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Strawberry-Basil Cupcakes with White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream

Moist Strawberry Basil Cupcakes combine sweet and savory flavors, topped with a white chocolate lemon buttercream that makes this the perfect summer dessert!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcakes, Strawberry Basil
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Jaida


For the cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites 3/4 cup, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, minced

For the White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream

  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Zest from 1 lemon


  • Set oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray, and set aside.
  • Place your freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and grind them to a powder*. Set aside for later use.
  • Pour milk, egg whites, and vanilla into 2-cup measuring cup, and mix with fork until blended.
  • Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer on low speed. Add butter and continue mixing on low speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
  • Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1½ minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and mix an additional 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and then mix 20 seconds more.
  • Mix in strawberry powder until just blended, then stir in minced basil.
  • Divide batter evenly into prepared cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-17 minutes (8-11 for miniature).
  • Cool completely before frosting.

For the White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream:

  • Place white chocolate in a small, heat-proof bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir very well, then return to microwave and heat in 15-second increments, stirring very well in between, until chocolate is completely smooth and melted.
  • Set chocolate aside to cool for at least 15 minutes and no longer warm to the touch.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed (scraping down the sides as needed) until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • With mixer on low-speed, gradually add melted, cooled chocolate and stir well.
  • Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, on low speed. Once all of the sugar has been added, add in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest, then beat on high-speed for a full 2 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Add frosting to piping bag with tip of choice and decorate as desired, then top with fresh strawberries and basil, if desired!
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