Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

So I’ve been envisioning this cupcake for a long time now. And I know it’s not springy everywhere–heck, it’s not even springy here right now! We started out the week in the 80s and now we’re back in the 30s. But I guess that means I now want springtime cupcakes more than ever!

I tried out a couple of strawberry cupcake recipes in search of the one that was just right. Ultimately, I wanted one that got a fantastic rise, but I’ve kind of resolved myself to the fact that that’s something I’m going to have to sacrifice because of things I want more. Ultimately, I wanted a cupcake that had a distinct strawberry flavor but didn’t have artificial strawberry flavoring in it. I also didn’t want want chunks of strawberry because I’m not a huge fan of slimy strawberries (think chunks of strawberry in your yogurt. Ew.) I could achieve both of these goals by pureeing the strawberries instead of chopping them; however, it added some extra, unaccounted-for liquid that cut down on the rise. HOWEVER, I couldn’t add extra flour because that would cut into the strawberry flavor that I wanted. And ’round and ’round we go.

Anyway, after trying a handful of strawberry cupcake recipes, I slightly modified this one from a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine that featured cupcakes. I’ve found (and maybe other people have noticed) that her recipes can often be deliberately unclear and hard to follow, so I simplified some things, tweaked a little here and there, and got an awfully yummy cupcake out of the deal. Paired with Sara’s Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling…oh, man…light and sweet and everything that strawberries and cream are supposed to be!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cake flour (or cake flour substitute)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg white
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. strawberries, pureed
A few drops of red food coloring (optional; I understand it’s kind of a hot topic, but they turn out a bit gray inside if you don’t use it…)
Double recipe of Sara’s Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling

Preheat oven to 350. Line a METAL muffin pan with paper liners–you absolutely must use a metal pan in this recipe to give them as much help as they can get rising. Whisk flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating after every addition.

Reduce speed to low. Combine buttermilk and vanilla together and set aside. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture; end with the dry ingredients. Fold in strawberries. If desired, add a few drops of red food coloring until a pretty pink color is reached. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything has been mixed in. Divide batter among muffin cups (about 30), filling them almost all the way to the top.

Bake cupcakes until a knife inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Allow to cool in muffin tins. Top with a swirl of frosting (just cut a generous hole off the corner of a Ziploc or disposable decorating bag and swirl around the cupcake) and dream of all the sunny days to come!




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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I too made this in a 9×13 pan..I used a metal pan. It turned out great (not as cute as the cupcakes though). I served it with whipped cream on top and fresh strawberry topping, instead of any frosting. It is amazing! Thank you for recipe.

  2. Couldn’t find cake flour at my local Harmon’s, but the did have Lehi Roller Mills Artisan Baking Flour. I bought it (like a moron) and have been scouring the package looking for an indicator that it is anything but regular flour made in Lehi. Could it possibly be cake flour in “artisan baking flour” clothing?

    Love your website, I’ve tried recipes in just about every category and they’ve all been delish!

    1. Hmmmm…check Walmart and see if they have Swan’s Down. I’m guessing artisan baking flour is probably used to make heavy artisan breads, so that’s probably not what you’re looking for. Cake flour is SUPER light, almost like powdered sugar.

  3. Just what I have been looking for!! I am making these for my friend’s daughter’s 4th birthday party next week. Can’t wait!! Thank you!

  4. I just finished making this in a 9×13 pan, and it turned out great! I even used a glass pan. The only different things I did was bake for longer, and preheated the oven to 450 then to 350 when I put the cake in the oven. Thank you for the wonderful recipe, you girls are the BEST!!!

  5. Hi! These look great! I want to try this recipe but only want to make a dozen.. Are you able to provide this recipe with the ingredients for a dozen cupcakes as opposed to 30? Thank you!

  6. Made these last weekend because I was wanting to bake and try something new and cupcakes sounded good… insert Strawberry cupcakes! You're right, they don't get much rise at all. Anticipating that, though, I filled those cupcake liners pretty much to the brim and that helped. I thought they were very good, though I definitely recommend the red food coloring to avoid the grayness. I took a bunch into my Primary class [10-11 year olds] on Sunday and they all gave them 2 thumbs up!

  7. So I made these this weekend, and while the cupcakes were pretty delicious, they were very dense and didn't rise at all. Was a little disappointed…

    I know you mentioned that they needed all the help rising that they could get, so I tried the trick of preheating the over at 450 then turning it down to 350 when you put them in, but these little cupcakes still fell flat when I took them out. I even ended up making two separate batches (one just wasn't gonna be enough), and they both fell, so I'm thinking it's the recipe and not something that I did wrong. I dunno… Any suggestions?

    (I really loved the icing that was recommended for these, though. So yummy!!!)

  8. I was thinking of making these (pink) cupcakes for my daughter's upcoming birthday…what's the best way to make a puree?

  9. After I started making these I saw that you said it had to be a metal pan and all I have are stone and silicon muffin pans so I did what Amber said and warmed the oven to 450 and then turned it down to 350 when I put them in. They turned out perfect and are so yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  10. A couple years ago, I also wanted to do strawberry cupcakes and ran into the same issues you mentioned. What finally worked for me was using freeze-dried strawberries. I break some up into small chunks and add them to a regular vanilla cupcake batter. And I pulverize them to a powder and strain out the seeds and use the powder to add to a cream cheese frosting. The strawberry flavor and color is very concentrated, so you don't have to use too much. And it's nice when strawberries are not in season.

    1. Thanks for the tip about freeze-dried strawberries! Will be trying that for my daughter’s 2nd birthday this week (she LOVES strawberries!!)!

  11. I’m looking for a good strawberry cake recipe. Have you tried making this recipe into just a 9×13 cake? I’m wondering how it will do?

  12. you did it kate! way to go!

    i bet they are just yummy! i loved the ones you made while we were there so these will probably knock our socks off!


  13. I’m totally with you on slimy strawberries and on that sickening sweet artifical strawberry tast, yuck!

    Thanks for passing along the recipe!

    Btw, I’m making the snickerdoodle ice cream tonight!

  14. Just a tip- not positive it’ll work for these- but sometimes preheating the oven 50-100 degrees above where you want it and then dropping it when you put the pans in helps with the rising. I do this frequently- I’ll start the oven at 450 for my cupcakes and make sure it’s fully heated- then I’ll drop it to 325 to cook them. You get a great crown.

  15. I tasted these (I LOVE being one of a few people living near Kate that follow this blog) and I can vouch for their yumminess. The perfect amount of strawberry, and definitely not fake tasting. Yummy, strawberry-ie, moist, and sweet. Perfect!

  16. Oooh, those look SO good! I agree about Martha’s recipes. I’ve made many of her recipes that were confusing or didn’t turn out. Weird. Anyway, thanks for figuring out the perfect recipe for us! I will definitely be making these!

  17. I’ve been dreaming up my own version of a strawberry shortcake type cupcake for an upcoming bridal shower. I’ll be trying this one out! I wanna picture of the texture etc of the cake inside!

  18. I just bought strawberries and they were SO good. Ya know sometimes off-season strawberries are kinda gross and sour, so these ones reminded me that it’s almost spring time! The cupcakes look so yummy, I want to stick my finger in that frosting!

  19. Those look so good and I am going to have to try them!

    I tried one of the cupcake recipes from that mag and was terribly disappointed. I have yet to use a Martha recipe that turned out well.

  20. It might not be springy here yet, but I still have spring fever! Keep the springy look coming….it gives me hope! 🙂