These strawberry filled cupcakes are gluten-free and dairy-free vanilla cupcakes with a naturally pink strawberry buttercream frosting. They have a fresh strawberry filling but can be made with strawberry jam filling, too! They are so rich in flavor.
These are the perfect cupcakes to make during the spring and summer months. They also make for a great Valentine's Day dessert recipe! This cupcake recipe was inspired by my vegan lemon raspberry jam filled cupcakes which are absolutely delicious, too.
Why You'll Love These Cupcakes
- Gluten and Dairy-Free - These vanilla cupcakes and strawberry frosting are gluten-free and dairy-free, and totally delicious.
- Fresh Strawberry Filling - There are no added sugars in the fresh strawberry filling. It's literally JUST diced strawberries, which is super easy!
- No Artificial Colors - There are no artificial colors or food dyes in this recipe. The strawberry frosting is naturally colored from freeze-dried strawberries.
- Perfect For Events - These cupcakes make for the perfect dessert for parties, events, or holidays like Valentine's Day.
- Packed with Flavor - Biting into one of these cupcakes is like a party in your mouth. The strawberry flavor is so intense and delicious!
You need less than 10 ingredients to make the gluten-free vanilla cupcakes and only 6 ingredients for the strawberry buttercream frosting. Simple and easy!
Here are a few important notes on some of the ingredients:
- Coconut Oil - Oil provides moistness in the cupcakes. You can use vegetable oil or canola oil instead.
- Gluten-Free Flour - Be sure to use gluten-free 1:1 flour that has xanthan gum in the ingredients list. Do not use almond flour or coconut flour.
- Cane Sugar - Cane sugar is minimally refined which is why I choose to use it. You can use granulated sugar if you prefer.
- Plant Milk - Any unsweetened plant milk will work well in this recipe. I like using unsweetened almond milk the best.
- Vegan Butter - Use vegan butter for the strawberry buttercream frosting to ensure the cupcakes are dairy-free.
- Freeze-Dried Strawberries - Blend these into a powder to use in the strawberry frosting. If desired, you can use 3 tablespoons of strawberry jam instead.
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
It takes less than 10 minutes to mix up the vanilla cupcake batter. You only need one bowl for this which keeps things super easy!
STEP 1: Beat oil, eggs, and sugar. In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer) to beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until smooth.
STEP 2: Add dry ingredients. In the same bowl, add the gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, and plant milk. Mix on low-medium speed until combined. Don't overmix!
STEP 3: Scoop batter. Once mixed, use a spoon or large cookie scoop to scoop the batter into cupcake liners in the prepared muffin tin. They should be about ⅔ of the way full.
STEP 4: Bake the cupcakes. The cupcakes should bake for about 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To know if they are done, insert a toothpick into the center at 18 minutes. It should come out with moist crumbs. This means they are done!
TIP: You should let the cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting them. While they cool, you can make the strawberry frosting and prepare the diced strawberries for the filling.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Even the most beginner bakers can make this easy strawberry buttercream frosting. It is dairy-free and only takes a few minutes to mix up.
STEP 1: Blend freeze-dried strawberries. Measure out one cup of freeze-dried strawberries and add them to a blender or food processor. Blend until they become powder.
STEP 2: Beat vegan butter. In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the vegan butter until it is smooth and fluffy. This takes 2-3 minutes.
STEP 3: Add remaining ingredients. Add the strawberry powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, and plant milk to the bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth and well-incorporated. The frosting should be thick enough to pipe.
STEP 4: Adjust as necessary. Depending on how you want to frost the cupcakes, you can adjust the consistency by adding plant milk one teaspoon at a time to make the frosting thinner. Add more powdered sugar to make it thicker.
Filling And Frosting The Cupcakes
If you've never added filling to cupcakes before, don't worry. It's very easy!
STEP 1: Core cupcakes. Use a cupcake corer, sharp knife, or a large piping tip to create a hole ¾ down in the center of each cupcake. Don't go all the way down or the strawberry filling may come out of the bottom.
How do you core a cupcake with a piping tip? Insert the larger, open side of the piping tip ¾ down in the center of a cupcake. Twist the piping tip as you remove it and it should pull the cupcake center out. Repeat this process until all are done!
STEP 2: Add fresh strawberry filling. Make sure your strawberries are completely dry before dicing them into small pieces. Then spoon them into the hole in each cupcake until full and level with the top.
STEP 3: Pipe frosting. Once the cupcakes are filled with diced strawberries, add your strawberry buttercream frosting into a piping bag with a piping tip of your choice. I used an open star tip for these. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes to create a swirl.
STEP 4: Garnish with a strawberry. If desired, add a fresh strawberry on top of the frosted cupcakes to finish them off and make them look even prettier.
- Strawberry jam filled cupcakes - Instead of using fresh strawberries for the filling, you can use strawberry jam. This chia seed jam is perfect!
- Strawberry buttercream with jam - To make strawberry buttercream with jam, replace the freeze dried strawberries with 2-3 tablespoons of strawberry jam. Reduce the amount of plant milk so the frosting stays thick.
- Strawberry filled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting - If you're not a fan of buttercream, check out this strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe. Use dairy-free ingredients if desired.
If you want to make strawberry filled chocolate cupcakes, use this gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe and add strawberry filling!
Baking Tips And Tricks
- Use room temperature eggs - Room temperature eggs mix more easily in the cake batter and give a better rise in the cupcakes.
- Slightly softened butter - Pull your vegan butter out of the fridge 1-2 hours before making the frosting. If it becomes too warm, the frosting won't hold it's shape.
- Dice the strawberries small - Make sure you are cutting the strawberries into small pieces for the filling. If they are too big, it will be hard to fit them in the cupcakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
To fill inside of cupcakes, you first need to create a hole in the center using a small knife or cupcake corer about ¾ of the way down. Then you can add filling in the center of the cupcake.
To make strawberry jam filled cupcakes, use strawberry jam instead of fresh strawberries for the filling.
Yes, it's best to keep strawberry cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge so the strawberry filling stays fresh.
Strawberry filled cupcakes can last in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Storing And Freezing
To store the strawberry filled cupcakes, place them in an airtight container (like a cake saver) and keep them in the fridge for 5-7 days.
I don't recommend freezing fully decorated cupcakes because the strawberry filling and frosting won't thaw well. You can freeze undecorated cupcakes by keeping them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 90 days.
More Cake Recipes
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Strawberry Filled Cupcakes
- 1 Cupcake Tin
- 12 Cupcake Liners
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Electric Hand Mixer (or stand mixer)
- 1 Blender (or food processor)
- 1 Piping Bag
- 1 Piping Tip
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups gluten-free 1:1 flour with xanthan gum
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened plant milk
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 cup vegan butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened plant milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt optional
- 1 cup fresh strawberries diced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners (paper or silicone).
- In a large mixing bowl, add melted coconut oil, cane sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
- In the same bowl, add gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, and unsweetened plant milk. Mix on low-medium speed for one minute, until combined.
- Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop the cupcake batter into the cupcake liners. They should be about ⅔ of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
- Measure one cup of freeze-dried strawberries and add them to a blender or food processor. Blend them until they become powder.
- In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add the strawberry powder, powdered sugar, plant milk, vanilla extract, and salt (if using). Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until smooth and well-incorporated.
- If necessary, add more plant milk one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. For thicker frosting, slowly add more powdered sugar until you have the right texture/
Filling And Frosting Cupcakes
- Wash fresh strawberries and make sure they are completely dry. Dice them into small pieces until you have one cup of diced strawberries.
- Once the cupcakes are compeltely cool, use a cupcake corer, sharp knife, or large piping tip to create a hole about ¾ down into the center of each cupcake.
- Fill the cupcakes with diced strawberries until full and level with the top of the cupcake.
- Add your strawberry frosting into a piping bag with a piping tip. Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes and garnish with a fresh strawberry. Serve and enjoy!