Fluffy and light strawberry filled vanilla cupcakes topped off with real strawberry buttercream frosting. Using the sweetest and juciest strawberries ensures incredible flavour in every single bite, this cupcake recipe is a must-have for every home baker!
For this recipe, you will need: plain flour, caster sugar, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, whole milk, eggs, strawberries, vanilla extract, icing sugar, and freeze-dried strawberries.
I've used my tried and tested recipe for vanilla cupcakes as the base for this recipe. I really love vanilla cupcakes just as they are but it's fun to add interesting flavours every now and again.
Once you have basic recipes sorted, like vanilla cupcakes, it's really easy to adapt them.
To make these cupcakes taste like real strawberry, I added fresh crushed strawberries to the batter and filled them with strawberry jam - or jelly if you're in the US.
If you don't want to use jam/jelly for the filling you could add fresh cream or cream cheese frosting to your strawberry cupcakes, both would taste amazing, I'm sure.
For the frosting, I adapted my go-to vanilla buttercream recipe to incorporate freeze dried strawberries which results in a beautiful strawberry flavoured topping.
And of course, I used a whole fresh strawberry to decorate each pink strawberry filled cupcake.
Aren't they pretty?
As strawberries are in season right now, what better time to make the most of it and cook up a whole batch of strawberry cupcakes!
WHAT MAKES THESE STRAWBERRY FILLED CUPCAKES SO GOOD?
- Natural pastel pink strawberry frosting
- FULL of strawberry flavour
- Soooo pretty!
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY FILLED CUPCAKES
The recipe I'm going to give you for vanilla cupcakes is fairly runny so don't panic while you're preparing these and don't be tempted to over bake.
Simply add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
I beat on speed 2, until the mixture looks a bit like wallpaper paste.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and milk until combined then pour into the flour mixture and mix for a couple of minutes until smooth.
To crush the strawberries, I put them all on a wooden chopping board and then squash them with the back of a fork. The fresh strawberries can then be scraped into the vanilla cupcake mixture, fold everything together taking care not to overmix.
Making by hand?
If you're using a hand mixer or making the cupcakes by hand, cream the butter and sugar together first then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the remaining ingredients and beat together well.
Spoon the mixture into 18 cupcake cases - about half full. Bake for 18 minutes-20 minutes, the cupcakes are ready when they are golden (just like Victoria sponge) and spring back when you press your finger into the top of the cupcake.
HOW TO FILL THE CUPCAKES
Once, baked and cooled cut out a hole in the middle of each cupcake. You can use a knife to do this but I use the round end of an icing tip as find it's the perfect size for making a hole for filling.
It doesn't have to be neat because it's going to be covered over in frosting - how big you make the hole for filling is entirely up to you. I suggest making it big enough to fit one teaspoon of jam/jelly filling.
Once you've made the holes you can go ahead and fill them up with strawberry jam and you're ready to frost and decorate.
HOW TO MAKE REAL STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Making buttercream icing is simple and a basic vanilla buttercream is easy to adapt. The most important thing is to remember to take the butter out of the fridge an hour before you're going to make the buttercream.
The butter should be soft but still cool to the touch. If you press your finger into the butter it should leave an indent but the butter shouldn't be so soft your finger disappears into it (see image below in step by step).
Getting the butter out of the fridge is much better than softening it in the microwave because the edges will always melt and it won't do your buttercream justice.
Add the butter to a stand mixer and beat for a couple of minutes until pale yellow and creamy, then you can begin adding the icing sugar a tablespoon at a time.
If you add the icing sugar all in one go (and many bakers do) you will end up with a cloud of icing sugar in your kitchen!
Once you've added all the icing sugar, pour in the vanilla and milk and continue to beat until it's smooth and creamy.
Meanwhile, blitz the freeze-dried strawberries to a powder. You can do this using a pestle and mortar, a food processor or do what I do and use a coffee grinder (because I can't be bothered to clean out the food processor!). Whatever you use, get the strawberries ground down as much as possible and then add the powder to the buttercream and mix to combine.
The reason I use freeze-dried strawberries is that fresh strawberries would be too wet which changes the consistency of buttercream. If you can't get freeze-dried strawberries you can use two teaspoons of strawberry flavouring instead.
Help! Why is my buttercream frosting too stiff?
Just add milk a tablespoon at a time until you get a thick but spreadable consistency.
Oh no! Why is my buttercream frosting so runny?
Don't panic, add more icing sugar a tablespoon at a time until it thickens. Buttercream should look like thick spreadable butter but should NOT 'plop' when tested with a spoon.
HOW TO FROST STRAWBERRY FILLED CUPCAKES
Hurrah, it's time to frost the cupcakes which is everyone's favourite part - am I right?
Fill a piping bag with the frosting, for the majority of these cupcakes I used the 1M Wilton tip (affiliate link). I adore this tip because it makes a beautiful swirl and you can achieve the sky-high icing look, which as you know, I love.
However, as there were 18 of these cupcakes I used the Wilton 2D (affiliate link) to pipe cupcake roses on a few of the cupcakes. The reason for this is because although the more frosting than cupcake ratio is my fav, I simply can not have all that frosting in my life!
To pipe a huge swirl of buttercream just start in the middle of the cupcake and move upwards in a swift circular movement until you've reached the desired height.
For roses, start in the middle and pipe in a continuous spiral until you get to the edge of the cupcake case.
Finally, decorate your strawberry filled cupcakes with a fresh strawberry on each.
STEP BY STEP IMAGES TO HELP YOU
Enjoy them, I think these will be THE BEST strawberry filled cupcakes you've ever eaten - I'm so proud of this recipe!
OTHER RECIPES I THINK YOU'LL ENJOY
- Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes With Oreo Buttercream
- Eton Mess Meringue Roulade
- Vanilla Naked Cake
- Summer Berry Pavlova
- Dark Chocolate Eton Mess
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Strawberry Filled Cupcakes With Real Strawberry Frosting
- Cupcake Cases
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour 290g
- 1 ½ cups caster sugar 330g
- 3 tsps baking powder
- .5 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter ½ cup / 110g, softened
- 240 ml whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh strawberries 140g approx 8 large strawberries
For the strawberry frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 cup / 230g, softened
- 500 g icing sugar
- 50 ml whole milk
- .5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries 12g
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/ 175ºC (160ºC fan)/ Gas 4
- Add flour, salt, baking powder, salt and butter to a free standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
- Beat on speed 2 for a couple of minutes until the mixture resembles wallpaper paste
- In a separate bowl whisk the milk, eggs and vanilla extract until combined
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry into the flour mixture and beat on speed 4 until smooth (a couple of minutes - don't over mix)
- Crush the strawberries with the back of a fork and scrape them into the bowl and fold together until just combined
- Divide the mixture between 18 cupcake cases filling them half full
- Bake in the centre of a pre heated oven for 18-21 minutes until the cupcakes are golden and spring back when touched
- Leave to cool completely
- Once cool, make holes in the tops of the cupcakes and add a teaspoon of jam to each hole
To make the strawberry frosting
- In a free standing mixer, beat the butter on speed 4 until creamy
- Add the icing sugar a tablespoon at a time
- Slowly pour in the milk
- Add the vanilla extract and freeze-dried strawberries - increase the speed to 6 and continue to beat for a few more minutes
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping nozzle
- Pipe the frosting in a swirl or rose pattern on top of the cupcakes
- Decorate with a whole fresh strawberry