Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

It is my boss’s birthday this week and I wanted to bring in something to celebrate. I mean, you kind of have to, right?!! I wasn’t exactly sure what time we would want to break into the cupcakes, so I didn’t want to make something that was too over-the-top in case we would be eating these earlier in the day (And it was good idea too because we ate them before having lunch). I opted for vanilla cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not if you are not the best baker, like myself. These cupcakes were a labor of love for me. First, I tried to make the cupcakes from scratch and for whatever reason, they tasted like cornbread, so I threw them out and had to start again. Except, I didn’t have much time so I went for Plan B…my doctored up cake mix recipe which is still totally delicious, by the way.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Then came the frosting. Oh, the frosting. I wanted to do a strawberry meringue buttercream, but after adding my puree to the mixture, the frosting just did not come together. Luckily I had powdered sugar on hand so that I was able to to just make some simple buttercream.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Despite my difficulties with these cupcakes, I was pretty happy with how these turned out. The cake is light and is perfectly moist. The fresh strawberry buttercream is definitely my favorite part though. It’s just magical and bursts with fresh strawberry flavor.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the strawberry buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree (about 1 1/2 cups hulled strawberries)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • milk (to thin out if needed)


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the cake mix to a large bowl. Stir in the flour. Make a well in the center and add in the eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, pudding, and the vanilla extract. Mix everything together until just combined.
  3. Divide the batter evenly amongst each baking cup. I prefer for my cupcakes to be larger, so I fill mine to just over 3/4 of the way full.
  4. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow for the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the strawberry buttercream frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and confectioner’s sugar.
  2. Pour in the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract and mix until the frosting is well-combined. If the frosting seems to thick, add some milk, one tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Spread or pipe the frosting on cooled cupcakes. If you are going to pipe the frosting, I recommend putting the frosting in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes first as this will make the piping easier.

Because I like my cupcakes to be larger, I get about 18 out of this recipe instead of the usual 24 that a box of cake mix typically yields.bu

All images and text ©

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Looking for a doctored chocolate cake mix recipe? Go here!



  1. I bet your boss will love them!! I love the freshness of the strawberries puree in the frosting. :)

  2. Mmmmmm…..your buttercream sounds amazing! And I LOVE your cupcake papers…makes such a beautiful presentation!

  3. Love the fresh strawberries in the buttercream frosting!

  4. So pretty!!! Looove the cupcake liners, too!

  5. I love the red flecks of strawberry puree in the frosting. These are so adorable and look absolutely delicious. Hard to imagine your boss not devouring these!

  6. I have two birthdays in my office tomorrow and I know these cupcakes would be a huge hit!!! I have to gather all the ingredients and make these! Yum!!

  7. These put the biggest smile on my face. Remind me when I was little when I wouldn’t eat anything but vanilla and strawberry :-)

  8. I seriously want to lick my computer screen and taste some of that frosting!! YUM!

  9. These lttle cupcakes are so adorably feminine and pretty! Lovely flavor and color!

  10. These are so beautiful…and I’m sure they tasted amazing. Baking mishaps can be such a pain, but it’s great when they turn out like this! Thank you for sharing another dose of inspiration. I hope you are having a great week and are staying warm.

  11. These looks so yummy. I love the pink and your liners are so cute!

  12. Yum! Strawberry buttercream–i’m sold!

  13. Oh my goodness – that frosting looks unbelievable! These sound completely wonderful! :)

  14. Oh my gosh, Steph–these cupcakes are gorgeous! And that strawberry buttercream.. just pass me a spoon and I’m good!

  15. These are so beautiful, I would be super pleased to be the recipient of such a goodie!! I’m sure your boss was smitten!

  16. Strawberry buttercream? I just had to wipe the drool from my face! Your boss is very lucky to have you. These sound amazing!

  17. Gorgeous! You’ll be sure to get some brownie points with your boss!

  18. Absolutely beautiful! No doubt your boss loved them!

  19. Strawberry cupcakes are my favorite, Stephanie! I love the way you did the frosting on these!

  20. gorgeous pictures, I once made strawberry cupcakes low fat and they were a disaster, these need to be full fat baby! love them.

  21. I need to make these and hide in my closet with the entire batch and eat them. Mine! All mineeeeee!!! They look wonderful, Stephanie

  22. These are gorgeous! I love that you can see the flecks of strawberry in the frosting!

    Thanks for linking up to What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  23. Just made the cupcakes with strawberry cake mix and followed your recipe for the rest – they are amazing! Light, moist and scrumptious! I can’t wait to make the frosting! How does this frosting stand up to room temp? I’m thinking of piping them dolluped in the middle but don’t want them to lose their shape when they’re out.

    • I’m so glad that you like the recipe, Nicole! As for the frosting, It will stand up okay if it is out for a few hours in room temperature. I like to stick my frosting in the fridge or the freezer for a little while after I mix it up as it makes it easier to pipe. Sometimes that helps it stand up nicer too.

  24. Thanks for the tip, they turned out beautifully! And the frosting is phenomenal. Just phenomenal. I made it for a bake sale tomorrow and I know they’ll be a hit! That is, if I don’t eat them all tonight

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  28. Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh? Also, does it matter what kind of vanilla cake mix? French or golden?

    • Hi Lisa, I really recommend fresh over frozen, but you can use frozen. I would make sure they are completely thawed first though. If the frosting seems a little watery, you can add more powdered sugar. As for the cake mix, either is fine.

  29. I love your cupcakes! Can you make a gluten free version?

  30. is sour cream required?

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