Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

CATEGORIES: Cakes and Cupcakes, Kate

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!





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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!


  9. 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?

  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.

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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!!!)

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!!!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. I am in the middle of making these right now, and I can’t see in the recipe where to add the pureed strawberries! Help!!! I am just going to stir them in after the dry ingredients alternate with the buttermilk, I guess! If you get this quickly, please respond:-) Thanks! I love all of your recipes!!!

    1. So, I added the strawberries at the end of making the batter, and it seemed to work just fine. the flavor is delicious!

  20. I figured out why so many people are asking about when to add the strawberries when it is definitely in the post–that step is missing in the the text-only version. Can’t wait to try these! 🙂

  21. Thanks so much for the recipe. I made the M Stewart recipe last summer and was also not happy with the texture of the cupcakes that result from using diced strawberries. Also, the structure cannot be maintained as the strawberries shrink and collapse under the heat of baking. Finally the flavor of these cannot be rivaled….the puree element makes the strawberry taste explode in the cupcake. Awesome recipe! Also, cannot wait to try the frosting/ filling recipe. I have not made a traditional buttercream in over five years since it usually ends up as a pushed aside glob on almost all dessert plates. I have come to rely on Swiss/Italian Meringue Bcs (high maintenance) or cream cheese/whipped cream frostings (crazy short shelf life). I was beyond stunned to find a new alternative and can’t wait to add it to my repertoire. Terrific recipes and information. Thanks!

  22. These made really flavorful, pretty strawberry cupcakes! Mine were also a little dense (in my opinion) but they got rave reviews from everyone who tried one. I got 24 out of the recipe exactly. Topped with a strawberry buttercream which was also delicious. Didn’t need any food coloring – my puree was a deep red and tinted both the batter and the frosting nicely. This is a great recipe for a cake with big berry flavor (and all natural at that).

  23. I made these for my mom’s 65th birthday party and they were a huge hit! I made two batches. One batch was a little flat and the other was perfectly rounded. My brother-in-law took four home with him. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes. I’ve made several and they have all been fantastic.

  24. just made these and they are very yummy. What number tip did you use to ice these in the picture? Or did you just cut a bag? I need to buy a big round tip.

  25. I just tried these cupcakes and they were delicious. But the centers sunk in after I took them out of the oven. The texture was also a little doughy and soggy. Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent the sinking and improve the texture?

  26. I’m going to give these a whirl (along with your fabulous frosting recipe) for my baby girl’s first birthday party. Wish me luck!

  27. Just made this recipe–very, very good. It definitely has a strong strawberry flavor, which is what I was looking for. The texture is very moist. I baked the batter in two round cake pans and the batter rose enough just fine. I’m using this for cake pops, I’ll be using a different frosting recipe/making it up as I go, adding strawberry purée to it so I get a really big burst of strawberry flavor. Thanks for this recipe!

  28. I learned that by adding 1-2 tbsp (or more if you like) of Beet juice the cupcakes turn a pretty pink without any artificial food coloring. You don’t even taste the beets…just don’t use the ‘pickled’ beet juice. =)

  29. Would these be good with your cream cheese frosting? Also I had the thought to whip the egg whites and fold them in- I think that really might help the rise. I’ll try tonight and see! It might tweak the cook time though…

  30. Ok i have literally made almost every cupcake on here and wow they r great the lemon blueberry were my fav! But i have a question after i puree my strawberries do i leave the seeds in it or should i cheese cloth them out?

  31. I made these cupcakes for a fund raiser for Youth For Christ Upper Deck. There were a lot of cupcakes there and they were auctioning them. Your Strawberry Cream cupcakes were a big hit. People were fighting over them. I followed your recipe. Only addition, when I iced them, I pureed some strawberry jam and put it into an icing bag and drew a swirl around the groove in the icing. They are just too good for someone like me who gains weight just looking at them.

  32. My husband and daughter made a version of these with blueberries instead of strawberries, and I must say this is probably one of the best cakes I have eaten in a very long time (and I am very picky and judgmental about cakes!!). It didn’t even need any frosting at all, in my opinion. The cake itself is that good. The color was beautiful and I am eager to try it with strawberries–and I wonder if a handful of raspberries would help with the color too. The blueberry ones turned out a beautiful purple with no added food coloring, in case anyone wonders. This is really a great recipe, and one that I think deserves a refresh on your site…it would be a shame to have it get buried in the archives! Truly delicious cakes are rare gems.

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