Easy Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

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.

Easy Strawberry Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18-22 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes


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)


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.


  • 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

185 Responses to “Easy Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream”

  1. Becky — August 19, 2014 at 6:31 am

    I made these cupcakes two years ago for my daughters second birthday. We were blown away with how good they were. Two years later and I am going to make a cake using your recipe for her 4th birthday. I will let you know how it turns out!


    • Jamie — August 19, 2014 at 8:43 am

      That is great, I’m so glad you are making it again. I would love to hear how it turns out! Thanks!


  2. aubreypgh — September 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    I’m looking to make these tomorrow for my daughters 9th birthday so that she can share with her classmates. I was wondering if you use the “Betty Crocker – pudding in the mix” cake mix, do you also still need the instant vanilla pudding mix? Or do you only use the pudding mix when you have just regular french vanilla cake mix?


    • Jamie — October 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      I use the pudding in the mix. Hope this helps.

  3. Donna — February 1, 2015 at 6:07 am

    This is probably a silly question but do you make the pudding mix up or just use it dry?


    • Jamie — February 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      You use it dry – I hope this helps.

  4. Kim — February 5, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Is it Okay to use canned strawberry? since we do not have fresh strawberries available.


    • Jamie — February 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      I have not attempted this recipe with canned strawberries, so I cannot attest on how they will perform. If you give it a try, please let me know how it works out.

  5. Vicki Jessen — February 13, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Going to bake the Strawberry Cupcake, I was wondering if I use 15.25 ounce French Vanilla cake mix with the pudding all ready in the cake mix should I also use instant vanilla pudding mix.


    • Jamie — April 15, 2015 at 9:21 am

      I think it will work out either way. The pudding mix just makes it extra moist and adds a little more flavor. I hope this helps.


  6. Andrea Michael — March 8, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    i tried with plain greek yogurt and it had the tang that buttermilk usually adds. does all yogurt do that or should i try again with flavored yogurt? will the sour cream do the same thing? it goes great with strawberry but i’m trying to perfect a white cake or butter cake recipe mix.


    • Jamie — March 10, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      I have used Greek style yogurt in this recipe many times without issue. I find that sour cream and Greek yogurt are quite similar in the flavor department.

  7. Andrea Michael — March 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    P.S. thank you, you’re awesome!


    • Jamie — March 9, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks so much!


  8. meredith — June 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Does this make 24 regular size cupcakes or 24 mini?


    • Jamie — June 14, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      The recipe makes 24 regular size cupcakes. I hope this helps.


  9. Kathy — July 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Be careful, I followed this recipe to the “t”, all ingredients at room temp, and they did not turn out. They sunk quite a bit after taking out of the oven and were very heavy and dense. That is a lot of wasted ingredients.


  10. ATL baker — August 9, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Tried these and the flavor is good but they come out flat and dense (but moist). You can see that the pics here seem to show a flat top that has been frosted (the recipe references this), and it has happened to other commenters, so it’s not just me. A pan of 12 cupcakes and 3 mini loaf pans all fell to be flat or sunken within moments of coming out of the convection oven. The idea is good, but maybe try halving the yogurt and adjusting the eggs to be closer to what the mix normally uses.


  11. Jackie — August 21, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Have you ever tried making a cake with this recipe? If so how did it turn out?


    • Jamie — August 25, 2015 at 8:47 am

      I have never made this recipe into a cake. Sorry I am not more of a help.

  12. Strawberry Cupcakes — November 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I am a fanatic lover of strawberry cupcakes that i sometimes call myself strawberry cupcake.:) I have baked just about most strawberry cupcake recipes so will give this one a try and let you know how i go.


  13. Tiffany — November 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Hello, I love your reciepes but perfer not using box mix.. I have a Vanilla cake receipe. To add the pudding mix in, should I alternate the eggs, oil and water mix for yours thats listed on this reciepe? I love using pudding mix but havent figured out how to convert it into a from scratch reciepe.


  14. Ruth — February 20, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I made these 2 years ago for my daughters 34th birthday. She loved them. I thought I made them again this year, but inadvertently used a different recipe. She said the cupcakes this year were good, but she really liked these so much better. Her sister agreed. They will be over tomorrow so I am making these as a just because. They are fantastic. 


    • Jamie — February 21, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Thank you, Ruth! I hope you have a great time with your daughters!

  15. Kali — February 26, 2016 at 10:18 am

    oh my goodness! these are horrible! because I cant stop eating them lol! holy cow they are soo good. I made them for my daughters class for her birthday (today big 7!) I used frozen strawberries and they worked great! I little sour but a bit of sugar on them before I added them to the mix helped! the frosting was so yummy and melty in your mouth.
    Thanks for the recipe!


    • Jamie — February 29, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Ha! Thank you, Kali! Happy 7th birthday to your daughter!

  16. kathy — April 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Can I use a strawberry cake mix and strawberry jello instead of vanilla? I just want it to be really strawberryyy for my 9 yr old nieces birthday.  


    • Jamie — April 8, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Hi, Kathy! I say, go for it! I hope your niece enjoys her birthday!

  17. Launa — February 16, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    I have a question.  I forgot to buy the Greek yogurt and have to make them asap.  Can I use sour cream instead?? Thank you 


    • Jamie — February 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Hi, Launa! I think you’ll probably be fine. Let me know how you like them!

  18. Rachel DeMaria — February 18, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I made the cupcakes so far not the frosting yet. Our party for my soon to be 4 year old is monday. We have been digging in without the frosting…These are amazing cupcakes. Good as a muffin lol.


    • Jamie — February 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that, Rachel!

  19. Tamara — May 15, 2017 at 4:22 am

    These are SO good! Even if I have all the time in the world to make cupcakes, I don’t think I’d use a different recipe. I made these for Mother’s Day, and they were a big hit with everyone. I only got one though, and now I’m sad and miss my cupcakes ;-) I foolishly made half a batch because there weren’t many people.


    • Jamie — May 16, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      I’m so glad everyone liked them, Tamara!

  20. Tracy Dassatti — June 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Love love love this recipe! I’ve made it many times for cupcakes and it makes a great cake too! I do have one question….. every cupcake looks amazing when it comes out of the oven, then they sink. What am I doing to make this happen, not just once, but EVERY time???


    • Jamie — June 8, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Hi, Tracy! I think it could be overbeating the batter or the oven temperature is off. An oven thermometer will tell you exactly what the temperature is, so you should be able to adjust accordingly. I’m glad you like the recipe!

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