Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes – The Recipe ReDux

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes |

On a sweltering summer day as a child, I remember standing knee-deep in a sea of itchy strawberry plants with an empty bucket and my grandfather saying, “You kids are so lucky you get to pick all these beautiful strawberries!” I didn’t believe him. (So why do I now say things to my kids, like, “You kids are so lucky to get to use a fancy vacuum to clean…?” )

Back to Grandpa. He was helping my sisters and I pick strawberries from my dad’s huge patch; but we had done it so many times before and the large expanse of hidden berries was completely overwhelming.

However, the sweet fruit of my childhood labor was a strawberry dessert. Luckily, my mom never made any silly strawberry concoction like spinach strawberry salad (an adult favorite of mine!) Strawberry season was very short on our farm, so we created only desserts: Strawberry shortcake, ice cream sauce, jam and pies. And then, there were those strawberry cupcakes I got one year for my birthday: Light and pink and fluffy and perfectly sweet.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes |

My ReDuxed version of Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes is a lovely seasonal answer to this month’s The Recipe ReDux Cupcake Conundrum – (asking if we thought the cupcake trend was still going strong or if it was time for other hand held desserts to takeover.) Clearly with this recipe, I voted cupcakes are here to stay!

While I used my classic Best Birthday Cake recipe, I decreased the portion size by using only 2-2 ½ tablespoons of batter in each cupcake…and replacing it with a fresh whole strawberry! The cupcake looked nearly full-size. But I won’t fudge the results of the appearance of the baked strawberry inside: It shriveled a bit and got rather mushy – like what happens in a baked strawberry pie. Thus, should you be serving Strawberry Cupcakes at a classy spring bridal shower, you may want to instead add chopped fresh strawberries. My kids, however loved finding a whole strawberry surprise in the center of their cupcake!

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes |

Strawberry Cupcakes – The Recipe ReDux


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or shortening (I uses 1/4 cup of each)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (I decreased significantly from Mom's original recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use good quality vanilla!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup sour milk (1 1/3 tablespoon vinegar + enough 1% milk to make 1 1/3 cups)
  • 30 small-medium fresh strawberries washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces 1/3-reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon beet juice for pink color


  1. Place 30 paper cupcake liners in muffin pans.
  2. Stir together flour, powder, soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl beat shortening/butter with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat till well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  4. Add dry ingredients, alternately with sour milk, beating on low speed after each addition just till combined (I often use a wooden spoon because it gets less spatters around my kitchen.)
  5. Place 1 tablespoon batter in bottom of cupcake liner; place 1 strawberry on top. Top with 1-1 1/2 batter.
  6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not overbake! Cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  7. For FROSTING: Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla and beet juice. Lightly frost completely cooled cupcakes

Are you a cupcake fan – or do you prefer another hand-held treat?

Inspiration for strawberry cupcakes from the cupcake show in town The Cup

My kids at cupcake shop in Edwardsville. Apparently cupcakes are still trendy at The Cup, as of last week!

Please check out the other hand-held dessert treats from my fellow Recipe ReDuxers:

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  1. emmastirling says:

    Lovely childhood stories Serena and love the idea of a whole surprise berry! That photo of your kids is too cute.

  2. Love your idea to put a whole strawberry inside each cupcake, and your frosting is so pretty with the beet juice! I’m totally going to try out your vacuum line on my kids-think they’ll go for it? :-)

  3. Love this, Serena…so creative. My daughter will absolutely love these, just wish I could bake! :)

    • Danielle, these are beyond easy. (And very forgiving if a tiny flub-up is made!) My kids make this Best Birthday Cake with me all the time and there are times the ingredients are…um not exactly exact!

  4. cherylmeyer says:

    Ahh bless, such a lovely photo of your little one’s! I love the idea of a surprise in the middle, Yum!

  5. agreed! cupcakes are here to stay… and i love yours… whole berry surprise, beet-pinked icing and all! (sweet photo of your babies too!)

  6. I love the fresh strawberry in the middle! I love anything with berries, so these are definitely a must try for me!! I used to pick strawberries with my mom as a kid and we would come up with all kinds of creative ways to use them! So fun!

  7. My daughter loves strawberries so she will love these too! Your kids are so cute!!

  8. I love that these cupcakes have strawberries inside! Yum!

  9. The fresh strawberries definitely work! A cafe near me does a fresh strawberry and white chocolate muffin and I can personally confirm the deliciousness!

  10. Oh yum, I love the sound of fresh strawberry cupcakes! These look so summery and delicious!

  11. Do you have to refrigerate these when done?

  12. These cupcakes look amazing! We were huge strawberry fans growing up, although because Mom wasn’t much of a baker, we never had strawberry cupcakes. She mainly served them sliced over ice cream or dipped in chocolate. I love the idea of an entire strawberry in the center — that makes them super healthy, right? :]
    Amy recently posted..Sweet Tofu TreatsMy Profile

    • Honestly, my absolute favorite way to eat strawberries is fresh…and then over ice cream! I agree with you Amy!

      • And if the ice cream is homemade, it’s even better! That’s our traditional way to spend the 4th of July — out in the backyard with our hand-crank ice cream machine (so old school, but so rewarding!) and adding lots of fresh strawberries as soon as the ice cream is done. Amazing!
        Amy recently posted..Sweet Tofu TreatsMy Profile

  13. hi! I am glad that you have the same idea that it’s better to put fresh strawberry rather the preserved one. For me it’s definitely taste different. with fresh strawberry for me it’s way more delicious.
    cupcake with filling recently posted..Traditional Homemade Cake : Mom’s Swirl Cake with Sun Dried RaisinsMy Profile

  14. Your recipe and article (and pictures!) are like candy to my eyes. What a great idea-I am sure the strawberry on the inside of each cupcake was a unique complement to the cupcake. OMG-how adorable your kids are too. Continued happiness…..
    Mary Brighton (@BrightonHealth) recently posted..Mon Petit Chou A La Creme French DessertMy Profile

    • Thanks Mary! You are so kind. Hopefully, I can bring my kids to France and you could meet them in person…some day!

  15. I’m all for a smaller cupcake…especially one with a surprise berry in the middle! Yup cupcakes are here to stay…except I have to make chocolate for my youngest’s birthday later this week, then I will go for berry ones :)
    Liz recently posted..Supernatural Brownies…#SecretRecipeClubMy Profile

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