These from scratch strawberry crunch cupcakes are strawberry shortcake in cupcake form with a fun strawberry crumble topping! Made with an extra soft and moist vanilla cupcake, filled with strawberry jam, and topped with a slightly tangy whipped cream cheese frosting. Finish with the strawberry crunch topping and a fresh strawberry!
If you were born in the 90s (or had kids in the 90s), you may remember eating a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar in the school cafeteria. These cupcakes are a riff off of that delightful treat, and are made from scratch!
These strawberry crunch cupcakes have the softest vanilla cake base made without cake mix and buttermilk. They get filled with a flavorful strawberry jam and topped with a light and fluffy whipped cream cheese frosting.
Finally, the strawberry crunch cupcake topping is made by combining golden Oreos (or other vanilla sandwich cookies), butter, and freeze dried strawberries! They're easy, homemade, and are sure to be a total crowd pleaser!
These cupcakes would be perfect for Valentine's Day, birthdays, or on any day for anyone who is a strawberry lover! If you'd prefer a chocolate strawberry version, try my Double Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes.
What is strawberry crunch made of?
Strawberry crunch topping, also known as strawberry shortcake crumbles, is made of the following ingredients: golden Oreos (or vanilla sandwich cookies), sugar, freeze dried strawberries, and melted butter.
Some recipes call for strawberry jello powder, but I chose to use freeze dried strawberries for a brighter, punchier flavor, and to omit the use of gelatin and other unnecessary ingredients.
The butter slightly softens the cookies and turns them into a strawberry cookie treat!
Most items in this recipe are pantry staples, however, there are a few ingredients to take particular note of.
- Sour cream and whole milk. Both of these are for the moist vanilla cupcakes, and should be at a full room temperature before using for best cupcake results.
- Strawberry jam. Store bought strawberry jam can be used to fill these cupcakes. Filling the cupcakes can be omitted entirely, if desired, though it adds extra strawberry flavor!
- Golden Oreos. These crushed cookies are how the strawberry shortcake crunch topping is made! Any vanilla sandwich cookie can be used.
- Freeze dried strawberries. These will get pulverized into a powder for the strawberry crunch topping.
- Heavy whipping cream. For the whipped topping that will get piped or spread onto the cupcakes. Be sure it's very cold!
- Cream cheese. The cream cheese (be sure it's full fat) is used in the whipped cream frosting. Not only does this provide a slight tang to the recipe, but it also stabilizes the whipped cream which makes the cupcakes last for days!
How to make Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes
To make these strawberry filled cupcakes, reheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. If you want to make the cupcakes without liners, simply spray the wells with nonstick spray.
Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
STEP 1: Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Give it a solid whisk (carefully) to really lighten up the mixture!
Whisk together the room temperature sour cream and whole milk in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
STEP 2: Add the butter, oil and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed and scrape down the sides. Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat again.
Add half of the flour and mix, then half of the dairy and mix. Scrape down the sides and repeat with the remaining flour and dairy until it's a nice, fluffy batter.
STEP 3: Scoop the cupcakes into the liners. They should only be filled about ⅔ of the way.
Bake the cupcakes for 20-23 minutes (13-16 minutes for minis) or until a toothpick inserted into the center removes with moist crumbs and no wet batter.
Note: will be enough leftover batter for 3 additional cupcakes, or you can make about 9 mini cupcakes with the extra.
Strawberry Crunch Topping
STEP 4: Crush the golden Oreos in a zip-top bag until finely ground and pulverize the freeze dried strawberries (a coffee grinder or small blender works great for this) into a powder. Combine with melted butter and sugar and stir to combine, then set aside.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
STEP 5: Combine the cream cheese (cold), powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until creamy.
Then, switch to the whisk attachment and add the heavy whipping cream. Whip on high speed until light, fluffy, and holds a stiff peak on the tip of the whisk.
Pro tip! Add the mixing bowl to the freezer for 10 minutes before adding the whipped cream. This helps it whip up best.
STEP 6: Create a hole in the center of each cupcake, then pipe or spoon in the strawberry jam. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag (or just use a cookie scoop) and pipe the frosting onto each cupcake. The pictures in this recipe used a Wilton 1M star tip.
To make holes, you can use an object with a round bottom (wooden spoon) to push the center in, a clean finger, or the wide opening of a piping tip to push in and "core" the cupcake. I go with option #1.
Sprinkle on the strawberry shortcake crumble over the top of the frosting or press it into the sides. Top each cupcake with a sliced strawberry, and enjoy!
Storing and Freezing
These cupcakes will need to be stored in the fridge due to the dairy in both the cupcakes and topping. It's best to store them in a tall Tupperware container so they don't dry out (and so the frosting doesn't get squished). They can be stored for 3 days.
The base of the cupcakes (prior to adding the filling or topping) can be added to a zip-top bag or container and frozen for 2 months. Remove the cupcakes and allow them to thaw at room temperature before filling and frosting.
If there is any leftover strawberry crumble topping, that can also be stored in a zip-top bag for 2-3 months.
FAQs & Tips
There's quite a few ways to frost cupcakes. The most popular way is to use a piping bag and piping tip, as it creates the most decorated version. If you don't have a piping bag or tip, you can simply add frosting to a zip-top bag and snip off the corner for the desired thickness.
You can also spread the frosting on with a knife or spatula. Finally, one of my favorite methods is to use a cookie or ice cream scoop to add a dollop of frosting on top of each cupcake!
To make holes, you can use an object with a round bottom (wooden spoon) to push the center in, a clean finger, or the wide opening of a piping tip to push in and "core" the cupcake. I typically go with option #1.
First, you'll need to core the cupcake (see above) before adding the jam. The jam can then be added to the cored cupcake via a piping bag or spoon.
Whipped cream cheese frosting is great because it naturally thickens and stabilizes due to the cream cheese. If the cream cheese frosting is too thin, it likely needs more time to whip up or too much cream has been added.
If it's been whipping for more than 5 minutes (with cold ingredients), it will deflate and the cream will begin to turn to butter. The frosting will need to be discarded and started again.
More Strawberry Recipes
- Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake (sponge cake)
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bars
- Strawberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling
- Stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachment (or hand mixer)
- Food proccesor, blender, or coffee grinder
- Piping bag and piping tip optional
- Cupcake tin
- Cupcake liners
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour 180g
- ¼ cup corn starch 28g
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature (57g)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil 60ml
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- ½ tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream room temperature (114g)
- ½ cup whole milk 120ml
Strawberry Crunch Topping
- 10 Golden Oreos Finely crushed
- 2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberry powder
- ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (42g)
- 4 oz full-fat cream cheese cold
- ¾ cups powdered sugar 90g
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1½ cup heavy whipping cream 360ml
- Strawberries for garnish
- Strawberry jam optional, for filled cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
- Whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- Whisk together the sour cream and whole milk in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
- Add the butter, oil and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for two minutes, then scrape down the sides.
- Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat on medium high speed for one minute.
- Add half of the flour and mix on low until combined, then add half of the dairy mixture until it comes together. Scrape down the sides and repeat with the remaining flour and dairy.
- Scoop the cupcakes into the liners until ⅔ full. There will be enough leftover batter for 3 extra cupcakes, or you can make about 9 mini cupcakes with the extra.
- Bake the cupcakes for 20-23 minutes (13-16 minutes for minis) or until a toothpick inserted into the center removes with moist crumbs and no wet batter.
Strawberry Crunch Topping
- While the cupcakes are baking, add the golden Oreos to a ziptop bag and crush with your palms or a rolling pin until finely crushed.
- Pulverize the freeze dried strawberries (about half of a 1.2 oz bag) until a powder forms.
- Combine the crushed Oreos, strawberry powder, sugar, and melted butter using a fork until evenly coated and set aside. Mix again before adding to the cupcakes and separate any chunks.
- Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment over medium speed until creamy. Scrape down the sides.
- Add ½ cup of the heavy cream and mix to combine. Scrape off the paddle, then place the entire bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Switch to the whisk attachment, add the remaining cup of heavy cream, and whip on high speed until light and fluffy with stiff peaks. When the whisk is removed (with frosting on it), it should remain in place and not begin to slide off.
- Use the bottom handle of a wooden spoon with a round bottom (or a clean finger) and push a hole into the center of each cupcake. Fill each center with strawberry jam.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip and pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.
- Sprinkle the strawberry crunch onto the frosting, adding as much or a little as you'd like.
- Top each cupcake with a halved strawberry and serve.