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Strawberry Cupcakes (Doctored Cake Mix)

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These Strawberry Cupcakes use a cake mix base with the addition of real fruit for an extra punch of flavor! Top with a homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting for the perfect finish!

Strawberry cupcakes sitting on grey table with fresh strawberries

These strawberry cupcakes are high on the list of most requested, AND are included in the TOP Dessert Recipes on my site, but they have a secret… They start with a white cake mix.

Insert your gasps here.

I promise even from scratch bakers will fall in love with the bold flavor of this little cake. The addition of jello and fresh fruit really jazz things up and give these a wonderful strawberry taste! A cream cheese frosting (with the addition of more fruit) tops things off giving them the perfect finish!

Recipe Features:

  • Cake Mix Hack: This recipe starts with a cake mix, but thanks to the addition of some extra ingredients you would never know!
  • Bold Flavor: You will not find a more bold strawberry cake flavor.
  • Family Favorite: Requested from my entire family time and time again.
Cake Mix Strawberry Cupcakes

What You’ll Need:

Doctored cake mix recipes are totally in. They are so simple to make and are almost fool proof. I have seen countless cookbooks and bloggers adding fun twists on the classics. This is mine. This strawberry cupcake with Jell-O is too good not to try!

  • White boxed cake mix: The powder NOT mixed with anything.
  • Strawberry Jell-O: Again, the powder. Do not mix this with water.
  • Strawberries: From the freezer section but thawed.
  • Cream Cheese: For the frosting

For a full list of ingredients and measurements see the recipe card below.

Top down shot of strawberry cake mix cupcakes

How to make Strawberry Cupcakes with a cake mix:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Place the first 7 ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend on medium speed until smooth. 
  3.  Divide into you prepared cups filling 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

They puff perfectly and have a gorgeous red color.

Top them with a simple strawberry cream cheese frosting and maybe a candied strawberry for presentation and you have yourself a gourmet style cake.

three strawberry cupcakes with a fresh berry on grey table

5 tips for bakery worthy cupcakes

  1. Bring your ingredients to room temperature. This one seems silly, especially when you are using a cake mix, but is super important. Room temp ingredients help everything blend and combine together leaving you with a smooth batter ready for the oven. It is even more important with the frozen strawberries in this recipe. They need to be THAWED or your cupcakes will sink.
  2. Do not over mix the batter. The shortened reason why you should be careful? If you over mix you will have a dense cake.
  3. Use a cookie scoop. Using a scoop to get your batter into your liners ensures even cupcake sizes.
  4. Preheat your oven. I get pretty impatient and have been known to stick my cupcakes in the oven before it is ready. The result is almost always under or over baked cupcakes. Let your oven heat up to the right temperature before starting.
  5. Remove your cupcakes from the pan right away and cool completely before frosting. Your cupcakes will continue to bake as they sit in the hot pan. Pop them out onto a cooling rack. Also, avoid frosting until they are cooled completely. This will help your frosting stick and keep it from melting.

Is the pink color perfect for spring? The leftovers filled our house with a wonderful berry smell and had me craving cupcakes for days after! Try them out and let me know what you think!

Strawberry Cupcake Recipe

Related Recipes:

Like this recipe? You will love my:

Strawberry Cake Mix Cupcakes

Strawberry Cake Mix Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These Strawberry Cupcakes use a cake mix base with the addition of real fruit for an extra punch of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.25 oz ) box white cake mix
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 oz package strawberry Jell-O
  • 10 oz frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed in a blender. 1/4 cup reserved for the frosting.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 oz cream cheese, soft
  • 1/4 cup butter, soft
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

Cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

2. Place the first 7 ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend on medium speed until smooth. 

3. Divide into you prepared cups filling 3/4 full.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

1. Add the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until combined.

2. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined, about 2 more minutes.

3. Stir 1/4 cup pureed strawberries and mix until combined.

4. Add the heavy cream a little at a time and whip until a thick consistency is formed. Continue to beat 3 to 5 minutes or until soft and creamy.

5. Top onto your cooled cupcakes.

Notes

Make sure the strawberries are thawed completely.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 2g
Pin for later:
These Strawberry Cupcakes use a cake mix base with the addition of real fruit for an extra punch of flavor!

Neisymar Ortiz

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Are we supposed to put in the full eggs or just the egg white?

Jesseca

Sunday 18th of April 2021

The full egg.

Naomi Scott

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

If you substitute a strawberry cake mix for the white, would you adjust anywhere else in the recipe? Jonesing for something sweet & no white cake mix in the pantry.

Jesseca

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

I couldn't confidently say how the flavors would play out with that substitute. I haven't tried it. Maybe take out the jello? But, I'm not sure if that will change the texture or cause sinking.

Terry Canaday

Friday 22nd of January 2021

Made these today and they smell and taste delicous.... making them for my grandaughters birthday for Saturday January 23rd/2021 she will be five yrs old, going with rainbow butter cream icing....

Jesseca

Monday 25th of January 2021

Happy birthday!!

Jackie

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

do you make the actual Jell-O and then put it in or is it straight Jell-O powder into the mixing bowl?

Debra

Saturday 15th of May 2021

@Jackie, straight powder

Jesseca

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Great question, it is just the jello mix added to the cake batter.

Kristi

Monday 21st of October 2019

Made these for my cousins bday and topped it off with a white chocolate buttercream icing. Everyone loved them!!

Jesseca

Monday 21st of October 2019

What a great idea! That sounds delicious.

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