Learn how to make small batch Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting with real strawberries from scratch without using strawberry Jello. Makes 6 cupcakes.
Do you listen to Pandora radio?
If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a website where you can listen to free music with some commercial breaks. There are so many channels you can choose, there is something for everyone.
I didn’t start using Pandora until I started working from home as it can get pretty quiet when playing around in the kitchen.
Recently I’ve been listening to the Pitch Perfect channel. In addition to the songs from the movie, Pandora also plays similar songs that it thinks I might like.
I’ve gained a few new favorites, including Madilyn Bailey’s Titanium cover (so much better than the original!) and acapella versions of songs I didn’t really care for in the first place.
However, sometimes Pandora goes crazy and gives me songs that no way in a million years would I listen to; I can’t click on the thumbs down fast enough and just want to scratch out my ear drums. I think if you listen to one channel for too long (i.e. all morning), it runs out of good songs to play.
Anyway, as I mentioned I almost always have Pandora on while I’m working unless I’m writing (for some reason, I can never write and listen to music at the same time).
My latest baking adventure in the kitchen is with these Small Batch Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting made using fresh strawberries.
Most strawberry cupcake recipes call for cake mix and/or strawberry Jello; very rarely do they actually use real strawberries.
With fresh strawberries I picked recently, I knew these homemade strawberry cupcakes would be in my future.
No cake, no jello, no strawberry extract. Simply basic pantry ingredients plus fresh strawberries.
Of course the best strawberry cupcake recipe needs strawberry cream cheese frosting. You can never go wrong with double the strawberry flavor.
How To Make Strawberry Cupcakes From Scratch
First, you need to cook down the strawberries. This maximizes the strawberry flavor without using Jello and without adding too much liquid to the batter.
Once that’s cooling, make the cupcake batter. Cream together your butter and sugar.
Next, beat in your egg whites and vanilla. You’re adding the egg whites like you would with a whole egg. You do NOT need to whip them separately into a meringue.
To finish the cupcake batter, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with dry ingredients).
Don’t forget to stir in your strawberries!
Finally, fill your paper liners with the batter then bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely before decorating.
How To Make Pink Cupcakes
When I think of strawberry cupcakes, I think of pink. Although the food coloring isn’t necessary, I did add a few drops for presentation.
This helps bring out the pink color. Without it, it becomes a faint pink. If you’re going for presentation, definitely add the food coloring.
The strawberry cream cheese frosting, however, is naturally pink from using fresh strawberries.
What Frosting Goes With Strawberry Cupcakes
I paired my small batch strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting.
If you don’t want cream cheese, you can also use strawberry buttercream.
It’s important for you to follow the directions and cook the strawberries down enough; otherwise, your frosting will be too runny.
Yes, you will actually need to measure it and keep cooking until it’s right. Please trust me on this.
Speaking of runny, my kitchen was really warm thanks to a broken air conditioner, so I chilled the frosting for 15 minutes before piping.
You may or may not need to do this step, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Use your best judgment.
If you don’t want a double strawberry cupcake, you can also top them with other frostings, such as:
- Small Batch Chocolate Frosting
- Small Batch Cream Cheese Frosting
- Small Batch Buttercream Frosting
- lemon buttercream frosting
Do strawberry cupcakes need to be refrigerated ?
Technically unfrosted strawberry cupcakes don’t need to be refrigerated; however due to the fresh fruit, they only last a few days at room temperature until mold takes over (gross).
Regardless, if you use cream cheese frosting (strawberry or plain), the frosted cupcakes do need to be refrigerated.
If you use a buttercream frosting, that type of frosting doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
How To Store Cupcakes
To store strawberry cupcakes, place them in an airtight container (deep enough so you don’t mess up the frosting). Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate them for up to 1 week.
If refrigerating, let them sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes before serving to get rid of the chill.
Can you freeze cupcakes?
Like with most cakes, yes you can freeze strawberry cupcakes.
To freeze unfrosted cupcakes, place them on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour. Once firm, wrap each one in plastic wrap then stick in a freeze-safe plastic bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
If you’re worried they’ll get squashed in the freezer, you can put the plastic bag in a container to maintain their shape.
How To Freeze Frosted Cupcakes
Although I recommend freezing unfrosted cupcakes, you can also freeze frosted cupcakes.
Use a buttercream frosting as that type of frosting freezes best. Cream cheese frosting can become grainy after freezing, although it’ll still be edible.
To freeze frosted cupcakes, place them on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour. Once firm, place each one in a deep enough container that won’t squash the frosting. Freeze for up to 3 months.
How To Thaw Frozen Cupcakes
To thaw frozen cupcakes, place them on a wire rack and let them come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
The wire rack helps keep the cupcake bottoms dry as they thaw.
What To Do With Leftover Egg Yolks
Because strawberry cupcakes are made with egg whites to help the color shine through, you’ll have some extra egg yolks. Check out these recipes for using leftover egg yolks.
More Small Batch Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more cupcake recipes? Here are recipes for small batch cupcakes:
- Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes
- Small Batch Yellow Cupcakes
- Small Batch Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Pineapple
- Lemon Cupcakes
For a full list of recipes, check out my Small Batch Cupcake Recipes guide.
Don’t want to make cupcakes? Check out my full list of 6 Inch Cake Recipes.
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- 2 teaspoons water
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
- Few drops red food coloring (optional)
Frosting Options (Pick One)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with 6 paper liners.
- In a medium saucepan, add 1/3 cup strawberries, water, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until the strawberries cook down. Remove from the heat and cool at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. Stir in the baking powder and salt.
- In another large bowl, beat together the butter and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until creamy, 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg whites, one at a time, until smooth then add the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with dry ingredients).
- Stir in the cooked strawberry mixture and remaining chopped strawberries. Add food coloring if desired.
- Divide the batter among the paper liners and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Once cool, decorate with frosting of choice.
If using buttercream, store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
If using cream cheese frosting, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let them sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes before serving to get rid of the chill.