Easy Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

by Jamie on August 3, 2012

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One of the most common questions that shows up in my inbox has to do with my Doctored Up Cake Mix Recipe for chocolate cupcakes. It yields a batch of pretty stellar cupcakes, so people are always curious if they can adapt the recipe with different flavor combinations. To which I respond, why not? To me, baking is all about playing around in the kitchen, sometimes I get it right and sometimes, I get it wrong – way wrong.

However, a lot of my readers come here for recipes that have been tested in my kitchen and aren’t too keen on me advising them to head into the realm of recipe development and testing. And that’s okay too. I’ll get responses like, Well, have you tried it? What pudding did you use? What brand of cake works best? Can I use less oil? The list goes on and on.

I love hearing from you guys, and really what’s the point of this blog if people aren’t making the recipes – so I try to answer each question, even if it takes me weeks and weeks and weeks.

My point is, a lot of what I do here on MBA is trial and error and it’s okay to make mistakes and get frustrated and cuss out your cupcakes. But, I promise you that with each error, you’ll learn something. Even if that something is not to bite into a hot Rolo Cookie because it will burn your lip and leave a weird purple mark – not that I did that or anything.

When my BFF, Brittani, told me that she made Strawberry Cupcakes using the boxed mix recipe, I immediately started asking her questions to which she had very few answers. I thought her idea would be the perfect way to show you that playing around with a simple idea can have great results and there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

Boxed vanilla cake mix combines with Greek strawberry yogurt and fresh strawberries to create simple, moist cupcakes that are bursting with strawberry flavor. Add on a swirl of strawberry buttercream and you’ve got one stellar summery cupcake with minimal fuss. The world is your oyster here, folks. Try it with Peach Greek yogurt and fresh peaches, or Blueberry yogurt and fresh blueberries. I’d love to hear the combinations you come up with, and how they worked for you.


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Easy Strawberry Cupcakes

August 3rd, 2012

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time:

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes

1 (15.25 ounce) package French Vanilla cake mix (see note below)
1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup Greek strawberry yogurt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup diced fresh strawberries (about 10 medium berries)

For the Strawberry Buttercream

4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 pounds (24 ounces or about 5.5 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
about 8 medium fresh strawberries, pureed (you'll need 4-5 tablespoons of puree)

Directions:

For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, Greek yogurt, oil, water, eggs and vanilla. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in diced strawberries

3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes. The cupcakes may develop a slight divot in the center as they cool, but no worries, you'll cover that with delicious frosting.

5. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

For the Frosting

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.

2. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners' sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree, mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture. Gradually add in the last 2 tablespoons of strawberry puree until you reach the desired level of strawberry flavor. Please note that adding more than the recommended 5 tablespoons could result in a thinner frosting. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

3. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with fresh strawberries.

Notes:

- My favorite French Vanilla Cake is made by Betty Crocker - Pudding in the mix.
- I used Chobani Greek Yogurt
- Polka Dot liners from Shop Sweet Lulu

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{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Allison September 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Do you think this frosting would work for an outdoor event in the shade but mid to upper 80′s? If not could you recommend a substitution! Thanks so much!

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avatar caroline October 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I just made these for my son’s b-day party, and they were a huge hit. A lot of people thought the frosting tasted like strawberry ice cream. Thanks for the great recipes—I love your site.

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avatar Angela December 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

is this a crusting buttercream??

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avatar MBA December 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Angela-
Yes, the buttercream recipe does get a slight crust on the top to hold the decoration; however, still holds the creaminess as if it was just made. Enjoy!
-Jamie

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avatar Vera Zecevic-Cupcakes Garden December 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm

These are great, simple recipe for awesome cupcakes,I’ve featured them on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

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avatar Brandi January 16, 2013 at 11:57 am

Can you use milk and butter for the oil and water in the cake mix?

BTW..I absolutely love your site!!

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avatar MBA January 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Brandi-
Thank you so much! I haven’t replaced the ingredients with milk and butter so I cannot say for sure, but feel free to stop back and let us know how it turns out. Have a great day!
-Jamie

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avatar linda January 26, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Can I freeze this cupcakes ?

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avatar Shey February 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I just made these for my daughters birthday. The majority of these cupcakes fell! I make cupcakes ALL the time and have never had this issue. Beware. I will not use this recipe again.

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avatar Shey February 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm

But they do taste great!

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avatar Rosalie February 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm

How many cupckaes does this recipe yield and can they be made the night before- minus the piping? I want to have one less thing to have to do morning of the party. :)

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avatar MBA April 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Rosalie-
The recipe yields between 18 and 24 cupcakes depending on how much you fill each one up. Making the cupcakes the night before shouldn’t be a problem at all. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
-Jamie

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avatar Pia February 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I made these cupcake tonight for a Valentine’s Day party for daughter. I did add a bit of pink food coloring to pinken up the cake. But they are awesome! Super moist and fluffy, just awesome! The frosting is great, I added the full amount of strawberry puree and it is perfect texture and color and not horribly sweet. I love all your recipes and this one was no different. Keep posting, I love them all!

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avatar Melanie williams February 24, 2013 at 7:42 am

Hello, do I mix the pudding according to the directions on the box or do I just dump the dry instant pudding into the cake mix?

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avatar MBA April 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Melanie-
You can just add the box of pudding mix directly into the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
-Jamie

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avatar Renee March 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I made these cupcakes today for my daughther’s first bday. The frosting is amazing!
The strawberries in the batter ended up a little slimmy, but tasty. I was wondering if
I could subsitute strawberry puree for the 1/2 cup water, for a pinker cake and to get
More cake like consistency? Thanks for the great recipes!

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avatar MBA April 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Renee-
I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. I think the substitution of the puree would be fine. Feel free to stop back and let us know how they turned out – have a great day!
-Jamie

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avatar Deanna Harris March 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THIS RECIPE! BEEN SEARCHING ALL OVER FOR THE PERFECT STRAWBERRY RECIPE! MY SEARCH IS OVER! THANKS!!!

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avatar Kim March 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Made these cupcakes today and they were a hit with everyone. Very rich – one cupcake is plenty to satisfy the sweet tooth. I ended up only using 3 Tbls. strawberry puree for icing. I do think that 5 would have made it more runny. Delicious!! Thanks!!

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avatar Leah April 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I made these cupcakes for Easter…exactly like you instructed. They were Amazing! I thought I was making way too many with 24, but I ended up not having any leftovers. Thanks for the great recipe!

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avatar Veronica M. April 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

My youngest son and I made these for his cupcake for our 2nd Annual Cupcake Wars. They were awesome. My older son who does not like strawberries had his eaten before we did. Loved the strawberries baked into the cake. This is definitely a winner!

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avatar Jen F. April 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm

These are amazing! I made these last weekend for a party and everyone raved about them. I brought my leftovers into work, which I do regularly and never have I got so many compliments on one item!!! People were raving over them!! Going on and on about how it was the best cupcake they had ever tasted, they were to die for, they looked like they were from a professional cupcakery and could they have the recipe. Seriously! Yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

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avatar Debbie April 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Enjoy you site and all the yummy looking cupcakes. I do have a question on this recipe. Can you puree the strawberries and use it that way? If so how much would you use? My granddaughter wanted Strawberry Cupcakes for her birthday but she doesn’t like the seeds. Thank you so much for your help.

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avatar Donna April 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Thanks for sharing this recipe, made them for a work event. Everyone raved about them. I don’t even lie strawberry, but in tasting as I prepared..wow! Yum! Can’t wait to try blueberry!

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avatar Sharon May 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I tried this recipe and could not wait to taste the cupcakes, but my cupcakes were heavy and very dense. What did I do wrong? I was expecting light fuffy cake. I do not see where anyone else had this problem.

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avatar Antigone May 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Made these for my sister’s birthday today! By far the best tasting cupcakes I’ve ever baked. (and i like to bake) They were gone in a matter of minutes and everyone had to help themselves to at least 2 each. A big hit! Thanks for sharing… ;-)

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avatar Donna May 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

Hello! I made these last month for a red and white wedding shower. I am not a strawberry cake fan, but just loved the look. They were a huge hit! Easy to make and even I found them irresistible! The fresh strawberry added a wonderful taste-almost like strawberry shortcake! I am making them again for a graduation party in June. Thanks so much for posting!

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avatar Jamie May 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

Donna-
I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks so much for stopping by and reporting back on your experience with the recipe! Have a great day.
-Jamie

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avatar Jordana Lum June 1, 2013 at 8:16 am

Hi. I love your blog!!!

I tried making your easy strawberry cupcakes and the instructions and ingredients to a Tee. But when I took the cupcakes of out the oven (after I had baked them for 10 mins longer) they caved in. Like as if it was way too moist and couldn’t hold itself together.
HELP please!!!
Thank you.

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avatar Jamie June 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

Jordana-
I am sorry to hear you had an issue with the recipe. Typically when a cupcake caves in a bit, it’s due to them being underbaked. However, if you cooked them 10 minutes longer, I am kind of stumped. I am sorry I am not more of a help.
-Jamie

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avatar K June 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I just featured your strawberry dessert on my blog. Here is the link:

http://bellabargains.wordpress.com

I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

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avatar Heather June 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

This looks amazing! It would be perfect for a strawberry themed birthday party! : )

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avatar Jamie July 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Heather-
I totally agree! Thanks for stopping by – have a great day.
-Jamie

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avatar Laurie July 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hi Jamie:

I made these for a birthday party and found they were mushy also…I thought of cutting down on some of the liquid in the recipe, but wasn’t sure how they would come out. I used cream cheese frosting instead and they were such a hit…mushy or not, people were asking for the recipe. I’m an avid baker, so not sure what happened, but mine were more like a cobbler as well.

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avatar Jamie September 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Hi Laurie,
I’m not sure what happened. Maybe your berries were juicier than mine? I’m glad they were enjoyed anyway!
- Jamie

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avatar Bernie September 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I have a question about this frosting. Since the strawberry puree in it is never cooked, is it safe to keep over time (refrigerated, of course)?

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avatar Jamie September 8, 2013 at 11:18 am

Bernie,

The frosting will be okay as long as it’s used within’ a week! Have a great day and thank you for following MBA!

Jamie

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avatar Katia September 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Hi! I tried this recipe & it was such a hit I already did two batches! Thank you it’s so yummy! I was wondering if you would suggest using it for a tier cake since it’s so moist?? I love it but not sure if it will hold up well :-/

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avatar Teresa October 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I need this answer too. Would love to make on a 6″ 2 layer cake.

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avatar Julie September 26, 2013 at 11:05 am

Has anyone tried this recipe as a cake? I need a good strawberry cake recipe for a 2-layer cake.

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avatar Liz Mobley October 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’m making these beautiful cupcakes for my mothers group next week, what tip did you use to for the frosting to look like that??

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avatar Jamie October 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Liz-
That is the Wilton 1M tip – I hope this helps! Thanks so much for stopping by.
-Jamie

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avatar Teresa October 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Can I use this recipe for making a cake as well? I am making a 6″ 2 layer cake.

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avatar Jamie January 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Hi Teresa,
That should work okay.
- Jamie

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avatar Karen November 17, 2013 at 7:25 am

I can never get my frosting to look/taste smooth and creamy, it always seems to have a gritty texture, what am I doing wrong? your frosting looks so fluffy and light like it is filled with air. any help appreciated. thanks P:S love your work

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avatar Jamie January 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Karen, are you using powdered sugar? Try sifting it first, and try to buy name brand. (I tend to buy Domino). The last time I bought store brand powdered sugar, even with sifting I ended up with gritty frosting.
- Jamie

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avatar Susan November 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I made these for a little 4 year old princess’s birthday. She loves strawberries, so I thought these would be perfect. Everyone loved them!! They were amazing!! I think that I will use the batter to make loaves like banana bread, see how it turns out. Thank You for the recipe, awesome job!!

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avatar Jamie November 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

Susan-

Yum, that sounds great! Thank you so much for stopping in to share your experience with the recipe. Have a wonderful day and thank you for following MBA!

-Jamie

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avatar Robert January 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I’ve tried making strawberry BC before using a similar recipe and I always have an issue with the purée making my BC seperate (because it’s a liquid) how do you prevent yours from seperating? Would it help to thicken the purée into a jam like consistency?

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avatar Jamie January 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

Robert, I haven’t had a problem with mine separating before, so I don’t really know how to answer your question. However, I can see where a jam consistency might work better. You could try using strawberry jam instead.
- Jamie

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avatar Jade January 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm

do i have to put in the frig over night? because i want the strawberries to taste fresh any suggestions?

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avatar Jamie February 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Jade-
I would definitely recommend refrigerating these overnight if you are not serving them the day you are making them.
-Jamie

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avatar Ruby February 11, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Have you tried using regular yogurt instead of the greek? I don’t care for the greek yogurt flavor.

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avatar Jamie February 11, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Ruby, Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt. I wouldn’t substitute regular yogurt. You don’t get the Greek yogurt strong flavor once it’s baked, but if you’re really against using it, swap in an equal amount of sour cream instead.
- Jamie

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avatar Ro mama February 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Love this recipe. Doubled it tonight to make enough for all my valentines. This yielded 18 regular cupcakes, 30 mini cupcakes, and 1 heart shape cake!

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avatar Suzanne February 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm

I made these (minus the frosting) in january for my daughter’s birthday – she requested strawberry cupcakes :) I had to make it look like a tiger so that’s the only reason I didn’t do the frosting. They did turn out a little flat but that was perfect for the cupcake cake I had to make. Everyone loved them!

Tonight I’m making the frosting for the valentine’s cupcakes I made :)

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avatar Anna February 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm

These were amazing. I’ve been making your stuff for a few years, but I had to comment after these to tell you thank you and WELL DONE. Your recipes are pure joy every time. Please don’t ever retire.

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avatar Jamie March 19, 2014 at 11:38 am

Anna-

Thank you so much! It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the cupcakes! Thanks so much for stopping by and have a fantastic day :).

-Jamie

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avatar Melanie R April 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

ok… I have to say… I altered this to death! They were great. I was tryin to accomidate a cowarker that has a restrictive diet. No food dyes, cotten seed oil and no dairy.

I found an organic cake and pudding mix, even though I like to use what is reccommended. I wanted to take extra caution. I used coconut oil. Eggs were ok, but I had to use soy yogurt(it looks nasty). They didn’t rise as well, but I expected worse to be honest with you.

I did have to find a coconut oil icing recipe elsewhere, but it worked beautifully with the strawberry puree.

making these again, only the right way on Friday :)

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avatar Jamie April 16, 2014 at 9:44 am

Melanie-

It’s sweet of you to alter them so much for them, and it sounds like they were still delicious! Stop back and let us know your experience with the recipe this time too! Have a wonderful day and thank you for following MBA!

-Jamie

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