Easy strawberry filled cupcakes topped with whipped strawberry cream cheese frosting will become your go-to summer cupcakes! Ditch the box mix for these easy vanilla cupcakes mixed with fresh strawberry puree and filled with a simple fresh strawberry compote.
When it came to baking cupcakes for my kids, I would always opt for traditional vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, assuming the task of cutting and filling cupcakes was daunting and messy. This easy recipe for strawberry filled cupcakes is straightforward and a new kiddo staple in our household (far from daunting and messy!).
For these cupcakes, I took the vanilla cupcake base recipe from my funfetti cupcakes, gently folded in pureed fresh strawberries, and filled with an easy strawberry filling. Whipped strawberry cream cheese frosting adds the finishing touch like my strawberry cake.
You can serve this spring and summer treat at your next gathering and prep everything in advance (as a busy mom of three, that’s a must!). And if you'd like more easy prep ahead strawberry recipes try these cheesecake cookies and crisp.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Fresh, strawberry flavor from scratch: The sweet flavor of strawberries in the cupcakes, filling, and cream cheese frosting comes from fresh fruit. No jello or cake mix necessary!
- Simple, straightforward recipe: the idea of filling cupcakes sounds time-consuming. But I promise you, the 4-ingredient filling is easy to make and these cupcakes are super simple to assemble!
- Make them ahead of time: you can prep these strawberry cupcakes, filling, and frosting the day before and quickly assemble them before serving.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Fresh strawberries. For the cupcakes and frosting, lightly puree fresh strawberries in a food processor just until thin enough to mix into the cake batter but not completely smooth so you can still see small pieces of strawberry.
- Lemon juice. It adds just a bit of acidity to the filling to prevent it from becoming too juicy.
- Granulated sugar. Adds sweetness to the filling and cupcake batter.
- Cornstarch. Thickens the strawberry filling.
- 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. Enhances the sweetness of the cupcakes.
- Unsalted butter. Use softened to room temperature butter (it should be slightly firm to the touch, yet leave the impression of your finger when you press into it).
- Egg whites. Using only egg whites create a white cake batter. Save the yolks for another use!
- Vanilla. Always use pure vanilla extract when possible for the best flavor.
- Whole milk. Moistens the cupcake batter and adds flavor. It’s important to use room temperature milk.
- Cream cheese. Bring to room temperature for a smooth and creamy frosting. Use the block type of cream cheese and not the whipped cream cheese!
- Powdered sugar. Adds sweetness to the frosting and will create a spreadable consistency.
How To Make Strawberry Filling (Step-By-Step Instructions.
Cook the ingredients. Mix all the filling ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
Cool filling. Transfer the hot filling to a bowl to cool.
How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes (Step-By-Step Instructions)
Note: Begin by lining a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C.
Sift dry ingredients. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
Cream butter and sugar. Use a mixer to beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
Add egg whites and vanilla. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time, and then mix in the vanilla. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add dry ingredients and milk. In three parts, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk until the batter is just combined. Do not overmix the batter.
Add strawberry puree. Gently fold in the strawberry puree until evenly combined.
Transfer to the pan. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 17-19 minutes until the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed.
Note: Use a cookie dough scoop or pastry bag to evenly divide the batter between each cupcake liner. This will minimize any mess!
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. Then add strawberry puree and vanilla.
How to Fill and Assemble Strawberry Cupcakes
Core cupcakes. Hollow out the centers of the cupcakes without cutting completely through.
Fill cupcakes. Spoon or pipe the filling into each cupcake filling to the top of the cupcake.
Frost cupcakes. Using a pastry bag or resealable bag with the tip snipped off, pipe the frosting over each cupcake so that the filling is covered completely (spreading the icing with a knife works too!).
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Use high-quality cupcake liners. Use grease-proof liners to keep cupcakes from sticking to the wrapper’s sides.
- Boil your fruit filling. It’s important to bring the fruit filling to a boil and cook for 1 minute. This will activate the cornstarch so it thickens the strawberries.
- Sift the cake flour to break up any lumps so it will combine easily and smoothly with the wet ingredients.
- Use room temperature ingredients (butter, eggs, milk, strawberry puree, and cream cheese) so the cake batter and frosting come together and blend evenly.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Using too much batter can cause the cupcakes to spill over or rise quickly and sink in the middle.
- Make a mixed berry filling. Use the same process for making the strawberry puree using a mixture of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries for a fun and tasty filling surprise.
- Use whipped cream. Replace the strawberry cream cheese frosting with homemade whipped cream to create strawberry shortcake cupcakes.
- Use a lemon filling. Fill the cupcakes with lemon cream for some fun strawberry lemon cupcakes.
- Add a crunchy topping. Sprinkle strawberry crunch topping over the frosting for a fun texture!
- Make it gluten free. Substitute a good quality cup-for-cup gluten free baking flour for the cake flour. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Make cake flour. No cake flour on hand, no problem! Measure 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and replace 3 tablespoons with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Make sure to whisk them together to combine.
- Substitute buttermilk. You can substitute an equal amount of buttermilk for the whole milk.
How To Store
- In the refrigerator. The strawberry filled cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Set out 30 minutes before serving.
- In the freezer. Tightly wrap unfrosted and unfilled cupcakes individually with plastic wrap. Store in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, fill, and frost.
Fresh strawberries yield the best flavor and texture, but you can use completely thawed frozen strawberries that are strained from excess liquid for the cupcakes and frosting. I would recommend using fresh berries for the filling since frozen can make the cupcakes soggy.
Yes! You can bake the cupcakes, make the filling, and mix the frosting the day before. Store the cupcakes covered at room temperature and the filling and frosting in the refrigerator. Bring the filling and frosting to room temperature before assembling the cupcakes.
You can bake the batter in a greased and floured 8x8-inch square baking pan for 20-25 minutes. I recommend using my fresh strawberry sheet cake recipe if you prefer a larger cake.
Don’t throw them away! You can make half a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream using your leftover egg yolks (which pairs well with these cupcakes!).
Please leave a starred rating and comment below if you make these Strawberry Filled 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