The Ultimate Strawberry Cupcake with White Chocolate Buttercream

by Amy

 I have been meaning to make this recipe ever since I received the Summer 2011 issue of The Baking Sheet, King Arthur Flour’s newsletter. I’ve been searching for the perfect strawberry cupcake recipe and I’ve tried several, but haven’t found one I truly love.

All of the recipes I’ve tried call for fresh or frozen strawberries or strawberry puree, which I adore, but the problem I most often have is that the cupcakes tend to turn a bit grey when baked.  Not the most appetizing looking cupcake, if you ask me.  This recipe definitely takes away the grey factor and brings in the pink factor, as you can see from the photo.  No food coloring was added to these babies!

If you are looking for a moist and delicious cupcake to satisfy your strawberry sweet tooth, this is your recipe.  I paired mine with a scrumptious white chocolate buttercream frosting.  It was perfect and complimented the cupcakes well.  It was light and creamy and didn’t overpower the strawberry flavor of the cupcakes.  And to make them even more decadent, I added a white chocolate and milk chocolate dipped strawberry, for The Ultimate Strawberry Cupcake!

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Strawberry Cupcakes

February 11th, 2012


2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup strawberry Nesquik powder
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup strawberry applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)


Preheat oven to 350°.  Line 28 muffin cups with cupcakes liners.  Set aside.  Combine the flour, sugar, strawberry Nesquik, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk to remove any lumps.  Next, add the softened butter and mix until mixture becomes crumbly.  Increase the speed of the mixer and continue to mix until the crumbs start to cling together.  The mixture may or may not completely combine to form a paste and that's okay.  Mine did not.

Add the eggs and egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, being sure to scrape the bowl as you work.  Next, beat in the sour cream, applesauce, and vanilla.  Mix until fluffy, but do not over mix.

Using a medium to large cookie scoop, place batter into lined muffin tins.  Bake in 350° oven for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from cupcake pan.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Once cooled, frost with white chocolate buttercream and top with chocolate covered strawberry, if desired.

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Adapted from
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
6 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  I use 30 second intervals at 50% power and my chocolate is usually melted in about a minute.  Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the cooled white chocolate and mix until frosting is smooth and creamy.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour's, The Baking Sheet

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Lannie February 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

one word: YES

other words: this needs to happen in my life right away. chocolate covered strawberries might be the best invention ever, and then to have a cupcake to devour afterwards?? insanity. this looks great!


Eve February 13, 2012 at 9:45 am

Ooooo this looks yummy. I’ve never seen a strawberry cupcake with both nesquik and applesauce in it before. I bet it really ups the anty!

And that buttercream looks divine. This one’s definitely dangerous. I highly doubt it would make it to the cupcakes with me around hehe.


– Eve


Amy February 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I hadn’t either, but was intrigued! They really were very moist and delicious and everyone who tried them loved them! And they were so perfectly pink!


Lorraine February 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm

WOW..These are beautiful!!! Does the Nesquick take you back to when you were a little girl and drank ONLY strawberry milk??? I remember those days well :).


Amy February 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Yes! I’ve been trying really hard not to drink it. 🙂 Good thing I learned to like plain milk! Love you Mom!!!


Melissa April 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Do you think this would work as a cake?


Amy April 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Absolutely. The original recipe was actually a cake, so it would definitely work. Happy Baking!


Mar August 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

This is a must try, will try with the nesquick but wondering if there is something that could be improvise..

Guess will be the secret ingredient.


Ana September 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I want to make these for a dinner party. But I don’t have the time to bake them on the day. So I was thinking of making the cakes 2 days before and also icing them complete with the chocolate covered strawberry.

Do you think this would keep? Also how should I store them, in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge?



Amy September 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Hi Ana,
Unfortunately, I don’t think fully decorating them ahead of time will work. The leftovers I had began to weep and it really compromised their overall appearance. (This was due to the chocolate covered strawberries.) Here are a few suggestions for you though: The cupcakes can be baked and frozen ahead of time. I would opt for this and just take them out to thaw 30-45 minutes before you plan to decorate them. Next, you could also make your frosting ahead of time and just keep it in the refrigerator. You will need to allow it to come to room temperature before you try to frost the cupcakes as it will become very firm in the refrigerator. (You could frost the cupcakes the day before your party and I think they would still be fine.)
As far as the strawberries go, I would probably only dip them the night before your party and add them to the cupcakes the same day you want to serve them. Mine wept juice out onto the frosting the next day…I’m sorry, I can’t remember if they were in an airtight container on the counter or in the refrigerator. (My guess would be the counter, but I’m not 100% on that.) Regardless, for the best look of your cupcakes, I would wait to add them until the day of the party and probably only a few hours ahead, if at all possible. Hope this helps!


Tanya October 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I tried these cupcakes and they were wonderful!! I did change one thing though. Instead of using strawberry nesquick I used strawberry Jell-o a 3oz package to give it more of a pink color and I did use a 1/2 c of pureed strawberries instead of the apple sauce.


Amy October 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Mmmm…sounds delicious! I’ll have to try your version too! 🙂


Olga February 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

OMG! I made them yesterday and they turned SUPER DELICIOUS!!! I never made cupcakes in my life nor was i a big fan of them. I am originally from Russia and we dont have these treats over there. I am going to a big party next week so i was thinking to make strawberries cupcakes to bring some freshness of summer to it. So i found ur recipe and tried my first draft. And it was perfect! My boyfriend who is american said that it was the best cupcake he ever tried! And he is not my best fan of my cooking:)
First i thought that the frosting was the way too much but when i put everything together and i had the first i realized that from that very moment strawberry cupcake is one of my favorite desserts!
I dint change anything in a recipe and did everything you said. I even made those strawberries dipped in chocalate:)
Thank you, Amy! Cant wait to try more of your recipes. Like old fashioned peach cobbler:)
Have a good day!


Amy February 7, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I’m so glad you liked them, Olga! 🙂 It’s always fun to try new recipes, so I’m glad you took the plunge to try these cupcakes! 🙂 Happy baking! 🙂


Liz June 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I can’t wait to make these!! Do you use salted or unsalted butter for the icing? I’ve seen it done both ways.


Amy June 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

I always use unsalted butter. That way I can control the salt content in my recipes. Thanks for stopping by!


Rena June 12, 2013 at 8:06 am

These look so good. I tried just the frosting because I didn’t read the blog and didn’t realize this was a cake recipe at first. I needed a cake for my sister’s wedding shower. The frosting is out of this world! Thank you. Now for my question, I have a request to make a b-day cake and was going to make this one. Is there a way to get the frosting an extra white color? I know you can use clear vanilla but aside from that I am lost at how to do this!


Amy June 13, 2013 at 7:30 am

Hi Rena,
You are correct in using the clear vanilla, that will definitely help. Whenever I’m asked to make a cake that I need true white frosting for, I always use white shortening and butter flavored extract. If you use real butter, you will get an off-white color, even when using the clear vanilla. The flavor is a little different, but it’s a little more sturdy, especially in warm weather. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very tasty, but it will taste different.
Another option you have is to add white food coloring to your buttercream frosting. And yes, they make white food coloring. 🙂 I’ve not done this with the white chocolate buttercream frosting, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t help. I use it in my royal icing each time I make it and it helps develop a nice bright white color. I use Americolor brand and love it. You can find it at amazon.
Hope that helps!!!


Shelby October 2, 2013 at 10:42 am

How many cupcakes does this recipe make?


Amy October 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

When I made it, I ended up with 28 cupcakes. I know it’s an odd number, but if you fill your tins just a bit more, you could probably get 24 safely.


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