Your new favorite sweet treat is this Gluten-free Recipe For Strawberry Cupcakes with a Strawberry Buttercream Icing, which is overflowing with rich strawberry flavor from strawberries in the cake and the frosting.
Candace Nelson, the founder of the first cupcake bakery, Sprinkles Cupcakes, shared this delicious frosting recipe with me that I know you will love. And I converted the recipe she shared for Sprinkles Real Strawberry Cupcakes to gluten-free.
Want to learn more about the Godmother of The Cupcake Bakery?
What is unique about this gluten-free recipe for strawberry cupcakes?
While most strawberry cupcakes and strawberry frostings use strawberry Jell-O or other artificial flavorings, this delicious recipe uses real strawberries! Plus, the recipe is now gluten-free.
(If you'd like to make your cupcakes GF & vegan, check out our friend Sarah's Vegan Strawberry Vanilla Cupcake recipe instead.)
Why you need to make your own frosting
Believe it or not - Some frostings have gluten in them. Some national brands of prepackaged frosting contain gluten components, and a traditional buttercream recipe calls for a paste made of wheat and milk.
So if you are avoiding gluten, it is often best to make your own frosting.
If you want to freeze your own strawberries:
Obviously, it is not peak strawberry season all year round. But did you know fresh strawberries are available from California year round? It's true! If you're not in the golden State, you can freeze berries when you do have them available.
You can freeze strawberries in several different ways. To keep the shape and nutritional value, one common technique is to freeze the strawberry whole without sugar.
After rinsing, carefully blot dry and cut the stem at the top of the fruit. Place uncovered in the freezer for at least six hours with the cut side down on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper.
Put strawberries in a container or bag for freezing. Frozen strawberries can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.
What ingredients will I need for the frosting?
- Fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries
- Unsalted butter
- Coarse salt
- Confectioners' sugar
- Gluten-Free vanilla extract
Do not over-mix the frosting!
Don't over-mix the frosting, or it will have too much air. Frosting should have a dense, creamy consistency similar to ice cream.
What ingredients will I need for the cupcakes?
- Fresh or frozen & thawed whole strawberries
- Gluten-Free flour blend
- Xanthan gum or gum-free baking binder (if your flour blend does not already contain it)
- Baking powder
- Whole milk
- Vanilla extract
- Unsalted butter
How long do gluten-free cupcakes last?
Unlike baked goods containing gluten, gluten-free goods have a shorter shelf life.
Cupcakes will typically last for two to three days.
They will hold even better without icing, so for optimal results, only frost the cupcakes you intend to eat right away.
A word about gluten-free flour
My go-to gluten-free flours would be the King Arthur Measure for Measure or Pamela’s Gluten-Free Artisan Blend blend. They both make light, fluffy gluten-free baked goods. They are also both dairy-free & nut free, so they are safe for everyone.
Cup4Cup gluten-free flour tastes and performs closely to conventional all-purpose flour but includes powdered milk and corn. So, if you're vegan, lactose sensitive, or corn sensitive, you shouldn't use it.
When shopping for gluten-free flour to use in a baked good - please, for the love of God, do not buy blends with bean flour, such as Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour.
If you choose to use bean flour in your baked goods, they will end up being too dense & usually will taste like hummus. Gross.
Self-rising flour is a must-have to make some of your favorite goodies gluten-free, but it's not so easy to find in stores.
So, I make my own. You can too - it's pretty easy!
More recipes from Sprinkles Cupcakes:
Once you try this dark chocolate frosting with a unique twist, you won’t want to have any other chocolate frosting again!
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Honey, almonds, and apricots are three flavors that go well together in delicate cupcakes that are sure to please any crowd.
Simply made from a mix, these spice cupcakes are quite tasty. But the pumpkin swirl cream cheese icing elevates them beyond the others. At any fall festival, picnic, or gathering, serve them as dessert. Or make them just for fun.
You only need a gluten-free cake mix, a jar of cherry preserves, powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut milk, and a little jar of maraschino cherries to make these delicious cupcakes. Every time, the most incredible cupcakes will be created with this mixture!
OK, let's start this party: gluten-free strawberry cupcakes with homemade real strawberry frosting - here we go!
Gluten-Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Real Strawberry Frosting
- 1 muffin tin and cupcake liners
for the Gluten-Free Strawberry Cupcakes:
- ⅔ cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries thawed if frozen
- 1 ½ cups Gluten Free AP flour blend sifted (you can use ½ cup each of Sweet Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour & Coconut Flour)
- 1 ¾ tsp. xanthan gum or gum free baking binder if your blend does not already contain it
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. coarse salt
- ¼ cup whole milk room temperature (soy, coconut or almond is ok)
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature (or butter-flavored shortening)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 2 large egg whites room temperature
for the Gluten-Free Strawberry Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
- Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about ⅓ cup of puree. Add a few more strawberries if necessary, or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together Gluten Free flour, xanthan gum or binder (if needed), baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.
- Fit the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
for the Real Strawberry Frosting:
- Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended.
- Do not overmix, or the frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
Frequently Asked Questions about Strawberry Cupcakes:
Dry cupcakes result from two issues: either you're using too much dry mix (such as flour or cocoa powder) compared to wet ingredients, such as fruit puree, sugar, oil or butter and eggs. Or, since the moisture inside the cupcakes bakes out, over-baking can also result in dry cakes.
Gluten-free cakes and cupcakes can be even trickier, since all GF flour blends are not the same. To avoid dry gluten-free cupcakes or cakes, bake for the lowest recommended time and check the cakes for doneness, use an oven thermometer to make certain the oven is at the correct temperature, and avoid flours with bean or legume ingredients.
In terms of ingredients, cake batters and cupcake batters are very similar. Flour, eggs, sugar, and butter are common ingredients in both batters.
Cake batters and cupcake batters use different proportions of these ingredients. Compared to cupcake batters, cake batters often contain more flour and sugar.
Serving: These cupcakes taste best when consumed the day of or the day after they are made.
Storage: Keep in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed container.
Before serving, allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature (just long enough to remove the cold).
Cupcakes don't typically need to be kept in the fridge unless they are filled or frosted. The exception would be cupcakes made with fresh fruit or fruit puree, which may need refrigeration after the day they are made. Refrigeration is highly recommended if your cupcakes are filled or frosted.
Strawberries are grown along the California coast on roughly 35,000 acres of farmland, and in greenhouses. Strawberries are gathered in Salinas, Watsonville, Santa Maria, Oxnard, and Orange County during the height of the season.
Strawberries are still being picked in Santa Maria and Oxnard throughout the cooler months and in greenhouses, allowing for year-round availability of California strawberries.