How cute are these Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes? These lemon cupcakes are made with fresh lemon juice and an easy strawberry buttercream frosting.
Aren’t these strawberry lemonade cupcakes really cute? They are like strawberry lemonade in cupcake form!
These summer-themed strawberry lemonade cupcakes are absolutely delicious and pretty. I think these would be great for any occasion, especially baby showers, bridal showers, engagement parties…you name it!
The base is a moist lemon cupcake made with fresh lemon juice and yogurt. It’s decorated with an easy strawberry buttercream frosting made with freeze-dried strawberries.
Let me show you how to make these strawberry lemonade cupcakes! Read on!
Ingredients You’ll Need
There are two parts to making these strawberry lemonade cupcakes: the cupcake base and the strawberry frosting.
For the lemon cupcakes, you’ll need:
- Flour: All-purpose flour works great.
- Baking soda and baking powder: The leavening agents. These will also give them a beautiful golden brown color.
- Salt: To bring out the flavors.
- Vegetable oil: Using oil instead of butter will result in more “separated” crumbs, which are great for texture.
- Granulated sugar: For sweetness.
- Eggs: For structure.
- Vanilla extract: For flavor.
- Greek yogurt: For moisture and richness.
- Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest: For amazing lemon flavors!
For the strawberry buttercream frosting, you’ll need:
- Freeze-dried strawberries: Dried strawberries, instead of fresh, will prevent the frosting from getting too soggy or curdled. More details below!
- Unsalted butter: Make sure it’s softened to room temperature.
- Confectioner’s sugar: For sweetness.
- Heavy cream: For moisture and richness.
- Vanilla extract: Flavor.
- Salt: A pinch.
It’s best to use the frosting immediately so you get that fluffy and creamy texture.
You can also make it ahead and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to use, let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes and then beat it again, adding a little bit more heavy cream as needed. This will make it fluffy and creamy again.
Let’s Make Them!
Both the lemon cupcake base and the strawberry frosting can be made ahead. If you make them all the same day, allow about 2 hours for the cupcakes to cool completely.
The Lemon Cupcakes
These yellow lemon cupcakes are so moist, tender, and full fo bright flavors. I use Greek yogurt for moisture. For lemon flavors, I use both freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest.
To make the lemon cupcake base, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the rest of the ingredients in another bowl. Then, combine both, and fill the prepared muffin tins with the batter 2/3 of the way through. Pretty basic process for making cupcakes.
Quick tip! Make sure you fill with the batter 2/3 of the way through. If they are too full, you may get those unwanted mushroom tops or even sunken centers.
The Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Making strawberry frosting can get tricky sometimes when you use strawberry puree, which makes it too wet.
Luckily, there is something called freeze-dried strawberries, which provides delicious strawberry flavors. Freeze-dried strawberries are basically dried strawberries with all the moisture removed. They taste amazing and provide color, flavor, and stability to strawberry buttercream frosting. I learned this trick from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
To make the strawberry frosting, all you have to do is pulverize the freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor. Then, on medium to high speed, beat it with confectioner’s sugar, unsalted butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt until creamy and fluffy.
Assemble the Cupcakes
Time to assemble the strawberry lemonade cupcakes! After the lemon cupcakes have cooled down and all that, make the strawberry buttercream frosting and decorate them as you wish!
I used an extra large piping tip, and then garnished them strawberry and lemon slices. You can also top it with whole strawberries (small ones), or oven colorful paper straws!
Why Use Freeze-Dried Strawberries for the Frosting
First of all, what are freeze-dried strawberries? Like its name says, they are slices of ripe strawberries that go through the freeze drying process. This process removes moisture from the fruit very quickly.
So then, what you get is dried ripe strawberries, which are perfect for buttercream frosting because they provide natural strawberry flavors and color without making it too wet.
Plus, I love eating freeze-dried strawberries as snacks! They are healthy and delicious. I used Natierra’s brand of organic freeze-dried strawberries.
I love these strawberry lemonade cupcakes so much! Not only are they beautiful, but also super delicious. Pretty much, strawberry lemonade in cupcake form. So fun!
More fun cupcake recipes:
Thank you for stopping by, and happy baking!
Tips for Success
- Fill the pan with the batter only 2/3 of the way through. This way, you will get the perfect height as they rise. For cupcakes, you want the top to stay a bit flat rather than a dome.
- For the strawberry buttercream frosting, use freeze-dried strawberries. You can find it online or in the dried fruit section in the grocery store.
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries (see note below)
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Strawberry slices
- Lemon slices
Make the lemon cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, evenly combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients: vegetable oil, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, until just combined and no pockets of flour remain. Do not overmix.
- Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners (you will get 14 cupcakes, and a standard muffin pan fits 12). Pour the batter in the prepared muffin pan, filling only 2/3 of the way. Note: it is important to fill them 2/3 of the way through in order to get the right height.
- Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a cooling rack (remove them from the pan about 10 minutes after they come out of the oven). It takes about 2 hours for cooling.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- After they have cooled completely, make the frosting: In a food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries until it becomes like powder. Set aside.
- With a handheld or a stand mixer, beat the softened butter for about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy.
- Reduce to low speed, and mix in the confectioner's sugar, the powdered strawberries, heavy cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until combined.
- Increase to high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. If too thick, add another tablespoon of heavy cream or until desired consistency.
Assemble and decorate:
- Decorate the cupcakes with the frosting. I used an extra large piping tip. You can also garnish with slices of lemon and strawberries. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: muffin pans, cupcake liners, handheld or stand mixer, food processor.
- Remember to fill the cupcake batter only 2/3 of the way through in order to achieve the right height. If they are too full, you’ll get those unwanted mushroom tops.
- Make-ahead strawberry buttercream frosting: It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. When ready to use, let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes, and then mix it a few times so it’s not so stiff. If needed, add a little bit more heavy cream.
- Make-ahead: You can make the lemon cupcake and the frosting base 1-2 days in advance. Assemble the day of.
- Strawberry frosting recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.