Strawberry Cupcakes

These homemade Strawberry Cupcakes are just bursting with strawberry flavor! This from-scratch strawberry cupcake recipe doubles down on strawberry flavor, with a moist and fluffy strawberry cupcake, topped with rich and creamy strawberry frosting. Sure to be the star of any summer get-together! Love all things strawberry? Try these strawberry favorites: Lemon CupcakesRed Velvet Cupcakes, and Samoa Cupcakes!

strawberry cupcake recipe on cooling rack with strawberry frosting and title overlay

Strawberry Cupcakes

Simply the BEST homemade Strawberry Cupcakes!

You’ll never want a boxed mix again after you try this from-scratch fresh Strawberry Cupcake recipe.  

No artificial flavors or colors here… just fresh strawberries and an all-natural “secret” ingredient for the best strawberry cupcakes you’ve ever had! 

This recipe doubles down on strawberry flavor, with a moist and fluffy strawberry cake, topped with rich and creamy strawberry frosting.  

These cupcakes are just begging to be the star of any summer get-together!

This recipe was created in partnership with Challenge Dairy.

strawberry cupcake recipe on cooling rack with strawberry frosting and title overlay

We’ve likely all eaten a boxed mixed “Strawberry” (flavored) cupcake at some point. 

There is no way to really replicate that exact flavor profile without artificial flavors, so these are not a copy-cat of a strawberry boxed mix… these are WAY better! 

This recipe includes fresh strawberries in both the cake and frosting. 

You’ll want to use fresh, fully ripe strawberries.  If you have a strawberry stand or farmer’s market nearby, that’s likely your best bet.  

strawberry cupcakes topped with strawberry frosting with butter package in back

As with most every recipe that comes out of my kitchen, this these cupcakes include my favorite kitchen staples, Challenge Butter and Challenge Cream Cheese.

I know when I use Challenge brand dairy products I can depend on consistent quality and fresh taste.

Challenge loves to let their fresh, high quality ingredients shine through in their products and this means I can depend on a pure taste and superior results!

No added flavors, dyes, or artificial preservatives…. just fresh and delicious ingredients that are the perfect foundation for successful recipes!

If you’re not sure where you can find Challenge butter and cream cheese near you, use this helpful map.

top down view of Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes on cooling rack

What You’ll Need

  • all purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  •  salt
  • eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • unsalted butter 
  • oil –  vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil
  • sour cream – full fat or light, but avoid fat free
  • freeze dried strawberries
  • milk – whole or low fat, but avoid fat free
  • strawberries – fresh and ripe, finely diced

The Secret Ingredient

In addition to fresh Challenge butter & cream cheese and fresh, ripe strawberries, these cupcakes include one “secret” ingredient that helps add natural color and flavor to each bite of these delicious cupcakes.  

Both the cake and frosting include freeze dried strawberries, ground into a powder, to infuse real strawberry flavor throughout.  

Look for freeze dried strawberries near where dried fruit is sold in the grocery store. 

Freeze dried strawberries add flavor and color without adding excess moisture, which can often be a problem when baking or making frosting with fresh fruit.  

strawberry cupcakes on cooling rack with one plate

More Strawberry Recipes

  1. Strawberry Shortcake Cake
  2. Strawberry Cream Puffs
  3. Brownie Strawberry S’mores
  4. Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse
  5. Brownie Strawberry Shortcake

How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes

strawberry cupcake recipe on cooling rack with strawberry frosting square

Strawberry Cupcakes

Flavorful and delicious strawberry cupcakes from scratch. No artificial flavors or colors!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 531 kcal


Strawberry Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup Challenge unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup oil vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream full fat or light, but avoid fat free
  • 3 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries powder see notes
  • 1/4 cup milk whole or low fat, but avoid fat free
  • 1/4 cup strawberries fresh ripe, finely diced

Strawberry Frosting

  • 1/2 cup 1 stick Challenge unsalted butter
  • 4 oz 1/2 block Challenge cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberry powder
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt only if using unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup strawberries very finely chopped fresh, ripe



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with a whisk, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla, melted butter and oil, and blend.
  • Add sour cream and freeze dried strawberries powder and blend.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add the milk, then the rest of the flour.  Blend until just combined.  Scrap down the side of the bowl.
  • Add the diced strawberries and blend just until fully incorporated.
  • Scoop the batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners.  Fill liners about 2/3 full.
  • Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they are just slightly golden brown on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Cool fully (about an hour) before frosting.


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter (on medium speed) until completely smooth (30 seconds to a minute).
  • Add cream cheese, and then continue to beat until smooth.
  • Add freeze dried strawberry powder and blend.
  • One cup at time, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla and salt and blend.
  • While slowly mixing, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
  • Add finely diced strawberries and blend.
  • Continue to blend until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Fill a pastry bag with the frosting and pipe onto fully cooled cupcakes.
  • Top frosted cupcakes with a fresh strawberry, if desired.



Freeze Dried Strawberries - Find these in the grocery store near dried fruit. Blend a 1 oz. package of freeze dried strawberries in the food processor to create a powder. Be sure to check for a silica packet in with the strawberries before blending (I'm speaking from experience on this). Immediately put the powder into a jar with a lid, or moisture from the air will cause the powder to clump together (which would not effect the taste, but makes it more difficult to measure). You may have a little extra powder after you complete this recipe. Any leftover powder can be added to yogurt or smoothies.


Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 4gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 271mgPotassium: 151mgFiber: 1gSugar: 66gVitamin A: 589IUVitamin C: 79mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cupcake, cupcakes, strawberries, strawberry, strawberry cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Happy baking!

Disclosure – I created this recipe as part of an ongoing partnership with Challenge Dairy.  Partnering with brands I love allows me to provide you high quality content at no cost to you.  I only work with brands I use and love.  All images, text and opinions are my own.


  1. First of all let me say that every recipe I have made of yours comes out excellent!! I’m going to make these next, so I have a question, I watched the video for these cupcakes and I don’t see the fresh strawberries being put in to the batter.  Does the batter have fresh strawberries or is it only in the frosting? 

    • The video is simply to give you a general idea of the process. Sometimes a few steps are edited out to keep the video short. Follow the written recipe for all the details you need.

  2. Excellent article. Thank you for the post and It really helped me alot.

  3. Goodness! These have my mouth watering! They look as delicious as they do lovely!

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