Strawberry Cupcakes

Real Strawberries.

Real Sugar.

Real Butter.



Those are all things you’ll find in these cupcakes.

Things you will not find in these cupcakes — fake pink coloring – jello – gelatin – pink cake mix

Princess’ teacher adores Strawberry Cupcakes, her birthday was last week so, I searched and searched and searched for a GOOD, REAL strawberry cupcake recipe.  Holy hell y’all, do you KNOW how hard that was? They all either used cake mix or gelatin stuff and none of them sounded all that appealing to me.

So, I cobbled together a few recipes and ideas and came up with these and I have to tell y’all.

These Strawberry Cupcakes are definitely Tonguegasmic.


The cake itself is dense and delicious – reminiscent of pound cake or shortcake.

Real chunks of strawberry and strawberry juice give bursts of sweetness and texture and pure vanilla extract adds a lovely hint of flavor and depth.



I really, really hope that y’all try this recipe and let me know what you think.

First, the night before you make these, you’re going to cut up about 16 medium strawberries (12 to 14 oz) and cover them in sugar (macerate them)

sugared strawberries

This breaks down the strawberries a bit and creates a delicious, sweet, natural strawberry syrup — this is also how my husband prefers to eat his strawberries.

The strawberries, the next day.

macerated strawberries

The next day, when you’re ready to make the cupcakes, pull the strawberries out of the fridge and use a potato masher or a food processor to just gently break them down a little bit more.  You still want some chunks of real strawberries — NOT a puree.

smashed strawberries

Place the berries in a strainer over the bowl — you won’t need ALL the syrup for the cupcakes 😉

Have you pre-heated your oven yet?  Me either  :-) Let’s go ahead and do that now .. 350 F and have your little helpers put your pretty liners in your cupcake tins for you. :-)

Sift cake flour several times into a medium bowl – from that sifted cake flour- measure out 2 3/4 C.  Place that into a small bowl with 1/4 tsp salt and 2 1/2 tsp baking powder.

In your mixer (Dear Mom and Dad, I love my amazing KitchenAid Pro Mixer.  It makes me so happy, Thank you xoxoxoxoxo) beat 2 sticks of room temperature butter and sugar together until they’re a pretty and fluffy pale yellow.  Slowly add one egg at a time to the mixture beating for about one minute after each addition – don’t forget to scrape the sides of the bowl!  You don’t want to miss any of the buttery goodness!

Add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp strawberry extract* and mix well.

Whisk your dry ingredients and then alternate adding your dry ingredients to the batter with 1/2 cup 2% milk.  Add the flour and milk in alternating batches mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl well between each addition.

Add your berries and 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp strawberry juice to your batter

strawberries into batter

Mix well

Drool over the pretty and delicious strawberry-ness of your batter

strawberry cupcake batter


I made 6 full size cupcakes and 36 mini cupcakes out of this batter.

An ice cream scoop works really well for putting the batter into the cupcake liners – fill about 3/4 full.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed and they have turned a pretty golden color.  Cool for about 5 minutes in the tins and then remove and allow to cool completely before icing or eating.  These are actually BETTER when they’re cool don’t ask how I know, it’s not because I tried them 5 times during the cooling process.

Feel free to cut one open or just peel the wrapper off so you can see the beautiful strawberries inside these tonguegasmic cupcakes.  You do need to taste test one after all!

strawberries in the cupcake

You could use some of the leftover strawberry juice to make a delicious strawberry buttercream — I thought that would be too much strawberry – but, Princess’ teacher said she wouldn’t have minded :-)

I just topped them with my favorite ButterCreamCheese frosting – I’m not a fan of traditional buttercreams — too sweet.

I’ll add the recipe below.


Strawberry Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious Real Strawberry Cupcakes. The strawberry extract just enhances the flavor, it isn't necessary if you don't want to use it.
Serves: Approximately 2 dozen
  • 2 Sticks Butter
  • 1¼ C white sugar
  • 2¾ C sifted cake flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp strawberry extract
  • ½ C 2% milk
  • 16 medium strawberries (12 -14 oz) chopped and macerated (topped with white sugar and allowed to soak overnight)
Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 – 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp to ¼ C milk
  • 3 to 5 C powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  1. The night before, chop the strawberries (stems removed), cover with white sugar and refrigerate. When you’re ready to make the cupcakes, remove the strawberries from the refrigerator and mash them with a potato masher or lightly pulse with a food processor. You don’t want a puree — you still want strawberry chunks. Place them in a strainer over a bowl, you won’t need all the juice.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line cupcake tins
  3. In a medium bowl, sift cake flour. From the sifted bowl measure out 2¾ Cups of cake flour and add in 2½ tsps baking powder and ¼ tsp salt
  4. In your mixer, mix together the butter and white sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.
  5. Slowly add the room temperature eggs one by one, mixing for about one minute after each egg, make sure that you scrape down the sides of the bowl so you don’t leave any buttery goodness out.
  6. Add in vanilla and strawberry extract
  7. (if you leave out strawberry extract, just sub. more vanilla)
  8. Whisk together the dry mix
  9. Alternately add the dry mix and ½ C milk, blending well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  10. Add in the strawberries and about ¼ C + 1 Tbsp strawberry juice, fold in with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and you can see bits of strawberry throughout the batter.
  11. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full and bake for roughly 18 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when pressed and they’re a bit of a lovely golden color.
  12. Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes and then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack
Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions
  1. I think butter creams are too sweet but often cream cheese frostings aren’t sweet enough for kids — this is my family’s favorite.
  2. In your mixer whip together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in vanilla* and 2 Tbsp milk, blend well
  4. Start with 2 C powdered sugar and dash of salt, mix well
  5. Add more milk and powdered sugar slowly and in alternating batches- mixing and tasting each time until the frosting has reached your desired consistency
  6. Place in a bag with your desired piping tip and pipe onto cupcakes or spread on cakes.
  1. * ½ Vanilla Extract and ½ Almond Extract or whip in some kahlua for an adult twist
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cupcake



Look how one reader adapted this recipe to create her own version of Strawberry Cupcakes for a baby shower!


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  1. Jennheffer says

    Mmmmmmmmm……. Cannot wait to try this!

    The strawberries with sugar, mashed just a bit is how I make strawberry shortcake! Yumtastic!!!

  2. April says

    Tell me about it, it’s impossible to find a REAL strawberry cake recipe out there. Thanks for sharing this, I cant wait to try it.

  3. says

    Bought the ingredients today at the grocery store – I am beyond excited to make these!! Thanks for sharing the recipe…I’ll let you know how I do!

  4. says

    YOU need your own T.V. show – or a whole network. I almost don’t need to try cooking these now – there is a way you do recipes like nobody else Rachel. And great – now I have to go buy a potato masher to go with my whisk. (◠‿◠) – wish me luck. God bless and keep you and yours.

  5. Paula says

    These are so pretty and those fresh strawberries are making me crave a bowl full right now. Princess must have been pretty darn proud to present these to her teacher on her birthday (sweet of you) and teacher must have been totally delighted to receive them.

    p.s. very nice gift from your parents :)

  6. Krissa says

    OH. MY. GAWD.
    I have a future son-in-law that loves all things strawberry above all things! He will flip out with these!

  7. says

    I made these this week, but I took half the batter and made pineapple ones with a fresh one I had on hand. Then I put a tiny bit of lime juice and zest in the icing and YUM!!!!

    The pineapple cupcakes are a little stickier, but they are good!

  8. says

    Every single step of that recipe looks amazing, Rachel. How I wish I weren’t allergic to strawberries! They were always my favorite fruit, but I developed an allergy when I was pregnant with my first daughter. So sad.

  9. says

    I decided that our new Easter tradition is going to be strawberry cupcakes and am SUPER delighted to find this recipe as artificial ingredients and gelatin do not count as food in our home (or anywhere, actually). Thank you so much for caring enough to create such a yummy and natural recipe!

  10. says

    Going to try these tomorrow, I can’t wait. Doing a double batch to bring to a friend’s party. I’m also going to add in some lemon zest to the batter :)

  11. Stefanie says

    Made these for a family reunion/picnic this weekend. RAVE reviews and they were over the top!! Yumtastic!! Didn’t change anything about the cupcake itself and just used the almond extract for icing, some strawberry juice and the lime zest and lime juice per the other suggestions. EXCELLENT recipe. Thanks for sharing with us!! And can’t wait to make them again!!

  12. Stephanie says

    Just what I was looking for! I am planning a baby shower and the mom2be requested strawberry cupcakes. Can’t wait to make them. I plan on using chocolate chips in half also…I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  13. Melissa says

    These are sooo yummy! And I love that they are full of natural ingredients. I couldn’t decide about the strawberry extract because I couldn’t find anything pure. The only thing I was finding was imitation strawberry flavor. I’m not sure what kind of a difference it would have made in regards to the flavor of the cake, it was wonderful without. The icing is great also. A definite keeper!

  14. Jan says

    I can’t wait to try your recipe as it looks absolutely amazing!!

    I will buy all the ingredients today at the supermarket as I’m so keen to get started and make the recipe exactly as you describe! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe…I hope mine turns out as good as yours has.

  15. Julie says

    Just made them tonight. Forgot the salt and I only sifted once and I didn’t do the strawberries the night before, but they came out pretty darn good. I can’t wait to try this recipe again the right way. Thanks for adding a recipe to my go to box.

  16. Donna says

    These sound just like what I was looking for, but I need to make a 2 layer cake. Could I use the same recipe? And would it be too dense for a birthday cake?

    • says

      Donna, I think you absolutely could turn this into a 2 layer cake!
      Probably not too dense, may just result in smaller slices :-)

      I hope you let me know if you do this, and how it turns out!

  17. baking in az says

    I just started baking and these are easy, and turned out perfect. I cannot believe I made something that tasted this good!

  18. Jordyn says

    this may have been the best use i’ve ever put to strawberries. if you’re making them day of, don’t fret–a couple minutes in the microwave provide instant maceration. and i didn’t have strawberry extract, so i used 2 tsp. of strawberry daquiri mix (don’t judge me). the ‘cakes were a hit with cream cheese icing.

  19. Jennifer says

    I stumbled across this recipe a couple weeks ago and decided to make the cupcakes for Valentine’s Day for my coworkers… They were a HUGE hit!! I used a little over a pound of strawberries instead of the 12-14oz and a little extra vanilla extract – they were phenomenal. Thanks so much for the recipe!!! These are, by far, my favorite cupcakes now.

  20. Jane says

    I made these cupcakes for my friend on his birthday and everyone LOVED them. They each ate five.
    Today, I played around with the recipe and added smashed bananas… to make “strawberry banana cupcakes”… and they were pretty good too!!

    Thank you so much for your post!! I really appreciate your recipes :)

  21. Lauren says

    This is the second year in a row I’m making these incredible cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday. Last year, everyone raved about them and they were completely gobbled up. When we asked our daughter what her favorite part of the party was, she replied “The cupcakes!!!” This year, I’m doubling the recipe in the hopes that I’ll have leftovers to enjoy tomorrow! Great recipe, didn’t chage a thing. Thank you!

  22. Jenn says

    I followed every step and used every recipe to a T, and after baking the first dozen and started the second, the first dozen collapsed. :-\ I tried modifying temperature and times in the oven, and the second 2 dozen did the same thing! D-:

  23. says

    I made these for Valentine’s Day. So yummy. Thank you for posting. I made some homemade strawberry frosting to go with them ~ delicious. :)

    I will be posting the frosting recipe on my blog this Tuesday – I hope you don’t mind me linking to your post for the cupcake recipe.

  24. says

    I searched all over the web for a great Strawberry Cupcake recipe I could use for my twin daughters’ 2nd birthday party (we had a strawberry theme).

    These were perfect, and so very delicious. They were a huge hit with the girls, and all the party guests. The only thing was that they didn’t quite make 2 dozen full-size cupcakes. I got about 20, using an ice cream scoop. I also didn’t need the strawberry extract, they were flavorful enough!

    I’m going to post about the party on my blog, The Gleeful Gourmand – may I link to your site and recipe? Thanks!


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