Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

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Strawberry lemonade cupcakes are a burst of sunshine in your mouth! Tangy lemon cake, sweet strawberry frosting, and fresh garnishes make for a perfect treat.

For more delicious cupcake recipes, try these Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting or Strawberry-filled Cupcakes. Both are gorgeous options for spring or summer get-togethers! My Strawberry Jello Pie is also a must for picnics and potlucks.

Strawberry lemonade cupcakes garnished with fresh lemon and strawberries.

Introducing the star of your next summer soiree: Scrumptious Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes!

They’re the perfect blend of sweet and tart flavors, offering a refreshing twist on the usual cake recipe.

While vanilla and chocolate cupcakes might be your go-to, it’s time to step outside the box and serve these delightful strawberry lemon cupcakes instead.

Lemon and Strawberry cupcakes made from lemon cake mix and topped with a strawberry lemonade frosting.

They’re the ultimate treat for spring or summer gatherings, and the fusion of sweet strawberries and zesty lemon is sure to win over any crowd! For another delicious dessert with a fruity flavor combo check out this incredible pina colada lush recipe.

The best part is that these cupcakes are made with your favorite box cake mix, saving you time and effort. It’s the homemade strawberry buttercream frosting recipe that takes them to the next level.

Ingredients  

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Lemon cake mix, 2 eggs, 2 sticks of butter, bag of freeze dried strawberries. confectioners sugar, lemon. vanilla extract, oil, and heavy cream.
  • Lemon Cake Mix (plus water, oil, and eggs) — Grab a box of lemon-flavored cake mix in your favorite brand. Look at the back of the box to see how many eggs and how much water and oil you need to mix in. Alternatively, use your favorite lemon cupcake recipe if you want to make them from scratch.
  • Freeze-Dried Strawberries — The freeze-dried strawberries are ground into a fine powder and added to the frosting to give it loads of strawberry flavor and a pretty pink color.
  • Unsalted Butter — Make sure it’s room temperature. This ingredient makes the frosting rich, creamy, and smooth.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar — Also called powdered sugar, you’ll mix it with the butter, strawberry powder, and a few other ingredients to make the frosting thick and sweet.
  • Salt — Just a pinch helps bring out all the other flavors and balance the sweetness.
  • Heavy Cream — It helps thin the frosting and makes it easier to spread while still maintaining the rich, decadent flavor.
  • Vanilla — Use pure vanilla extract to enhance the flavor of the frosting.
  • Lemon Zest — For bright, zesty, real lemon flavor to complement the flavor of the cupcakes.
  • Fresh Lemon Wheels and Strawberry Slices — They’re used for garnish but are totally optional. Put them on right before serving for freshest results.

Kitchen Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need to make the best cupcakes ever :

How to Make Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Three photo collage: lemon cake batter, lemon batter in cupcake tin, and strawberry lemonade frosting in mixing bowl.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line your muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare and bake the lemon cupcakes according to the directions on the box of cake mix.

Step 3: Add the freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor and grind them to a fine powder. Set the powder aside.

Step 4: In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.

Step 5: Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the dry ingredients — confectioners sugar, strawberry powder, and a pinch of salt — to the bowl. Mix until well combined.

Step 6: Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and heavy whipping cream. Mix on medium speed until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Tip: If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream a teaspoon at a time to thin it out. The frosting should be easily spreadable but firm enough to “stand up” on the cupcake. If the frosting is too thin or runny, mix in extra powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until it is the right consistency.

Step 7: Frost the completely cooled cupcakes, and add a lemon slice and a strawberry to the top of each cupcake.

Lemon cupcakes with strawberry frosting and slice of lemon and strawberry on top.

Voila! Your pink lemonade cupcakes are ready to serve.

Storage and Freezing

Room Temperature: Store these tangy strawberry lemonade cupcakes at room temperature for no longer than a day.

Refrigerator: Keep cupcakes longer in the refrigerator. They’ll last up to 4-5 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap.

Freezer: Store cupcakes in the freezer for up to 3 months by storing them in a single layer in a freezer-safe container. Thaw the cupcakes at room temperature for at least 1-2 hours before serving or longer if needed. If you freeze the cupcakes without the frosting, they’ll keep better.

Tips and Tricks for Moist Lemon Cupcakes

  • Avoid over-mixing the batter, as it can make your cupcakes tough and dry.
  • Don’t overfill the cupcake liners. Generally, you should fill them about two-thirds full, but read your cake mix directions to make sure.
  • If you don’t have a food processor to grind the dried strawberries, you can use a blender, a coffee grinder, or a spice grinder instead.
  • For a neat presentation, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a pastry bag and star tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, place the frosting in a zip-top bag and cut the tip of one of the corners off to pipe the frosting on by gently squeezing it through the hole in the bag.

Additions and Variations

Add a boozy twist. For a bit of a boozy twist, add a splash or two of limoncello to the frosting mixture. You’ll need to add a little more powdered sugar to compensate for the extra liquid.

Up the tangy lemon flavor: Add a little fresh lemon juice or lemon extract to the frosting for more lemon flavor.

Try it with blueberries. Instead of strawberries, try using freeze-dried blueberries in the frosting and garnish with fresh blueberries on top. You could try the same with raspberries, too!

Strawberry lemonade cupcakes from cake mix with a homemade strawberry lemon frosting and finished with fresh lemon and strawberry slices.

Strawberry Cupcakes FAQ

How do you know when cupcakes are done?

Insert a toothpick into the center of one of the center cupcakes. If it comes out clean or with crumbs, the cupcakes are done. Another option is to press your finger against the top of the cupcake. If it bounces back, the cupcakes are done. If your finger makes a dent in the cupcake, they need to bake longer.

Can I use fresh strawberries in the frosting instead of freeze-dried strawberries?

I don’t recommend using fresh strawberries, except as a garnish. They have a higher water content and can make your frosting thin and runny. The freeze-dried strawberries provide concentrated strawberry flavor, and grinding them to a powder helps provide structure to the frosting.

What’s the secret to super moist cupcakes?

You can try a couple of techniques to make your cupcakes more moist. The first is to avoid over-mixing the batter. The more it’s mixed, the more the gluten proteins stretch, making the cake dense and chewy. Mix your ingredients on low speed to maintain the air bubbles, and only for the time required. One other thing you can do to increase the moisture when using boxed cake mixes is to add two extra egg yolks. The more fat in the cake, the more moisture you have.

Can I make mini cupcakes with this recipe?

Definitely! To make mini cupcakes, line a mini muffin tin with mini cupcake liners. Fill them to just over half full (about 1 tablespoon). You’ll need to reduce the cooking time to about 10-15 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick, and let them cool completely before frosting.

More Luscious Lemon Dessert Recipes

For more of that tart lemon flavor baked into scrumptious treats, try these recipes:

Recipe
Strawberry lemonade cupcakes topped with fresh lemon and strawberries.
Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
These Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are a burst of sunshine in your mouth! Tangy lemon cake, sweet strawberry frosting, and fresh garnishes make for a perfect treat.

Ingredients
 

Cupcakes

  • 15.25 ounce lemon cake mix
  • 3 large eggs or as called for on the box
  • 1 cup water or as called for on the box
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or as called for on the box

Frosting

  • 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • pinch salt optional
  • 4-5 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • fresh lemon wheels and strawberry slices for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, prepare lemon cake mix according to the box directions.
  • Pour the batter evenly into cupcake liners, and bake according to the time given on the box. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool fully.
  • Use a food processor to grind the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, strawberry powder, and salt to the bowl, mixing until combined.
  • Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and 4 Tablespoons of the heavy whipping cream. Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  • If needed, add additional heavy cream, 1-2 teaspoons at a time, to thin the frosting to the desired consistency.
  • Once cooled fully, frost cupcakes. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a slice of strawberry before serving, if desired.

Notes

  • Cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day. Refrigerate in an airtight container for longer storage.
  • Bring strawberry lemonade cupcakes to room temperature before serving or enjoy chilled.
  • Milk may be used instead of heavy cream, but the buttercream frosting won’t be as creamy.
  • The frosting should be spreadable but firm enough to stand up on a cupcake. If the frosting isn’t firm enough, you can mix in additional confectioners sugar 1-2 Tablespoons at a time.
  • Use a piping bag with a star tip to pipe frosting on the cupcakes or ice using a spatula or butter knife.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 155mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 303IU | Vitamin C: 121mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3mg
Strawberry lemonade cupcakes topped with fresh lemon and strawberries.

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