Fresh strawberry puree flavors this lightly sweet cupcake with natural strawberry flavor! It’s paired with a strawberry buttercream that’s also naturally flavored with freeze-dried strawberries.
Strawberry Cupcake Batter
- 207 g cake flour (~1 3/4 cup)
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (115 g or 1/2 cup)
- 200 g granulated sugar (~1 cup)
- 1/4 cup reduced strawberry puree*(see notes), room temperature
- 60 g sour cream (~1/4 cup)
- 80 ml whole milk (~1/3 cup)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Optional: 1-2 drops of red gel food coloring*
- Optional: extra strawberries for topping
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (235 g or 1 cup)
- 480 g confectioner’s sugar (~4 cups)
- 25 g freeze-dried strawberries, pulsed into a powder* (see notes)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt to taste
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a cupcake pan with parchment liners – this recipe makes about 14-16 cupcakes.
- Mix Batter. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the room temp butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fully incorporated, ~1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the room temp egg whites. Beat until the mixture is light and pale white in color, ~2-3 minutes. Add the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Sift in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed until barely combined to avoid over-mixing at this stage. Pour in the milk and mix on low speed until combined. Lastly, add the reduced strawberry puree and red food coloring (if using), then stir by hand until evenly mixed. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter (each is approximately 1/4 cup of batter).
- Bake. Bake the cupcakes for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the centers clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Make frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and smooth, ~1 minute. Add the confectioner’s sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low at first to prevent sugar from flying everywhere. Then increase to medium-high until smooth, ~1 minute. Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder and mix one last time on medium speed until evenly mixed. Store at room temp until ready to frost the cupcakes!
- Assemble. Frost each cupcake with buttercream frosting! I used the Wilton 1M rose tip to decorate the cupcakes that are photographed. Top with a fresh strawberry half, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week. To freeze extras, place un-frosted cupcakes in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost frozen cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight.
- *Reduced Strawberry Puree: to add natural strawberry flavor, this recipe requires cooked-down strawberries for best results! Do not add fresh strawberry puree as it has too much moisture and will throw off the proportions of the cupcakes. To reduce strawberries, blend 1/2 cup of clean and chopped strawberries using a blender or immersion blender until it’s a liquid consistency. Bring the puree to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the strawberry puree is thick, almost like pudding. This takes at least 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the strawberry puree to cool off before adding to the cake batter. You can speed this up by putting it in the fridge, but I like to make this the day before.
- *Pulsed Freeze-Dried Strawberries: Add the freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor or spice grinder and pulse until it forms a powder. It’s okay if there are a few lumps but it should be mostly powder.
- *Red Gel Food Coloring. I use Wilton red icing gel which is more concentrated than liquid food coloring and will produce a richer red color.
- Make-Ahead Instructions: If you can, definitely make the reduced strawberry puree the day before to allow it to cool completely! The buttercream and cupcakes can be made a day ahead also as long as the cupcakes are stored in an airtight container overnight. Frost and decorate the cupcakes the day you plan to eat them!
Keywords: cupcakes, strawberries