Gluten free strawberry cupcakes made with fresh strawberries and strawberry buttercream frosting are so soft and fluffy on the inside with the smooth and silky frosting. This gluten free recipe makes pretty pink cupcakes perfect for Valentine's cupcakes or if you are having a pink theme party.
We have been getting in the mood for Valentine's day with these Fresh strawberry cupcakes. We have tested various variations and settled on using fresh strawberries for the cakes and freeze dried strawberry powder for the buttercream. Together they are the perfect combination and were so good I used them in my gluten free strawberry layer cake.
I like to use good quality freeze-dried strawberries in recipes where I don't want to make a strawberry reduction or don't want to add any additional liquid like in my no bake strawberry cheesecake.
If you are looking for more Valentine's day recipe ideas then check out my gluten free apple rose cake, strawberry meringue cookies, heart puff pastry or my list of gluten free Valentine's desserts for inspiration.
⭐ Why we love this recipe
- Uses fresh strawberries - These cupcakes are filled with delicious fresh strawberries and do not require any artificial strawberry flavoring. (Pink food coloring is optional based on what finished look you are after).
- Gluten free - Uses gluten-free ingredients but no one will be able to tell the difference as the texture is so light and fluffy.
- Pretty pink cupcakes - The finished cupcakes are so pretty that they are perfect for Valentine's day or for a fun fresh birthday party treat that the kids will love.
📋 Ingredients Notes
- Unsalted Butter - Always use room temperature butter. I prefer to use unsalted butter as I like to know how much salt is being added to my bakes but if you only have salted butter available then don't add any further salt to the recipe.
- Sugar - I used caster sugar also known as superfine sugar or baker's sugar for the cupcakes and powdered sugar for the frosting, you may also want to check out my is powdered sugar gluten free information.
- Eggs - Room temperature
- Gluten free all purpose flour - Also known as gluten free plain flour in the UK. See my tips below for the flour blend I used.
- Baking powder - A leavening agent that is activated during the baking process that causes the cakes to rise nicely and be soft and light. Use a good baking powder that is in date as old baking powder will be inactive and may result in the cupcakes not rising and being dense. Some brands of baking powder may have ingredients that contain gluten. Always be sure to check the label.
- Xanthan gum - Omit if the flour blend already contains xanthan gum
- Salt - A little salt will enhance the flavors in the strawberry cupcakes and also adds to the finished structure of the cakes.
- Vanilla extract - Adds flavor to the cupcakes.
- Fresh strawberries - I like using fresh strawberries for the best results.
- Pink food coloring (Optional) I prefer to keep the cupcakes natural without food coloring. If making them for a pink theme such as a birthday party I will sometimes make pink cupcakes. The photo below is for comparison but it really is your own personal preference if you use food coloring.
See the recipe card below for ingredients measurements.
Without pink food coloring Vs with pink food coloring.
🧁 Frosting For Strawberry Cupcakes
- Unsalted butter - Always use room temperature butter as it is essential when creaming the butter and sugar together to result in a smooth consistency.
- Powdered sugar AKA Icing sugar. Always sieve the powdered sugar before adding it to the creamed butter to be sure that it is lump free.
- Heavy cream - Adds a little extra creaminess to the buttercream frosting and results in a silkier texture. You can use whole milk as a substitute if you don't have heavy cream available.
- Salt - A little salt goes a long way in enhancing and bringing out the other flavors in the buttercream.
- Vanilla extract - Adds additional flavor and complements the strawberry perfectly.
- Freeze-dried strawberry powder - I prefer to use good quality freeze-dried strawberry powder. If you only have freeze dried strawberries available you can pop them in a blender until they resemble powder.
- Fresh strawberries - Optional to decorate.
See the recipe card for instructions on how to make the strawberry buttercream.
⚡ Substitutions & Variations
- Strawberry filled cupcakes - Take the strawberry cupcakes to the next level by Making a hole in the top of the cupcakes like in my gluten free Victoria sponge cupcakes and filling them with strawberry jam.
- Dairy Free - use dairy free butter when making the cupcakes and top them with your preferred dairy free frosting.
- Chantilly whipped cream topping - Don't want to make buttercream then you might like to try my fresh chantilly whipped cream which also works well with strawberry cupcakes.
🥣 Step by Step Instructions
Below is a brief step-by-step process with photos of how to make gluten free strawberry cupcakes. See the recipe card below for more detailed recipe instructions.
Step 1: In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum and set aside.
In a large bowl or stand mixer beat sugar and butter together until smooth and fluffy.
Step 2: Add in the eggs and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Then add in the flour mixture.
Step 3: Mix in the flour until fully combined and the batter is smooth and lump free.
Step 4: Dice the strawberries into small pieces.
Step 5: Add a few drops of pink food coloring and mix until the cake batter is evenly pink in color. Gently mix the diced strawberries into the cake batter.
Step 6: Divide the strawberry cake batter between the 12 muffin cases filling to around halfway.
Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.
Notes: Insert a skewer into a cupcake after this time if it comes out clean it's ready if not leave it in slightly longer.
💭 Gluten Free Baking
- Gluten Free Flour – I used a Gluten free flour blend from Doves Farm Freee from range. Which is a flour blend of Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize, and Buckwheat flour. I have had reports that others have used King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour, Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour, Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, with my recipes.
- Kitchen Scales - Using digital scales is recommended when baking. I always measure using scales and grams as baking is a science. When baking gluten-free it is essential to weigh out ingredients to get the best results! There is no need to purchase expensive digital scales and you can find them available cheaply online. (Although for small amounts I will use spoon measurements)
- Oven Temperatures - Your oven temperature may be slightly different. As all ovens vary in temperature and the baking time is used as a guide. Some ovens run hotter than others. You could invest in an oven thermometer to be more accurate.
❔ Recipe FAQs
The strawberry cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Remove from the fridge for a couple of hours and let them come to room temperature before serving.
Yes, the cupcakes can be made up to 3 days in advance. Although the cupcakes are at their best the day they are made. The strawberry buttercream can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge.
The strawberry cupcakes are easily made dairy free by using dairy free butter and topped with your preferred dairy-free buttercream or frosting.
🍓 More gluten free strawberry recipes
Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes
Nutritional information is meant as a guideline and all information is approximate.
Ingredients for gluten free strawberry cupcakes
- 200 grams Unsalted Butter Room temperature
- 200 grams Fine sugar I used caster sugar
- 3 Large Eggs Room temperature
- 200 grams Gluten free all purpose flour AKA gluten free plain flour in the UK
- 2 teaspoons Baking powder Some brands of baking powder may have ingredients that contain gluten. Always be sure to check the label.
- ¼ teaspoon Xanthan gum Omit if the flour blend already contains xanthan gum
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 200 grams Fresh strawberries
- 3-4 drops Pink or red food coloring Optional
Ingredients for strawberry buttercream
- 250 grams Unsalted butter Room temperature
- 300 grams Powdered sugar AKA Icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons Heavy cream AKA double cream
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 20 grams Freeze-dried strawberry powder
- Fresh strawberries Optional to decorate
How to make gluten free strawberry cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/225°F/Gas Mark 3. Prepare a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases.
- In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum and set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer beat sugar and butter together until smooth and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Then add in the flour mixture until fully combined.
- Add a few drops of pink food coloring into the cake batter and mix until the batter is evenly pink. Dice the strawberries into small pieces and gently fold them into the cake batter.
- Divide the strawberry cake batter between the 12 muffin cases filling to around halfway.
- Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Insert a skewer into a cupcake after this time if it comes out clean it's ready if not leave it in slightly longer. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.
How to make strawberry buttercream
- With an electric beater or stand mixer beat the butter until it is fluffy and lighter in color.
- Sieve powdered sugar into a bowl and mix into the butter a few tablespoons at a time until fully combined.
- Add cream, salt, and vanilla to the buttercream and beat well until it is smooth and shiny.
- Mix in the freeze-dried strawberry powder until fully combined and the buttercream is an even pink color.
- Place the strawberry buttercream in a piping bag with your preferred piping tip. Pipe the buttercream onto the top of the cooled strawberry cupcakes.
- Decorate with fresh strawberries if desired.
Nutritional information is meant as a guideline and is always an approximate calculation. Recipes may include information of various products used. It is your responsibility to check that ingredients you use when making a recipe are gluten free.
I hope you enjoyed this Gluten free Strawberry cupcake recipe.
I would love your feedback. Please rate this recipe and leave a comment below. You can also tag me in any photos taken when trying this recipe over on my Instagram.