Homemade Strawberry Cupcakes

100% homemade strawberry cupcakes with intense flavor thanks to a reduced strawberry purée. These are soft, tender and fresh.

A few years ago we were challenged by a reader to create a strawberry cake from scratch. No Jello…no jam…no cake mix…just strawberries.

This recipe is the result! We first made the recipe as a layer cake but everyone wanted the instructions for strawberry cupcakes. A quick tweak to the baking time and here they are. Aren’t they pretty?

a strawberry cupcake sliced in half

Why you’ll love these cupcakes:

  • 100% from scratch
  • Uses fresh strawberries
  • No artificial flavor or color
  • Soft, tender and simply sweet!
a strawberry cupcake sitting on a paper wrapper

Strawberry Purée Reduction

The key to adding fresh strawberries to cake and buttercream is to start by making a strawberry reduction. This will help cook out some of the water in the strawberries, yet still keep all of the flavor.

  • Clean and remove the stems on about 1 ½ quarts of strawberries. Cut them in half and place them in a food processor to blend them into a purée. You should end up with about 3 cups of strawberry purée.
  • Place the strawberry purée in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent burning, until the strawberries have reduced to 1 ½ cups of purée. I’ve found this to take about 30-45 minutes.

This strawberry reduction needs to cool completely before adding it to the cupcakes or buttercream. We often make it the day before cooking. This makes baking day go more quickly too!

How do you make strawberry cupcakes from scratch?

Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.

  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a medium size bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar.
  • Add the milk, oil and extracts. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the reduced strawberry purée and egg whites. Beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined, but be careful not to overmix. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Place cupcake liners in 20 muffin cups. Divide the batter between the 20 cups.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when you touch the center of it. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Homemade Strawberry Buttercream

There are a few tips to remember when making buttercream.

  • Use real butter. Don’t use margarine!
  • Whip the butter before adding any other ingredients. This helps to smooth the butter and make it creamy. Whip it until it is almost white in appearance.
  • Add in everything except the strawberry reduction, then beat again.
  • Add in the strawberry purée slowly. If you add it too quickly the frosting may end up too runny. If you don’t need to use all of the purée, save it for another use.

How to Pipe Frosting on Cupcakes

I love using large Wilton tips to pipe tall swirls on cupcakes. For the ones pictured, I used Wilton tip 1A. Simply hold the frosting bag with tip perpendicular to the cupcake (right in the center) and close to the cupcake. Squeeze with even pressure without moving the tip and allow the frosting to squeeze out into a large circle. Then pull the bag and stop the icing flow.

Simple as that! It may take some practice, but this will give a nice smooth frosting top to your cupcakes. Decorate with a strawberry or sprinkles if you’d like.

a strawberry cupcake in a muffin pan
a strawberry cupcake in a muffin pan

Homemade Strawberry Cupcakes

4.75 from 4 votes
100% homemade strawberry cupcakes with intense flavor thanks to a reduced strawberry purée. These are soft, tender and fresh.
Servings 20

Ingredients
 

*For the Strawberry Puree:

  • 3 cups strawberries puréed*

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour 300 grams
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 320 grams
  • 1/2 cup milk 2%
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup reduced strawberry puree
  • 5 large egg whites

For the Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/4 cups powdered sugar 656 grams
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup reduced strawberry puree

Instructions
 

*For the Strawberry Purée :

  • Clean and remove the stems on about 1 ½ quarts of strawberries. Cut them in half and place them in a food processor to blend them into a puree. You should end up with about 3 cups of strawberry purée .
  • Place the strawberry purée in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent burning, until the strawberries have reduced to 1 ½ cups of puree. I've found this to take about 30-45 minutes.
  • Allow the reduced strawberry purée to cool completely. (I often make this a day in advance so it has plenty of time to cool.)

For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a medium size bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar.
  • Add the milk, oil and extracts. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the reduced strawberry purée and egg whites. Beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined, but be careful not to overmix. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Place cupcake liners in 20 muffin cups. Divide the batter between the 20 cups.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when you touch the center of it. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Buttercream:

  • In a stand mixer bowl, with the mixer on medium speed, whip the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is almost white in color.
  • Add in the salt, powdered sugar, vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until blended.
  • Add in the reduced strawberry purée , ¼ a cup until the frosting is the consistency you'd like.
  • Add a drop or two of red food coloring if you'd like the cake to be a little pinker. Beat on low speed again for 1-2 minutes.

Assemble the Cupcakes:

  • Cut the tip of a disposable frosting bag. Place a large Wilton tip (1A, 1M or 2D) inside the bag. Fill the frosting bag with the strawberry buttercream.
  • Pipe the cupcakes by swirling the frosting onto the cupcake.
  • Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the cupcakes for up to 2 months.

Notes

This makes a lot of frosting so that you can swirl it a couple inches high on the cupcakes. If you just want a thin layer of frosting, make half a recipe.
 
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 20 cupcakes, with 1 serving being 1 cupcake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 652IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Calories 459

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you add strawberries to canned frosting?

You can, but sugar brings out the juices in the fresh berries, so add just a few and use the frosting right away. You can add the reduced strawberry purée to frosting and it won’t create as much extra juice.

Can you fill these cupcakes with strawberries?

Yes! Follow these instructions to fill the cupcakes with fresh strawberries or jam.

I have extra frosting. Does it need to be refrigerated?

Yes. You should refrigerate any extra frosting since it has a butter base.

Can I make a cake with this recipe instead of cupcakes?

Yes! Follow the instructions for our homemade strawberry cake.

Other Cupcake Recipes

If you love cupcakes, try one of our favorites!

About Julie Clark

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