Get ready for strawberry season with these strawberry filled cupcakes! This recipe features a lemon and vanilla cupcake that is filled with homemade strawberry preserves, and frosted with a naturally pink strawberry buttercream.
Tell me about this recipe!
- While there might be a few moving parts to this recipe, it only takes 27 minutes to prep everything. You only need a few minutes to pull the frosting together, which you can do while your homemade preserves are cooling down. Finally, the cupcakes only take 12 minutes to prep before baking.
- The cupcakes only need 10 ingredients. Buttermilk, sour cream and lemon zest are added to give you a nice and tangy cake base to compliment the American style buttercream.
- I use freeze-dried strawberries in the frosting to give a strawberry flavor and color. This really is the best strawberry buttercream frosting!
- Make your own homemade strawberry preserves by boiling diced strawberries with some lemon juice and cornstarch.
The printable recipe card with the full list of ingredients and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Strawberries: Make sure to use in season strawberries that are nice and juicy for the homemade preserves. If you use out of season strawberries, which tend to be less vibrant, your filling won’t come out as red and will be a lighter pink.
- Buttermilk: I love using buttermilk in my cake and cupcake recipes! If you aren’t able to access buttermilk, I recommend using whole milk instead.
- Butter: I always use a European style butter in my recipes, like Kerry Gold. This gives you a much richer and creamier cake and frosting.
- Freeze Dried Strawberries: You can find freeze dried strawberries at Target, Trader Joes and Amazon. I then pulse mine in my blender until they’re a fine powder.
How to make this recipe
One: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tray with liners. This recipe makes 15 cupcakes. Whisk together your flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
Two: In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Three: Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat on medium-high speed until combined.
Four: Add in your sour cream, making sure that you scrape the sides of the bowl so no batter is left unmixed.
Five: Add in your dry ingredients and add your lemon zest. Mix everything together on low speed until there are no more streaks of flour.
Six: Pour in your buttermilk while the mixer is running on low speed.
Seven: Fill up your cupcake liners to be about 2/3 full – don’t fill them up completely or they will overflow when baking. Bake for 20-23 minutes, a toothpick inserted should come out clean. Allow them to cool.
Eight: Make your strawberry preserves. In a small saucepan, combine diced strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and water. Over medium heat, let it come to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes. It should become quite thick. Take off the heat.
Nine: Pour the preserves into a large tin or dish, the greater surface area means the preserves will cool much faster.
Ten: Make your frosting. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar together.
Eleven: Turn your mixer to low and beat until it becomes a thick consistency. Add in your vanilla extract, almond extra, salt and freeze dried strawberry powder.
Twelve: Add in your cream and mix until it becomes spreadable.
Assembling your Cupcakes
Thirteen: Use a large piping tip to core out the middle of each cupcake. I take the circular bottom of the piping tip and press down until about half way through each cupcake. Save the top that you’ve punched out. If your piping tip didn’t go down far enough, carefully scrape out the middle of the cupcake with a spoon.
Fourteen: Spoon in the preserves into each hole and then replace the top of the cupcake.
Fifteen: Use a Wilton 1M piping tip to frost each cupcake. You can then add sprinkles or half of a strawberry to decorate.
- Try to use the best strawberries you can buy! If you use strawberries that are pale then your filling will come out pale too.
- Bake your cupcakes in the lower third section/middle of your oven. If you put them up too high, they’re more likely to burn and will split when you try to cut the core out.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature, including the sour cream and buttermilk. I pull out my ingredients from the fridge 2 hours before baking.
- Only fill up your cupcake liners to 2/3 of the way, if you fill it up any further they will overflow in the oven!
Once you’ve filled the 12 liners, keep the rest of the batter at room temperature while the first 12 are baking. Once you’ve taken them out of the oven, let them cool for 5-10 minutes. Take them out to cool on a cooling rack, then bake the remaining 3 cupcakes.
You can make the cupcakes and the preserves the day before. I don’t recommend making the buttercream ahead of time because American buttercream develops a crust.
Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.
You can sub out the sour cream for creme fraiche or full fat yogurt, and you can substitute the buttermilk for whole milk. You can also remove the lemon zest from the cupcake batter if you aren’t a fan of lemon, but I think it brings out more of the strawberry flavour! If you don’t have almond extract you can also leave that out, but again I think it really helps bring a fresh strawberry taste.
You could also fill these cupcakes with ready made jam, diced fresh strawberries, or whipped cream.
Other strawberry recipes to try:
Strawberry Filled Cupcakes
- cupcake tin
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- zest lemon
- 1 cup strawberries diced
- 1 ½ tbsp sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp water
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries ground
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a 12-cup pan with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 15 cupcakes so if you have a second pan, line three more.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. It should become light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract, then beat again on medium speed.
- Add in the sour cream, beating again until well combined.
- With the mixer running on your lowest speed, add the dry ingredients and lemon zest.
- With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the buttermilk. Stop the mixer.
- Use an ice cream scooper to fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full – do not fill it anymore or it will overflow when baking.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean with no crumbs. Let cool completely.
- In a small saucepan, add all of the filling ingredients and stir to combine so the strawberries are completely covered.
- Heat over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes until it has thickened.
- Pour into a pan or tray, this means it will cool much faster.
- Use a large piping tip to core out each cupcake, saving the top. You may need to use a knife or small spatula to dig out some of the cake in case the dip didn't go down far enough.
- Fill each cupcake with some of the homemade preserves, then place the top back on.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar together on low speed.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until it becomes thick.
- Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, salt and strawberry powder and beat on medium-high
- Turn the mixer to low, and pour in the cream until it becomes creamy and spreadable.
- Use a 1M piping tip to frost each cupcake.
- Make sure everything is room temperature, take out those ingredients about 2 hours beforehand.
- If you don’t want to use lemon zest, feel free to leave it out.
- I used European butter in my recipe which makes it more creamy.
- If you don’t have kosher salt, halve the amount of salt (1 tsp kosher salt = 1/2 tsp fine salt)
- If you’re based in the UK, use double cream instead of heavy cream.
- If you don’t have buttermilk or sour cream, you can substitute whole milk for buttermilk and full fat yoghurt for sour cream.