I’m excited to share this recipe today because I’ve made it quite a few times now, and it always gets rave reviews! It’s been raining here, literally, for weeks, and these cupcakes have got me SO ready for spring.
I’ve made this cake recipe for so many different occasions! Most recently my cousin’s baby shower. I shared some pics on my instagram stories recently, so you might have glimpsed the cake version of this recipe. Today I’m sharing cupcakes, but you can also make this recipe in two 8-inch cake pans. I made a double batch to create four layers, which was the perfect size for the baby shower! And perfect to welcome their new baby girl!
I’ve spent a bit of time trying to create the best strawberry cake recipe. Fresh strawberries, at least in my experience with cakes, tend to bleed their color, turning them sort of a drab and not very pretty shade of muddy-reddish-pink. I wanted to create a recipe that used fresh strawberries only, no food coloring or jello mix or any of that stuff that’s usually found in popular strawberry cake recipes. Unfortunately, I think one or the other is necessary for the color, so I went with food coloring.
The strawberry flavor in these beauties comes from fresh strawberry puree! It gets cooked down in a saucepan until it’s jelly-like in texture and then added to the cake batter once it’s cool. You can make this a day ahead of time and chill it in the fridge if you’d like!
This recipe is adapted from my classic yellow cake recipe, and the only real difference is adding the strawberry reduction. I love this recipe because it’s so stinking simple and no-fuss. You don’t have to break out the stand mixer if you don’t want. I just use my hand mixer! And it’s one bowl. Just combine everything in there and mix it up! I know there are benefits to mixing things separately sometimes, but that’s not the case here.
I think there are a lot of possibilities with this reipce and it would be fun to swap the strawberries with some other berries! Might have to try that out as the weather (hopefully) gets warmer!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES
- 2 16 oz containers fresh strawberries
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- Pink food coloring
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 8 oz block cream cheese softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- To make the strawberry reduction: hull and dice one 16-oz container of strawberries. Add to a blender and blend until pureed. You'll need about 1 1/4 cup of puree. Transfer puree to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally until strawberry puree is reduced and resembles a thin jelly/jam consistency, about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat and let cool completely. (You can transfer to the fridge to cool faster.)
- To make the cupcakes: once the strawberry reduction is cool, make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add eggs, vanilla, oil, milk, and strawberry reduction. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add desired amount of food coloring. (I used Wilton gel food coloring and suggest starting with about 1/4 tsp and add more if desired.)
- Scoop batter into the prepared cupcake liners until about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl as needed. Add milk/cream as needed.
- When cupcakes are cool, pipe frosting and top with fresh strawberries, sprinkles, or whatever garnishes you prefer! Store covered in the refrigerator.