How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes

When strawberry season comes around, I am the first in at the farmers market—gotta stock up on plenty of berries for my favorite strawberry jam. Of course, I always buy a few extra pints for these fresh strawberry desserts. As much as I love a good strawberry pie, though, I’m a cake gal at heart. That’s why I had to find the perfect way to incorporate these berries into a cake recipe. And it turns out that with my favorite strawberry jam, I can make the strawberry cupcake of my dreams.

These cupcakes are pretty, pink and perfectly festive. Topped with strawberry whipped cream frosting and a few fresh berries, they become downright irresistible.

Strawberry Cupcake Recipe

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Ingredients for Cupcakes

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam or preserves, warmed (but not hot)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Red or pink food coloring

Ingredients for Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting

Strawberries and cream are a classic combination, so for these cupcakes, I like to make a strawberry whipped cream frosting. This is super easy to make—if you can make whipped cream, you can make this frosting easily.

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam or preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Step 1: Prep the Strawberry Jam

Because fresh strawberries are full of water, they have a tendency to water down cake batters and make soggy cakes. That’s why this cake relies on strawberry jam or preserves. It gives you that real strawberry flavor without compromising the structure of the cake. However, you can’t just stir in the jam right from the fridge.

Instead, warm your strawberry jam slightly, just to loosen it up a bit. Then using a spatula, press it through a fine-mesh sieve. This will remove most of the seeds and break up some of the larger strawberry chunks.

You can use one of our favorite jam brands or use your own homemade version. Both will be delicious.

Step 2: Make the Strawberry Cupcake Batter

Start making your strawberry cupcake batter by creaming your sugar and softened butter together. Once combined, add the egg whites one at a time (psst…here are some recipes to use up those extra egg yolks ). Beat this mixture together until nice and fluffy—I’d say about three to five minutes on high speed.

Then add your vanilla extract and prepared strawberry jam and mix until combined.

From there, alternate adding your dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt—with your wet ingredients (the sour cream and milk). The finished product should be a pale and creamy looking batter.

Now, the half cup of strawberry preserves definitely add some flavor, but not a lot of color. If you like, add a few drops of red or pink food coloring to give the batter a pinker hue.

Step 3: Bake the Strawberry Cupcakes

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Take your batter and portion it out into lined cupcake pans. Plain white cupcake liners are my go-to, but these polka dot ones are just too fun. You can use a tablespoon to add the batter to the cups, but I find that a quarter-cup disher or ice cream scoop really makes the job a lot simpler and a bit cleaner. If you’re a serious cupcake or muffin maker, it’s worth purchasing.

Once your cupcakes are portioned, pop them into a 350ºF oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Pro tip: You can check to see if the cupcakes are done by gently pressing on the tops—they should spring back. You can also try the classic toothpick test (make sure it comes out clean). When they’re baked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 4: Make the Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Prepare for making the whipped cream frosting by popping your bowl and beaters into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes. Cream whips up best when in a chilled bowl with a cold whisk.

Now, to make the strawberry whipped cream frosting, whisk the cream until it starts to thicken. Then add in the confectioners’ sugar, jam and vanilla. Beat until you get nice, soft peaks. Be mindful not to overwhip. In the end, you’ll have a very pale pink frosting with a few swirls of bright red jam. I think it’s super pretty (and I’m already brainstorming ways to use this recipe elsewhere).

Step 5: Topping Off the Strawberry Cupcakes

When it comes to cupcake decorating, I like informal just as much as I like fancy decorations—both taste great.

If you want a more informal presentation, add a dollop of the strawberry whipped cream frosting on top of each cupcake and finish with a small strawberry. It’s quick, easy and really makes you want to dive right in.

If you want to level up your cupcake decorating technique a bit, you can fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill it with the frosting. Top each cupcake with a quick swirl and a fresh berry. The effect is slightly more polished, so this is a good route to take if you’re making these cupcakes for a special occasion. How pretty would these be for a baby or bridal shower?

The Finished Product

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Whether you decide to go fancy with a pastry bag or just give each cupcake a generous dollop of strawberry whipped cream, you end up with a delicious strawberry dessert. The cupcake is moist, tender with the right hint of strawberry. When you combine that with the whipped cream—which, in my opinion, is a great treat on its own—you get that classic strawberry and cream combo we all love.

I’m looking forward to making this recipe all throughout strawberry season, but I love how—thanks to strawberry preserves—it’ll be just as tasty any time of year.

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