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. Prefer a whole cake? I have a recipe for strawberry filled white cake too!
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.
Tips and tricks
Room temperature ingredients - Set out your ingredients ahead of time, about an hour before beginning. 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 with warm water for about 10 minutes.
Don't overmix the batter - Mix your batter until your ingredients are just incorporated. Overmixing the batter can whip extra air in, causing your cupcakes to rise quickly and then fall in the center when they bake.
Allow cupcakes to cool - Do not unwrap your cupcakes while they're still warm. Your cupcakes will stick to the liners until they are fully cooled throughout. Once cooled, your cupcakes will easily unwrap.
Filling 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. If you don't have a cupcake corer, a knife can be used instead. To core cupcakes with a knife, carefully cut a small circle in the center of each cupcake and dig out the middle.
Don't core cupcakes to the bottom - Take care not to core the 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.
Do not frost warm cupcakes - Buttercream is sensitive to heat and will melt between 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Frequently asked questions
I don't recommend it. Buttercream frosting is a traditional, very sweet frosting that is often found in grocery store bakeries and used on birthday cakes. It is popular because it's easy to prepare with two main ingredients - butter and confectioner's sugar. Since buttercream frosting includes so few ingredients, it is not easy to alter or make less sweet. Adding less sugar makes the frosting too soft to pipe and tastes like sweetened butter.
Instead, I'd suggest making a less sweet frosting recipe like ermine frosting, homemade whipped cream, Italian meringue buttercream, or Swiss meringue buttercream.
One of the most common complaints I see in baking is that the recipe is followed "to a T" and the cupcakes/cookies still turn out dry. Dry baked goods can happen for several reasons:
- Ingredients were substituted/omitted/reduced - The fats and sugar (butter, whole milk, eggs, and granulated sugar) help keep your cake moist. Using lower fat substitutions, reducing the sugar, or omitting an ingredient entirely will cause your cake to turn out dry.
- Too much flour was added to the recipe - Either use a kitchen scale to weigh your flour accurately (which is how I measure flour and highly recommend to others), 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.
- Cupcakes were overbaked - Baking cupcakes for too long will dry them out in the oven. Ovens are inconsistent and can run hotter or colder than the next oven. The time that worked for me may not work for you, so I recommend using other cues to tell when your cupcakes are done.
Check your cupcakes for doneness by jiggling the pan - if they move, they're not done yet. If your cupcakes aren't jiggly in the center, gently press onto the top of one with a finger. If an indent is left, they need more time. When it pops right back, your cupcakes are done.
The toothpick method is another popular way to check for doneness. Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If the toothpick comes back dry or with crumbs (not wet batter), your cupcakes are done.
For years I've used this simple Wilton cupcake decorating kit (Amazon) to decorate my cupcakes. It comes with four piping tips, bags, and easy to read instructions. I also purchased this additional coupler (Amazon) to make it easy secure the piping tips and to change out tips halfway through decorating.
This can be caused by humidity in your home or storing cupcakes in a sealed container while they're still warm. This can't really be fixed, but can easily be covered with frosting.
Sinking can happen for many reasons. Overmixing the batter (which adds extra air that's released during baking), underbaking, using expired leavening, using the wrong leavening, or accidentally doubling the leavening can all cause your cupcakes to sink in the middle.
Cupcake can turn out dense from expired leavening, overmixing the wet and dry ingredients (this overworks the gluten), not whipping the butter and sugar long enough, or adding extra wet ingredients (like adding sour cream or applesauce to make cupcakes "extra moist"). If the balance of wet and dry ingredients is off, this can cause a change in texture, preventing your cupcakes from rising properly in the oven.
All cakes, even white cake, will brown on the outside edges due to a chemical reaction that happens when sugar is heated up. This is called a Maillard reaction and is completely normal. The insides will remain white and fluffy and the tops will be covered by frosting.
Yes, with adjustments. When doubled, this recipe makes a two-layer round 8 or 9 inch cake. Follow my recipe for strawberry filled white cake for detailed instructions.
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.
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, room temperature
- ½ cup (114 g) whole milk, room temperature
- ½ pound (226 g) strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 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, add butter and sugar. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, 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.
- Divide batter between 15 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for about 16-18 minutes, or until cupcakes pop back when gently pressed on top, or a toothpick comes out with crumbs/clean, not with wet batter.
- 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 about 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.
- In a large bowl, add room temperature butter. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, 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 and heavy cream and whip for an additional 2 to 3 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 recipe 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. For less frosting, make a half batch.
- 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!