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Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

What better way to welcome spring than with Strawberry Cupcakes?  Unfortunately it’s overcast and a little chilly today so it doesn’t feel like spring, but that’s not going to stop me from celebrating. These cupcakes consist of the PERFECT vanilla cupcake topped with fresh strawberry buttercream. The cupcakes are moist and tender with a fine crumb and wonderful vanilla flavor.

The perfect vanilla cupcake with fresh strawberry frosting.


You wouldn’t think that something as basic as a good vanilla cupcake recipe would be so difficult to find. But I’ve tried a lot of vanilla cupcake recipes and most of them have been subpar.

The perfect Vanilla Cupcake with fresh Strawberry Frosting.


But this recipe, from Craftsy’s  The Perfect Cupcake (w/ Jennifer Shea) , is truly good. This online class is such a good way to learn how to make the best darn cupcakes you’ve ever tasted.

The perfect Vanilla Cupcake with fresh Strawberry Frosting.

A combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour give the cupcakes the perfect texture. It’s a fine texture, but not too delicate and they cook up with perfect domed tops.

The perfect Vanilla Cupcake with fresh Strawberry Frosting.

The strawberry buttercream is super easy, although slightly more time-consuming than a regular buttercream. Fresh strawberries are pureed in a blender and then simmered in a saucepan to thicken and intensify the flavors. This strawberry syrup must be cooled and then it is added to butter and confectioners’ sugar to make a buttercream. You can really taste that wonderful fresh strawberry taste. These really are the Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes for Spring!

Happy Spring!

The perfect Vanilla Cupcake with fresh Strawberry Frosting.


The perfect vanilla cupcake with fresh strawberry frosting.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes topped with fresh Strawberry Buttercream are moist and tender with perfectly domed tops. A great spring treat!
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 40 minutes



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Strawberry Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries that have been defrosted
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-cup muffing pans with liners.
  • In a large bowl sift together both flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large glass liquid measuring cup combine milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar. Beat for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how soft butter is. You want to beat until the mixture looks very creamy.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with liquid ingredients added in 2 additions. Mix each addition just until ingredients are combined before adding next addition. Scrape sides of bowl to make sure everything is mixed well.
  • Let batter rest for 15 minutes.
  • Stir batter gently and divide between cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake until tops are firm and a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Place strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer strawberry puree to a small saucepan and simmer (stirring frequently) until reduced by at least half. You should have about 1/3 a cup of puree. Place puree in a small bowl and refrigerate until cooled.
  • Beat butter until fluffy. Beat in 1 cup of confectioner's sugar.
  • Beat in half of strawberry puree.
  • Beat in another cup of confectioners' sugar and then the remaining puree.
  • Beat in vanilla extract.
  • Do a taste test and based on desired sweetness, add either 1/2 or 1 full cup of confectioners' sugar. If you need to thin the frosting, add a little milk or half-and-half.


For best results, butter, milk, half-and-half, and eggs should be at room temperature.
Cupcake Batter from Craftsy's The Perfect Cupcake


Calories: 313kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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14 thoughts on “Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting”

  1. For those who are like me and didn’t read the comments until the cupcakes were in the oven, and then slightly panicked when they saw that these cupcakes didn’t work out for two ladies, let me appease your fears. They turned out amazingly well for me! Maybe the two ladies who didn’t have success with this recipe accidentally left out an ingredient? These cupcakes ended up being light, fluffy and taste amazing!

    Happy baking to everyone!

  2. I just made the icing in this recipe and it’s SO GOOD! great flavor and color (no need for food dye). thank you!!

  3. I completely agree with the previous comment this recipe was terrible flat on top and the cupcakes just separated into two pieces.

  4. These cupcakes were absolutely terrible. When I checked on them to see if they were done, the tops appeared wet and not fully risen, so I put them back in for two minutes. When I took them out again, the were totally flat and I tried one and it was in two separate pieces. Also the taste was very strange. I was not fan of these and I won’t be making them again.

  5. Shashi at RunninSrilankan

    You are indeed right – a good vanilla cake recipe is hard to come by – but these look so wonderful – perfect way to beat the clouds away 🙂

  6. Lynn Corpron

    Looks so good. And has inspired me to try some other fruit combos Lemon Cupcakes with blueberry buttercream?? Thanks

  7. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure

    I think these are perfect for welcoming Spring.. though it is soo cold these days.. some beautiful cupcakes might bring a little sunshine:)

  8. These are beautiful and I love that there’s fresh strawberry puree in that frosting! Pinned. 🙂

  9. Happy Spring! These lovely cupcakes are a beautiful way to welcome the season! I love a good vanilla cake, and that strawberry frosting is such a beautiful color it’s hard to resist. It’s almost time for strawberries to ripen here, and I’m finding it hard to be patient! 🙂

  10. When I think about it strawberry and vanilla sounds really lovely combination! 🙂 Cupcakes look so nice with that pink frosting!

  11. Thao @ In Good Flavor

    Wow! The strawberry frosting is beautiful (as does the entire cupcake)! It looks almost too pretty to eat, but I would give it my best shot.

  12. Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop

    I’m sure your cupcakes are amazing…but what really caught my eye was your strawberry frosting! That looks truly amazing! Great idea!!!

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