberry flavored things with cream cheese frosting, but I found it too overpowering for these. Instead, we made a perfect buttercream that holds its shape while still being light, fluffy, and full of strawberry flavor.

Ingredients Needed

For the cupcakes:

  • White cake mix– You can pick any brand you like, but be sure it does not have pudding added.
  • Strawberry jello– I’ve used strawberry jello with and without food dyes. The pictures you see here are made with Jello brand strawberry, which contains red dye. For this Strawberry Bundt Cake I used Aldi brand, which does not contain dye. You can see the cake does not have the same bright pink hue, but it still tastes absolutely delicious!
  • Flour, baking powder, sugar– We add just a bit more of each of these ingredients to account for the extra strawberries in the batter.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Fresh strawberries- You’ll puree ½ cup and use a ½ cup of diced fresh strawberries.
White cake mix, strawberry jello, pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, flour, and diced strawberries on a pink background.

For the frosting:

  • Unsalted butter- Let it come to room temperature (or microwave, rotating every 7 seconds, until soft but firm) before beating.
  • Dried strawberries- Look for crunchy freeze dried strawberries, like these, NOT the chewy/gummy kind. This is the KEY to the incredible flavor of this frosting. When ground into a powder, the strawberries pack a major punch of flavor without affecting the structure of the frosting.
    • Pro tip: Aldi has the best price on freeze dried strawberries.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream or half and half
  • Salt and vanilla
Powdered sugar, butter, dried strawberries, and vanilla extract shown in bowls on a pink background.

How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 12 cup muffin tins with cups
  2. Whisk dry ingredients. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together cake mix, jello, flour, baking powder, and sugar.
  3. Add wet ingredients. Add the vegetable oil and beat on medium speed until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Add strawberries. Add the strawberry puree and diced strawberries, and beat a final time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until batter is well combined.
  5. Scoop into liners. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the strawberry buttercream:

  1. Beat butter. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add sugar and strawberry powder. Add the strawberry powder and beat until incorporated. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Add liquid. Add the vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons of the heavy cream. Test for thickness. If needed, add a little more cream.
  4. Pipe frosting. Place the buttercream in a piping bag. I used the Wilton 2D tip. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes and serve or store.

Tips and Tools

  • You can use a blender or food processor to grind the dried strawberries into a powder. Leave the lid on for a minute or two before opening it, or you’ll release a big poof of red powder into the air that sorta makes you look like a witch. Ask me how I know.
  • This buttercream develops a slight crust, but it gives way easily when you bite into it, and is super soft and creamy inside.
  • If you want big, tall frosting swirls, you’ll need to times the recipe by 1.5 (amounts shown in recipe below).
  • I used this Wilton 2D tip and this instructional video on piping frosting to get the nice swirls.
  • I like these parchment paper tulip liners because you never have to worry about overflowing cupcakes. However, sometimes they create lines in the cupcake, so if a perfectly round cupcake is important to you, use traditional liners.
  • If you’re making cupcakes for your family, I love using these reusable silicone cupcake liners.
Strawberry cupcake with a parchment paper liner peeled off around it.

How to Store Strawberry Cupcakes

The cupcakes can be made and frosted up to 48 hours in advance. Cupcakes are freshest within the first 2 days, but frosted cupcakes, covered and stored at room temperature, will keep for up to 5 days.

I have this cupcake holder. I like it, but it doesn’t leave enough room between layers for tall frosting swirls. I’ve got my eye on this case for taller cupcakes.

Top view of a strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream.

FAQs

Should strawberry cupcakes be refrigerated?

These cupcakes do not need to be refrigerated. They keep fresh and stay moist longer if stored at room temperature.

Can these cupcakes be frozen?

These strawberry cupcakes can be made ahead of time and frozen. You can check out this post to learn how to freeze cupcakes.

I do not recommend freezing frosted cupcakes.

Strawberry cupcake with a big bite taken out of it.

More Strawberry Recipes

Make the most of strawberry season with these other favorites:

Strawberry cupcake with tall swirl of strawberry buttercream.

Strawberry Cupcakes

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

We upgrade a simple cake mix with three types of strawberries to make these easy Strawberry Cupcakes! Pair them with a simple, creamy strawberry buttercream for a moist cupcake that is bursting with strawberry flavor!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix (no pudding added)
  • 1 3 oz. package strawberry jello
  • 1 scant Tablespoon flour
  • Pinch baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup pureed strawberries
  • ½ cup diced fresh strawberries

For the frosting:

  • 1 oz. package freeze dried strawberries
  • 2 sticks (16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or half and half

Instructions

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 12 cup muffin tins with cups.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together cake mix, jello, flour, baking powder, and sugar.
  3. Add the vegetable oil and beat on medium speed until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the strawberries, and beat a final time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until batter is well combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.** Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Add the entire bag of strawberries to a food processor or blender. Blend until it's in a fine powder. Wait one minute for the powder to settle before removing the lid.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the strawberry powder and beat until incorporated. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, beating after each addition, and scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons of the heavy cream. Test for thickness. If needed, add a little more cream.
  5. Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2 tip. Pipe frosting on the cooled cupcakes. ***This frosting recipe makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes with a shallow layer. If you prefer tall frosting swirls, times the recipe by 1.5 (measurements below).

Notes

**Cupcakes bake best one tray at a time. However, if you (like me), don't have the time or patience to do this, place the cupcakes side by side on the same middle rack in the oven.

***Measurements for 1.5x frosting:

  • 1.5 oz. freeze dried strawberries (1 1/2 packages)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 4-6 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • Pinch salt

Cupcakes can be made and frosted up to 48 hours ahead of time. Store them covered at room temperature. They'll keep for 4-5 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 1g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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