These Easy Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes are vanilla and strawberry cupcakes inspired by the classic strawberry shortcake crunch ice cream bars. These are completely homemade, but come together very quickly!
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These were actually one of the first things I made for youthsweets back when I was just posting photos of my bakes on Instagram. The original inspiration came from Pinterest, of course, but I cannot find the specific link, unfortunately.
I do not make cupcakes often, but when I do I love decorating them in unique ways. This usually involves some kind of stacked buttercream, like my Fruit Flower Cupcakes. If you’re looking for something way easier, then you might like my Dutch Butter Cake, which requires no special equipment or fancy decorating.
Strawberry is the star of these cupcakes, but the golden oreos bring the perfect vanilla flavor.
- vegetable oil
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- sour cream
- lemon juice
- vanilla extract
- almond extract
- strawberry jam (not pictured)
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- golden oreos (vanilla sandwich cookies)
- freeze dried strawberries
- fresh strawberries (not pictured)
See recipe card for quantities.
Here’s how to decorate strawberry crunch cupcakes:
Pipe a thin layer of frosting on top of each cupcake.
Dip each cupcake into the strawberry crunch mixture.
Pipe a dollop of frosting on top in the middle.
Garnish with a strawberry heart, if desired.
Good to know: Although not necessary, I like to spray cupcake liners with a bit of oil spray for easy release.
Substitutions and Variations
Here’s how to customize these cupcakes to your liking:
- No sour cream — use greek yogurt
- No lemon juice — use ¼ teaspoon of citric acid or omit altogether
- No strawberry jam — omit or use another fruit jam
- No cream cheese — omit and increase the powdered sugar to thicken the frosting to your liking
- Swap the fruit — if you can find a fruit in freeze-dried and fresh form, you can make these cupcakes in any fruit flavor!
- No golden oreos — swap for Nilla wafers or another shortbread cookie
Do you have any other variation suggestions? Let me know in the comments!
If you choose to do the heart garnish, then you may find this pack of small cookie cutters helpful for punching out the shape. But you could also just cut the shape with a small paring knife.
A large cookie scoop makes portioning batter into the tin super simple. I like this one.
Store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
I like to fit a piping bag with a coupler without a tip for the first piping because it does not matter what the first layer of icing looks like. Then, I add an open star tip for the garnish.
Lastly, if you make these Easy Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating. I love to see when people make my recipes, so please tag me @youthsweets on Instagram if you post!
Easy Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes
- ⅔ cup oil vegetable, canola or grapeseed
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour (220g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream (173g)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice freshly-squeezed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup strawberry jam for filling (optional)
Cream cheese frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature (1½ sticks, 160g)
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted (220g)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice freshly-squeezed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 vanilla sandwich cookies golden oreos divided
- 1 oz freeze dried strawberries
- Fresh strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill a 12-cavity muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- The frosting and strawberry crunch can be made ahead of time, but it is not necessary. Bring the frosting to room temperature before using.
Make the cupcakes
- Thoroughly whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula just until there are no longer any streaks of flour.
- Using a large cookie scoop or a ¼-cup measuring cup, scoop batter into each cavity of the prepared pan just ½ the way up the sides. Place about ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam in each cavity. Gently swirl it into the batter with a toothpick or metal cake tester.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of batter over the top of the jam.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting
- Beat the cream cheese on high with beaters or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes or until completely smooth. Remove to a small bowl.
- Place the room temperature butter in the stand mixer bowl or regular bowl that the cream cheese was just in. Beat on high for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the cream cheese to the butter and beat for 1-2 minutes until thoroughly combined.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until combined.
Make the strawberry crunch
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the freeze dried strawberries with 10 of the vanilla sandwich cookies. Pulse until fine crumbs form.
- Add the last 6 of the vanilla sandwich cookies. Pulse a few times just until they break down into slightly larger crumbs than the first mixture. You want to be able to see bits of cookie for texture variation. Set aside in a shallow dish.
Assemble and decorate
- Using a piping bag or an offset spatula, place a ¼-inch thick layer of frosting on top of a cupcake. I like to fit a piping bag with a coupler without a tip for this part. At this point, it does not have to be pretty. It is about to get smashed into the crunch. Repeat with the rest of the cupcakes.
- Invert the cupcakes and gently press into the strawberry crunch crumbs to completely coat the top.
- Add a small open star piping tip to the piping bag and place the coupler back on.
- In a circular motion, pipe a small dollop of frosting in the middle of the cupcake on top of the crunch layer.
- Garnish with a fresh strawberry, if desired. I used a small heart cutter to make tiny, heart-shaped strawberry pieces for garnish.