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Easy Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes Recipe

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These strawberry crunch cupcakes start with a vanilla cake mix and are elevated with a cookie bottom and vanilla frosting with an easy strawberry crunch topping. You won’t believe how simple these delicious cupcakes are to make!

Strawberry Crunch cupcakes on a white cake plate with fresh strawberries on top.
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If you have been around here long, you know that I love making treats with homemade strawberry crunch topping. It’s such an easy way to elevate a simple dessert and these strawberry crunch cupcakes are no exception!

We’re going to start with the easiest cookie bottom you’ve ever seen on a dessert – it is just a Golden Oreo in the bottom of each muffin cup!

Then comes the strawberry cupcakes, which are made using a box cake mix, a box of strawberry Jell-O mix, and strawberry jam. How easy is that?

Last, we’ll top it all off with a simple homemade vanilla frosting and that scrumptious homemade strawberry crunch topping.

I love making these delicious strawberry crunch cupcakes for Valentine’s Day, baby showers, and any other occasion where a perfect cupcake recipe is needed.

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What goes into this recipe

The ingredients needed to make Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes.
  • Vanilla Cake Mix: By starting with a box mix, we’re making the recipe super easy.
  • Strawberry Jello Powder: This will keep the cupcakes moist and infuse them with lots of strawberry flavor.
  • Golden Oreo Cookies: Crumbled Oreos go into the strawberry crunch topping and whole Oreos form the cookie bottom for each cupcake. They are so delicious and add a crunchy texture.
  • Freeze-Dried Strawberries: These are the key ingredient in the strawberry crunch topping which gives it a sweet and tart strawberry flavor.
  • Butter: Softened butter is used both in the crunchy topping and the homemade vanilla frosting.
  • Strawberry Jam: This will infuse even more sweet strawberry flavor into the cupcakes. You could also use a fresh strawberry puree.
  • Eggs: Eggs will hold all the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla Bean Paste: This is your secret weapon to give the creamy frosting its signature vanilla flavor. You can also use vanilla extract if you prefer.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt will balance out all the sweet flavors in the cupcakes.

See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Chocolate Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes: Substitute the vanilla cake mix with a chocolate cake mix for a chocolate-covered strawberry flavor. You can switch out the golden Oreo for classic Oreo cookies as well!
  • Lemon Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes: Add lemon zest to the cupcake batter for a citrus twist.
  • Change up the berries: For a mixed berry flavor, try using a blueberry jam, raspberry jam, or blackberry jam instead of the strawberry.
  • Use cream cheese frosting: If you’d like, you can switch out the vanilla frosting with a simple cream cheese frosting for a tangy twist.

How to make Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

  1. Make the Strawberry Crunch Topping by using Golden Oreos, freeze-dried strawberries and butter.  Here is the full recipe and tips for Strawberry Crunch Topping.
  2. Place all cupcake ingredients into a large mixing bowl {or the bowl of your stand mixer if not using an electric mixer} and mix well for 2-3 minutes.
Making the crunch topping and the strawberry cake batter.
  1. Add a Golden Oreo cookie to the bottom of each muffin cup.
  2. Fill cupcake liners two thirds full with cupcake batter.
Adding the Oreo to the bottom of the pan and topping with cupcake batter.
  1. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the unfrosted cupcakes to cool completely prior to frosting.
  2. In a large bowl beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla,  milk or heavy cream and salt. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Spread about 2 tablespoons of vanilla buttercream on top of the cupcakes {or add frosting to a piping bag and top of each cupcake with frosting}. 
Baking and frosting the cupcakes.
  1. Add the strawberry shortcake crumble to the top of the vanilla frosting.
  2. Finally, add a fresh strawberry and enjoy.
Add strawberry crunch topping and a fresh strawberry to the top of the cucpakes.

Expert Tips

  • Ensure that ingredients like butter and eggs are at room temperature. This helps in achieving a smoother batter and frosting.
  • Always use cupcake liners.  They prevent sticking and ensure easy removal of the cupcakes from the muffin tin.
  • Use an ice cream scoop {or large cookie scoop} to fill the muffin cups.  This will keep everything the same size and help them to bake evenly.
  • If the frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  • Make sure that your cupcakes are completely cool before you add the frosting. Otherwise it will melt and not hold the crunch topping.

Storage and Freezing

Store: After making the easy strawberry crunch cupcakes, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stored properly, the cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to three to four days.

Freeze: To extend the shelf life, individually wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap or place them in ziplock bags, removing any excess air before sealing. I recommend frosting the cupcakes after they have thawed.

Frozen cupcakes can be stored in the freezer for two to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the cupcakes at room temperature for an hour, frost and add the strawberry crunch topping, and then serve.

Recipe FAQs

What if I don’t have vanilla bean paste for the frosting?

Pure vanilla extract can be used as a substitute for vanilla bean paste in the frosting. Start with a teaspoon and adjust to taste.

Can I make the cupcakes ahead of time and frost them later?

Yes, you can bake the cupcakes in advance and frost them when you’re ready to serve. Store the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container.

Can I substitute another type of cake mix for the vanilla cake mix?

Yes, feel free to experiment with different cake mixes. Keep in mind that it may alter the flavor profile of the cupcakes.

What else can I do with strawberry crunch topping?

There are so many ways to use homemade strawberry crunch.  While this strawberry shortcake cupcake recipe might be my favorite, you can also make Strawberry Crunch Cookies, pound cake, cheesecake, cheesecake cones or even add it to the top of vanilla ice cream.

A strawberry crunch cupcake with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries.

Do you love strawberry crunch? Try these recipes…

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a ⭐️ review below and tag @practicallyhomemade on Pinterest!

Strawberry crunch cupcakes on a white cake plate with fresh strawberries.

Easy Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes Recipe

Simple and delicious strawberry cupcakes are elevated with a cookie bottom and topped with vanilla frosting and homemade strawberry crunch topping.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 413kcal
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

Strawberry Crunch Topping

  • 1 ¼ cup freeze dried strawberries {pulsed to a coarse powder}
  • 1 cup Golden Oreo crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons butter {softened}

Strawberry Cupcake

  • 24 whole Golden Oreo Cookies
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix {13.25 ounces}
  • 1 box strawberry jello mix {3 ounces}
  • ¼ cup strawberry jam
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup milk

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 cup butter {softned}
  • 4-4 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 7-8 Tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste {or vanilla extract}
  • teaspoon salt

Instructions

Strawberry Crunch Topping

  • Add Golden Oreos to food processor* and pulse until you have crumbs. Pour 1 cup into a bowl. Add freeze dried strawberries to the food processor and pulse until you have a powder {there can be a few chunks}. Put 1 1/4 cups freeze dried strawberry powder into the Golden Oreo crumbs that you set aside. Add the softened butter and work it into the ingredients using your hands {or a spoon}. Continue to work it together until everything is evenly coated. Set aside until cupcakes are ready.

Cupcake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners and place a Golden Oreo into the bottom of each cup.
  • Place all cupcake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes. Fill cupcake liners two thirds full with cupcake batter.
  • Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

Vanilla Frosting

  • In a large bowl beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla,  milk or cream and salt. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. If the frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  • Spread about 2 tablespoons of frosting onto the top of each cupcake {or add frosting to a piping bag and top of each cupcake with frosting}.  Add strawberry crunch topping to the top of the vanilla frosting and a fresh strawberry {if desired}.

Notes

    • Ensure that ingredients like butter and eggs are at room temperature. This helps in achieving a smoother batter and frosting.
    • Use cupcake liners to prevent sticking and ensure easy removal of cupcakes from the muffin tin.
    • Fill muffin cups using an ice cream scoop or large cookie scoop.  
    • After making the strawberry crunch cupcakes, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stored properly, the cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to three to four days.
  •  

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 151mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg
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