Healthier Strawberry Cupcakes are a delicious way to celebrate a little one’s birthday, no matter what age they’re turning! This recipe uses natural sweeteners and a fresh strawberry frosting for a subtle dose of pink…and birthday cake fun!
I first made these cupcakes when my oldest daughter turned three and we shared them with a few friends on a trip back home to the Northeast. L 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!
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe
The fresh strawberries help to make these cupcakes incredibly moist. We’ll turn them into a concentrated puree, which helps to lend the pale pink color to the cakes and adds fresh berry flavor. 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.
Ingredients in Strawberry Cupcakes
To make this recipe you’ll need:
It’s a very straight forward ingredient list!
Can I make these Strawberry Cupcakes Gluten-free?
Sure. Just use cup for cup gluten free flour blend instead of all purpose. The rest of the strawberry cupcakes recipe will be the same.
How to Make this Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the process involved in making these cupcakes. (Scroll down for the full recipe.)
- Add the berries to a food processor.
- Grind to make a puree. (It’s okay if there are small pieces of berries and if it’s not totally smooth.)
- Simmer the puree in a saucepan to reduce it slightly and concentrate the flavor.
- Add the puree to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Portion out into a muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners.
- Bake and let cool!
Cupcake Recipe for Kids
Most kids love cupcakes and these are perfect toddler cupcakes since they are much less overtly sweet than your standard bakery fare. But they are still fun and flavorful, so they make a nice treat for a birthday or a holiday. (Or a random Tuesday that you want to celebrate!)
These Strawberry Cupcakes are made without refined sugars and have nearly a quart of fresh berries in the batch. They are a treat, sure, but they have some nice nutrition in the mix too. The slight flavor of maple comes through too, which is a nice element to have in the mix.
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
I top these birthday cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting, which pairs nicely with the moist cake. You could use a standard buttercream frosting if you prefer. You could also add a drop or two of food coloring to lend a more distinct color. And sprinkles on top would not be out of place here!
Tips for Making the Best Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe
- Let the berries simmer over medium-low. If they seem to be boiling, lower the heat slightly so that they don’t scorch the pan.
- Let the puree cool slightly before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. You can do that step up to a day ahead if you’d like.
- Fold in the ingredients gently.
- Use about 3 tablespoons of batter in each muffin tin.
- 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, bake the cupcakes up to a day before and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Frost before serving.
I’d love to hear what you think if you make this recipe so please comment below to share!Print
This recipe was updated in May of 2019 to streamline the ingredients and omit the harder to find brown rice syrup.
- 12 oz fresh strawberries
- 1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 oz (or half of one package) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened at room temperature
- 2-3 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam or preserves
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Core and roughly chop the strawberries. Puree in a food processor to make a puree. You should have about 1 cup.
- Place berries into a small saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of 10 minutes, you should have 3/4 cup puree. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Combine the coconut oil (or butter) and maple syrup in a glass, heat-proof measuring cup. Warm in 15 second increments in the microwave, stopping to stir, until the coconut oil is melted. Stir in the vanilla.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Stir in the coconut oil mixture.
- Stir in the egg and the strawberry puree until completely combined.
- Fill the prepared liners with the batter to about 3/4 full. (Use about 3 heaping tablespoons batter in each.) 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 a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand-held mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter, and jam. 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). Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge overnight if needed.
Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge overnight if needed. Frost just before serving if making them ahead.
Let the berries simmer over medium-low. If they seem to be boiling, lower the heat slightly so that they don’t scorch the pan.
Let the puree cool slightly before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. You can do that step up to a day ahead if you’d like.
Fold in the ingredients gently.
Use about 3 tablespoons of batter in each muffin tin.
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, bake the cupcakes up to a day before and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Frost before serving.