Strawberries and cream cupcakes from scratch will be a new beloved recipe This classic combination of fresh strawberry cake with a stabilized whipped cream frosting is sure to sweeten any day!
There’s nothing better than a bowl of fresh strawberries with a dollop of cream, is there? The flavor pairing is a classic, and no matter what the time of year, a delight.
Personally, fresh strawberry cupcakes always mean spring to me since I make them after picking up flats of berries at the market or a day at the u-pick farm. Of course, you can make this recipe with fresh or frozen berries, so no matter what the season, let’s bake!
If you’ve been here some time, you know I’m a fan of strawberry cake. In fact, this recipe is a cupcake version of my strawberry cake from scratch.
I have made some tweaks. First, this recipe provides a fluffier cupcake texture. I also scaled the recipe to make just 12 cupcakes. One dozen cupcakes seem far more manageable for anytime cupcake cravings anyway.
Recipe Notes for Strawberry Cupcakes from Scratch
Firstly, you don’t need any coloring. There is no added color in the cupcakes pictured. However, if you do wish to add some extra color, gel coloring is most potent.
This recipe is a great way to use fresh berries when they’re in season, they will be sweeter and give you the best flavor. Don’t worry though if they’re not in season, frozen berries work well. This means you can enjoy this recipe all year round!
If you are stretched for time, you can break up the work and make the strawberry puree for the batter a few days in advance. If you know you’ll be making a lot of these cupcakes (like for a large party), you can make it, freeze it in portions, and thaw a portion each time you plan to bake.
Ingredient Substitutions for Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
I use sour cream in this recipe, but whole milk yogurt (plain or vanilla) can be used as a substitute without affecting the flavor. In a pinch, you can use low fat, but the cupcakes will not be quite as moist. They’ll still taste good though because of the oil in the recipe.
When it comes to the oil you use, be sure to choose a neutral-flavored oil that isn’t too heavy. Canola oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil are all good options for baking. In this recipe, the oil adds most of the moisture to the cake.
As a fun aside, do you know what role oil plays in baking recipes? Oil slows down gluten formation and helps keep cupcakes fluffy, light, and fresh-tasting for a few days!
Making the Frosting
I frost these cupcakes with a stabilized whipped cream frosting for that classic “strawberries and cream” flavor combination everyone loves. It is a lovely light topping for these cupcakes.
In the recipe, I stabilize my whipped cream with gelatin, but if you’d prefer a vegetarian alternative, there are two alternative recipes on the blog. One is for a stabilized whipped cream without the gelatin, and the other recipe is for a mascarpone whipped cream.
As always, be sure that the cakes are completely cool before adding the frosting. It will slide straight off!
How to store and serve strawberries and cream cupcakes
If you’re baking for a bridal or baby shower, these would look really pretty as mini-cupcakes. You’ll get 24 minis out of the recipe, so they’re an adorable supplement to a cake or other dessert. Of course, whether you go for full-size or mini cupcakes, these are perfect for tea parties or dessert tables too!
You can make these cupcakes a day in advance and store completely cooled but unfrosted cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container to keep them from drying out.
As soon as you add the frosting, refrigerate them! The whipped cream frosting is perishable and must be refrigerated until it’s time to serve.
In an airtight container, you can keep these cupcakes in the refrigerator for several days! The frosting looks best the first 3 days. If you plan to top the cupcakes with fresh fruit, do that just before serving so the fruit looks its best.
I hope you love this recipe, darlings! Happy baking!
- 8 ounces fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon water (if using fresh berries)
Strawberry Cupcake Batter:
- 2/3 cup neutral-flavored oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
- Strawberry puree
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gelatin-Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting:
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 4 teaspoons water
- 1 cup heavy cream, divided (2 tablespoons at cool room temperature, the rest chilled)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the strawberry puree (may be made up to 2 days in advance): Trim the leaves off the strawberries and remove the hulls (if using fresh). Cut large strawberries in halves or quarters. Combine with the sugar in a bowl and allow to sit for 1-2 hours before proceeding with the next step (see notes).
- Place the berries and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook 15-20 minutes until very soft. While the berries are cooking, mash with a fork or potato masher to get as much juice out as possible. You might need to lower the cooking temperature to medium-low during the cooking time. You don't want the mixture to burn.
- Once your strawberry syrup is nice and juicy and maybe a little viscous, let it cool a bit before using a food processor or blender to break down the cooked strawberry mixture to a fine puree. Alternatively, you can use a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl to remove most of the pulp (whatever doesn't get pushed through by a spoon) and the seeds. See notes. You should have around 1/3 cup of strawberry puree. Anything between 1/3-1/2 cup works for the recipe.
- Put the strawberry juice in a glass container and refrigerate it until ready to use. If you are baking the cupcakes the same day, refrigerate just long enough to bring the juice to room temperature.
- Baking the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and strawberry puree. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 3 batches. Stir on low until just combined after each addition and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the cupcake batter between the prepared cupcake wells. Each should be about 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes until a tester inserted into a center cupcake comes out clean or with no more than a few moist crumbs. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the gelatin-stabilized whipped cream frosting: Once the cupcakes are completely cool, make the frosting! Start by placing the water in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkling the gelatin over it. Let the gelatin bloom for 5 minutes.
- Microwave the gelatin for 8 seconds on high. It should be melted at this point with no visible granules. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of room temperature whipped cream (see notes). Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl (chilled if possible), start whipping your heavy cream on medium speed with a hand mixer or the whisk attachment on your stand mixer. As soon as the mixture starts to thicken and form a few bubbles, add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Continue to mix on medium speed until you've reached very soft peaks. Lower the mixer speed to low, and with the mixer running, drizzle in the gelatin mixture.
- Increase the speed to medium again and continue to mix until you've reached silky firm peaks. Watch carefully so you don't over-mix and make the frosting look curdled.
- Pipe the frosting onto your chilled cupcakes, and enjoy!
- Extra cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Letting the fruit sit in sugar for a bit is a process called maceration, and it helps draw the juice out of the fruit, giving you a stronger flavor. If you have frozen strawberries, they will thaw during this time. Should you be using early-season strawberries that aren't as sweet, feel free to increase the sugar to 1 tablespoon for this step.
- Whether I strain out the pulp or not typically depends on how much juice I get from the strawberries. Fully ripe, in-season berries are usually so juicy and a bit soft that the pulp practically disappears in cooking and strains out easily. The same often happens with frozen berries because they're typically packaged during peak ripeness. When using fresh early-season berries though, the syrup isn't typically as juicy, so I get a little less juice, and to make that 1/3 cup, I'll usually use a food processor or blender and puree at least some of the pulp in with the juice.
- After mixing in the whipped cream, the gelatin should still be pretty liquid and pourable. If it's not, microwave it in 5-second increments until it is. I usually take out my 2 tablespoons of whipped cream shortly after the cupcakes come out of the oven to come to temperature.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.