Strawberry Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Icing and a Fresh Strawberry Core

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There’s something incredibly charming about a classic strawberry cake. The pink-hued strawberry sponge paired with bright pink strawberry cream cheese icing creates a delicious and beautiful dessert. Inspired by this classic cake, we created strawberry cupcakes with a surprise—a strawberry core—and topped them off with luscious strawberry cream cheese icing. These cupcakes are a heavenly twist on the traditional strawberry cake, packed with fresh strawberries in every bite.

Tips for the Best Strawberry Cupcakes

  • Fresh Strawberry Puree: Use reduced strawberry puree for a vibrant flavor without artificial colors. Add a little food dye for a pinker cake if desired.
  • Cream the Butter, Oil, and Sugar First: Beating these ingredients until light and fluffy creates a tender, moist cake texture.
  • Alternate Wet and Dry Ingredients: Alternating the addition of buttermilk and dry ingredients ensures even mixing and a uniform texture.
  • Cool Before Assembly: Properly cool the strawberry puree, cupcakes, and strawberry core filling before assembling for better consistency and easier assembly.

Strawberry Cupcakes FAQ

Can I use frozen strawberries for the strawberry puree?
Yes, you can use frozen strawberries. Thaw them before blending for a smooth consistency. Frozen strawberries may have more water content, so adjust the reduction time accordingly.

How long can I store the cupcakes with cream cheese icing?
Store cupcakes with cream cheese icing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Note that the texture and flavor may change slightly over time due to the fresh strawberry core. It’s best to enjoy them the same day.

Can I make the cupcakes in advance and assemble them later?
Yes, you can make the cupcakes in advance. The strawberry puree reduction can be made 3-5 days ahead and stored in the fridge. Bake the cupcakes and store them unfrosted in an airtight container at room temperature. The cream cheese icing can be prepared separately and refrigerated. When ready to serve, fill the cupcakes with the strawberry core and frost with the cream cheese icing.

Strawberry Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Icing and a Fresh Strawberry Core

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Course Dessert


**Strawberry Puree:**

  • – 1 pound fresh strawberries hulled and sliced

**Strawberry Cake:**

  • – 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • – 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • – 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • – 1 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon if using Morton salt
  • – 1 stick 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • – 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • – 2 cups granulated sugar
  • – 5 egg whites
  • – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • – 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • – 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • – 1/2 cup reduced strawberry puree
  • – Zest of 1 lemon

**Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing:**

  • – 2 sticks 1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • – 1 stick 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • – 1/2 cup reduced strawberry puree
  • – 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • – 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • – 5-6 cups powdered sugar

**Strawberry Core:**

  • – 1/3 cup sugar
  • – 2 tablespoons reduced strawberry puree
  • – 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • – 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • – Zest of 1 lemon
  • – 1 cup strawberries small diced (about 12 medium strawberries)


**Strawberry Puree:**

  • Blend the sliced strawberries until smooth.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the puree over medium heat until reduced by half (about 20-30 minutes).
  • Cool completely before using.

**Strawberry Cupcakes:**

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line a cupcake pan with liners (makes about 15 cupcakes).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the softened butter, oil, and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
  • Add the egg whites, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat for 1-2 minutes until fluffy.
  • On low speed, alternate adding the buttermilk and flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Fold in the reduced strawberry puree and lemon zest until combined.
  • Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.

**Strawberry Core:**

  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and strawberry puree. Heat over medium until the sugar is just melted.
  • In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Whisk the lemon juice mixture into the saucepan. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the lemon zest and diced strawberries. Cook for 2 more minutes, until the strawberries are just warmed.
  • Cool completely.

**Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing:**

  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy (1-2 minutes).
  • Add the strawberry puree and extracts. Mix until combined.
  • On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
  • Beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.


  • Cut a 1/2-inch circle core in the center of each cupcake. Fill with about 1 tablespoon of strawberry filling.
  • Top with strawberry cream cheese icing.

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