This recipe for strawberry lemonade cupcakes is the perfect balance of sweet berries and tart lemon. The cupcakes are amazingly moist thanks to the addition of lemon pudding!
If you love strawberry lemonade, then these strawberry lemonade cupcakes will be your new favorite. Just like the drink, the tartness of the lemon is tempered by the sweetness of strawberries. In this case, the lemon is in the cake layer and the strawberries are in the form of a light, fluffy buttercream made with fresh strawberry puree.
The swirls of pink buttercream are definitely a show-stopper, but the lemon cupcake base is equally impressive. It’s made with fresh lemon juice and lemon pudding for double the lemon flavor. Plus, the pudding makes the cake super moist, with a perfectly tender crumb.
What Does Pudding Mix Do in a Cake?
Pudding mix is often used in cakes as a way to add moistness without adding more liquid to the batter. It also adds flavor and makes the texture denser—but in a good way!
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Butter – Melt this before starting the recipe; I recommend using unsalted butter.
- Eggs – Let these come to room temperature.
- Vanilla extract
- Milk – I like to bake with whole milk, but whatever you have on hand is fine.
- Fresh lemon juice
- Lemon pudding mix
- Butter – Let this come to room temperature so it’s easy to whip into a creamy frosting.
- Fresh strawberry puree – I recommend using fresh strawberries, but frozen can be used in a pinch.
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
If you don’t have time to make these cupcakes in one go, you can make the cakes one day and whip up the frosting the next.
Make the Cupcakes:
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar. Combine the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat them together using a handheld or stand mixer.
Add the wet ingredients. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Then, add the lemon juice, dry pudding mix, and milk, and combine.
Finish the batter. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Bake. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool. Set the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely before adding the frosting.
Make the frosting and finish:
Beat the butter. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until it’s soft and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients. Beat in the strawberry puree, then slowly add in the powdered sugar, beating on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
Frost the cupcakes. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1B Large Closed Star tip, or simply frost the cupcakes with an offset spatula.
Tips for Success
Here are some of my best tips for perfect strawberry lemonade cupcakes:
- Filling the cupcake liners. The batter for this recipe is thick, so use a spoon or cookie scoop to fill the cupcake liners, rather than trying to pour the batter in.
- Amp up the lemon flavor. If you love lemon, you can add a bit of fresh lemon juice to the strawberry icing and add a little more powdered sugar to account for the extra liquid.
- Making the strawberry puree. Make sure your strawberry puree is blended smooth, with no big chunks of strawberry, if you are planning to pipe your icing. This will keep the tip from clogging.
How to Store
Place your finished strawberry lemonade cupcakes in an airtight container and store them on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
If you want to freeze leftover cupcakes, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them until the frosting on top is completely solid. Then, wrap the cupcakes individually, or store them in a freezer bag or airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months, then thawed in the refrigerator before serving.
To freeze the cupcakes for future use, I recommend freezing them without the frosting, then making the frosting and piping it on once you’ve thawed the frozen cupcakes.
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cup butter melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup milk
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 box of dry lemon pudding mix, 3.4 oz box
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup fresh strawberry puree
- 3–4 cups powdered sugar
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder then set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a handheld or standing mixer, beat the melted butter and sugar together until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing just to incorporate, then add vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add in the lemon juice, dry pudding mix and milk and combine.
- Slowly add flour mixture to your wet ingredients and mix until just combined. But make sure to scrape down the sides and not leave pockets of dry ingredients.
- Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. (this batter is fairly thick so I recommend using a spoon or cookie scoop to add the batter to each tin.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Then transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack while making the frosting (they should be fully cooled before frosting)
- To make the frosting, beat softened butter on high until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Pour in strawberry puree and beat until mixed.
- Then gradually add about 3 cups of powdered sugar to the strawberry butter mixture until combined.
- Add remaining cup of powdered sugar until you get desired consistency and beat on high for about 2-3 minutes more.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes using a spatula or pipe it on with a Wilton 1B Large Closed Star tip.
- If you love lemon, you can add a bit of fresh lemon juice to the strawberry icing and adjust the powdered sugar accordingly to make up for the additional liquid.
- Make sure that your strawberry puree has been blended down smooth with no big chunks of strawberry if you are planning to pipe your icing on or the pieces will get stuck in the piping tip.
- Storage Instructions: Place cupcakes in an airtight container or in tight plastic wrap and leave on the counter for up to 3 days or and keep them refrigerated for up to a week.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.