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Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake

These strawberry lemonade cupcakes taste just like summer! They have the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and are packed with strawberry flavor.

They’re made with moist lemon cupcakes, strawberry jam filling, and a deliciously tart strawberry lemon buttercream.

image of strawberry lemonade cupcakes decorated with a little lemon slice and cute heart shaped strawberry slice

They’re garnished with a cute little lemon slice and a heart shaped piece of strawberry.

This recipe is now a summer staple for me, and hopefully you’ll feel the same way about it 🙂

Marbling this Frosting with Strawberry Jam

I really wanted these strawberry lemonade cupcakes to burst with flavor, so I decided to coat the inside of my piping bag with strawberry jam before filling it up with buttercream.

It gives each frosting swirl a beautiful marbled look, and makes each cupcake look so delicious!

This step is totally optional, but it’s a fun way to mix things up and give these cupcakes such a fun finished look.

image of strawberry buttercream made with strawberry jam

Substitutions and Swaps – Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:

  • Granulated sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of the cupcakes.
  • Fresh lemon juice & zest – You can also use 1 tsp of lemon extract in its place in the frosting and cupcake batter. However, the flavor won’t be quite as strong or bright. I also don’t recommend using bottled lemon juice!
  • All purpose flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a cup for cup gluten free flour blend if needed.
  • Sour cream – You can also use full fat yogurt, buttermilk, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat, etc.) if you’re dairy free.
  • 1 large egg – If you don’t have eggs on hand or you have an egg allergy you can use a vegan egg replacer instead.
image of strawberry buttercream frosting made with strawberry jam
  • Melted butter – You can also use any flavorless oil in the cupcake portion of this recipe like canola or sunflower oil! I advise against olive oil because of its strong flavor. Be sure to use room temperature butter to make the frosting though!
  • Seedless strawberry jam – It’s important that you use seedless jam or jelly in this recipe! It ensure the frosting turns our smooth and makes it a lot easier to pipe.
  • Unsalted butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!

Tips for Making the Best Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes:

  • Be sure to properly measure your flour (fluff and level with a knife or use a scale).
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Use a cookie scoop to easily fill your cupcake liners and make sure they all have the same amount of batter.
  • Bang your cupcake pan on the counter before putting it in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface.
  • To really pack these cupcakes with strawberry flavor, fill them with your favorite strawberry jam.
  • Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam inside your piping bag before filling it with frosting. It’ll give your frosting swirls even more delicious strawberry flavor.
image of strawberry buttercream made with jam being piped onto a lemon cupcake
  • Use a large round piping tip to frost large swirls on top of these cupcakes! I used an Ateco 807 to frost these.
  • To make gluten free strawberry lemonade cupcakes, swap in your favorite GF flour blend for the AP flour in this recipe. Be sure to give your batter some extra stir time (helps give GF baked goods proper structure) and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.
  • Use a large round piping tip to frost large swirls on top of these cupcakes! I used an Ateco 807 to frost these.
  • To make gluten free strawberry lemonade cupcakes, swap in your favorite GF flour blend for the AP flour in this recipe. Be sure to give your batter some extra stir time (helps give GF baked goods proper structure) and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.
  • This frosting recipe makes enough to pipe large swirls like the pictures. If you prefer less frosting, feel free to cut the frosting recipe in half.
  • Top you cupcakes with a tiny lemon slice and a little strawberry heart to make them look just as amazing as they taste.
image of a strawberry lemonade cupcake being garnished with a cute little heart shaped strawberry cutout

Making these Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes in Advance & Storage Tips:

You can make these cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted and unfilled in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.

These cupcakes can also last up to 3 months in the freezer. If you plan to freeze them, wait to fill and frost them until they’re thawed.

You can also make your frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Be sure to give the frosting a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container, but I find frosting and filling them right before serving is best.

image of strawberry lemonade cupcakes decorated with a little lemon slice and cute heart shaped strawberry slice

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for strawberry lemonade cupcakes, I’d love to hear what think of it! Let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment below.

Tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 12

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

image of strawberry lemonade cupcakes decorated with a little lemon slice and cute heart shaped strawberry slice

These strawberry lemonade cupcakes taste just like summer! They have the perfect balance of sweet and tart & are packed w/ strawberry flavor!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 59 minutes

Ingredients

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • zest of 1 small lemon - about 2 tsp (4g)
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour blend (150g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3g)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature (125g)
  • 1/3 cup water (80g)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice - about 1 small lemon (60g)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (56g)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
  • yellow gel food coloring - optional

Optional Filling

  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam (240g)

Strawberry Buttercream:

Tools & Decorations

Instructions

Lemon Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C), and place 12 cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
  2. Whisk together 1 cup of granulated sugar and the zest of 1 lemon in large bowl. This helps release the oil from the lemon zest. The mixture should become pretty aromatic and the sugar should become slightly yellow in color.
  3. Add in 1 ¼ cups all-flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk together, then set aside.
  4. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup melted and cooled butter, 1 large egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract until combined.
  5. If you want your cupcakes to have a brighter yellow color, mix a drop of yellow gel food coloring into the wet ingredients.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and whisk together until the ingredients are just combined and you can’t see any streaks of flour.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 19-21 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Strawberry Buttercream:

  1. While the cupcakes bake and cool, make the strawberry buttercream.
  2. Beat 1 cup of unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with stand mixer or hand mixer until smooth.
  3. Add in the zest of 1 small lemon, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt and beat on low until the ingredients are incorporated. 
  4. Add 3 Tbsp of seedless strawberry jam and mix until fully combined.
  5. Mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp of heavy cream on a low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  6. If you want a deeper pink color, mix in a drop of red gel food coloring. It sounds odd but it really enhances the natural pink color of the frosting.
  7. Once fully mixed, if the frosting seems too thick, add in additional cream (1 tsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  8. If your frosting looks broken before adding it into the piping bag, add in more room-temperature butter, 1 Tbsp at a time until it comes back together.
  9. Stir the frosting by hand with a rubber spatula once it's made for a minute or two to make the frosting super smooth.
  10. If desired, add 1 Tbsp of strawberry jam into a large piping bag and spread it out to create a thin layer all around the bag.
  11. Cut off the tip of the bag, and fit it with a large piping tip (like an Ateco 807).
  12. Place the buttercream in the piping bag and seal the top with a rubber band.

Decorating these Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes:

  1. Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, remove the centers with a small sharp knife or a 3/4 inch circle cutter.
  2. Fill each cupcake with 1 Tbsp of strawberry jam.
  3. Pipe a generous swirl of strawberry buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake, and garnish with a segment of a lemon slice and a piece of strawberry.

Notes

Yield:

One batch of this recipe makes 12 standard sized cupcakes. It can also be used to make about 30 mini cupcakes (bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 F).

Variations:

  • To make eggless, dairy free strawberry lemonade cupcakes, use an alternative dairy milk to replace the whole milk (almond, oat, or soy) and dairy free yogurt (almond, oat, or soy) in place of the sour cream.
  • To make gluten free strawberry lemonade cupcakes, swap in your favorite gluten free flour blend for the AP flour this recipe calls for, and be sure to over-mix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.

Making these Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes in Advance & Storage Tips:

Make your cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted and unfilled in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer

Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container, but I find frosting and filling them right before serving is best.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 367Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 42mgSodium 245mgCarbohydrates 55gFiber 2gSugar 34gProtein 5g

Emily

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Your cupcakes have baked perfectly! You reccomended A certain cookie scoop but it comes in different sizes, which size should I buy for cupcakes to look like yours?

Vanilla Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe From Scratch

Monday 18th of January 2021

[…] Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes […]

Renae

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Where do you get the strawberry puree? I cant find it anywhere?

Chelsweets

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Hi Ranae,

I blended up some strawberries to make my own puree <3

Samantha

Thursday 9th of January 2020

Can I swap the lemons for strawberry puree as well to make cupcakes instead or so you have a recipe for strawberry cupcakes?

Chelsweets

Saturday 11th of January 2020

Hi samantha,

I'm not sure those swaps would turn out with this recipe! Here's a link to a great strawberry cupcake recipe though: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/strawberry-cupcakes-with-creamy-strawberry-buttercream/

Sharon

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

Could this frosting be made as a SMBC? If so, when would the strawberry puree be added? Can't wait to try these, they look great.

Chelsweets

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

It can! Just fold the strawberry puree in at the end, once the SMBC is full made. Happy baking Sharon!

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