Naturally coloured and flavoured strawberry buttercream made with freeze-dried strawberries. Your summer isn’t complete without a taste of these cupcakes!
Recipe originally shared July 2015, updated June 2017.
Fruit based buttercream is a summer favourite of mine and the yummy addition of freeze-dried strawberries creates the beautiful pink colour in this buttercream recipe I’m sharing with you. I’m personally not really into unnaturally coloured foods so often when I want to make a buttercream that’s coloured, I’d rather look for alternative ways of naturally colouring mine.
This recipe is based on a classic buttercream recipe except freeze-dried strawberries are ground to fine powder in a food processor and then the strawberry powder is incorporated into the buttercream. Incorporating freeze-dried strawberries into buttercream adds amazing natural strawberry flavour and it also tints the buttercream a faint pink colour.
To allow this strawberry buttercream to be the star of show I sat it atop a basic vanilla cupcake. Strawberry and vanilla happen to be my two favourite flavours, so combing the two had to happen sometime! My vanilla cupcake recipe is easy to make as it doesn’t require any out of the ordinary ingredients such as buttermilk or yoghurt, which are ingredients you might not happen to have in your kitchen. This vanilla cupcake recipe however uses your everyday baking store cupboard essentials such as butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour.
You might be wondering about why I choose to use freeze-dried opposed to fresh strawberries? Fresh fruit is great to use in some buttercream recipes, but strawberries in particular have a high water content so using fresh could produce a runny buttercream that’s impossible to pipe. The fruit and moisture levels are more concentrated in freeze-dried fruit compared to fresh, so when following this recipe you won’t have to be concerned that your buttercream will curdle or won’t be able to be piped.
What better way to celebrate summer and the strawberry season than with these cupcakes! They’ll be a hit at summer picnics, parties or barbecues or even served as part of an al fresco afternoon tea.
150g (2/3 cup) butter, softened
150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar
3 medium or large free range eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g (1 and 1/4 cups) self-raising flour, sifted – you can sub with 150g plain flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
170g (3/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
12g (1 cup) freeze-dried strawberries
2 tablespoons double cream (heavy cream), chilled
230g (2 cups) icing sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cupcake liners and set aside.
- To make the cupcakes: Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one along with the vanilla and mix to combine. Using a spatula or large metal spoon, gently fold in the flour and mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Be gentle and try to not over mix the batter.
- Now evenly distribute the cupcake batter among the cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes until the cupcakes are a light golden colour and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove from the tin and transport the cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- To make the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on a medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and using a spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, continue to mix the butter for a further 3 minutes until it’s creamy and pale. In a food processor pulverise the freeze-dried strawberries until finely ground (wait for a moment to allow the air in the powder to settle). Add the strawberry powder to the creamed butter and stir through until combined. Now add the cream along with the icing sugar and again mix until incorporated. Whip the buttercream on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes, then stop the mixer and scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue to mix for another 2 minutes.
- Fit a large disposable piping bag with a piping tip. Fill the piping bag with the buttercream and decorate the cupcakes as desired.
- Butter will need to be at room temperature for both the cupcake and buttercream recipes. Take butter out from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour. You’ll know your butter is ready to start baking with if when you press your finger gently into the butter it leaves an indentation. Either salted or unsalted butter can be used, typically I always use unsalted, but this time I used salted and it worked just as well.
- Please note humidity can affect the outcome of your buttercream. The best way of avoiding your buttercream curdling is making sure your butter isn’t too soft (follow my tip above when softening butter).
- Freeze-dried fruit can usually be located down the baking aisle of most supermarkets or sometimes, they can also be found in some specialist bakeware shops, but if you’ve had no luck looking in store you can order over the internet.
- If you don’t own a food processor you can crush the freeze-dried strawberries in a resealable bag using a rolling pin until they’ve reached a fine powdery consistency.
- Cupcakes will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If it’s humid where you live I’d recommend storing these cupcakes in the fridge and when ready to serve take the number of desired cupcakes out and allow them to sit a room temperature for a few minutes.
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42 thoughts on “Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream”
Absolutely adorable! <3
These are beautiful – as are all your cupcake recipes! Loving the fresh strawberry on top!
These are gorgeous!
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!
This strawberry buttercream is everything!!! perfect pink color. . and love the specks of strawberries!! love these cupcakes!!!
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. 🙂
Such pretty pink cupcake! I bet my niece would love to make these with me.
I’ve never used freeze dried strawberries. These are simply beautiful!
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!
Thanks so much! I really hope you give this strawberry buttercream a go – it’s really fantastic! Let me know if you do!
Here you go with another great cupcake recipe. I love strawberry and vanilla combo! YUM!
Hello, gorgeous cupcakes!! Get in my belly! 🙂
These are so cute! I would totally be guilty of eating the buttercream off of the beater!!!
I agree with Eva.. get in my belly! What beauties, I just want to eat that buttercream with a spoon!
Girl, I love your cupcake obsession! These are gorgeous! I’m really digging all this pink! Pinning!
Reblogged this on Bobbi's Blog and commented:
These look yummy!
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!
That color is so pretty Jess! I love that you added dried strawberries – it sounds like a great idea!
Thanks Shiran – the freeze dried strawberries worked really well in the buttercream! 😀
These cupcakes look so pretty, and yummy!
I think I would need you to come over to do the piping! They look divine x
Stawberry and cupcake! What a lovely combination..:)
This buttercream!!! As if the previous vanilla cupcakes weren’t perfect enough, haha! You also have great piping skills #goals
Freeze-dried strawberries is such a great idea for the frosting! I love the colour it produces.
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!!
gorgeous cupcakes Jess! 🙂 love the strawberries!
Wow! These cupcakes are absolutely stunning! I’m such a sucker for anything with strawberries, so these little beauties just sing to me!
These cupcakes are gorgeous, Jess! Love the freeze-dried strawberries in the strawberry buttercream! So so delicious!
These look so mouthwatering! I can ensure that mine would come out looking way less pretty…but hopefully they would still taste good :).
Oooh, I’ve never used freeze dried strawberries before! This is totally genius and beautiful- love it!
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..
Hi Anu! The buttercream has no added colourings as I’m not a fan so I don’t add them. The freeze-dried strawberries alone give the frosting this natural colour. Hope you enjoy the cupcakes!
Great cupcake, loved it
gorgeous! and yummy I am sure!
These cupcakes look perfect, just perfect 😀
These look so adorable!!😍
Wow, these look sooo SCRUMPTIOUS! 💜
Thank you for the perfect recipe! I sent to my wife a link on your blog!
Hi John – I’m really glad you like these cupcakes. Thanks for passing the recipe on. 🙂
How to make freeze dried strawberries I have freezed the strawberries can u tell me procedure how it can turn in to powder..
Hi Fahima – I can’t confidently tell you how to prepare freeze-dried fruit as this is something I haven’t ever done before. I would recommend buying ready packaged freeze-dried fruit to make this buttercream.