These delicious, summer-inspired Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes are covered with rich cream cheese frosting and strawberry crunch crumble topping. Bursting with flavors reminiscent of our favorite childhood strawberry shortcake bars, these homemade cupcakes are the ultimate summer dessert recipe!
If your fridge is full of fresh strawberries, you're going to love this recipe. There’s no better way to take advantage of the strawberry season than baking up a batch of strawberry crumble cupcakes. These light and fluffy vanilla-flavored cupcakes are full of fresh strawberries, topped with cream cheese frosting, and sprinkled with strawberry crunch made of Golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries.
Make this beautiful dessert for your next family get-together, summer party, or kid's birthday. No matter when you serve them, they are guaranteed to please everyone.
Why You'll Love These Cupcakes
- Easy to make- Whether you’re an experienced baker or not, you can whip up a batch of these cupcakes easily at home with pantry-staple ingredients.
- Beautiful - Fluffy cream cheese icing topped with strawberry crunch crumbles makes these cupcakes almost too pretty to eat. Perfect to impress your guests!
- Strawberry shortcake flavor - You can’t go wrong with the combination of fluffy, moist vanilla cake and strawberry oreo crunch. It's the ideal flavor combination, tasting just like strawberry shortcake!
- From scratch - This recipe makes completely from scratch homemade cupcakes, but you can use a cake mix and store-bought icing if you are short on time.
These cupcakes with Oreos use everyday ingredients, but you may need a special trip to the grocery store to pick up some freeze-dried strawberries. For all information, be sure to check out the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Flour - Use all-purpose flour or you may use gluten-free all-purpose flour to make the recipe gluten-free.
- Baking powder & salt - Baking powder helps the cupcakes rise. Salt enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness.
- Butter - Unsalted, softened butter works best but salted will also work.
- Vegetable oil - Any mild flavored oil works well, even melted coconut oil.
- Sugar - White granulated sugar sweetens the cupcakes.
- Eggs - Set them out at room temperature 2 hours before baking for best results.
- Vanilla extract - Pure vanilla extract adds delicious flavor to the cupcakes.
- Whole milk - Whole milk gives the cupcakes great texture, but any milk will work.
- Strawberries - Washed, dried, and finely chopped. Fresh strawberries are best, but frozen strawberries can work. If using frozen, do not thaw them beforehand.
- Cream cheese - This combines with butter to create a delicious cream cheese frosting for the cupcakes. Use softened cream cheese so it mixes well.
- Powdered sugar - Thickens the frosting and adds sweet, delicious flavor.
- Golden Oreos - These vanilla-flavored cookies add a crunchy texture.
- Freeze-dried strawberries - Adds color, texture, and flavor to the crunch topping.
Here are step-by-step instructions for how to make homemade strawberry crunch cupcakes full of fresh strawberries:
STEP 1: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl until evenly combined.
STEP 2: Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the softened butter, oil, and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Then, mix in the eggs and vanilla.
STEP 3: Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until they are almost fully combined. Stir in the milk and continue mixing. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Stir until smooth without overmixing then add the chopped strawberries.
STEP 4: Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray only filling about ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.
How to Make Strawberry Crunch
To make the strawberry crunch crumble topping, pulse Golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until thick crumbs develop. Add the melted butter and continue to pulse a few times until you get strawberry crunch crumbles.
TIP: Be very careful not to over-blend the mixture or it will become fine powder instead of coarse strawberry crunch crumbles.
Cream Cheese Frosting & Decorating
The delicious cream cheese frosting is the perfect touch on top of these light and fluffy strawberry cupcakes. Best of all, it's super quick and easy to make!
STEP 1: Beat the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Stir in the powdered sugar gradually, until completely combined, and a thick, pipeable, and fluffy frosting forms.
STEP 2: Use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle each cupcake with strawberry crunch topping and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
Expert Baking Tips
- Measuring flour: Ensure you are measuring the flour correctly. Use a spoon to fill your measuring cup with flour and use a knife to remove any excess off the top. This ensures you are not packing flour into the cup and getting dry cupcakes.
- Room temperature ingredients: Room-temperature eggs, milk, butter, and cream cheese mix easily and create a smoother batter. Take them out of the fridge 1-2 hours before making the recipe.
- Cooling: Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack before you frost them. If they are still warm, the icing will melt and slide off, making a mess!
Easy Cupcake Variations
- Gluten-free: To make gluten-free cupcakes, you can use all-purpose gluten-free flour. Use gluten-free golden Oreos or substitute another gluten-free vanilla cookie.
- Dairy-free: Use vegan butter, dairy-free cream cheese, and plant-based milk of choice and this recipe becomes dairy-free.
- With cake mix: If you are pressed for time, make strawberry crunch cupcakes with cake mix instead of making them from scratch. Use vanilla cake mix and stir in fresh strawberries to add flavor. You can also use store-bought cream cheese frosting, but the flavor won't be as delicious as homemade frosting.
- Colorful: Add pink food coloring to the cupcake batter or icing to make beautiful pink cupcakes for a party or special occasion. I like using dye-free natural food coloring to create pink strawberry crumble cupcakes.
These strawberry shortbread cookies with icing are another delicious recipe to try.
Frequently Asked Questions
Strawberry crunch is a homemade topping made from golden Oreos, freeze-dried strawberries, and melted butter. It is a copycat crumble topping from the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bars and tastes amazing on these crunch cupcakes.
Yes, you can use frozen strawberries in the cupcake batter. Do not thaw the strawberries before using them, or you'll get too much liquid in the batter.
Yes, the cupcakes are easy to make dairy-free. Just use vegan substitutes for the butter, milk, and cream cheese.
If you can’t find freeze-dried strawberries, you can also use dehydrated or dried strawberries to make these strawberry crunch cupcakes. You can make the crunch topping without strawberries if you have to.
Yes, you can bake the cupcakes a few days ahead of time and keep them in the fridge or freezer. They are best stored without frosting. You can prepare the frosting ahead of time, keep it in the fridge, and frost the cupcakes before you serve them.
Storage & Freezing
Store leftover strawberry shortcake crunch cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the cupcakes for up to 3 months. Both frosted and unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen. Defrost them overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying them again.
More Delicious Cake Recipes
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Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes
- 1 Standard Cupcake Pan
- 12 Cupcake Liners
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer
- 1 Food processor or Blender
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (see notes for GF version)*
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk (see notes for DF version)*
- 1 cup strawberries, finely chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ¼ cups powdered sugar
Strawberry Crunch Topping
- 12 Golden Oreos
- ¾ cup freeze dried strawberries
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (cooled slightly)
- 6 fresh strawberries sliced in half (for topping)
Making the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a standard 12-count cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until evenly combined.1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a separate mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the softened butter, oil, and sugar together until smooth and fluffy.4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, ¼ cup vegetable oil, ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth and well combined.2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- While mixing on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. When the dry ingredients are halfway combined, add the milk and continue mixing until the cupcake batter is smooth. Don’t over-mix!1 cup whole milk
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the chopped strawberries until they are evenly spread throughout the batter.1 cup strawberries, finely chopped
- Use a large spoon or cookie scoop to transfer the cupcake batter into the prepared liners, filling each about 2⁄3 to ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Making the Frosting
- Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla extract together until smooth, creamy, and fluffy.6 ounces cream cheese, softened, ½ cup unsalted butter, softened, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Gradually add the powdered sugar until a thick, pipeable frosting forms. You can adjust the consistency as necessary by adding more sugar or water.4 ¼ cups powdered sugar
How to Make Strawberry Crunch
- Add the Oreos and freeze dried strawberries to a food processor or blender. Gently pulse the mixture until it becomes thick, coarse crumbs, but not too fine that it becomes powder.12 Golden Oreos, ¾ cup freeze dried strawberries
- Add in the melted butter and pulse a few times to incorporate it with the mixture. Stop pulsing when a nice coarse strawberry crumble forms.2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Decorating the Cupcakes
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a piping bag with a star tip to pipe the cream cheese frosting on top of the cupcakes. You can spread the frosting with a knife if you don't have a piping bag.
- Sprinkle each cupcake generously with the strawberry crunch topping and garnish with a fresh strawberry. Enjoy!6 fresh strawberries