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Fresh strawberry cupcakes are moist and fruity with chunks of fresh, ripe strawberries inside of a fluffy homemade vanilla cake batter. Perfect with strawberry buttercream frosting. A great Valentine’s Day dessert.

Strawberry cupcake in wrapper with strawberry buttercream on top.

Strawberries are one of the most delicious fruits to use in desserts. Mid to late winter (February-March) is when the strawberry supply is usually the highest and prices are low.

The peak season makes them perfect for Valentine’s Day! Luckily, strawberry season goes through June/July, so you can make these fresh strawberry cupcakes in the spring, for Easter, or summer too!

Vanilla cupcakes with chunks of fresh strawberries.

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKE RECIPE

These homemade strawberry cupcakes are made completely from scratch. I took my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and added chunks of real strawberries to it, then topped it with a delicious strawberry buttercream frosting.

The result created a light and fluffy, super moist and fruity cupcake. No artificial colors or flavors – pure, fresh strawberries in every bite.

If you’re cool with boxed cake mix, I grew up on my mom’s strawberry cake with jello, which is really good too.

Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting piped on top.

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS

You probably have most of what you need to make this strawberry cake at home. You will need:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • oil (canola/vegetable)
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • buttermilk (or combination of milk and white vinegar or lemon juice)
  • strawberries
Fresh strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream rosettes piped on top.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES FROM SCRATCH

  1. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) together. This is going to help ensure a light fluffy cupcake.
  2. Cream the oil and sugar together. I prefer oil over butter in cake recipes because it creates a moister sponge.
  3. Whisk the eggs in one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla.
  4. Mix the batter, alternating between the flour mixture and buttermilk. (Buttermilk can be made my mixing regular milk and white vinegar or lemon juice together, and letting it sit for 5 minutes to curdle slightly.)
  5. Fold in the strawberries. Then scoop batter into cups and bake. I like to save a few strawberry chunks to sprinkle on top for looks.
Before and after baking strawberry cupcakes in the tin.
Fresh strawberry cupcakes have a fluffy vanilla cake with chunks of real strawberries.

STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

What would a strawberry cupcake be without strawberry frosting?! My strawberry buttercream is made with 4 ingredients: butter, jam, powdered sugar, and salt. Yes, salt. Don’t leave it out. It balances out the sweetness and intensifies the flavors.

While it’s tempting to use fresh puréed strawberries in the frosting, it will thin the frosting really quickly and not have as much flavor as a concentrated jam does.

Fresh strawberry cupcake in wrapper with strawberry frosting on top.

You definitely want thicker frosting to pipe onto these tasty strawberry cupcakes. It’s fun to pile the frosting high or make pretty rosettes with.

To make rosettes, use a Wilton 2D tip. Start piping from the center, and swirl round and around towards the edges. Easy and beautiful! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Rosettes piped onto fresh strawberry cupcakes.

MORE CUPCAKE RECIPES TO TRY

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Strawberry cupcake in wrapper with strawberry buttercream on top.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Yield: 18 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Fresh strawberry cupcakes are moist and fruity with chunks of fresh, ripe strawberries inside of a fluffy homemade vanilla cake batter. Perfect with strawberry buttercream frosting.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (stir, spoon & level)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola/vegetable)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced into 1/4" pieces

Strawberry Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup natural strawberry preserves or low sugar jam
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 375˚F for high altitude). Line muffin tin(s) with cupcake liners.
  2. FOR THE CUPCAKES: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each one. Add the vanilla and mix together.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Add all of the buttermilk. Mix until combined. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients with the diced strawberry pieces until just combined. Do not over mix!
  5. Scoop batter 2/3 full (with a #24 scoop) into the prepared cupcake pans (about 18 cupcakes). Do not over-fill.
  6. Bake at 350˚F (or 375˚F for high altitude) for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Remove from tins and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. FOR THE FROSTING: Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat the butter with the natural strawberry preserves/jam until light and creamy. (Might not be completely smooth until you start adding powdered sugar.)
  8. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a pinch or two of salt and mix until combined. Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (Wilton 2D or 1M) and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. 

Notes

  • You can make buttermilk with regular milk plus 1 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes before using.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 2g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and is an estimation only.