Strawberry filled cupcakes are soft, delicate white cupcakes with fresh strawberry filling and whipped buttercream frosting. A crowd-favorite cupcake recipe.
You're going to love my recipe for strawberry filled cupcakes. These cupcakes are soft and delicate, made with egg whites for a light texture and pale color.
The homemade fresh strawberry filling is easy to make and takes only a few ingredients.
I like to top these cupcakes with my reader favorite whipped buttercream frosting. A sweet buttercream frosting that's whipped until light and fluffy. These cupcakes would also be fantastic topped with a stabilized whipped cream.
Serve these strawberry filled cupcakes for Valentine's Day, a spring or summer picnic, or your next birthday party.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Cake flour - I do not recommend substituting the cake flour in this recipe. Cake flour gives your cupcakes their tender, small crumb. If you substitute with all-purpose flour, your cupcakes will, in comparison, have a coarser crumb that readers often describe as a 'cornbread' texture.
- Baking powder - This cannot be substituted with baking soda - they are two different ingredients.
- Unsalted butter - If you need to substitute with salted butter, reduce the amount of salt to ¼ teaspoon.
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Egg whites - Egg whites can not be substituted with whole eggs. Using egg whites in this recipe makes your cupcakes light, fluffy, and white. If you want to use whole eggs (with the yolk) to make cupcakes, I suggest trying my vanilla homemade cupcakes recipe. It uses the same ingredients (in slightly different measurements), is written to use two whole eggs, and can be filled with strawberry filling.
- Whole milk - This recipe will technically work with a lower fat milk, like 2%, 1%, or skim, but whole milk will help keep your cupcakes moist from the added fat. For best results, use whole milk.
Room temperature ingredients
For this recipe, you'll need some room temperature butter, egg whites, and milk. If possible, set out your ingredients ahead of time, about an hour before you begin baking.
To warm up butter quickly, try slicing it into smaller pieces, then setting it out on the counter for 30 minutes.
To warm up eggs, place in them in a bowl and cover them with warm water. Your eggs will come to room temperature in minutes.
How to core and fill cupcakes
I use a cupcake corer to core my cupcakes, which makes the process a breeze. I found a kit that includes this exact corer as well as a different style from OXO.
This tool is entirely optional, and you can simply core your cupcakes with a knife instead. To do so, carefully cut a small circle in the center of your cupcakes and dig out the middle.
Make sure not to core your cupcakes all the way to the bottom. You'll want to leave a small base for your filling to sit on, so it doesn't fall out when unwrapped.
When filling your cupcakes, carefully spoon your filling to fill each cupcake. Or, fill a plastic baggie with your filling, cut off a corner, and carefully pipe your filling into each cupcake.
To frost cupcakes, I suggest a Wilton Cupcake Decorating Kit. It comes with four piping tips as well as bags. I also purchased this additional coupler to make it easy to secure tips to your piping bag or change tips halfway through if desired.
I'd suggest one of these options to frost your cupcakes (listed from least to most sweet):
- Homemade Whipped Cream - lightly sweetened
- Ermine frosting - A less sweet cooked flour frosting
- Cream cheese buttercream frosting - tangy and sweet
- Whipped buttercream frosting - sweet, but fluffier than traditional buttercream (listed in the recipe card below)
- American buttercream frosting - very sweet, traditional buttercream
Cupcake tips and tricks
My favorite tips and tricks for making cupcakes. Taken from reader questions and reviews!
- For this recipe, you'll need baking powder, not baking soda. They react differently with your ingredients and baking soda does not work for this recipe.
- Mix your batter until your ingredients are just incorporated. Overmixing your batter can whip extra air in, causing your cupcakes to rise quickly and then fall in the center when they bake.
- Do not unwrap cupcakes while they are warm. Cupcakes will stick to the liners until they are fully cooled throughout. Once cooled, your cupcakes will unwrap without sticking.
- Are your cupcakes sticky on top? This can be caused by humidity in your home or storing cupcakes while they’re still warm. This can’t really be fixed, but can be covered with frosting.
- Do not frost warm cupcakes! Buttercream is sensitive to heat and will melt between 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to prevent dry cupcakes
These are my favorite tips for ensuring your cupcakes bake up moist and tender.
- Do not substitute ingredients. The fats and sugar (butter, whole milk, granulated sugar, and egg whites) in this recipe make your cake moist. Substituting ingredients changes the texture and moisture in your cupcakes.
- Properly measure your flour. Too much flour can cause your cupcakes to turn out dry. Either use a kitchen scale to weigh your flour (this is what I do and recommend), or spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level off with a knife. Scooping with the measuring cup directly from a bin of flour compacts it into the cup, adding up to 25% extra flour to the recipe.
- Do not overbake your cupcakes. If you haven't substituted ingredients, the only other reason your cupcakes will turn out dry is from overbaking.
- Watch your cupcakes, not the time. Ovens are inconsistent and can run hotter or colder than the next oven. The time that worked for me may not work for you. If you've never made this recipe before, try checking your cupcakes 2 minutes early.
- Three easy ways to check for doneness: 1. Do your cupcakes jiggle a lot when you move the pan? If so, they're not done yet. 2. Gently press on the top of a cupcake with your finger. If the cake pops back up immediately, it's done. If an indentation is left, they need more time. 3. Poke a toothpick into the center of a cupcake - if it comes out clean or with dry crumbs, they're done.
Strawberry Filled Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups (168 g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 3 large (90 g) egg whites
- ½ cup (114 g) milk
- ½ pound (226 g) strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon (3.5 g) cornstarch
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups (454 g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup (75 g) heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk (or sift) together the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add egg whites and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, until all ingredients are just incorporated and batter is smooth. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling each ⅔ full. Batter will fill 15 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for about 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Gently core the center of each cupcake (about a ¾" circle) and fill with cooled strawberry filling. Be careful not to core through the bottom of your cupcake. Leave about ½" on the bottom so your filling doesn't fall through when unwrapped.
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- In a large bowl, add room temperature butter, beat until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add confectioner's sugar and slowly mix until ingredients are fully combined. Then, whip at high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract. Then, add heavy cream and whip for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add additional heavy cream as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.
- For best results, store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Let cupcakes set at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Cupcakes will keep for up to 3 days in refrigerator.
- Frosting will make enough to frost about 16 cupcakes with high, dramatic piped frosting, or 24 cupcakes spread with a knife, a 9x13 sheet cake, or an 8-9 inch two layer cake.
- Butter melts around 90 to 95 degrees, and so will your frosting. If your location is nearing this temperature, I'd recommend refrigerating your baked goods until an hour before you're ready to serve them. Refrigerating your frosted baked goods will not hurt them, but you will want to give them some time to come to room temperature before serving.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking cake, based on reader comments and questions!
Thanks for all the tips and reasons why substitution isn't good. I used a GF cake mix and followed the recipe for the filling. I used a pineapple cover and it worked great. After filling, I replaced a little bit of what I removed and put in fridge to set.
I'm icing them the next day.
Looking forward to more baking recipes!
Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe!
Hello, our store didn't have cake flour, we live in a rural, Alaskan town, one grocery store. I read online you could add a certain amount of cornstarch to normal flour as a substitute, will that work? Thank you for any help 🙂
All-purpose flour will technically work, but will give the cupcakes a coarser texture than when using cake flour. I have not tested the cornstarch method myself, but readers have had success using it in my other cupcake recipes. I'd say it's worth trying if you have cornstarch on hand!
Thank you for the quick reply. It did work 🙂 thank you for putting together this recipe
Glad to hear they turned out!
Is there any way to turn these into a cake version?
Hi Courtney, I haven't tried making this particular recipe into a cake yet. I do have a vanilla sheet cake recipe (which can be made in 3 different pan sizes, including a layer cake) and the strawberry filling would work as a filling between the layers.
okay thank you!
Hi! I'm making a bulk version of this recipe for a 21st. Would I be able to use frozen strawberries for the filling? And could I make the frosting in the morning if I'm using it in the afternoon, or is that too long?
Yes, frozen strawberries will work to make the filling (it will be easiest to allow them to thaw first, then dice and cook), and the frosting can be made in the morning. Hope you enjoy the cupcakes!
Hi! Do you think strawberry pie filling would work as a filler? Trying to make it as simple as possible. And do you have any recipes where you use a box cake but add ingredients to make it better? Wanting to just use a box cake for the actual cupcake as well.
Hi Katie, strawberry pie filling should work fine as a cupcake filling. I do not have any recipes that use boxed cake mixes, so unfortunately I can't help with that part. Good luck with your cupcakes!
Hi Heather, how much does a cup and 1/2 of cake flour weigh?
Hi Kate, you can find the gram measurements in the recipe card by clicking the 'metric' button under the list of ingredients. 1 1/2 cups of cake flour is 168 grams. Hope you enjoy the cupcakes!
Can I fill the cupcakes 2 days before the event? I made homemade orange jam but I don’t want the cupcakes to get soggy
I'd prepare and fill your cupcakes a maximum of two days before an event, anything longer and your cupcakes will begin to degrade in quality. As long as the filling is not watery, it should not make your cupcakes soggy.
This recipe didn’t work for me, I followed it exactly and they sunk really bad in the middle
Hi Kam, It's hard to say without being in the kitchen with you to know what exactly went wrong. Here are a few reasons why cupcakes may sink in the middle:
- Expired leavening agents (or too much/too little of a leavening agent).
- Underbaked - they look done, but when removed from the oven they sink in the middle.
- Overmixed batter - whipping extra air into the batter will cause that extra air to escape and deflate during the baking process.
- Adding more wet ingredients can cause the batter to be too moist/heavy to rise properly (probably not the case since you followed the recipe as written).
Can I use this recipe for a cake?
Hi Jacquie, it's on my to-list to make a cake recipe from this cupcake base, however, I haven't done any testing yet. As is, this recipe should make a 6 inch 3-layer cake, or an 8x8 square cake. Doubling this recipe should make a 13x18 sheet cake, a 9x13 pan cake, or a 2-layer 8 inch round cake.
Or, I do have a recipe for a vanilla sheet cake that uses whole eggs (instead of egg whites) that's very similar to this recipe:
Can you substitute buttermilk for the regular milk or will that ruin them? Thanks!
I would not recommend using buttermilk in this recipe, it would change the chemistry of the batter. Instead, I'd look for a cupcake base that does use buttermilk, then core and fill it with the strawberry filling. Here's an option: https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/vanilla-cupcake-recipe/
I’ll just stick with the regular milk. Thanks for your quick reply!
That other recipe gives a great texture, but I cannot get them to not sink! And I followed it exactly.
I baked these tonight and they are amazing!! Delicious and beautiful. Will be saving and using this recipe all the time;
can i add 1/2 cup of sour cream to the batter for moisture? or will that ruin them.
Since the recipe is written with just enough dry and wet ingredients to work together perfectly, I would not add more moisture to the batter. This could cause the cupcakes to turn out dense or sink in the middle, because there aren't enough dry ingredients to support all the liquid that has been added.
How thick is the filling supposed to be?
The filling should be about as thick as jam, or slightly thinner, but not watery.
Do you know if this recipe would work for large cupcakes? I am not sure what changes would be needed for bake time/temp.
Hi Angie, I haven't tried to make larger than standard size cupcakes, so I can't say for sure. The temperature would stay the same (I use the same temperature to bake cakes), but you'd likely need to add a few minutes to the total baking time. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes!
Thank you. I'll keep your Strawberry feeling recipe.
Hi, want to give this recipe a try. looks delicious
Can i substitute Milk with Champagne? I'm asked to make strawberry Champagne cupcakes.
Thanks in advance
Hi Emy, I don't think champagne would work as a substitute for the milk in this recipe. I would recommend trying a recipe like this (https://www.littlesweetbaker.com/champagne-cupcakes-champagne-buttercream/) and adding the strawberry filling.
Can you freeze with filling in cupcake?
Yes, cupcakes with fruit filling can be frozen! They should last up to three months if stored properly.
Can I make these with regular flour? I can't find cake our.
The texture will be slightly different (more of an open crumb and a little less tender), but all-purpose flour will technically work.
Can these be frozen a week or 2 ahead of time? Wanting to make them for a shower...
Hi Kelly - yes, these cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months! Once you bring them back to room temperature, they'll be ready to serve.
Am I able to make the cupcakes a day in advance before being served?
Hi Kat, yes your cupcakes should be fine if made the day beforehand.
Can the recipe be doubled and then used in 2 9" cake pans and the filling be used in the middle layer? I wanted a birthday cake and your recipe sounds delicious!
Hi Marilyn, this recipe would make a great layer cake! If doubling, you might have a little extra batter - about 24 cupcakes worth of batter should make a 9-inch 2 layer cake. I'd suggest adjusting the servings to 25 cupcakes (to get a round number for your egg whites) and use that amount of batter so that none goes to waste.
Can I make the frosting a day before, refrigerate and frost cupcakes the next day? If so, do I frost cold or defrost?
Hi Xiomara, yes you can make the frosting a day ahead of time, and you'll need to bring it to room temperature before frosting your cupcakes. Hope this helps!
Yummy and pretty. I ended up making 2 separate batches of the cupcakes because I needed 15 and both times I made them I got exactly 12 out of them! I followed the instructions and tips to the letter, including using the 1/4 cup cookie scooper (I don't know why I had never thought of that before...so much easier than a spoon and even sized cupcakes result!)
So for proportions here is what I did - 2 batches of cupcake batter, double the strawberry fillings proportions, and 1.5 times the icing and makes 24 perfect cupcakes AND just a little left over icing and strawberries for making "deconstructed cupcakes" with the cake you core out of the cupcakes 🙂
Hi there! For the whipped buttercream (which I am SUPER excited about), would you recommend using the whisk attachment on the kitchenaid for "whipping it"? I don't make a lot of cupcakes/buttercreams so coming from a beginner stand point I just don't want to mess it up!!!
Hi Rachel, the whisk attachment or regular beater will both work for the frosting!
Thank you so much!
Any suggestions if I have no lemon juice for the filling?
The lemon juice will brighten the flavor of the strawberries but is not required to make the filling work- it can be replaced with water if needed!
Hi! What kind of cupcake pan do you use for this recipe?
I use Wilton's 24-cavity nonstick cupcake pan, you can find it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3S1d5IY
Can frozen strawberries be substituted for fresh?
Yes, frozen strawberries will work.
Can I make filling ahead of time?
The strawberry filling will be good for about 3-4 days (the strawberries will eventually start breaking down), so you could make it the day before without any issues.
I tried this and my family loved them! I am planning on making more.. but I have no more butter what can be a good substitute?
I have not tried it with this recipe, but generally a good butter substitute in cupcakes would be any kind of oil (vegetable or olive) at 75% the amount of butter called for. For this recipe, instead of 1/2 cup of butter, you'd want to add 6 tablespoons of oil. Hope this helps!
I'd suggest maybe a stabilized whipped cream frosting, since butter is the main ingredient in buttercream and oil would not work as a substitute.
Instead of doing the filling as the recipe states, is it possible to use jelly or jam from a jar?
Hi Amanda - yes, jam would also work as a filling!
Hello, looking forward to making these! Could these be made and frozen ahead of time? Thank you!
Yes, these cupcakes can be assembled and frozen ahead of time!
Thank you so much!! You will make a lot of people very happy. Your recipes are delicious!
Thank you so much!
Before you updated this recipe, did it have a cream cheese frosting?
Hi Melissa, yes it did have a cream cheese frosting. I got feedback that the frosting was a bit heavy for a light cupcake like this, so I swapped it with a whipped buttercream 🙂
Is it possible for you to email me that recipe please? I made your cupcakes for my sister in law’s gender reveal party in May, and they loved them so much, that they asked me to make them for their shower. The shower is this Sunday, and I don’t want to experiment with new cream cheese frostings if possible. Yours was delicious. Thank you.
Wow, that's great to hear! I'm so glad they enjoyed the cupcakes. I will post the recipe here, in case anyone else has a similar question. Cream cheese frosting may get its own post in the future!
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese softened
8 ounces butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1. In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add vanilla and half of the powdered sugar, mixing slowly to combine. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix slowly to combine. Once incorporated, beat on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
2. Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.
If I’m looking for more of a strawberry shortcake type cupcake, should I use the vanilla cupcakes recipe or use this one?
I’m so excited to try them!
Hi Susan, either cupcake recipe would work with the strawberry filling, the vanilla yellow cupcakes are like a birthday cake cupcake. If you're going for strawberry shortcake I'd top them with a stabilized whipped cream instead of buttercream frosting.
hi so i just wanted to ask if you could use salted butter because i don’t have unsalted 🥺😞
Yes, you can replace the unsalted butter and salt in the recipe with salted butter instead.