Say hello to strawberry crunch cupcakes! They’re moist and fluffy and an easy treat to whip up for any gathering. These cupcakes are topped with whipped cream cheese frosting and a simple, homemade strawberry crunch crumble.
If you love the classic strawberry crunch ice cream bars, then you’ll love these strawberry crunch cupcakes. They’re tender and fluffy strawberry cupcakes topped with a light and airy cream cheese frosting. And for a nostalgic twist on the classic, they’re topped with a strawberry crunch crumble.
When you are short on time like I am, with three little ones to chase after, quick and easy dessert recipes are a dream. And come strawberry season, these cupcakes, strawberry cookies, and strawberry cake are at the top of the list.
Strawberry crunch cupcakes are perfect for a party, school bake sale, or cupcake craving. Let’s get baking!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Bakery-style cupcakes. These cupcakes are moist, soft, and tender, with an extra fluffy cream cheese frosting. Everything you would find in a bakery cupcake but made from scratch in the comfort of your kitchen.
- No artificial ingredients! Freeze-dried strawberries add a crunch and fresh strawberry flavor to the topping (just like in my strawberry shortbread). No strawberry jello powder needed!
- Fluffy cream cheese frosting. I find that cream cheese frosting can be heavy for cupcakes, so for this recipe, I’ve added butter and reduced the amount of cream cheese to create a light and fluffy whipped frosting with a hint of tanginess.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Cake flour. Produces a soft, tender cake crumb.
- Baking powder and baking soda. Leavening agents cause the cupcakes to rise and have a fluffy texture.
- Salt. Just a bit is needed to enhance the sweetness of the cupcakes.
- Butter. Use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt that goes into the batter. Make sure to soften to room temperature. The butter should be slightly firm to the touch and not greasy, yet leave the impression of your finger when you press into it.
- Sugar. Adds sweetness to the cupcakes. When granulated sugar creams with butter, air is incorporated into the batter, which creates the perfect light and tender cupcake.
- Egg whites. The key to creating a white cake batter with a light and airy crumb. Save the yolks to make ice cream or creme brulee.
- Vanilla. Always select a good quality pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Milk. Using whole milk adds richness to the cupcakes. Ensure your milk is at room temperature so it easily incorporates the other ingredients into a smooth batter.
- Strawberries. Lightly puree fresh strawberries in a food processor until thin enough to mix into the cupcake batter but not completely smooth so you can still see small pieces of the berries.
- Golden Oreo cookies. Adds a delicious flavor and creates a crunchy texture for the topping.
- Freeze-dried strawberries. Adds a fresh strawberry flavor to the crunch topping. Their texture contributes to creating a crunchy topping.
- Cream cheese. Use block cream cheese. It has a dense, firm texture that is perfect for making creamy frosting. The tub of whipped cream cheese has too much air incorporated into it and is not ideal for frosting. Bring cream cheese to room temperature to create a smooth and creamy frosting.
- Powdered sugar. Adds sweetness to the frosting. Its fine texture creates a smooth and creamy frosting consistency.
- Heavy cream. Thins out the cream cheese frosting to the ideal consistency. Add just enough so the frosting is spreadable but will still hold its shape.
How to Make the Cupcakes (Step-By-Step Instructions)
Sift dry ingredients. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cream butter and sugar. Beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
Add egg whites and vanilla. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time, then mix in vanilla.
Add dry ingredients and milk. In three parts, alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk until the batter is combined with no streaks of flour.
Add strawberry puree. Gently fold in the strawberry puree.
Transfer to baking pan. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake for 17-19 minutes.
Note: At the 17-minute baking mark, gently press the top of a cupcake. If it springs back, then you know your cupcakes are ready!
How to Make Strawberry Crunch Topping
Process cookies and strawberries. Pulse the Golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor to a crumbly mixture. Add melted butter and pulse to combine.
Note: No food processor? Add the cookies and strawberries to a plastic reusable storage bag and crush the ingredients into crumbs using a rolling pin. Add the butter to combine everything.
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting (Step-By-Step Instructions)
Beat cream cheese and butter. Mix the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
Add powdered sugar. Beat in the powdered sugar on low. Beat in heavy cream and vanilla until a creamy consistency.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Use room temperature ingredients. Make sure the butter, egg whites, milk, and strawberry puree are at room temperature so they incorporate evenly.
- Cream butter and sugar. Beat together until light and fluffy. Don’t skip this step because it will incorporate air into the batter for a light and tender cupcake.
- Use high-quality cupcake liners. Use grease-proof liners to keep cupcakes from sticking to the wrapper’s sides.
- Fill cupcake cavities 2/3 full. Use a cookie scoop or piping bag to fill the cupcakes. Too much batter can cause cupcakes to spill or rise quickly and sink in the middle.
- Cool cupcakes completely. Frost completely cooled cupcakes to prevent the cream cheese frosting from melting.
- Use whipped cream. For a lighter topping similar to strawberry shortcake cupcakes, frost the cupcakes with whipped cream.
- Add a filling. Fill these cupcakes with strawberry filling for an extra pop of flavor.
- Add fresh banana. Mix in fresh banana into the cream cheese frosting like in these strawberry banana cupcakes. You could even swap the frosting with banana buttercream for a fun twist!
I love how easy strawberry crunch cupcakes are to make using staple baking ingredients. Here are a few easy substitutions you can make:
- Make cake flour. If you don’t have cake flour, measure 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, replace 3 tablespoons of it with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and whisk to combine.
- Golden Oreos. Replace the Golden Oreo cookies with any vanilla sandwich cookies for the strawberry crumble topping.
- Sour cream. You can substitute an equal amount of sour cream or Greek yogurt for the whole milk in the cupcake batter. It will create an even more moist cupcake with a softer texture.
- In the refrigerator. Store leftover strawberry crunch cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Unfrosted cupcakes. Tightly wrap unfrosted cupcakes with plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and frost.
- Frosted cupcakes. Store leftover cupcakes in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Yes, thaw frozen strawberries completely and strain them from excess liquid before adding to the food processor.
Yes, follow the directions of a white cake mix and add the vanilla and strawberry puree.
Too much butter can create a soft topping. Additional Oreos and strawberries will transform the buttery mixture from soft to crunchy.
You can bake the batter in a greased and floured 8x8-inch square baking pan for 30-35 minutes. For a large cake, I recommend my strawberry cake recipe.
Please leave a starred rating and comment below if you make these Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes. I love reading your feedback! And if you’d like to make this recipe later, don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest! Happy Baking!Print