Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes made with lemonade and a strawberry cream cheese icing completely scream summer. These are fun, easy and really cute too.
I love a good cooking shortcut and I have one for you today. This strawberry lemon cupcake is made using a doctored up lemon cake mix and a tub of strawberry cream cheese frosting. You would never know because it tastes like it is made from scratch. Everyone wins here!
How to Make Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes
This cupcake recipe is fabulous for a novice baker because it is so simple and will turn out great. Perfect for the budding chef to make. Using the box cake mix really speeds things along.
Cupcakes are great to have around because they come in a single serving and they also freeze really well. If you plan to freeze any cupcakes, bake them, let them completely cool and then freeze in an airtight container.
- Lemon cake mix: We’re doctoring up a cake mix to make this one very easy recipe!
- Lemon zest: adds a lot of natural flavor to that cake mix
- Lemonade: we’re using this in place of the water in the cake mix for added lemon flavor!
- Butter: no oil in our cake mix, butter adds great flavor and improves the texture
- Fresh strawberries: folding them into the cake batter adds little pops of flavor to the cupcakes
- Tub of strawberry cream cheese spread: this is the secret ingredient in our homemade frosting, an easy way to add strawberry flavor!
- Powdered sugar: the back bone of our homemade frosting
- Lemon slices and strawberry halves, optional garnish: because they make them so pretty!
- We’re going to spruce up a box of lemon cake mix by adding lemon zest, using lemonade instead of the water, and adding fresh strawberries so that the flavors are all throughout the cake!
- Bake up the cupcakes and let them cool.
- Make a simple homemade frosting with strawberry cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. Using flavored cream cheese is a little trick you are going to use again and again!
- When the cupcakes are cooled, top them with the lovely frosting.
- You can garnish with fresh strawberry halves and lemon slices if you would like.
- FULL instructions and ingredients with measurements in the printable recipe card below! Keep scrolling!
Frequently Asked Questions
I like to give my cupcake liners a small spritz before pouring in the batter. This will prevent the cupcakes from sticking, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to!
Ideally, you want to frost cupcakes right before you are going to serve them for optimal freshness. Make sure the cupcakes have cooled for at least an hour before applying frosting. It works really well to bake the cupcakes ahead of time and then just frost them when you are ready.
I prefer to use whatever is in season. If strawberries are not in season then I will opt to use frozen-but I love fresh strawberries so much more!
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- Buttercup Macarons and Mango Lime Cupcakes
- Lemon Bar Cookie Cups
If you’ve tried this Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes recipe or any other recipe on Barbara Bakes, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.
Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes
- 1 box lemon cake mix 15.25 ounce
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup lemonade
- ½ cup salted butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 cup fresh strawberries chopped
- 1 tub strawberry cream cheese spread 8 ounces, room temperature
- ½ cup salted butter (1 stick)room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Fresh halved strawberries optional garnish
- Fresh lemon slices optional garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- Whisk together the lemon cake mix and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl until combined.
- Use a hand or stand mixer to beat in the eggs, lemonade and melted butter until a smooth, fluffy batter forms.
- Fold in the fresh strawberries.
- Gently scoop batter into each cupcake liner, filling them about ⅔ full of batter.
- Bake for 19-23 minutes or until the top springs back when tapped and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese spread and salted butter with a hand or stand mixer in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating on medium until the frosting is thick and creamy.
- Once you’ve added 1-2 cups of powdered sugar add in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and beat well.
- Continue adding powdered sugar, beating on medium, until you have a thick, pipeable frosting. If it gets too thick you can add an additional teaspoon of lemon juice to get the consistency you need.
- Once the frosting is ready, scoop it into a piping bag fitted with a 1M Wilton tip and pipe frosting onto each cupcake in a spiral pattern.
- Garnish with fresh strawberry halves and lemon slices, optional.
- This is a great recipe to do with mixed berries instead of just strawberries if you’d like.
- To test the cupcakes to see if they are done, you can gently press the cake. If the cupcake springs back when lightly touched, they are done. If it stays indented, it needs to bake a few more minutes.
Strawberry and lemon is such an iconic flavor combination that tastes delicious. These Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes turn out lovely, moist and so pretty. I can’t wait for you to try them.