Strawberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

These Strawberry White Chocolate Cupcakes are light and moist with just the right amount of crumble.  The strawberry buttercream frosting made with fresh strawberry purreé is bursting with flavor!

White Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes made with Strawberry Buttercream frosting

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To be honest I am not a huge fan of white chocolate by itself but when you pair white chocolate with strawberries the flavor combination can’t be beaten.

The frosting will knock your socks off. This Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is made with fresh strawberries so it is like a flavor explosion that will have you dreaming of these white chocolate strawberry cupcakes in your sleep!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder – the leavening agent that helps the cupcakes rise.
  • Salt – enhances the flavor of pretty much everything on the planet.
  • Unsalted butter – fat gives moistness to the cupcakes but the evaporation of the water in the butter also helps create a tender cupcake with a rise. In the frosting, this is the key ingredient needed to create a smooth, creamy frosting.
  • Granulated sugar – adds sweetness and structure to the cupcakes.
  • Oil – creates a soft tender cupcake.
  • Vanilla – is the universal baking flavor ingredient because it is delish!
  • White chocolate – melted and added to the batter to give these cupcakes their signature flavor.
  • Eggs – Used to bind all of the ingredients together creating a richer more flavorful cake.
  • Whole milk – activates the leavening agents in the cake batter to give a better rise and strengthen the protein bonds in the flour to give more structure and a finer crumb.
  • Fresh strawberries – this is the magic that gives the buttercream frosting its beautiful pink color and makes this frosting burst with flavor.
  • Powdered sugar – used in the frosting to add sweetness and structure to the frosting.
Ingredients for white chocolate cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream.

How to Substitute Unsalted Butter For Salted

The rule of thumb is to add a 1/4 tsp of salt for every 1/2 cup of unsalted butter.  Make sure butter is softened to room temp and blend well.  Since this recipe uses unsalted butter the reverse would be true.  Just leave the extra salt out of the recipe.

Substituting Cake or Pastry Flour for All-Purpose Flour

Cake and Pastry flour are lower protein flours that give baked goods like pastry and cookies a lighter fluffier texture but aren’t always the best for holding things together.  I bake more cookies than anything else so I usually only have pastry flour on hand.  One cup and 2 tbsp of pastry flour work out to be equivalent to 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

Is It Better to Mix Cupcakes with Milk or Water?

Either one can technically be used but if you use milk, the results are better. The cake when made with milk tends to be more moist and rich in flavor.

The cake itself is often softer and richer because of the higher percentage of fat present in whole milk. Milk also provides additional protein giving your cupcake a finer crumb texture.

Overhead shot of vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting

how to Make white chocolate cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Start by adding the flour, baking powder, and salt to a small bowl and mixing until blended well. Then set it aside.

In a large bowl add the softened butter, granulated sugar, oil, and vanilla. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat on high until the butter is light and fluffy. It will actually lose some color and turn a soft yellow. This takes about 3 minutes. Then add in the eggs one at at time continuing to beat until each of the eggs is mixed in well.

In a double boiler, carefully melt the white chocolate over low heat stirring often. Be sure to keep the chocolate free of any water or else the chocolate will seize. It doesn’t take long so stir often. If the white chocolate is overheated it will brown and turn hard.

Let the white chocolate cool off a little and then add to the cake batter and mix with the beater on low o incorporate well.

When the wet ingredients are mixed in start adding the flour. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time along with half of the milk. Keep mixing and alternating adding another 1/3 of the flour mixture the other half of the milk and finish with the rest of the flour. Continue to beat with the mixture only until combined.

Prepare a muffin tin by adding a cupcake liner to each hole. You may wish to give the top of the muffin tin a quick shot of cooking spray to keep the tops of the cupcakes from sticking or grease the top of the muffin tin with a little butter.

Scoop 1/3 of a cup of batter into each cupcake liner. Each cup should be filled about 2/3 of the way for best results.

Bake the cupcakes for about 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove the baked cupcakes from the oven and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.

I like to take them out of the muffin tin so that they cool faster.

So much talk about the White Chocolate Cupcakes, but what about that beautiful Strawberry Buttercream Frosting? 

First wash, trim, and slice your strawberries. Then pop them in the blender and give them a whirl until the strawberries are pureed and there are no large lumps.

Add the pureed strawberries to a small pot and let them reduce over medium-low heat stirring often until most of the liquid has evaporated. You want to reduce the berries to about 3 or 4 tablespoons which may take about 10 minutes to do.

If there is too much liquid the buttercream frosting will separate and go all weird.

In a large bowl beat the butter left over for the buttercream on high until it becomes pale yellow and fluffy. You may need to scrape down the bowl occasionally while doing this to make sure all of the butter is whipped.

Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, vanilla, and strawberry reduction and continue to beat on high until combined. Then add the remaining powdered sugar and continue to beat on high until the frosting is smooth and all the sugar is combined.

When the white chocolate cupcakes are completely cooled frost the cupcakes with the strawberry buttercream frosting either with an icing spatula or if you want to get fancy by piping the frosting using a piping bag and frosting tip.

Why Is My Strawberry Buttercream separating?

If the frosting seems still a little wet or is separating it is likely because the strawberry puree wasn’t reduced enough and there is too much moisture.

Not to worry, just beat in more powdered sugar. This will add structure and soak up some of the extra moisture.

Want the Frosting pinker?

The strawberry puree turns this simple frosting into a perfectly pink buttercream bursting with strawberry flavor. If you prefer the color to be pinker simply add 1 or two drops of red food coloring. I am not a huge fan of food coloring and kept the natural soft pink that you see in the pictures.

Overhead shot of Vanilla cupcake with Strawberry Buttercream Icing

Why Are My Cupakes Flat?

There are a few reasons for this but in my opinion, a flat cupcake is still a cupcake and honestly, I think it isn’t really a big deal. When they are frosted no one will know. But for those who prefer a domed cupcake or are a type A perfectionist like me here is what likely happened:

  • You didn’t whip your butter enough which may cause your cupcakes to be dry and dense.
  • Old leavening agents – they expire so check the date for the best results…. the baking powder in this instance.
  • You didn’t measure or follow the recipe measurements accurately. Too much flour or too much liquid. Baking is a science so level off those cups!
  • Too much air was added to the batter. This happens when the batter is overmixed. Once the butter and eggs are creamed on high it is time to go low and slow to add in the white chocolate and flour. If you overmix you will let out all of the air from the batter and if you overmix by beating on high for too long you will add too much air and then that air will deflate from the cupcakes as soon as you take them out of the oven. To be safe, after beating the butter you can switch to a spatula so have more control over how much the batter gets mixed.
  • You decided you wanted to save on calories and reduce the sugar in the batter. If you are going to eat the cupcake eat the cupcakes. The sugar is there for sweetness but is also necessary to add structure to the cake. Without enough sugar, the batter won’t have enough strength to rise.
  • The cupcake cups were filled too high. If you fill the cups too high with batter they won’t have room to expand.
White chocolate strawberry cupcakes on a cooling rack.

Variations

  • Swap the Strawberry buttercream for chocolate and go for a double chocolate cupcake instead.
  • Before frosting use a cupcake corer and scoop out some of the cupcakes and fill them with strawberry jam or fresh strawberries.
  • Swap out the strawberries for raspberries and make a raspberry buttercream frosting.
  • Add sprinkles… sprinkles make everything better!

Storing This White Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Once the white chocolate strawberry cupcakes are made you can store them in a tightly sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days.

If you want to freeze the cupcakes I do not recommend icing them until you are ready to eat. Freeze the cupcakes in a freezer container for up to 3 months and thaw fully before icing.

Because the icing is made with fresh strawberries the added moisture may cause the frosting to separate after freezing and it just won’t be right.

White chocolate cupcake on a dish with a tea pot and tea cups on the table.

These White Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream are the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day, Girl’s Night, or an upcoming Bridal or Baby Shower.   Creamy, light, and bursting with flavor these are sure to be a party favorite.

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White Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes made with Strawberry Buttercream frosting

Strawberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
White Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting – light, moist, creamy and brimming with stawberry flavour!
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cup or 3 oz unsalted butter softened to room temp
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz white chocolate
  • 2 large eggs room temp
  • 5 fl oz whole milk

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temp
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

White Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Heat oven to 350° F.  Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl add flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix well and set aside.
  • In a large bowl add butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Mix with a hand mixer on medium-high for 3-4 minutes until well combined.  Mixing until the butter mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs one at a time and keep mixing.  Scrape sides of bowl if necessary to ensure all ingredients are mixed well.
  • Heat a skillet of water on high until it just starts to simmer.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate to a heat proof bowl and place bowl with chocolate into pan being careful not to get any water near the chocolate or the chocolate will seize and get lumpy.  Gently stir the chocolate until it is melted, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add in the melted white chocolate and mix well.
  • Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add 1/2 of milk and mix until combined.  Continue to alternate flour and milk and mix JUST until blended.
  • Evenly scoop the batter into the lined cupcake liners. Fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full.  Any higher and the cupcakes will go flat and not get that rounded look that is preferred.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Test at 25 minutes with a tooth pick.  Cupcakes are done when toothpick that is inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove and cool completely before frosting. 

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • Puree two cups of fresh or thawed frozen strawberries.  You should end up with about 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of strawberry puree
  • Add strawberries to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.  Simmer and continue to stir occasionally until strawberries are reduced to 3 tbsp.  Takes about 10-15 minutes.  
  • Remove from stove and transfer to small cup.  Cover and store in fridge until completely cooled.  To cool quickly you can also put in the freezer for a short bit.  Strawberry reduction just be completely cooled before adding to frosting or frosting will melt.
  • In a large bowl whip butter on high with electric or hand mixer until it become pale and fluffy scraping bowl occasionally to ensure all butter is whipped.
  • Add 1 cup of icing sugar, vanilla and the strawberry reduction.  Continue to mix on high until well combined.  Ad in remaining 1 1/2 cups icing sugar and continue to mix until frosting is fluffy.  Add in and extra 1/4 cup of icing sugar if needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Frost and decorate cupcakes as you wish!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 180mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 900IUVitamin C: 15.7mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 1.1mg

Notes

Storage
Once the cupcakes are made you can store them in a tightly sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze the cupcakes I do not recommend icing them until you are ready to eat. Freeze the cupcakes in a freezer container for up to 3 months and thaw fully before icing.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make White Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Story.

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These look delicious! And it combines two of my favorite things white chocolate and strawberries. Will be keeping this recipe in mind for the future. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    The strawberry puree in the frosting sounds delightful! Like you I prefer not to use food colouring! Will be checking this recipe out!

  3. Such pretty cupcakes! I also prefer white chocolate when paired with berries but otherwise would choose dark chocolate anyday! The cupcakes looks moist and fluffy and the buttercream reminds of of candy floss!

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