These Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes have super yummy fruit flavor, are a great option for a first birthday or toddler birthday, and are the prettiest pale shade of pink!
I first made these cupcakes when my oldest daughter turned three and we shared them with a few friends. My girl was obsessed with pink then, so these pale pink cupcakes were made with that love in mind. But I also was happy to offer her a festive birthday treat that had real berries inside!
I use fresh strawberries to make a puree that delivers a big burst of fresh berry flavor in these. It’s a lovely cupcake recipe for kids to make in the spring when berries are plentiful—or simply if you have a kiddo who likes strawberries or the color pink.
The cupcakes are lightly sweetened with maple syrup, making them a nice option for a first birthday.
Ingredients You need
To make this recipe you’ll need:
- Coconut oil or butter
- Maple syrup or honey
- Vanilla extract
- Cream cheese, butter, strawberry jam, and powdered sugar for the frosting
TIP: You can use a gluten-free cup for cup flour if needed in this recipe.
How to Make this Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the process involved in making these cupcakes. (Scroll down for the full recipe.)
- Add the berries to a food processor or blender.
- Grind to make a puree. (It’s okay if there are small pieces of berries and if it’s not totally smooth.)
- Measure out the amount you need.
- Add the puree to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Portion out into a muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners.
- Bake and let cool! Frost.
TIP: I use a cream cheese frosting in this recipe, but you can use a favorite buttercream too if you prefer!
What makes these cupcakes moist?
The cup of fresh strawberry puree makes these cupcakes both moist and flavorful.
How do you thicken strawberry frosting?
This frosting is made with a base of cream cheese and butter, so you don’t need much help to thicken it. I use a little powdered sugar to make sure it tastes just sweet enough!
How can I store these cupcakes?
Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. To make these ahead, store the cupcakes, uncooled and without frosting, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Frost right before serving.
Tips for Making the Best Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
- You can make the puree up to 3 days ahead. (This makes this recipe really easy!)
- Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack or tilt in the pan to allow air underneath to more quickly cool them down and prevent them from over-baking.
- Let the cupcakes cool before adding the icing.
- To make these ahead, store the cupcakes, uncooled and without frosting, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Frost right before serving.
- Store any leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
I’d love to hear what you think if you make this recipe so please comment below to share!
This recipe was updated in February 2021 to increase the amount of cupcakes from 9 to 12. You can make the strawberry puree up to 3 days ahead of time to make this easier.
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam or preserves
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Wash the berries and remove the stems. Puree in a food processor or blender. You should have about 1 cup.
- Combine the butter and maple syrup in a glass, heat-proof measuring cup. Warm in 15 second increments in the microwave, stopping to stir, until the coconut oil is melted. Let cool slightly.
- Stir in the vanilla, eggs, and strawberry puree.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Stir in the puree mixture.
- Fill the prepared liners with the batter to about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting: Use an electric hand-held mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter, jam, and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Taste and add more jam if necessary. Spoon into a quart-size zip top bag and store in the fridge until ready to frost. When ready to serve, snip off a corner of the bag and pipe frosting onto each cupcake (or spread on with a butter knife).
To make these ahead, store the cupcakes, uncooled and without frosting, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Frost right before serving.
Store any leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
You can make the puree up to 3 days ahead. (This makes this recipe really easy!)
Dairy-free: Use melted coconut oil instead of butter.
Gluten-free: Use cup-for-cup gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose.
You can use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose.
You can use honey instead of maple syrup.
Let the cupcakes cool before adding the icing.
To make the lightest color cupcakes possible (if that matters to you!), use honey and all-purpose flour.