These Strawberry Cupcake show the beauty of using real ingredients to achieve flavors that artificial additives simply can’t match. These cupcakes, made with genuine strawberry puree and enhanced with strawberry emulsion, offer a burst of fresh strawberry flavor in every bite. Complemented by a luscious strawberry frosting that’s dotted with freeze-dried strawberries, these cupcakes are perfect for any occasion that calls for a touch of sweetness and a whole lot of love.

In my quest to create the perfect strawberry cupcake, I was determined to use only real strawberries, ensuring the flavor was authentic and the color naturally appealing. The result is this recipe, which I believe captures the essence of strawberries in a light, fluffy cupcake form. It’s a celebration of my favorite berry and a joy to share with friends and family. Whether for a special event or a simple treat, these cupcakes are a way to share a little happiness, one berry-flavored bite at a time.

If you love strawberries as much as I do, you have got to check out my Strawberries & Cream Cookies and my Strawberry Macarons. Bake these and you will be in strawberry heaven!

freshly made strawberry cupcakes

The Chemistry of Strawberry Cupcakes

The key to these cupcakes’ delightful texture and flavor is in the careful combination of ingredients and the reaction they undergo during mixing and baking. The creaming of the butter and sugar introduces air into the mixture, providing the cupcakes with their lightness. Eggs contribute to the structure and richness, while buttermilk adds tenderness to the crumb by reacting with the baking powder an baking soda, creating bubbles that lift the batter as it bakes. The strawberry puree and emulsion infuse the cupcakes with a deep, real berry flavor that’s both aromatic and tasteful. Finally, the frosting, whipped to perfection, pairs the fat content of the butter with the sweetness of powdered sugar and the concentrated flavor of freeze-dried strawberries for a creamy, fruity topping that’s irresistible.

How to cream your butter & sugar

First, combine your butter & sugar in a standing mixer. Then, turn the mixer on high for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl every 30 seconds. When the mixture is creamed it will be lighter in color and texture. Here is a visual example of how the ingredients look when just combined vs. creamed:

Butter and sugar just combined
Butter and sugar creamed

How do I ensure my cupcakes are moist and fluffy?

Don’t over mix the batter once the dry ingredients are added; mix just until combined. Over mixing can develop the gluten too much and lead to dense cupcakes. Also, make sure not to over bake them – check for doneness at the minimum baking time.

Can I make these cupcakes in advance?

Yes, the cupcakes can be baked in advance and stored without frosting in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or frozen for longer storage. Frost them on the day you plan to serve for the best taste and texture.

freshly made strawberry cupcakes

What can I use if I don’t have strawberry emulsion?

While strawberry emulsion provides a concentrated flavor without adding liquid, you can substitute it with additional strawberry puree for the flavor. Keep in mind, this may slightly alter the texture. Another option would be to use strawberry extract. Although the flavor isn’t as strong as emulsion, it will help intensify the overall strawberry flavor.

How can I convert this recipe into a cake?

This batter can be poured into two 8-inch round cake pans and baked at the same temperature for about 25-30 minutes. You can also follow the recipe here.

freshly made strawberry cupcakes

What is in Strawberry Cupcakes

Cake Flour

Has a lower amount of protein and is very fine. It gives your treat a specific flavor and makes them very white or light in color. It’s made of soft wheat so it should not be used in place of all-purpose or bread flour. Only use when your recipe specifically calls for it.

Baking Powder

Puffs up your batter or dough instead of spreading it out. Baking powder contains a little bit of baking soda, an acid & cornstarch. Because of this, it only needs a liquid to react. It also consists of two different acids, so it’s double reacting. It reacts as soon as it’s mixed with a moisture and then again when it’s heated up.

Baking Soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter or dough. It increases the spread in your treat and encourages browning, which gives the crispy outside and soft inside texture that everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will activate your baking soda are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk and sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, which is right when it’s mixed into your batter or dough. The soda creates little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Fine Sea Salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt, it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your treat, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Unsalted Butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough or batter and it will result in an overly salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough or batter which helps with moistness, flavor and texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your treat will melt down too fast and overspread in the oven, leaving you with a greasy, flat mess. If your butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your treat too thick.

Granulated Sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter. It helps add moisture to your treat and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Eggs

Adds both a protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because, when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the egg white mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking, which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick treats. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters and doughs together and help them from collapsing. Unless otherwise specified, always use large eggs.

Buttermilk

Adds moisture and helps to tenderize the gluten, creating a soft crumb and tangy flavor. It also helps rise the pH level of your batter, increasing the rise from the baking powder.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Strawberry Puree

Offer the cupcakes their genuine strawberry flavor and aroma.

Strawberry Emulsion

Intense strawberry flavor with just a teaspoon.

Unsalted butter

Often the main ingredient of frosting, it adds structure to your buttercream. It also adds a smooth and velvety texture. Butter melts at body temperature, so it will make your frosting have a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

Powdered Sugar

Is just finely ground granulated sugar. It will absorb moisture in your batter or dough. It dissolves easily, ensuring a smooth texture without grittiness. Because it is so fine, it can melt quickly in the oven and spread cookies out more. Powdered sugar also stabilizes and thickens the frosting, thanks to the small amount of cornstarch it contains.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Makes a softer, more spreadable frosting. When melted with chocolate it adds more fat and moisture to the mixture, resulting in a silkier blend.

Freeze Dried Strawberries

Intensify the berry flavor with a pleasant texture.

freshly made strawberry cupcakes

Storage Tips

Cupcakes are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, refrigerate them, especially after frosting, for up to 5 days. Let them come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.

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Why make strawberry cupcakes?

When you follow this recipe, you’re set to create a batch of cupcakes that not only look picture-perfect but also pack the authentic flavor of strawberries in every bite. Perfect for any gatherings or just a sweet afternoon treat, these cupcakes promise to be a hit amount all who try them.

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Strawberry Cupcakes

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 42
These sweet strawberry cupcakes are made with all REAL strawberries and no food coloring.

Ingredients 

Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree **reduced from 1 cup
  • 1 tsp strawberry emulsion

Frosting

  • 1 cup freeze dried strawberries **chopped
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp strawberry emulsion

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  • Wash strawberries and chop them up in a blender or food processor. Do this until you have 1 cup of chopped strawberries. Pour them into a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the strawberries to boil, stirring occasionally, until they thicken and reduce to 1/2 cup
  • In a bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a standing mixer add the butter and sugar, mix until combined and then turn the mixer on high and whip for 1-2 minutes until lighter in color and texture. Scrap the bowl down every 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the eggs and mix until fully combined.
  • Add the buttermilk, vanilla extract, strawberry puree and strawberry emulsion, mix until combined.
  • Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the dry ingredients in, allow to continue mixing until the batter comes together and is smooth.
  • Pour the batter evenly into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the cupcakes when done and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

Frosting

  • In a standing mixer add the butter and mix until softened.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined, it will be dry and crumbly.
  • add the cream and mix until combined.
  • Add the freeze dried strawberries and strawberry emulsion. Mix until combined.
  • Turn the mixer on high and whip for at least 2 minutes, the frosting will be lighter in color and texture.
  • Frost your cooled cupcakes, enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcal Carbohydrates: 31g Protein: 2g Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 9g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 52mg Sodium: 116mg Potassium: 106mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 24g Vitamin A: 448IU Vitamin C: 70mg Calcium: 28mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

freshly made strawberry cupcakes