These pretty pink cupcakes are based off the Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes recipe and with fresh strawberries in both the cake and the frosting, they're packed with sweet fruity flavor!
When it comes to cupcake recipes, there's no shortage of chocolate and vanilla. If you go to a fancy cupcake shop, you can likely get a fully loaded s'mores cupcake or a outrageously flavored maple bacon cupcake.
But where are all the strawberry cupcakes? I'm not talking vanilla cupcakes with strawberry garnish and I'm not talking strawberry shortcake cupcakes. I'm talking actually strawberry-flavored cupcakes with strawberry frosting.
I made these homemade strawberry cupcakes for Chels's birthday last week since she's not a big chocolate lover and I wanted something more fun than vanilla. So, when I spotted a recipe for Sprinkles strawberry cupcakes, I knew they would be perfect. And so pretty, too!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you're a fan of Sprinkles cupcakes, you'll love this copycat version of their strawberry cupcakes.
But even if you've never had a Sprinkles cupcake in your life, you'll definitely want to give these cupcakes a try.
My favorite thing about this cupcake recipe is that it uses fresh strawberries! You're also welcome to use frozen strawberries, but in any event, the strawberry flavor in these cupcakes come from the actual fruit rather than an extract or artificial flavoring.
Not only are they a delicious flavor and a fun departure from the typical vanilla and chocolate flavored cupcakes; but they're also so easy to make!
These cupcakes are extremely easy to make with standard cupcake ingredients and fresh strawberries.
Here's everything you need (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Fresh or frozen strawberries: if frozen, thaw them first
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Whole milk
- Vanilla extract
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs & egg whites
- Red food coloring: optional, but helpful for the pretty pink color
And here's everything you need for the strawberry frosting:
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioners' sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Strawberry puree: you'll be making this in the cupcake recipe and will have extra for the frosting
🧁 How to make strawberry cupcakes
You'll start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining a 12-cavity cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
Now, using a blender or a food processor, puree your strawberries into a smooth puree.
You'll have enough here to use for both the cupcakes and the frosting and maybe a little bit leftover, too (to do with as you please).
Then, mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl. And in a smaller bowl, mix that strawberry puree with milk and vanilla extract.
Cream the butter in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, gradually add the sugar and beat until it's nice and fluffy. Slow the mixer to a medium speed and add in the egg and egg whites... Adding egg whites to your cupcakes makes them nice and extra fluffy!
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the strawberry/milk mixture and blending until just combined. Be very careful not to over-mix as the cupcakes will be too dense if you do!
I wanted to go natural with these cupcakes, but ended up adding a couple drops of red food coloring to my batter because I wanted the strawberry cupcakes to be nice and red.
Divide the batter into cupcake papers in a tin.
Bake for 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
🍓 How to make strawberry frosting
While the cupcakes are baking/cooling, you should make the strawberry frosting! It's easy... Just beat the butter and salt in a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Then reduce the speed and add confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined. The original recipe recommends using cold butter, but I didn't find much of a difference in how the frosting turned out and cold butter is so much more difficult to work with.
Add vanilla extract and 3 Tbsp puree strawberries. If you feel like adding a 4th Tbsp, go for it! Martha claims the frosting should dense and creamy, like ice cream. I can totally see that.
Most recipes for strawberry frosting will have you either reducing the strawberry puree into more of a syrup, using an extract, or using freeze-dried strawberries. Doing any of those things will leave you with a stiffer more buttery strawberry buttercream frosting.
But they either take a lot of time (making and cooling the reduced puree), are artificial (using the extract), or require you to use ingredients you may not have on hand (using freeze-fried strawberries).
Making the frosting with the simple strawberry puree is definitely the easiest way to do it; your frosting will just be a little runnier than the typical stiff buttercream.
It's very important that you wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them with the strawberry frosting. I used a Wilton 1A pastry tip to easily pipe my frosting on. It's my new favorite way to frost cupcakes... SO easy and it always looks nice.
Of course, if you want to add sprinkles onto the cupcakes, too, go for it! Sprinkles strawberry cupcakes kind of deserve actual sprinkles, right??
And then it's time to indulge. These cupcakes are incredibly moist and full of real strawberry flavor, in both the cake and the frosting.
Plus, they're pretty little guys, too. I know I added in some food coloring, but I absolutely love the color these cupcakes ended up being.
⏲️ How to store
These strawberry cupcakes should be fine in an airtight container at room temperature for a day, but I do recommend storing them in the fridge if you're going to keep them longer since they're made with fresh strawberries.
I think they're best enjoyed at room temperature, so I like to let them sit out of the fridge for a little bit before I serve them.
🎉 Variations on recipe
I love the simplicity of these treats, but there are so many ways you can enjoy strawberry cupcakes and lots of fun variations you can make on them.
Here are some ideas:
- Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the cupcake and the frosting to turn these into strawberry lemonade cupcakes.
- Fill these cupcakes with chocolate ganache and add a chocolate-covered strawberry on top for an extra special treat even more perfect for Valentine's Day.
- Fill them with a cream cheese filling and sprinkle on graham cracker crumbs to turn these into strawberry cheesecake cupcakes.
- Fill them with a champagne custard and add champagne to the frosting for another romantic Valentine's Day cupcake.
- Add any favorite ingredients that are complementary to strawberries, including coconut, white chocolate, dark chocolate, basil, mint, ginger, and balsamic vinegar.
Now I'm just sad these are no longer sitting in my fridge. Especially since tomorrow is Friday and, well, Friday calls for cupcakes. Oh and yes, I do recommend keeping these cupcakes in a cool spot, mostly due to that frosting.
I mean, that is, if you don't eat them all in one sitting immediately after frosting them. And I can't say I'd blame you if you did!
👩🍳 More cupcake recipes
Since there's no such thing as too many, here are some of my other favorite cupcake recipes:
🍰 More strawberry desserts
If you're looking for more fabulous ways to bake with fresh strawberries, here are some of the best recipes:
I also love this recipe for Blood Orange Chardonnay Cupcakes from Tara's Multicultural Table!
And now I want to create copycat recipes for cupcakes from all my favorite bakeries around the country!
But for now, I hope you enjoy these delicious Sprinkles strawberry cupcakes!
What's your favorite cupcake bakery?
Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (if frozen, make sure to thaw)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2-4 drops red food coloring, optional
- 1 batch strawberry frosting (recipe below)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 4-5 Tbsp strawberry puree (from cupcake recipe)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cavity cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
- Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and process until pureed.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and ⅓ C of the strawberry puree.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed until it's light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well-combined and fluffy. Add the egg and egg whites one by one, mixing on medium speed after each addition.
- With the mixture on low, add half the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Add milk/strawberry mixture and mix until just blended. Continue with the rest of the flour, mixing until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. If you want your cupcakes to be a bit more red, add food coloring here, too.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake tin.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
- Once completely cooled, frost cupcakes with strawberry frosting. I used a Wilton 1A tip to frost mine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed and add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time, and beat until well combined.
- Add vanilla and 4 Tbsp strawberry puree, taking care not to over-mix. Depending on consistency of frosting, you may want to add another Tbsp of strawberry puree.
- Keep frosting refrigerated until ready to use.
- Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart and Sprinkles Bakery