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vanilla cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream

Happy Friday! I’m feeling pretty great about life today. Geoff and I went to Comic Con last night, and it was the most fun I’ve had in a loooong time. I got to stand inside a Tardis, Geoff met R2D2, and we saw a huge variety of insane costumes, from Mary Poppins to a man in spandex American flag pants carrying a live snake. It was a totally new experience for me but super fun! Besides that, we’ve been having a blast this week with Abby on spring break, and I’m excited for Easter on Sunday. If you’re looking for an awesome Easter dessert, look no further… these vanilla cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream are divine!

I know I’ve posted several vanilla cupcake recipes on this blog in the past, but this one is truly my favorite. The cupcakes are perfect every time I make them, the texture is amazing, and they work well with lots of toppings and fillings. I’ve been doing some baking for friends lately, and this is always the recipe I choose because it’s so reliably perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better cupcake!

The strawberry buttercream, though… holy hannah it is delicious! The fresh strawberry flavor is amazing and makes the cupcakes taste so sweet and springy. It’s a perfect complement to the sweet and fluffy cupcakes!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

for the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cold, cut into small cubes
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk (I used skim, and it worked fine)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

for the frosting:
2 sticks butter, softened
pinch of salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberries, pureed to make about 3 tablespoons puree

Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl or a the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup, and add about half of the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Beat until well blended and smooth. Add the other half of the milk mixture, and beat until smooth. Fill paper liners 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the salt and powdered sugar, until combined. Add the vanilla and strawberry puree and beat until light and fluffy.

Cupcakes from this recipe and frosting adapted from Mikey’s in My Kitchen

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  1. Mine usually dome just a little but not a full dome. I have noticed them being flatter when my butter is softer. I try to keep all the ingredients as cold as possible and that helps with the texture and fluffiness. The good news is that they taste good either way. 🙂

  2. they look beautiful and love the fresh strawberry addition, I just don't see the point in using skim milk, if it's to reduce the fat it's meaningless compared to the one cup of butter or any kind of fat in the cupcakes, and skim milk almost has no nutrition at all, it's a waste of a natural good product is all I'm saying.

  3. I agree, whole milk would be better in these cupcakes, but skim milk was all I had on hand. I don't drink a lot of milk anyway, but I like the taste of skim milk better than 2% or whole milk, so that's what I usually have in the house.

  4. These are, hands down, the best cupcakes I've ever tasted. Obviously, the strawberry buttercream is the star, but the cake is THE BEST vanilla cake I've ever made. My dad and daughter request vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream every year for their birthday. Have you ever baked this batter as a cake? I'm going to have to try it, because this knocked my go-to recipe out of the line up! Thanks for sharing!

  5. YUM! I made the cupcakes a few weeks ago and they were sooo yummy. I was disappointed in how flat they were, but the second batch (with cooler butter, as you mentioned above in the comments) worked out better. Either way, they tasted amazing!

    Quick question: How long do you think the icing would last in the fridge? Making a different cake for this Sunday and I think this icing would be great. I'd love to get the icing out of the way ahead of time. Just worried about the fresh fruit…Maybe I could freeze it?


  6. Alicia, I just want you to know that this is my favorite cupcake recipe of all time. They taste amazing and they turn out perfectly shaped every time. That's coming from a pastry chef 😉 Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

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