What happens when you combine homemade strawberry filling, moist vanilla cupcakes, and decadent cream cheese frosting? You get Strawberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Look, I’m just as eager as the next person for the arrival of fall. Probably more eager, actually, because a lot of people don’t live in the sweltering humidity of summer in Mississippi. But while I’m 100 percent ready to embrace sweatshirts, football, and all things pumpkin, there are at least a few parts of summer that I’m not quite ready to let go of.
Case in point: strawberries, particularly when they’re in these Strawberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. These little beauties are a twist on a cake I’ve been making for years, which is a twist on a cake my mom has been making for years. I’ve yet to share that cake recipe because I can’t seem to keep it around long enough to get photos. Moist and delicate cake, fresh strawberries, and homemade cream cheese frosting? Yeah, you can see why the cake disappears to quickly.
These cupcakes are simply the cute portable version of that family favorite. I do my usual jazzing up of a store-bought cake mix, which results in fluffy cupcakes. Instead of layering sliced berries between big cake rounds, I make a fresh homemade sauce that’s packed with berry flavor. The thickened sauce gets spooned into a little pocket in the center of each cooked cupcakes, but it seeps into the cake to create an incredibly satisfying flavor combination. Neither the cake or the filling are overly sweet because the whole shebang is topped with the lightest, most decadent cream cheese frosting.
While you’ll certainly find me baking my fair share of pumpkin cupcakes and scones, you’ll also see me clinging to the last days of strawberry season, mostly in honor of these must-make cupcakes.
Strawberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Filling
1 pint strawberries, hulled and diced (plus more for garnish, if desired)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs corn starch
For the Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. (one brick) cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix until ingredients are well-combined and few lumps remain. Spoon batter into muffin pans prepared with cupcake liners, filling each cup a little more than half full. Bake cupcakes for 17-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for five minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Prepare the strawberry filling while the cupcakes are baking. Combine diced berries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until berries break down and are swimming in liquid, about ten minutes. If you want a smooth sauce, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. If you prefer pieces of berries in your sauce (like I do), use a potato masher to break the strawberries into smaller pieces. Stir in the corn starch until fully incorporated and then allow mixture to cool.
Prepare the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. In the bowl of a stand mixture combine butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about five minutes. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add vanilla and mix three minutes more, until frosting is fluffy.
To stuff the cupcakes remove a chunk of cake from the center of each one. This is best done using a cupcake corer, but a knife will do; just use a paring knife to remove a cone-shaped section from each cupcake. Set the removed pieces aside and spoon cooled strawberry filling into each one. Fill the whole of each cupcakes to the top, as the filling will seep into the cake. I usually go back and top off the filling in each. Place the cores back in the cupcakes, pressing gently to make them fit.
Frost cupcakes and garnish with strawberry pieces, if desired. Store cupcakes in fridge, but allow them about 30 minutes at room temperature to take the chill off.
Recipe yields about 18 cupcakes with leftover strawberry filling and frosting.
I’ve not tried it, but filling could likely made with any other berries.
Tools I Used
Love cupcakes? Check out Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes, or Oreo Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!
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Denise Wright says
These are my favorite kind of cupcakes….with the filling in the middle and frosting on the top…. Oh I could eat of them right now! Great recipe.
Thanks, Denise! I can’t hardly bring myself to make cupcakes without filling because they’re just SO much more fun!
Analida Braeger says
Oh how I miss baking in the summer too. I should beg my husband to put an oven in the garage! That would work! You can’t beat the flavors of strawberries and cream. I can’t wait to try this!
It’s worth a shot! This might be the perfect time of year to make these – strawberries are still in season, but temps are cooling (at least that’s what I hear…).
Oh my goodness-what a winning flavor combo! These look delicious!
Thanks, Kate! They’re always a hit.
dixya @food, pleasure, and health says
this is such a Summer friendly recipe..in Texas it still feels like it so it will be perfect 🙂
Ugh, same here in Mississippi. At least treats like this make the heat more bearable.
Anne Murphy says
We had a (comparatively) cool summer, which I think is the reason strawberries survived August! I’m not used to being able to get them and apples at the same time. So I have some right now, and in fact made strawberry muffins just this morning. Such a treat!
Having strawberries into the fall is so much fun! I’d love a strawberry muffin right now.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
I know what you mean about the heat!! We are in Georgia and it is sweltering. I love to bake and I’m looking forward to doing just that. Your cupcakes are adorable and I love the idea of the filling inside and the cute strawberry on top of the cream cheese frosting. YUM!
Sweltering is exactly what’s going on! I’m headed to Oregon this week for a quick visit with family, but I think I might be more excited for some cooler weather.
Oh my goodness! This looks irresistible. Reminds me of strawberry shortcake.
Thanks, Gunjan! That was the original inspiration, but of course I had to add frosting.
Oh I hear ya on not wanting to let go of summer fruits!! Why can’t summer fruits be a part of Fall so we can have the best of both worlds?? It has been sweltering ALL summer here (100+ pretty much everyday), so I am happy to receive some cooler weather. These cupcakes sound so good!
Summer fruit + cooler temperatures would be the best thing ever! But then I really wouldn’t have anything to look forward to in the heat of the summer.
Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen says
These are not only adorable, but I bet they taste amazing! Strawberry and cream cheese cupcakes are always a hit.
They are SO amazing! The strawberry and cream cheese combo is to-die-for.
Yum! These are so perfect for a birthday party or get together. My husband would also really love these! Saving!
I love that you filled the cupcakes with strawberries, too!
Thanks, Julie! The filling makes all the difference.
Monica | Nourish & Fete says
What is it about filled cupcakes that are just so darn cute!? I agree with you, I’m more than ready for fall, but will miss summer berries something fierce!
Carol Borchardt says
We’re close to each other! I’m in Tennessee so I know about how this darn heat won’t let up! These look wonderful! Love how you jazzed up a cake mix to make them easier.
Right? I know you left this comment more than a month ago, but unfortunately, the forecast this week isn’t looking much better.
Ali B says
I love filled cupcakes! Thanks for linking up at the Ultimate Pinterest Party this past week!