Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a fun day planned with lots of food, fireworks and fun with friends and family. If you’re looking for a last-minute dessert for today and have some strawberries in the fridge, these cupcakes are it. I honestly had never given strawberry cupcakes a thought up until a couple of years ago. My Chief Culinary Consultant and I ventured into Georgetown for an afternoon of cupcake hopping. After waiting in an insanely long line during one of the hottest days of the summer in D.C. for some Georgetown Cupcakes, we went off the beaten path and made our way to Baked and Wired. I chose a red velvet cupcake while my CCC went for the strawberry cupcake, which was noted as the bestseller on the menu. My red velvet was fabulous, but after one bite of his strawberry, I immediately regretted my decision. It was fabulous – a yellow cake with fresh strawberries in the batter and topped with beautiful pink buttercream. It’s taken me a couple of years, but I’ve finely baked up my own version and amped up with strawberry quotient even more!

My Chief Culinary Consultant proclaimed that this is the best cupcake I have ever made. That’s saying quite a bit, considering that the likes of chocolate salted caramel cupcakes, chocolate & peanut butter cupcakes, margarita cupcakes, pb&j cupcakes and many, many more have graced my kitchen. So what makes this cupcake so amazing? Two very important elements: An incredibly moist and light cake that’s loaded with tons of chopped fresh strawberries, and a strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream that is absolutely to die for.

I’ve seen Swiss meringue buttercream in many cookbooks and on tons of other blogs, but this was my very first time making it. To be perfectly honest, it always just seemed like a lot more work than was necessary for frosting. You can now consider me a total convert. This Swiss meringue buttercream is fluffy, has a light-as-air texture, isn’t overly sweet and completely melts in your mouth. The addition of pureed fresh strawberries makes it the perfect complement to the strawberry-studded cake beneath.

This recipe comes from the book Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, which I love, but have one complaint about – the bizarre number of cupcakes that each recipe yields. Never one or two dozen, but usually larger quantities. This recipe will make 34 cupcakes, which is perfect if you’re making them for a crowd or taking them to a party. If you need to size the recipe down, know that one dozen cupcakes is about 35% of the total recipe below. My suggestion would be to utilize weight measurements to make sure that you scale down accurately. Alternately (and probably an easier option, in my opinion), you can make and freeze both the cupcakes and the frosting (separately) and then thaw as many as you need when you’re ready.

My guess, though? You’re going to want to make sure you have a full batch of these on hand, because once you eat one, you’re not going to be able to stop!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Three year ago: Red, White and Blue Stained Glass Jello Stars
Four years ago: Classic White Bread

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

Yield: About 34 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


For the Cupcakes:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 egg white
1 cup whole milk
2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries

For the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream:
1½ cups fresh strawberries (about 8 ounces), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped
4 egg whites
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1½ cups unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature


1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Whisk together both flours, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and egg white, on at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour in two batches, alternating with the milk, and beating until well combined. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the chopped strawberries by hand.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to pans to wire racks to cool for 15 minutes; turn out the cupcakes onto the rack and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers before frosting.

5. Make the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream: Puree the strawberries in a food process or blender; set aside.

6. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

7. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

8. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, scrap down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and switch to the paddle attachment; continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Add the strawberry puree and beat until combined. Stir the frosting with a rubber spatula until the frosting is smooth. Keep the buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

9. Decorate the Cupcakes: Spread or pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

(Recipe source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)


153 Responses to “Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Ananya on July 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

    These look yummy! Happy Independence Day to you too!


  2. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on July 4, 2012 at 12:31 am

    These are beautiful, and look so tasty! I live in the DC area, and looove Baked and Wired. They’re definitely the best cupcakes I’ve tried here!


  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 4, 2012 at 1:08 am

    funny – I was just on Martha’s site tonite perusing her cupcakes and noticed many of her recipes make dozens! Hope there’s a party :)

    Seriously these look amazing!


  4. Kathryn on July 4, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Love all those strawberries! (And I have the same complaint about Martha and a couple of other books that I have. Who need that many cupcakes lying about and it’s far easier to scale up a recipe than scale it down!)


  5. Olga on July 4, 2012 at 4:51 am

    I LOVE Martha Stewart’s cupcake book! I made these a while ago and also got rave reviews! It did yield a crazy amount though. We both took a dozen to work each, and passed on to neighbors and family!

    I have to say I’m crazy about the cupcakes, but I might try to add a little strawberry jam to the icing next time- for that intense flavour?


  6. Katrina on July 4, 2012 at 6:23 am

    These are simply lovely! Yum!


  7. June g. on July 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

    These look so yummy! I’m glad you deviated, I find that those high profile places, usually do not live up to the hype:)


  8. miki on July 4, 2012 at 9:35 am

    this strawberry swiss meringue buttercream is my favorite!! it totally tastes like strawberry ice cream. absolutely delicious!!!


  9. Amy on July 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Thanks for posting that, going to bake those up. I can use that wonderful buttercream on so many things. I don’t mind the odd number (34) because looking at the ingredients, I’m guessing that measurement wise, this was the easiest for the average cook to yield. Likely this was done to be able to “bring up” the ingredients like 1 egg white to a reasonable measurement. It would be really hard to 1/2 an egg white if you wanted to only have close to a dozen. This takes the guess work out of modifying things like egg whites which can’t be cut down by a percentage.


  10. Laura Dembowski on July 4, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Yum! Strawberry cupcakes sound so good. I love Swiss meringue buttercream but find Italian meringue buttercream is even better. Have you ever tried making it? Happy Fourth :)


    • Michelle on July 4th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      I have not done Italian meringue buttercream; needs to be next on my list!


  11. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel on July 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Yum, I love strawberry cupcakes! Even from a box, it’s one of my favorite flavors. That buttercream looks to die for!


  12. Ashley on July 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Happy 4th to you, too! These cupcakes are adorable…


  13. Stephanie on July 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Wow, these look amazing. I could totally eat all 34! But maybe shouldn’t do so all at once.


  14. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on July 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Ok, I am going to have to give in and try this frosting. I have just written it off as too much work, for too long. Cupcakes look delicious!


  15. ATasteOfMadness on July 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    This is the most gorgeous cupcake I have seen all day! Perfect, I love it!


  16. Aly on July 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I can’t wait to make this for my husband. He loves strawberry cupcakes!


  17. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on July 5, 2012 at 6:53 am

    I need to try that strawberry meringue buttercream!


  18. Jenny on July 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Lovely! I’m planning on making strawberry daiquiri cupcake at the weekend, I might try your meringue buttercream on top.


  19. Chris on July 5, 2012 at 8:39 am

    It’s almost like you know I have leftover strawberries in my fridge! These look delicious!!


  20. Tracey on July 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

    This is one of my favorite cupcake recipes too! The frosting is seriously amazing! I echo your complaint about MS’s book – it drives me crazy always having to scale back her recipe so much.


  21. bridget {bake at 350} on July 5, 2012 at 10:28 am

    You know, I’ve been wanting to make strawberry cupcakes for the longest time. I think you’ve just given me the little push I needed. These sound heavenly!


  22. Courtney on July 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I love all your recipes. I am getting ready to make these today. I know they are going to be delicious, like everything else you make.


    • Kris on July 30th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      This isn’t actually “her” recipe. This is a Martha Stewart recipe. She credits her in the original post. I’m fairly certain it’s almost word for word from the Cupcakes book. I’ve become increasingly disappointed in the lack of original recipes being posted to Brown Eyed Baker. I prefer the recipes she develops herself.


      • SusieQ on January 7th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        I don’t mind BEB posting others recipes because she always gives the original source and because I know it’s going to be a great recipe since she’s tested it out.


  23. ally on July 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    michelle these are the prettiest little cupcakes i’ve ever seen… fabulous job as always!


  24. Riley on July 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Oh my goodness, that frosting is so pretty! These cupcakes look wonderful!


  25. Dora on July 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve made this recipe before and it’s an excellent strawberry cupcake :)


  26. Rougemaple on July 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    These cupcakes look delicious! And there is nothing like strawberries in a dessert: it’s fresh and it tastes Summer! Thanks for sharing, definitely a dessert to try!


  27. JulieD on July 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    These look so good! I have always wanted to try a meringue buttercream…a little scared though! You might just get me there!


  28. Nancy @ CouponClippingCook on July 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Boy do these ever look delish and so pretty too! I think I’m craving them now.


  29. DB-The Foodie Stuntman on July 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Looks delicious!


  30. Tracy {Pale Yellow} on July 7, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I adore Swiss Meringue Buttercreams! They are always so creamy and not too sweet! Beautiful cupcakes, love the pink!


  31. Kathy Gray on July 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I baked up a batch of these today, and they are so yummy! I was a little worried when I added the puréed strawberries to the meringue, because the texture got a little weird for a minute, but with a little elbow grease, it smoothed out. We’ll see what the workers at church say tomorrow, if I can keep my husband away from them until then!


  32. Amy on July 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Can I use the same recipe to bake a layer cake? If so, how long should I bake?


    • Michelle on July 24th, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Hi Amy, It should work, although I have not tried it. I would start checking the cakes around the 20-25 minute mark, but I couldn’t say for sure the exact baking time since I haven’t done it.


  33. Jennifer on July 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    I rushed to the supermarket right after seeing your recipe, but strawberry season already ended over here! Would it be possible to use frozen strawberries for this recipe? Any tips? I can’t wait to make these..


  34. charlotte Julienne on July 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    The photos are just lovely ……yum yum!


  35. Kat on July 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Michelle, I stumbled across your blog on google a while back and I have it bookmarked since. I love your blog and your gorgeous food photos. I have tried a couple of your sweet recipes in the past with the most recent one being the dark chocolate cupcakes (but I tried it with mocha buttercream instead of peanut butter). They tasted lovely and I got positive compliments with it. These strawberry cupcakes look divine and utterly mouthwatering!!! This definitely will be on my list to try next in a very near future! A small question: if I leave the frosted cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream out at room temp for a day, will the buttercream melt? Thank you for sharing the recipe!


    • Michelle on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Hi Kat, No, it shouldn’t melt as long as when you say room temperature you mean somewhere in the 70 to 75-degree range. If you don’t have air conditioning, then it’s very possible that they could start to melt.


  36. Mei-i @ gastronomic nomad on July 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    You are right! That IS a lot of work for a frosting. Maybe you should just come over and make it for me? 😉 Looks so delicious.


  37. Nealey @ Dixie Caviar on July 10, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Holy batman, I may have just tried to lick my computer screen. I’m always in search of the ultimate strawberry cupcake. Perhaps I have finally found it?


  38. Mandy on July 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with your selections at Baked and Wired… Not only do they have more varieties, but they are also double the size for the same price of that “other” place. Can’t wait to try this recipe!


  39. Nicole on July 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I just made these and mine seemed to turn out with more of a muffin density, did I do something wrong?? They’re still quite tasty, just not really what you expect when biting into a cupcake. Good thing this was my test batch before I make these for my brother’s wedding shower.


    • betty on July 22nd, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      mine did too, they were less cake-y thank i’d expected. In fact, they didn’t rise as much either and the fresh fruit in the batter sort of gave it that muffin taste too. The frosting was amazing, so I’ll probably do a vanilla cupcake with this frosting on the next round. Still pretty good, though.


    • Beth on April 7th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Did you ever figure out why your cupcakes turned out dense like a muffin?


  40. Andrea on July 14, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Someone already asked this, but I’ll ask it again. Do you think it would work with frozen strawberries (thawed)? Here in Seoul, fresh strawberries are about $5/lb right now, and the quality isn’t great. I would still like to make them, though.


    • Michelle on July 27th, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Andrea, I think that would be fine, just be sure to drain them well so any excess moisture is removed.


  41. betty on July 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    best. frosting. ever!


  42. Eryka on July 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Hi Michelle,
    I this was my first time making this frosting. Everything went well until I added the purée. The frosting became very liquidy I put it in the freezer hoping that it will thicken. What did I do wrong and can I fix it!!!! Thanks for your help


    • Michelle on July 28th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Hi Eryka, The meringue frosting can be tricky the first couple of times around because of its tendency to separate. Mine did too once I added the puree, but just keep really mixing and stirring and it will come back together.


    • Kris on July 30th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      I had the same problem the first time I made the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream and I think the main problem was that I added the puree way too quickly. A slow drizzle works well. I recently had a similar issue with some espresso meringue buttercream I was making. I could tell when I added the liquid (espresso) too quickly it would pull away from the bowl and start to get clumpy so I held off adding any more and let it whip back to the proper consistently, then slowly added more. My first batch of the strawberry meringue buttercream had to be thrown out as I couldn’t get it smooth after a good 30 minutes of whipping it. My second batch was glorious!


  43. erica on July 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I love your recipes. I tried the strawberry meringue buttercream and everything went wrong. My meringue would not get the peaks you were talking about. I wisked for 20 minutes. I finally added the strawberry puree to see what would happened and it got worse. Please help.


    • Michelle on July 29th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Erica, I’m wondering if perhaps there was just a little bit of yolk that got into your egg whites? If anything other than egg white gets in that bowl, it could keep it from ever getting peaks. This is a great post by Rosie over at Sweetapolita about making Swiss meringue – she has a completely step-by-step with photos that might be helpful:


  44. Aubrey on July 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I just made these and all I can say is WOW! They are so delicious. Light and sweet, not overly dense and rich. Perfect for summertime :) The buttercream was a lot of work, but totally worth it.


  45. Susan on July 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I am making these tomorrow evening to take to work for “Cupcake Wednesday”! I have been dying to make them since the recipe was posted (like almost everything else you post, hehe!). I really hope the icing comes out right! Oh and I actually am thrilled that it makes so many in 1 batch, more to share and no doubling the recipe like I had to do with the last ones I made, which were also to delish! :-)


    • Susan on July 31st, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Oh My!!!! All I cam say is Yum!


  46. Heather on August 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Hello, do you think this would work with raspberries? This sounds great but I’d like to make use of the very short raspberry season around here… thank you! Sounds delish!! Re the amount it makes, yeah that annoys me too but I’m getting a new upright freezer delivered tomorrow and it has a vented tray hanging beneath one of the glass ones which they said was for pizza but I’ll be using it to flash freeze baked goods. Can’t wait!!!!!!! Cause you know, otherwise I’d be forced to eat all 34 by myself…


    • Michelle on August 17th, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Heather, I don’t see why you couldn’t use raspberries in place of strawberries for this. Enjoy! And have fun with that new freezer, I’m jealous!


  47. Laura-Anne on August 15, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Hi, these cupcakes
    Look fabulous especially the buttercream. Just wondered if you knew the uk equivalent to cups either grms or ounces? And is all purpose flour same as plain flour here or self raising? Many thanks


    • Michelle on August 18th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Laura-Anne, I don’t know the conversions off the top of my head, but this weight chart should help with the ounces: All-purpose flour is definitely different than self raising flour. I assume it would be similar to plain flour, but I have never used plain flour. If that’s your general, all-around flour, then that’s what I would use.


  48. Martha on August 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I made these substituting buttermilk for the whole milk. They were fantastic!
    However, I could not make the frosting come out right. It was way too thin and gritty. The next batch I substituted with a whipped cream frosting thats made with cream cheese so it doesn’t melt away. The frosting uses no butter or shortening , just cream cheese, a little bit of powdered sugar, some vanilla and heavey whipped cream. Delicious! I wonder if you can substitute another fruit like peaches or even mangos for the strawberries?


    • Michelle on September 27th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Martha, I think mangoes would be great. Of course, any other type of berry would work too!


  49. Andrea on September 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Update: made the recipe with frozen strawberries (thawed). I used one package for the cake and one package for the frosting, and it turned out fine. This was my first time making a swiss meringue buttercream, and I have mixed feelings about it. When I tasted the buttercream on its own, I didn‘t care for it. It tasted more buttery than sweet to me, and I like sweet frostings. Paired with the cake, though, it was pretty good. I have another recipe that I am making today that calls for a swiss meringue buttercream, so I‘ll see if it grows on me.


  50. lizbeth on September 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    hi ive made this cupcake twice and its amazing!! but they seem to be more of like a muffin, what can i do to make it more moist?


    • Michelle on September 30th, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Lizbeth, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the cupcakes! Make sure that you don’t overmix the batter or overbake the cupcakes. It could also have something to do with how juicy your strawberries are (the more in-season the more plump and juicy, vs. drier berries).


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