Learn how to make the best Strawberry Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries from scratch without strawberry Jello! Small batch recipe 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.
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).
And naturally I had it on while baking up these small batch Strawberry Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and 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, 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.
Ingredients For Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
To make strawberry cupcakes from scratch, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Strawberries: Fresh is best, but you can also use frozen after thawing.
- Water: Helps the strawberries cook down
- All-purpose flour: Since most people don’t have cake flour in their pantry, I used all-purpose flour. Make sure you’re spooning it into your cup. Using the scoop and pack method means you’ll end up with more flour than directed. Learn how to measure flour from My Baking Addiction.
- Cornstarch: To achieve the same texture as cake flour, I added cornstarch to help with a more tender crumb.
- Baking powder: Leavening agent that helps the cupcakes rise
- Salt: Brings out the other flavors so you’re not stuck with bland cupcakes
- Butter: Not only does it add flavor, butter helps the cake rise from its steam when it melts, trapping carbon dioxide in the batter as it bakes. This creates a tender crumb texture. Do not substitute margarine.
- Sugar: Sweetens the cupcakes
- Egg whites: In order for the pink color to shine through, you don’t want to use egg yolks as it’ll muddy the color.
- Vanilla: Enhances the strawberry flavor
- Milk: Helps smooth out the batter and create a moist cupcake
- Red food coloring: If you want to make pink strawberry cupcakes, you’ll need a few drops of coloring as these cupcakes are not naturally pink.
How To Make Strawberry Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
To make homemade strawberry cupcakes, 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, scrape down your bowl then 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 Strawberry 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.
Best Frosting With Strawberry Cupcakes
I paired my small batch strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting for a double dose of strawberry.
If you don’t want cream cheese but still want strawberry, you can also use strawberry buttercream.
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 including my small batch chocolate chip cookies.
More Small Batch Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more cupcake recipes? Here are recipes for small batch cupcakes:
- Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes
- Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes
- Small Batch Yellow Cupcakes
- Small Batch Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Pineapple
- Lemon Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
- Bostom Cream Pie Cupcakes
- Angel Food 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 fresh 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 large 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.