Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Moist vanilla cupcakes topped with fluffy and creamy strawberry buttercream frosting.


Happy Friday! I’m back with yet another fantastic cupcake recipe ready to celebrate the weekend!

I shared my recipe for Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes last Friday and they went down a storm with you. It’s no secret that I’m pretty much obsessed with cupcakes. I have so much fun swirling the cupcakes with homemade frosting. Since perfecting a very simple, but pretty delicious vanilla buttercream I’ve been completely hooked on creating different frosting flavours.


My vanilla cupcake recipe is both easy to make and tastes divine. You can top the cupcakes with any of your favourite frostings! The fluffy vanilla cupcakes suit decadent chocolate frosting, caramel frosting and now this gorgeous and fruity strawberry buttercream frosting.

This strawberry buttercream is just as easy as my vanilla buttercream is to make, but the only additional ingredient is freeze dried strawberries. I was browsing at my local bakeware shop and spotted a pot of freeze dried strawberries and thought it would be great idea to sprinkle into some vanilla frosting for a delicious strawberry hit!

Fresh fruit is great to use in some frosting recipes, but strawberries are quite watery in baked goods and would make a runny frosting, impossible to pipe – trust me, I’ve lost count of all the frosting fails I’ve had! So instead of wasting ingredients and time, I gave this method of a go and it worked amazingly, producing the BEST strawberry buttercream! I’ll let you be the judge of that, but the taste testers LOVED these! 😉


The cupcakes not only look amazing, but they taste even better! The flavour of this strawberry buttercream reminds me a strawberry ice cream/gelato – it’s really good! It’s extremely light and with beautiful fresh flavour. The strawberry frosting really compliments the buttery sponge cake but it would also work well piped on these chocolate fudge cupcakes too!

Decorate in any way you like, they look perfect as they are but by any means add some sprinkles or top with fresh strawberries like I did!

(Makes 12 Cupcakes)


Vanilla Cupcakes –

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar or superfine sugar

3 large free range eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g (1 and 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted – be careful not to overmeasure – you can sub with 150g plain flour + 2 tsp baking powder

2-3 tbsp water or milk

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting –

150g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

300g (3 cups) icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

16g (1 cup) freeze dried strawberry pieces

1-3 tablespoons double cream (heavy cream) or milk – cream will give a creamier textured buttercream


1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas Mark 6. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

2. To make the cupcakes: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and very fluffy – this will take 5 minutes. Make sure you stop the mixer halfway through creaming and using a spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

3. Add eggs, one by one and mix to combine. Now fold in the flour – mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Now add the milk or water to loosen the mixture slightly. Do not over mix.

4. Take an ice cream scoop and evenly distribute the cupcake batter between the cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean of any uncooked batter. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then when cool enough to touch remove from the tin and transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

5. To make the strawberry frosting & decorate: Cream the butter on a medium speed for a minute to soften. Add half the icing sugar and mix until it’s fully combined. Now stop the mixer and add the remaining icing sugar along with the vanilla and the freeze dried strawberries (16g / 1 cup) and beat on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until pale in colour and fluffy. Stop the mixer halfway through and scrape down the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl. Finally, add the cream or milk and mix for another minute until fluffy. Once the buttercream is mixed, fit a disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle and fill the bag with the frosting.

Pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake, then finish with sprinkles or fresh strawberries. Store the iced cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.




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65 thoughts on “Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

  1. There is something so fun about making cupcakes. My piping is definitely not nearly as good as yours, these are just so gorgeous! I love that strawberry buttercream too!

  2. I’ve never played around with freeze-dried strawberries, but these look incredible! I love the color. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have a problem finding a way to get rid of an entire batch of these bad boys. 🙂

  3. Wow, that color is gorgeous! I once tried to make strawberry buttercream with fresh strawberries and was pretty bummed about the result, so I’m excited to try again with freeze dried fruit. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. They look absolutely adorable! Strawberry and vanilla are perfect togehter 🙂 Thank you for this aweome recipe, I will try to make them as long as there are still strawberrys available. Greetings from belvita 🙂

  5. These look so amazing Jess! The buttercream looks perfect, and I love the strawberries on top!! I could definitely eat a whole batch of these right now!

  6. I filled a birthday cake once with a similar strawberry buttercream. As heavenly as heavy 😀 But sometimes that’s just what you need. And, I mean, it was a birthday cake. Birthday cakes are meant to be rich!!

  7. Hi, what an amazing cupcakes..looks so tempting.. Have you added extra pink colour or is the colour from the freeze dried strawberries? Thinks of making some soon..Thanks for sharing..

  8. Pingback: Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream


  10. Hi Jessica. I tried ur buttercream over the weekend and im not sure what went wrong where cos it definitely didn’t have the stability like yours. I used freeze dried mixed berries cos they didn’t have strawberries and after I added it to my buttercream it started separating and as I piped it was watery and ddnt hold its shape. Taste was devine so I would love to make it this again with your help

    • Hi Zaahira, I’m not sure how the buttercream went wrong, as it has always worked well for me. There are a few reasons why the buttercream may not have worked for you – different types of berries can have various levels of moisture, which could have made the buttercream go runny. Also the butter might have been too soft. It could also have been if there was a lot of moisture and humidity in the kitchen. I would recommend refrigerating the frosting once made to make it easier to pipe.
      I hope that helps, I’m so pleased you enjoyed the taste! If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂

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