Light, fluffy, super moist Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream. With the perfect cupcake crumb and super creamy strawberry frosting – you’ll absolutely love these cupcakes.
Ok – Who likes cupcakes?
Scratch that. Who loves cupcakes? Fluffy, light, super moist vanilla cupcakes topped with delicious buttercream? Delicious creamy buttercream made with fresh strawberries that pairs perfectly with vanilla? Cupcakes that look so pretty they belong in a bakery case?
No seriously – everyone will love these cupcakes. You cannot not love these cupcakes. They have the perfect flavor combo for summer, the fluffiest cupcake texture and the softest crumb. Then the buttercream… Oh my. This is not that artificial, too sweet, fake strawberry icing – just completely creamy, smooth buttercream bursting with fresh strawberries.
Yup – you’re going to love them.
So what makes these cupcakes so delicious?
First, for the light, fluffy and super moist texture. To make the cupcakes fluffy, you’ll need to really beat the butter and sugar together – after you’re done creaming they should be almost white in color. Then, you’ll only uses egg whites to up the light & fluffiness even more.
Milk AND yogurt make your cupcakes super soft and moist. I’d recommend using 2% or whole milk for a more creamy & moist cupcake, skim won’t quite cut it. And be careful if using 0% fat yogurt. Yogurt with 0% fat often contains lots of gelatin which will change your cupcake texture – so just read your ingredient list to be sure gelatin is near the bottom.
And finally… Cake flour. Cake flour helps create that soft crumb and adds more lightness. If you don’t have cake flour on hand (which lets face it… I often don’t), you can make your own using all-purpose flour and cornstarch – see the notes in the recipe for details. Problem solved.
Now, for the delicious buttercream – this is where it gets a little tricky. Making the buttercream isn’t hard – but it does require a few extra steps than other recipes. I have a whole post with tips on how to make fresh strawberry buttercream frosting. But here’s the main things you need to know.
- Because we’re using fresh strawberries, we need to be careful that not too much liquid from the strawberries gets in the buttercream or it gets too thin. So, first you’ll process the strawberries in a blender or food processor and then boil them down to make a strawberry syrup.
- The syrup should be thick – almost jam like in consistency.
- Once cooled, the syrup is whipped into the buttercream to give you the creamiest, strawberry-est buttercream. Make sure that the syrup is fully cooled to room temperature before adding it into the buttercream. If it’s even lukewarm -it’s too hot. (I’m currently dreaming of more ways to use this buttercream – because seriously, it’s deadly – so stay tuned!)
And once your cupcakes are cooled, frost away! I used a piping bag and star-shaped frosting tip – but feel free to spread it on with a knife. (Psst…. they will taste exactly the same).
Oh… And how delicious they will taste! Strawberry & vanilla in delicious, fluffy cupcake form – Yup, you’re going to love them!
Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream
For the Cupcakes
- 1 and 1/3 cup cake flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt , to taste
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulsated sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt , room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk , 2% or whole preferred
For the Strawberry Buttercream
- 1 and 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter , slightly softened
- 2 1/2 to 3 and 1/2 cups icing sugar , sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream depending on consistency
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a 12-cavity muffin pin with cupcake papers. I got 14 cupcakes total.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Continue beating and add in the egg whites and vanilla (another 30 seconds).
- Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in the yogurt.
- Mix in the flour mixture with the electric mixer on low speed, followed by the milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the lined muffin cavities - filling each about two thirds of the way full. I ended up with 14 cupcakes total.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove the cupcakes and continue cooling on a wire rack.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, you can start making the frosting. Process the strawberries in a blender or food processor until no lumps remain. Put the sauce through a wire sieve to remove the seeds.
- Then transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the granulated sugar, and allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil while stirring.
- Allow the sauce to boil for 10-15 minutes and reduce to about 1/3 of the original volume. Remove from the heat and cool in the fridge or freezer.
- In a large bowl using a hand held or stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Slowly add about 2 cups of the icing sugar and continue beating until combined.
- Beat in 3-4 tablespoons of the cooled strawberry sauce. Make sure your strawberry sauce is cold before adding it to the buttercream.
- Beat in the vanilla and the rest of the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until the desired sweetness & thickness is reached. If the icing seems too thick, add in a tablespoon of whipping cream.
- Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag or by spreading the icing with an icing spatula.