Here’s how to make a soft, sweet strawberry cake with fresh berries in the batter and buttercream.
Forget the strawberry cake made with cake mix! This homemade completely scratch strawberry cupcakes recipe is a classic done right and delicious.
I’m a strawberry cake fiend. I love strawberry flavors in a moist and fluffy cake more than anything else. One of the cakes my mother and I used to make when I was growing up was a classic strawberry heart cake every Valentine’s Day (I talk about this in my cookbook). It was made from cake mix, and at the time I could care less because it was just so much fun to make!
Today, I’m sharing this classic and absolutely sensational Strawberry Cupcakes recipe that reminds me of the days in the kitchen with mama making that strawberry cake. These are a gem because they don’t require a cake mix. That’s right! There is no cake mix in sight in this strawberry cupcakes recipe. Everything is scratch.
The batter is a typical cake batter which starts with the creaming process of butter and sugar. By adding a strawberry puree to the batter, the cake is filled with the traditional strawberry flavor you would find in a strawberry cake mix but with no artificial flavors. It tastes completely fresh. The texture of the cake is also light and fluffy. The addition of a little bit of oil keeps these cupcakes completely moist and tender too. No one likes a dry cake!
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 and ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries
- 3 large whole eggs room temperature
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
- 3-4 drops red food coloring optional
For the Buttercream:
- 3.5 cups confectioner's powdered sugar
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup pureed fresh strawberries
- ½ teaspoon strawberry extract
- pinch of salt
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two 12-well muffin pans with 20 to 24 cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the granulated sugar and butter and cream together on medium-high speed for about 6 minutes, until very pale yellow and fluffy.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time to your stand mixer, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce your mixer speed to low and mix in the strawberry puree.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add ½ of the flour mixture to your stand mixer. Mix on the lowest speed until combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and oil. Add to your stand mixer bowl.
- Add the remaining flour mixture to your stand mixer bowl and mix on low speed until well incorporated. Be careful not to overbeat.
- Add the vanilla and strawberry extracts and food coloring, if using. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Using an ice cream scoop (with trigger release) or a spoon, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until each is ¾ full. Be careful not to overfill.
- Bake for 17 to 21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out mostly clean but still moist.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the cupcakes with foil or plastic wrap so they do not dry out.
For the Buttercream:
- Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Add the confectioners' sugar and butter and mix on low speed, increasing the speed to medium-high once the sugar is fully incorporated. Continue to mix until light and fluffy.
- Add the strawberry puree, strawberry extract, and salt and beat until the mixture is cotton-candy pink and the puree is fully incorporated.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe them with the buttercream (Here, I used a large star tip) and serve.
Jocelyn Delk Adams is the founder of Grandbaby Cakes, a food blog inspired by her grandmother devoted to classic desserts and savory recipes, modern trends and showcasing the pastry field in an accessible way. She is a brand ambassador and writer for top brands such as Pillsbury, Better Homes and Gardens, Parade Magazine, Safest Choice Eggs, KitchenAid, Dixie Crystals Sugar, Jif Peanut Butter, and many more. In the short span of 2 years, Grandbaby Cakes has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Ebony Magazine, The New York Times Online, Refinery 29, Cupcakes and Cashmere, The Kitchn, Fox News, WCIU, Chicago Social Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times and Splash Magazine, among others. She is currently writing her first cookbook which will be published in Fall of 2015, and is the founder of A Charitable Confection, an annual anti-violence dessert fundraiser featuring the top bakeries in Chicago. Jocelyn hopes Grandbaby Cakes will inspire a new generation of dessert enthusiasts to learn to bake and not feel guilty about enjoying dessert.