Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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These Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect! So moist and fluffy! And they are an amazing copy of one my favorite cupcakes!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

So I think I’ve mentioned it before, but in case I haven’t here’s my little secret: Even though I bake mostly from scratch these days, I grew up on box mixes and store bought cakes.

It’s true. I know there’s a camp of people who are totally box mix haters and then there’s a camp that’s all about them. I personally love them at times when I want something easy. And you will never convince me that Funfetti Cake with Rainbow Chip Icing isn’t the best cake ever. But I also love baking from scratch. I’ve always loved cake, but I loved it even more when I started having from-scratch cakes. There’s just so much variety and I love that.

That said, my favorite besides Funfetti was always a strawberry cake mix with cream cheese frosting. There’s just something about the strawberry cake mix flavor. I know some might think it’s artificial, but whatevs. I dig it.

So I set out to replicate the flavor of that cake mix, but from scratch. I’m pretty sure I hit the nail on the head. I’m in love with these cupcakes! I even put “love” on top of them. 🙂

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

The strawberry flavor in the cupcake comes from a mix of strawberry puree and strawberry extract. I love mixing the two. The extract makes the flavor a little stronger and more box-like in my opinion, while the puree adds a little of that real strawberry taste. Perfection.

And with the cute little chocolate “love” on top, these are perfect for sharing for Valentine’s Day.

To make the toppers, you just need a little bit of colored candy melts. I use the wilton ones, but if you have another brand you prefer that should be fine. They’re great because they come colored, are easy to melt and dry firmer than regular chocolate chips, which is ideal for a more delicate decoration like this one.

I did these free handed, but you could use a pattern if you prefer. You’ll just need a piping bag, icing tip with coupler (I used tip 4, but tip 3 would work too) and some parchment paper. Melt the chocolate, add it to your piping bag fitted with the icing tip and write out “love”. I also tossed a few sprinkles on, but you could leave those off if you prefer. There’s a similar method used for this red wine chocolate cake, so if you need some pictorial guidance, there are photos in that post you can check out.

Once they are dry, just press them into the frosting and you are done! Quick and easy! Not only are these strawberry cupcakes delicious, they are so darn cute!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”UkWBoMsx” upload-date=”Mon Jan 22 2018 16:06:25 GMT+0000 (UTC)” name=”Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting” description=”These Strawberry Cupcakes are made with fresh strawberry puree and topped with cream cheese frosting! A classic cupcake flavor!”]
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image of Strawberry Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting with bite taken out

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect! So moist and fluffy! And they are an amazing copy of one my favorite cupcakes!



  • 3/4 cup (155g) sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (86g), room temperature
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) sour cream
  • 2 tsp strawberry extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp (75ml) milk
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) strawberry puree
  • 34 drops pink food color


  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tbsp (86g) butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 5 oz red Wilton Candy Melts
  • sprinkles


  • Piping bag
  • Wilton #4 Icing tip
  • Ateco #844 Icing tip
  • Coupler
  • Parchment paper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add sour cream and strawberry extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined.
5. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl, then combine milk and strawberry puree in another bowl.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
7. Stir in pink color.
8. Fill cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
9. While cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
10. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add vanilla extract and remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
12. To make the toppers, melt candy melts in a small bowl according to package instructions.
13. Pour melted candy into your piping bag fitted with Wilton tip #3 and pipe “love” onto parchment paper. Add a few sprinkles, then allow to dry and firm.
14. Pipe the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes using Ateco tip #844, then add toppers.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 400
  • Sugar: 45.3 g
  • Sodium: 120 mg
  • Fat: 18.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.6 g
  • Protein: 4.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 46.1 mg

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  1. Sara

    Hello, the cupcakes were really good! My only question is the when I went to take of the wrapper some of the cake stuck to it. How do you not prevent that from happening? Also could I use eggs instead of egg whites?

    1. Lindsay

      Glad you enjoyed them! I’m not sure why they stuck. It’s possible it’s the brand of cupcake liner. Swapping egg whites for eggs isn’t always a one to one thing. You could try a newer strawberry cake recipe of mine, that is similar to this one, but improved and uses whole eggs.

  2. Rachel

    Can you use strawberry emulsion or the LorAnn super strength oils? I’m having trouble finding strawberry extract in my local stores.

    1. Lindsay

      I’d recommend challenge cream cheese, if it’s available in your area. Otherwise I use Philadelphia. I usually get my cream cheese at the grocery store.

  3. Landry Gainey

    Hey!! I’ve made these cupcakes twice for separate events and people LOVE THEM. You’re so awesome! I was wondering if I could ask your opinion on turning this recipe into a cake and if you have any tips on that. I need to make a layer cake and I want to use this recipe, lol. But I’m afraid it will be too fluffy and not hold it’s weight!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad people have enjoyed them! It should be fine as a layer cake. I would suggest doubling the recipe and baking in three 8 inch pans. I’m not sure of the exact bake time but it should be around 20 minutes, give or take.

  4. Kim

    Made these this afternoon and they came out nice. I didn’t have strawberry extract on hand so I just used a little vanilla extract in place but I’m sure it would be way better with strawberry. The only thing I’ll comment on is when I took the cupcakes out of the liner to eat they really stuck on there. Not sure why that happened? Maybe the cupcake batter was too dense with the purée? 

  5. Donna Christensen

    I’m going to make them for my daughters for Valentines Day.. I made the other strawberry cupcakes with the filling last year. I’m sure these will be just as good!! Bought little cupcake boxes for them. 

  6. Lin

    Thank you for this post- Yummylicious! The boys love is- just like you said, moist, soft and yummy! I did a quick turn though, instead of frosting it with the Cream cheese icing, I decided to add white chocolate bits on top and it was baked into perfection.. and didn’t have to put the icing…mhhmm, I think I’ll bake it again when the boys are not at home so I have time to make the icing, he!he!he!

  7. Anouk

    wow, they look really cool and i tried to make them myself. I only had one problem. My words broke while i was trying to get them off my parchment paper. How can i solve this?

    1. Lindsay

      They are definitely fragile, so you’ll need to be careful with them. You also shouldn’t make the writing too thin, or they’ll be more likely to break.

    1. Lindsay

      I’d recommend refrigerating the frosting, yes. However long you’re comfortable with cream cheese sitting out – I’d think several hours would be fine.

  8. Teresa Spangler

    Just made these cute cupcakes for my tennis team. Very easy recipe! Your icing was yummy and just the right amount. I didn’t have strawberry extract so I just used vanilla. The candy melts were easy to work with and scripting the “love” was fun. I love decorating cupcakes. Thanks for your recipe. I know my team will love them!

  9. Madeline

    Hi, not sure if anyone has already asked this but how long would you cook if making mini cupcakes?
    Also, how do you make your strawberry purée? Could I substitute strawberry purée for strawberry jam? Sorry for all the Q’s just planning to make for my daughter’s 2nd birthday!! Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      Mini cupcakes would be around 7-10 minutes. Just pop some strawberries into a food processor or blender to get the purée. You could use jam. I personally prefer the flavor of fresh purée though. I hope you enjoy them!

  10. Maribel

    Hi, does this cupcake recipe taste similar to your strawberry shortcake cake recipe??? The one with the two layers of cake and the layer of cheese cake in the middle. I love that cake recipe it’s so good and I want my cupcakes to taste the same as the bread in that cake! Thanks! 

  11. Kaitlyn

    I usually don’t leave reviews but I feel it is necessary for these cupcakes. I made these for a friends birthday party and I was not sure how they would turn out as I have never made strawberry cupcakes homemade. Well… they were a hit! I should have doubled the recipe to make more! They were perfect. I made my buttercream recipe instead of cream cheese frosting and it was divine. I will definitely be making these again! 

  12. Pamela

    This recipe sounds amazing. I got an heart shaped cake pan (probably 8-9″ equivalent). Should I up the recipe or will this bake fine in the.pan the way it is? Thanks ????

  13. Sylvia Tippett

    Sounds great! Looking forward to trying this out. Wondering why the egg yolks are omitted? What would be the result/difference if they were included?
    Many thanks, Sylvia

  14. Michelle E

    Hi Lindsay! Love your recipes! Love your website and LOVE your explanations and in-depth posts! You are SUPER!!
    I was super thrilled to find this homemade recipe for strawberry cupcakes because I was still buying the
    boxed strawberry cake (our only favorite of the boxed cake mixes)! I’ve been baking from scratch for the last couple years but never found a homemade strawberry cupcake recipe! So my concern is if there is any way to omit the purée? I know it would add an extra depth of flavor but unfortunately my son is allergic to actual strawberries! Thoughts? 

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks so much Michelle! Glad you enjoy everything!

      You can certainly replace the puree with water. If you’d like to up the strawberry factor, just add another 1/2 tsp or so of the extract.

  15. Sandy

    Omg, I made these yesterday and it was a disaster. Then I could not find your website so I could see what I did wrong .
    It all curdled. We were so excited to try these. Well it smelled so good baked them anyway. Not good too gritty but it’s because I messed up writing the recipe and mixing wrong. Just made them again and they are the best strawberry cupcakes ever. I fid find the extract at walmart too. Thank you

  16. Sandee

    Another recipe I cant wait to try. Seems like strawberry is a favorite but hard to get it right between flavor and texture for some reason. My mouth is drooling to try these, I hope I can find the extract.
    Nice decorations on them.
    Was your dog eating that cake in the photos? He is adorable and mine would have gobbled that up. Lol. Sandee

  17. Michelle

    Hi there! I want to make these for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party next week. I wanted to know if the cupcake part is light, fluffy and moist or is it more of a dense consistency like pound cake. I made a strawberry cake recently and the cake was more dense.. I prefer the light and fluffy!

    Thanks so much!

    1. Lindsay

      I would definitely call it more fluffy than dense, and definitely not as dense as pound cake. Just be sure to fully cream the butter and sugar – that’s where most mistakes are made I find.

  18. Mattie

    This icing is extremely sweet and thick… Personally I don’t like the taste of store bought icing and it definitely tastes like one in the container.

  19. Amanda

    I made this frosting tonight and used it to pipe on carrot cake cupcakes. It is so delicious! I love your recipes!
    It wasn’t as thick as I wanted and didn’t look like the photos here. But I popped it in the freezer for a few minutes and it helped thicken the frosting.
    Thanks for a great recipe! This will be my new go to cream cheese frosting recipe. Can’t wait to make the strawberry cupcakes (:

  20. Gina

    Made these. Took them out of the oven and they totally shrank. 🙁  Not the first time with strawberry cupcakes. Another recipe did exactly the same thing.) Followed the recipe to the tee. Threw them out and tried again. Added a bit of baking soda and upped the oven temp to 360, and a little longer bake time. Didn’t shrink, but the middles fell some. Not as bad. added strawberry preserves to the pureed strawberries in the second batch. They are yummy though. Took them to a cookout and everyone loved them. 
    Just that I’m a perfectionist and was going for the rounded top. Any suggestions for the third batch? (I checked my baking powder and it was good.)

    1. Lindsay

      I would be sure that you’re fulling creaming the butter and sugar together in the second step. It adds air to the batter than gives it lift and that nice round top. If it’s not fully creamed, they often do shrink after they come out of the oven.

      1. Gina

        Ok thanks! I creamed it according to the directions, but maybe my butter was to soft to start. I was hot in my kitchen that day. I will defiantly try creaming it longer, and make sure the butter is not to melty.

  21. Nina

    I had some strawberries at home, and your blog is the first place i go to for some inspiration. I realized i did not have any strawberry extract or any sour cream, but still decided to go ahead and try and make these anyway. Substituted a bit of milk and yogurt for the sour cream. These cupcakes are perfect! So light and fluffy! I used mini-muffin trays to bake them (made a good 60 mini-muffins). My frosting was slightly runny, though. Maybe i did not beat the cream cheese enough? How does your cream cheese pipe so beautifully on the cakes? Mine just sort of looked like glaze. But they tasted wonderful! Gone in seconds! 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed them! For the frosting, did you by any chance add less powdered sugar than the recipe calls for? The powdered sugar should thicken the frosting. If it’s still to thin, you could always add a little more but it should be plenty thick as written.

      1. Nina

        No, i added the exact amount. Maybe the day was unusually warm, or perhaps it could be the brand of cream cheese I used. I’ll try popping it in the refrigerator for a bit the next time 🙂 I think i will be making these again pretty soon. They’re delicious!

      2. Nina

        Update I made them again. Popped the frosting in the fridge for an hour, and it worked! Of course, once again, the cupcakes were gone before the icing had the chance to melt 🙂

        I suppose it was unusually warm the last time I made these.

    2. K-Sissy

      Always whip your butter first before adding the cream cheese. Overmixing the cream cheese will make for runny frosting. I learned that the hard way 😉

    1. Lindsay

      I put strawberries into a food processor. You could also use a blender. You won’t need too many strawberries for the amount of puree in this recipe.

    1. Lindsay

      Definitely! I would suggest doubling the recipe and dividing the batter between three 8 inch pans. If I remember correctly they’d back for about 23 minutes.

  22. Tara

    Hi, I don’t have any strawberry extract. Could I use more purée and still achieve a strong strawberry taste? Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      You can replace some of the milk with additional puree. I’m not sure that you’d get quite as strong of a strawberry flavor, but you could try it.

  23. Elena

    Hello, Lindsay.Greetings from Ukraine.
    According to the recipe you need to take 240 grams of cream cheese, 86 gr.butter and 460 grams of powdered sugar. It is impossible to many, there is no error, really 460gr.? One cup of 115 grams. powdered sugar.

    1. Lindsay

      Hi Elena! Yes, the powdered sugar and other ingredients are correct in the recipe. You can use less powdered sugar if you’d like a thinner frosting.

  24. June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

    Is there anything more romantic than homemade cupcakes? 😛 These look perfect, love the little candy melt toppers 🙂

  25. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    Yum! What a pretty pink color. I think there is a place for box mix cakes and scratch cakes 🙂

  26. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie

    How cute are those toppers? I always forget that I can easily make things like that. Such a nice touch.

  27. Renee@Two in the Kitchen

    These cupcakes are just darling! I Love the “love” signs you made for them! So stinkin cute!! 🙂

  28. Ally

    Lindsay, these are amazing! We have some friends over today and I made these cupcakes. I am officially obsessed, they turned out perfect for me!

  29. taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    Okay, you did this free handed? You are so amazing! They look so good and perfect for the season of LOVE! What a perfect and fun way to spread some love over Valentine’s Day with these lovelies! I’ll just pretend to taste test them through the computer for now! 😉

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29