Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry FrostingStrawberries are finally in full swing, which means that they smell like strawberries, look like strawberries (red inside and out!) and even taste like strawberries. I never really tire of baking with this lovely fruit, but baking with fruit does present its own special challenges: it tends to be wet so it upends the moisture balance in baking.

The solution this time? Make strawberry syrup! These gluten free strawberry cupcakes with sweet strawberry frosting are naturally pink (completely dye-free!) and undeniably impressive-looking.

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

You hardly need any sugar to make the strawberry syrup, since the strawberries themselves are really quite sweet right now. You can even use frozen strawberries if they’re not in season where you live—just thaw them first!

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

I went for the rustic frost on these sweet little cupcakes since it just seemed very back-to-the-earth. But of course you could pipe on the frosting and make it all fancy and stuff.

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

I couldn’t resist adding another dollop of strawberry syrup on top of each cupcake, since you don’t use all of the syrup in the recipe and it’s just so … pretty (and smells so good!). There are so many more things you can do with the leftover syrup, too: drizzle it on vanilla (or strawberry!) ice cream, whip it into cannoli filling, ooooh or maybe use it to make strawberry milk!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 15 cupcakes


For the strawberry syrup
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3 to 4 tablespoons lukewarm water

For the cupcakes
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used my mock Cup4Cup)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg (60 g, out of shell) plus 1 egg white (30 g) at room temperature, beaten

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup (2.7 fluid ounces) strawberry syrup, at room temperature

1/3 cup (2.7 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

Strawberry Frosting
14 tablespoons (196 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 1/2 to 4 cups (400 to 460 g) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 fluid ounces) strawberry syrup, at room temperature

Milk by the half-teaspoonful at room temperature, as necessary


  • First, make the strawberry syrup. In a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the strawberries, sugar, salt and 3 tablespoons water, and mix to combine. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally and adding the remaining tablespoon of water if necessary to prevent the mixture from burning, until the strawberries are softened and the liquid has reduced by about 1/4. Remove from the heat and place the contents of the saucepan in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pass the strawberry syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Set the syrup aside to cool.

  • Make the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, egg, egg white, vanilla, strawberry syrup and milk, mixing to combine after each addition until just combined. Fill the prepared wells of the muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full with the batter, and shake into an even layer.Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean (about 19 minutes). Remove from the oven and and allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add 3 1/2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and the salt, and beat on low speed until the sugar is absorbed by the butter. Add the strawberry syrup and beat to combine. The frosting should be light and fluffy, and should hold its shape easily when scooped with a spoon. Add more confectioners’ sugar and/or milk by the half-teaspoonful as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

  • Finish the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost the cupcakes generously with the frosting, and top with a small dollop of the remaining strawberry syrup.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. Your support means the world to me!

Comments are closed.

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  • Linda
    June 8, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    While these are good, I really feel like the strawberry flavor is quite subtle. Any suggestions of ramping up the flavor some? I followed the recipe exactly except I topped each cupcake with a sliced strawberry instead of a dollop of the syrup.

    • Linda
      June 8, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Amping up the flavor. Autocorrect…

      • June 8, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        Feel free to play around with the recipe, Linda. I have only tested it as written.

  • June 6, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    My girls and I have been having so much fun with this recipe today! I made the strawberry syrup (I didn’t bother to blend or strain) to top the giant pancake my oldest daughter baked for brunch, then my youngest daughter helped us make and ice the cupcakes. A perfect late-spring/early-summer treat, these are delectable! And you have impeccable timing :)

    • June 7, 2014 at 6:37 AM

      They look beautiful, Davonne!! Love the pictures, especially of your little one piping on that icing!

      • June 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        Thank you so much, and I agree! My oldest daughter liked the cupcakes so much that she requested this cupcake recipe with a coconut-cream icing for her birthday. They were a huge hit and even the pickier eaters gobbled them up!

        • June 14, 2014 at 10:23 AM

          Here’s a pic for you!

        • June 14, 2014 at 10:23 AM

          So sorry, I didn’t mean to post that twice. Please feel free to delete this as well as the duplicate!

  • Margaret Schultz
    June 6, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Yum. I was just wondering what to do with all our fresh CSA strawberries before they go bad…yay!!!!! This is PERFECT.

    • June 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM


      • Margaret Schultz
        June 8, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        To follow up, these were a big hit with my family. My 8 yr old doesn’t like cupcakes but he sure loved the strawberry “muffins”!

  • Diane Decker
    June 6, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Today is my birthday (64th!) and we always celebrated with strawberry shortcake when I was a kid. Called the local U-Pick strawberry place yesterday. Due to the very late freeze we had in May, they have absolutely no strawberries for the entire season. Sad face. Might have to hunt down some supermarket berries and make these cupcakes. Can you make it as a cake? I can experiment, but it is so much better if I know I have a chance at success. Ingredients are so expensive and I’m on social security ONLY.

    • June 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM

      Hi, Diane, Happy birthday! I haven’t tried this as a cake, but usually a cupcake will work as a cake (but not necessarily vice versa), so I’d give it a go!

  • Jennifer S.
    June 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    We are totally in season for strawberries right now and you are right, they are super fab at this very minute! Thanks for a wonderful treat on this Friday! have a good weekend!

    • June 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Have a great weekend, Jennifer!!

  • Lucy
    June 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    We have a potluck music concert at Amanda’s school, we are to bring a salad and the older students dessert. I had decided to bring both so she may have something to eat. These look fantastic! Perfect for the school concert/picnic!
    We are still not in season for strawberries so frozen will have to do. Thank you Nicole….HUGS!

    • June 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      These definitely are perfect for a school picnic, Lucy! Since you’ll be transporting them, you might want to add 1 teaspoon of meringue powder to the frosting. It will help it be more stable for longer at room temp!

  • June 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Whoa! My daughters and I just picked 22 pounds of strawberries yesterday, then today’s plans were cancelled so it looks like it’s going to be a strawberry baking day. First up, THESE cupcakes. Perfect timing, thank you so much!!

    • Jennifer S.
      June 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM


    • June 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Whoa, indeed, Davonne! That is one gorgeous haul of strawberries! I never get it together to go strawberry picking, but I can see what I’m missing. :)

      • June 6, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        This was our first time, I’ve missed it every single year until now – it was so worth our trip!

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