These Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes have super yummy fruit flavor, are a great option for a first birthday or toddler birthday, and are the prettiest pale shade of pink!


Strawberry Cupcakes

I first made these cupcakes when my oldest daughter turned three and we shared them with a few friends. My girl was obsessed with pink then, so these pale pink cupcakes were made with that love in mind. But I also was happy to offer her a festive birthday treat that had real berries inside!

I use fresh strawberries to make a puree that delivers a big burst of fresh berry flavor in these. It’s a lovely cupcake recipe for kids to make in the spring when berries are plentiful—or simply if you have a kiddo who likes strawberries or the color pink.

The cupcakes are lightly sweetened with maple syrup, making them a nice option for a first birthday.


Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need:

TIP: You can use a gluten-free cup for cup flour if needed in this recipe.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making these cupcakes. (Scroll down for the full recipe.)

  1. Add the berries to a food processor or blender.
  2. Grind to make a puree. (It’s okay if there are small pieces of berries and if it’s not totally smooth.)
  3. Measure out the amount you need.
  4. Add the puree to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Portion out into a muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners.
  6. Bake and let cool! Frost.

TIP: I use a cream cheese frosting in this recipe, but you can use a favorite buttercream too if you prefer!

What makes these cupcakes moist?

The cup of fresh strawberry puree makes these cupcakes both moist and flavorful.

How do you thicken strawberry frosting?

This frosting is made with a base of cream cheese and butter, so you don’t need much help to thicken it. I use a little powdered sugar to make sure it tastes just sweet enough!

How can I store these cupcakes?

Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. To make these ahead, store the cupcakes, once cooled and without frosting, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Frost right before serving.

strawberry cupcakes being unwrapped

Tips for Making the Best Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

  • You can make the puree up to 3 days ahead. (This makes this recipe really easy!)
  • Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack or tilt in the pan to allow air underneath to more quickly cool them down and prevent them from over-baking.
  • Let the cupcakes cool before adding the icing.
  • To make these ahead, store the cupcakes, fully cooled and without frosting, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Frost right before serving.
  • Store any leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • You may also like Banana Cupcakes, Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes, and Easy Chocolate Cupcakes.

I’d love to hear what you think if you make this recipe so please comment below to share!


Strawberry Cupcakes with Fresh Berries

This recipe was updated in February 2021 to increase the amount of cupcakes from 9 to 12. You can make the strawberry puree up to 3 days ahead of time to make this easier.
4.98 from 43 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 268kcal
Servings 12 cupcakes



  • 12 oz fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)


  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam or preserves


To make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Wash the berries and remove the stems. Puree in a food processor or blender. You should have about 1 cup.
  • Combine the butter (or oil) and maple syrup in a glass, heat-proof measuring cup. Warm in 15 second increments in the microwave, stopping to stir, until the butter (or oil) is melted. Let cool slightly.
  • Stir in the vanilla, eggs, and strawberry puree.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Stir in the puree mixture.
  • Fill the prepared liners with the batter to about ¾ full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting:

  • Use an electric hand-held mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter, jam, and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Taste and add more jam if necessary. Spoon into a quart-size zip top bag and store in the fridge until ready to frost.
  • When ready to serve, snip off a corner of the bag and pipe frosting onto each cupcake (or spread on with a butter knife). 


  • To make these ahead, store the cupcakes, fully cooled and without frosting, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Frost right before serving.
  • Store any leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • You can make the puree up to 3 days ahead. (This makes this recipe really easy!)
  • Dairy-free: Use melted coconut oil instead of butter.
  • Gluten-free: Use cup-for-cup gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose.
  • You can use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose.
  • You can use honey instead of maple syrup.
  • Let the cupcakes cool before adding the icing.
  • To make the lightest color cupcakes possible (if that matters to you!), use honey and all-purpose flour.


Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 268kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Sodium: 236mg, Potassium: 118mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 650IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!


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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    These were a hit!!! Not that I had any doubts with one of your recipes. Lately, I always include “yummy toddler food” in my search anytime I google a recipe for the kiddos!

  2. Hi! I see you mentioned gluten free flour substitute but I don’t understand exactly what you mean. What’s the substitution ratio?

    1. You’d use the same amount of gluten-free flour blend as the flour called for in the recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe so much that I doubled it and turned it into a Bundt cake for my son’s birthday! I made the buttercream frosting then piled the center of the Bundt high with fresh berries – both the toddlers and adults enjoyed it! Baked at 325F for 50 minutes. The maple syrup and fresh berries makes for a really clean, fresh flavor. I used this same recipe to make mini cupcakes for class and it was also a hit! It’s definitely a keeper – I plan to make this again!

  4. Do you think this would work in a 9×5 loaf pan? If so, any idea on cooking time? I want to make a rectangle cake to turn into a fire truck. Thank you!

    1. Hi- I don’t know if the middle would cook through. I am more confident that my Strawberry Muffin recipe would work better for that if you want to look at that one. (Or my Vanilla Cupcake recipe.) I hope that helps and sounds cute!

  5. 5 stars
    I almost never really have baked goods and I could’ve eaten the whole tray of these muffins. It is so moist and delicious!!! To boost the strawberry flavor, I added TJ freeze dried strawberries and topped with Kite Hill strawberry cream cheese because I didn’t want to make frosting. Highly recommend this recipe.

  6. I cannot wait to make these! I have made a bunch of your other recipes and they are ALWAYS fantastic. Two questions:

    -Can you use whole wheat flour in these?
    -Is there any sweetener substitute that can be used for the powdered sugar in the frosting? We try to stick to sweeteners like maple syrup and honey and stay away from white sugar.

    Thank you so much for your fantastic site. You have been a godsend my my toddler’s eating habits.

    1. Hi- If you want to use whole wheat flour, I’d just check for doneness a minute or two earlier than I say as they may bake a little faster. You can omit the powdered sugar and use a little honey. Should be a very similar consistency. Enjoy

  7. These didn’t work for me. They rose up but then sank down so they were flat, not domed. And, they stuck to the cupcake liners. Just seemed too damp. I tried making a small batch with cooking oil instead of coconut oil and they were a little better, but not much.

    1. I haven’t made this version with cake flour and it may not cook through properly (it may be too wet for cake flour)

  8. What would the cook time be on a 9 muffin tin? Looking to make this a first birthday smash “cake” for the birthday girl! Thank you!

    1. I haven’t made them that way so I can’t say for sure, but I would guess 24-ish minutes for slightly larger cupcakes. I hope she enjoys it!

  9. 5 stars
    I have made these a bunch of times and they are consistently moist and yummy. Both adults and kids rave! I make the recipe exactly as is and they are great 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I doubled this recipe and baked it in three 6″ cake pans for a six layer cake with whipped cream and diced strawberries between the cake layers and on top. It was very tall and quite a hit!

    I noticed at the last minute that the doubling button only doubled the ingredient list, not the directions, so if you double or triple, be sure that you’re doubling or tripling the amount of strawberry puree accordingly—if the single recipe is one cup, then the double is two and triple is three. Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    I made these, exactly like the recipe and it turned out amazing! A family member who “doesn’t eat dairy or eggs” or a lot of treats had 3 of these in one sitting lol!

  12. Any suggestions for substituting the eggs? My daughter is allergic to them. Would love to try your recipe for her first birthday cake!

    1. Hi- I would try either using 1 full teaspoon baking soda and adding 1/2 cup milk OR using a store bought egg replacer like the one from Bobs Red Mill. I haven’t tested this recipe with those options, but I think both are decent options to try. Enjoy the big birthday!

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