Best Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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I used to mix strawberry shortcakes with strawberry cakes in my head all the time. It turns out they’re totally different ball games! Strawberry shortcakes have a much simpler flavor profile with totally distinct layers. 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

But they are yummy anyway, and my kids have been nagging me to try them out in cupcake form. I was like, “Yeah, why not?”. So here we go! 

Why The Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe Makes Us Go Crazy

  • Remember carefree summer days of picnics and celebrations we loved dearly back when we were small? Imagine all that nostalgia packed into a convenient cupcake at your fingertips. They’re like a little slice of fond childhood memories you can enjoy anytime, anywhere, and trust me, they don’t even take that much space!
  • You’ve got this soft, cakey cupcake base begging to be devoured. You bite into it, and boom! Here comes the burst of juicy strawberries, perfectly balanced by a creamy frosting or whipped cream at the top. A true flavor bomb! 
  • There are countless options to jazz them up, too: vanilla frosting, cream cheese, you name it. Or maybe — you know — toss in some fresh blueberry or raspberry cake filling? Just get as wild as can be! 
  • They are not just yummy, you see. These guys are also total showstoppers! The vibrant red strawberries sit so prettily on top with a dollop of frosting, stealing the show at any gathering, be it a potluck, picnic, or birthday bash. 
  • As tasty as they are on their own, why not take things to the next level? Pair them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and boom, there’s your sundae-inspired dessert! And if you’re feeling thirsty, nothing’s better than a strawberry shortcake cupcake washed down with lemonade or iced tea. Ahh, pure bliss for cupcake lovers! 

How To Make Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Some ingredients we will need:

  • Fresh, diced strawberries: Grab about 4 cups, roughly 600 to 640 grams.
  • Granulated sugar: It will sweeten up your berry filling just right!
  • Cornstarch and water: Do not forget them; we’re using cornstarch to thicken the filling and make a smooth “slurry”!
  • Lemon zest and salt: Lemon zest adds a pop of brightness to the flavor. Don’t forget a pinch of salt to balance things out.
  • All-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder: I use all-purpose flour as the base for my cupcake batter, then add baking soda and baking powder for that perfect lift.
  • Butter and egg whites: Don’t use softened butter. I go for melted instead to make the buttery flavor shine through. The egg whites give the cupcakes a light, fluffy texture we all adore! 
  • Sour cream and milk: Keeps everything moist and yummy. Plain yogurt also works if you’re out of sour cream.
  • Vanilla bean extract or paste: Both are fantastic, but I think the paste adds a bit more pizzazz. 

Make Strawberry Filling

Step 1.

First thing first, let’s start with your strawberry filling!

Grab a fork and a bowl. Whisk the cornstarch with water until it’s all dissolved and you’ve got a nice, thick mixture. 

Now, toss your strawberries into a saucepan at medium heat and add a bit of sugar. Give everything a super good stir as it heats up, and feel free to mash up some of those strawberries while you’re at it!

make Strawberry

Step 2. 

Once it starts simmering, pour in our earlier cornstarch mixture. Keep stirring and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then take it off the heat and whisk in some lemon zest for extra zing. 

Step 3. 

Now, hear me out: let it cool down completely. You’ll end up with around 2 ½ cups (about 680 g) of delicious strawberry filling, and trust me, it’ll thicken up real nice as it chills. But if you’re in a rush, just pop it into the fridge to speed up the process. 

While it’s still busy cooling down, let’s move on to the other stages of my baking recipe! 

Make Cupcakes

Step 4.

Time to start your oven! Set it to 350°F (or 177°C), then grab two 12-cup pans to line them up with cute cupcake liners. 

Oh, and a heads-up, this recipe makes about 30 servings, so line up 6 more liners if you’ve got another pan! No? No biggie. You can just bake them in batches. 

Step 5. 

Now, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then give it a good mix and set aside.

Let’s work on our wet ingredients in another bowl: mix the butter with sugar until it feels gritty. Then stir in some egg whites, milk, sour cream, and a little vanilla bean extract or paste until everything blends together like a dream. 

And here comes the fun part: pour your wet ingredients over the dry ones, and again, mix until smooth and creamy. Don’t worry if you see some small lumps; we’re still on the right track! 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes batter

Step 6. 

It’s time to fill your cupcake liners! Just make sure you don’t go overboard— I usually fill them about ⅔ full. There should be just the right amount of batter for all 30 moist cupcakes! 

Next, let’s put our babies in the oven and bake them for about 20 to 22 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the middle; if it comes out mostly clean, you’re golden!

Step 7.

Leave your fluffy cupcakes to cool in their pan for about 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling wire rack to chill completely. And yes, I mean COMPLETELY; we’re talking room temperature here, my friends.

Sure, you can start thinking about how to fill and top them once they’re nice and chilled out. But for now, just sit back and enjoy the lovely smell wafting through your kitchen corner! 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes baking

The Finishing Touches

Filling The Cupcakes

How To Make Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Step 8. 

First things first, set aside a cup of strawberry filling for later. We’ll need it for our cream topping! 

Now, grab a knife and cut a little circle into the middle of each cupcake. We’re making a small pocket here, more or less than 1 inch deep. That piece you take out will look like a cone.

Step 9.

Spoon the thickened, cooled strawberry filling into each of those pockets. I often use my little teaspoon to fit 1 to 2 teaspoons of strawberry filling. Then, grab the cone-shaped piece you just cut out earlier, slice off its pointy end, and gently place that round piece back atop the filling. Tada! Your baked cakes are now filled and looking more delicious than ever. 

Making Whipped Cream

Step 10. 

Do you have a stand mixer with a whisk attachment? Or just a hand mixer? Great, let’s put it to work! Whip up heavy cream, vanilla bean extract/paste, and sugar at medium-high speed until you see the medium peaks forming (usually takes me 3 to 4 minutes). 

The peaks should look just right – not too soft or stiff. But what if you accidentally go a bit overboard and end up with curdled-looking cream? Don’t fret; I’ve been there before. I would just pour in some extra heavy, cold cream and gently fold it with my spatula until everything smoothed out. 

Step 11.

Now that our whipped cream finally looks all dreamy, fold in that remaining cup of filling (the one we set aside in Step 8, remember?) Mix it all up until nicely combined.

Now, you can use it right away to top your cupcakes! But if you do not feel quite ready yet, just cover it up tight and pop into the fridge for 24 hours, tops. 

Step 12.

Let’s get our cupcakes all dolled up! I usually use my icing spatula (though a knife also does the trick just fine) and pile the cream on nice and high.

Go ahead, get wild with it! If you end up with some leftovers, no worries; you can always save them for later or add more to the cupcakes. 

Step 13.

My final secret to making the cupcakes really pop: garnish them with strawberry slices and maybe a sprig of fresh mint. Trust me, it’s like the cherry on top — but even better! 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes final
easy Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes


Have you already baked a batch and want to keep it fresh before adding frosting and filling? Go for it! Just cover them up and leave them at room temp for about a day. 

Frosted and filled cupcakes must be kept cool until just before serving. Also, bad news if you’re using strawberries: their juices might seep into the cake when sitting there too long. So, hold off on adding extra berries until you’re JUST about to dig in. Trust me on this! 


My Cupcakes Aren’t Rising Enough. What When Wrong?

After combining the wet and dry ingredients, do NOT overmix the cupcake batter unless you want to see your cupcake turn tough and dense. Whisk until they are just blended, then stop. 

Can I Use Frozen Strawberries In The Filling?

Totally! Just be sure to thaw them completely and drain any excess liquid before using them in your baking project. 

Have fun with all your amazing cupcakes!

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Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake Recipe

These little pockets of joy are perfect for all summer parties. Their classic vanilla bean flavor mingles so well with fluffy whipped cream and luscious strawberry filling, bringing a slice of heaven into every bite!
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Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 30 Cupcakes
Calories: 257kcal
Author: Brenda Maher


Strawberry Filling For Shortcake

  • 3 tablespoons (22 g) cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons (46 ml) warm water
  • 4 cups (about 600 g) diced strawberries
  • 12 tablespoons (150 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest


  • 3 ⅓ cups (418 g) spooned and leveled all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) cooled, melted, unsalted butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup (120 g) plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml) whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean extract or paste

Whipped Cream

  • 3 cups (720 ml) heavy whipping cream or cold heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons (76 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract or paste
  • Reserved 1 cup of strawberry filling
  • For garnish: fresh mint and strawberry slices (optional)


Fresh Strawberry Cupcake Filling:

  • Dissolve cornstarch in water and mix with strawberries and sugar in a saucepan.
  • Simmer, then add lemon zest and cool completely. Yields around 2 ½ cups (680 g).


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and line cupcake pans.
  • Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt), then mix wet ingredients in another medium bowl (butter, sugar, egg whites, milk, sour cream, and vanilla extract). Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  • Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling The Cupcakes:

  • Set aside a cup of strawberry filling (to use for whipped cream later). Cut a hole in each cupcake and fill each hole with the remaining strawberry filling.
  • Put back the cake piece you just removed.

Making Whipped Cream:

  • Whip heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar until you see medium peaks forming. Fold in the cup of strawberry filling reserved earlier.
  • Use right away or refrigerate for no more than 24 hours.

Finishing Touches:

  • Top your strawberry filled cupcakes with whipped cream. Garnish with strawberry slices and mint sprigs if desired.


  • Freshly baked, unfrosted cupcakes can be kept at room temperature for about a day if covered.
  • Frosted and filled cupcakes should be refrigerated until just before serving.
  • Strawberry juices may seep into the cake if sitting there too long, so add the berries just before eating.


Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.5g | Protein: 3.1g | Fat: 7.7g | Saturated Fat: 4.7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 1794mg | Potassium: 749mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24.3g | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 1mg
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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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