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Fresh Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Guests at your next gathering will flock to these sweet strawberry shortcake cupcakes: light and fluffy, buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet California strawberries and the best buttercream frosting recipe you’ll ever taste!

strawberry shortcake cupcakes topped with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting
This recipe was created in partnership with California Strawberries; all opinions and text are my own. Thanks for supporting me and the brands I love!

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Rows and rows of fresh, juicy, bright red strawberries in the produce department are usually a sure sign of spring here in Ohio. This year? Not so much. We’ve had snow, snow, and more snow up until just about two weeks ago, followed by rain, rain, and MORE rain.

And then about two days ago, the clouds parted and the sun came shining through. It FINALLY feels like spring, and I’m soaking it up every evening at my oldest daughter’s softball games. But the weather is in sharp contrast to the way I’m feeling inside, which is slightly downcast, because this is likely her last year to play.

Soccer is and always has been her first love, but she’s a darn good softball player. Being a multi-sport athlete is hard, though — on the player, on the coaches, on teammates, and on mom and dad who have to help juggle it all. But I’ve loved every minute of it, especially watching her confidence grow in the sport over the last ten years. The swagger she has in the batter’s box, as she twirls the bat and digs in with her cleats, has me wondering whose child is this?

She hit a home run last night, and I had a sudden flashback of her at 5 years old, up to bat at t-ball. Her coach (Daddy, of course) recommended that the opposing coach might want to back his outfield up. The other coach just kind of rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders. And then stood there in stunned silence when my tiny girl crushed it over his boys’ heads…

Yeah, it’s been a fun ride, but the time has come to pack it all in. Who knows? Maybe she’ll change her mind when softball tryouts roll around again next February. Until then, I’m just thankful I still get to watch her do her thing on the soccer field.


fresh and sweet California strawberries for strawberry shortcake cupcakes

Fresh Strawberries

So after that little diversion, let’s get back to something that always lifts my spirits — fresh strawberries! I walked into Walmart yesterday, and I could smell them as soon as I walked in the door. Ohio-grown strawberries won’t be ripe for some time yet, so I’m thanking California for sharing her beautiful bounty with the Midwest (and the rest of the U.S.)!

Did you know that a single serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange? Me either! But it’s true. Just eight of these little red gems provide this and more beneficial antioxidants and nutrients, all while being low in calories and sugar. Studies show eating a serving of strawberries (that’s 8 medium size berries) at least 3 times a week may help prevent disease and some cancers. I love them as a healthy snack — and of course, I love them in special treats, like these strawberry shortcake cupcakes!

light and fluffy, buttery vanilla cupcakes for strawberry shortcake cupcakes

Best Strawberry Cupcakes

These strawberry cupcakes are the sweet treat that everyone will be reaching for at your next cookout. I mean, who doesn’t love strawberry shortcake? But this classic spring and summer dessert is ever so much more portable in cupcake form, yet still packed with that same delicious strawberry shortcake flavor.

While you could definitely just pick up some plain vanilla cupcakes in the bakery department to speed things along, I highly recommend trying this surprisingly easy shortcake cupcake recipe at some point. They’re like your favorite buttery pound cake, only lighter and fluffier, thanks to creaming the butter and sugar for an extra-long, 8-minute session.

I like to make them the evening before I plan to serve them so they have plenty of time to cool. This also allows you to fill them shortly before serving, so the strawberry juices don’t soak into the cupcake — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They’ll still taste amazing, but the texture of the freshly-filled cupcakes is superior.

strawberry cupcakes with buttercream and fresh mint leaves

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake Recipe

Instead of whipped cream, I’ve topped off these strawberry shortcake cupcakes with my favorite best buttercream frosting recipe, which is thicker and more stable. And I added a touch of honey to the chopped strawberries, not necessarily for sweetening, but because the glossy sheen is just so pretty with the buttercream. California strawberries are plenty sweet on their own, though, so feel free to skip the honey if you so desire.

Your guests will be flocking to these delicious cupcakes at your next gathering! As will the bees, LOL, so keep them covered…


Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Yield: 18 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Guests at your next gathering will flock to these sweet strawberry shortcake cupcakes: light and fluffy, buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet California strawberries and the best buttercream frosting recipe you'll ever taste!


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons Greek yogurt, room temperature

Topping the cupcakes:


For the shortcake cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with 18 paper liners. TIP: try these DIY cupcake liners!
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in thoroughly between each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the Greek yogurt. Beat until well incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 18 lined muffin cups, about 1/4 cup in each.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

For the strawberry topping and whipped cream frosting:

  1. Stir the honey into the diced strawberries and mix well.
  2. Prepare one batch of my favorite whipped buttercream frosting. Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
  3. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a hole in the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with 1-2 teaspoons of the strawberry mixture. Then pipe a large round of the buttercream around the strawberry filling. Top off with more strawberry filling.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

P.S. No need to pick up some fancy muffin liners to make these yummy cupcakes. Check out this super simple tutorial for how to make parchment paper cupcake liners!

#GetSnacking with California Strawberries

Follow @CAstrawberries on Instagram for a chance to win some awesome prizes, like NutriBullets, Fitbits, and some of the very best strawberry-themed items around! Get all of the details here. Hint: snap a photo of your fave strawberry snack next time you’re enjoying it — you’ll be ahead of the game!

I’d love to see how your strawberry shortcake cupcakes turn out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram and use the hashtags #Unsophisticook and #GetSnacking so I can check them out. Enjoy!


Wednesday 4th of January 2023

You never put how much vanilla to put in the recipe, I guessed and did 1 1/2 teaspoons, I hope that was enough. That's what I used for a previous recipe, fingers crossed it comes out good! I will post another comment at the end to let you know how they came out!

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 4th of January 2023

Oh my goodness -- I can't believe no one has mentioned this sooner... 1 1/2 teaspoons works, or you could even use 2 teaspoons if you like a stronger vanilla flavor. Hope you love them, and thanks so much for pointing this out, Dorothy!!

Cheryl Miles

Friday 12th of March 2021

how do i make this recipe into a cake

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 15th of March 2021

Hi Cheryl -- this recipe was developed as a cupcake recipe. I've not tested it as a cake, so unfortunately, I can't provide any advice on how to convert it. If you're looking for an easy shortcake recipe, try this one: The photos are very old LOL, but the recipe is solid.

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