Making Strawberry Cupcakes from scratch is simple and fast with this recipe. No boxed cake mix, freeze dried strawberries, or gelatin needed for these delicious and easy-to-make strawberry cupcakes.

Strawberry Cupcakes from Scratch.

Guests love the sweetness and surprise of these strawberry cupcakes. They are constantly requested and a favorite of kids and adults! Super easy to make and great year-round even when strawberries aren’t in season. If you love strawberry desserts, be sure to try this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp!

The secret to getting all of that delicious strawberry flavor in the cupcake without using extracts or gelatin mixes, is to concentrate the flavor of the strawberries. And, you can use frozen strawberries to do this. Read below to see how to make flavorful strawberry cupcakes from scratch.

Strawberry Cupcake on a white pedestal.

How to Make Strawberry Concentrate

Most strawberry cupcake recipes get their strawberry flavor from either extracts, gelatin (Jell-O), frozen strawberries in syrup, or the impossible to find freeze dried strawberries. This recipe gets rid of all of those ingredients and instead uses real fresh or frozen strawberries.

The key to getting that delicious strawberry flavor in both the strawberry frosting and strawberry cupcake is to concentrate and intensify the strawberries. Doing so is easy. All you need is a blender and small saucepan.

You can use either frozen or fresh strawberries for this recipe. You will need about 8 ounces of strawberries, which is about a cup full. If you are using frozen, let thaw before blending. Puree the strawberries in either a blender or a food processor, then pour the mixture into a small saucepan.

pureed strawberries in a small saucepan.

Bring the strawberry puree to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook until mixture has thickened and reduced to about half. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently so the mixture doesn’t stick or burn to the bottom of the pan.

reduced strawberry concentrate in a small saucepan

Pour the strawberry concentrate into a small measuring cup. You should have about ½ a cup of puree total. Set aside to cool or cover and refrigerate if using for later.

How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes from Scratch

No strawberry cake mix or gelatin needed for this cupcake recipe. All of those strawberry flavors comes from the strawberry concentrate — a simple mixture made from reduced pureed strawberries.

To start, line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. I recommend spraying the liners with non stick cooking spray so that the cupcakes come out easily from the liners.

Next, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, and ⅓ a cup of the strawberry puree concentrate. Stir in the dry ingredients and divide the mixture evenly amongst the 12 lined muffin tins.

batter in the cupcake liners in the muffin tin.

Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack before adding the strawberry frosting.

Strawberry Cupcakes Frosting with Real Strawberries

One taste of this strawberry frosting and you’ll be hooked! Creamy, sweet, and delicious, this strawberry frosting made with real strawberries is the best way to top off your strawberry cupcakes.

This simple frosting gets its strawberry flavor from the leftover strawberry concentrate. Simply cream together the cream cheese and butter. Then add in 2 tablespoons of the remaining strawberry concentrate and whisk in powdered sugar. That’s it!

close up of frosting.

You can frost the cupcakes using just a butter knife. Or spoon the frosting into a disposable piping bag and frost on a simple design. Top with a strawberry or some sprinkles, and you are done.

Real Strawberry Cupcakes from scratch on a countertop.

More Easy Cupcake Recipes

I love making cupcakes for special occasions. They are easy to serve and so fun to eat! Here are some of my favorites:

Hope you love this recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes made from scratch. Happy baking!

Strawberry Cupcakes from Scratch.

Strawberry Cupcakes from Scratch

Easy to make Strawberry Cupcakes without the boxed cake mix, freeze dried strawberries, strawberry extract, or gelatin! The secret to getting the strawberry flavor is reducing the strawberry puree into a thick liquid. This one easy step makes all the difference and can be done ahead of time.
4.82 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 289kcal
Cost: 5-6


  • 12 cup muffin tin
  • cupcake liners


Strawberry Concentrate

  • 8 ounces strawberries (can be frozen and thawed or fresh)

Strawberry Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened (one stick)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • strawberries for garnish, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners; set aside.
  • To make the strawberry concentrate, puree 8 ounces of strawberries in either a blender or food processor. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer over low heat until mixture thickens to about half its size, stirring frequently, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    reduced strawberry concentrate in a small saucepan
  • To make the strawberry cupcakes, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl or stand up mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, milk, ⅓ cup of strawberry concentrate, and vanilla. Pour in the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle of cupcake comes out clean. Cool on wire baking rack completely before adding frosting.
    batter in the cupcake liners in the muffin tin.
  • To make the strawberry frosting, use a handheld mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add in 2 tablespoons of the strawberry concentrate and mix to combine. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until frosting is well combined. Frost the cupcakes as desired and garnish with a strawberry.
    Strawberry Cupcakes from Scratch.


The strawberry concentrate for this recipe can be made a couple of days in advance and refrigerated until ready. This entire recipe can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. 


Calories: 289kcal
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Strawberry Cupcakes from scratch.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 3 stars
    Frosting 5 stars, cupcakes 2 stars, but I made with cake flour instead of all purpose. Is that where I went wrong? They were very dense and you could barely taste the strawberry.

  2. Hi there, I have a couple questions about the recipe! I would like to make this into a cake. Any idea what size cake the amount of batter in this recipe would yield?

    I would also like to wrap and freeze the cake in advance – have you done this successfully/do you have any tips for doing this? The recipe looks amazing and I hope I can make it work!

    1. You can definitely turn this into a cake. You should be able to get two 8 or 9 inch cake rounds out of the batter. Also, I love to freeze my cake layers ahead of time. Just wrap the cooled cake layer in plastic wrap then place in a zip top bag. Remove the air and freeze for up to a month. Let the cake come to room temperature the day you put it together.

      Let me know how it goes!

      1. Thank you for responding so quickly! There’s a chocolate icing recipe I want to use in the cake – when and how do you advise icing the cake after it’s been frozen? I’ll make a round two layer cake.

      2. Sounds delicious! I like to let the cakes sit at room temperature for about an hour before frosting them. Enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    This strawberry cupcake looks so yummy. My mom loves cupcake, and I can’t wait to make for her this coming Mother’s day.

  4. 5 stars
    You cannot beat homemade cupcakes when they are made with real strawberries. The strawberry concentrate makes all the difference!

  5. 5 stars
    Yummy! These are absolutely amazing and so delicious! My daughter and hubby love these cupcakes! Such a big hit and definitely making these again!