Strawberry Strawberry Cupcakes, Gluten Free

The berries have hit town. First they were straggling in willy-nilly.  Then they arrived by the busload like they own the place. 

The first thing you smell in the grocery produce section these days are the strawberries. It probably is one of few times of year that I deliberately dawdle in the produce department. And that is how I learned that you don’t have to go anywhere else to buy chocolate. They sell it right next to the berries.  They also seem to hawk cheese next to the grapes, but I’m much happier to see the chocolate.  You know what’s next to the rhubarb? Nothing. Nothing at all except strange things with roots.

Once those berries arrive home you need a plan otherwise they will turn into a science project as they lounge around. Any berry that still looks pristine after a couple of days is probably not an actual berry, so be careful. I’ve been fooled before. Those long-lasting faux berries taste just like, well, air and styrofoam packing peanuts. How I know that last part is probably more information than you need.

These Strawberry Strawberry Cupcakes are an ode to strawberry season. And this time of year, they actually taste like strawberry.  And look – not a sliver of chocolate nearby.

Although slices of strawberries in the cupcake would have been great, it is much better to turn the berries into purée that is well incorporated with the dry ingredients. Slices would get all melty and weepy and pretty soon your gluten-free rice flour cupcake would be more like rice pudding. And sadly, it would not be easy to pipe buttercream on top of rice pudding. So let’s go with the puree and save the sliced berries for  short cake or a tart (soon).

Meantime, travel to the grocery and stop and smell those strawberries. Bring some home and get busy making these quick and easy strawberry cupcakes. Everyone will be glad you did.

Strawberry Strawberry Cupcakes, Gluten Free
Fresh strawberries in this cupcake make all the difference in flavor. It is a light delicate cake with a huge strawberry aroma. You might not even miss the fact that there is no chocolate in these. These are best served fresh.
Macerated and Puréed Strawberries
  • 1 one pound (or a quart) package of fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 oz. sugar (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 1 tablespoon Framboise
  • 200 grams AP GF flour (100 grams superfine brown rice flour, 50 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (about 1.5 cups)
  • 170 grams granulated sugar (heaping ¾ cup)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 100 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (7 tablespoons)
  • 116 grams macerated and puréed strawberries (about ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Framboise
  • 3 large egg whites
Strawberry Buttercream
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, chilled room temperature (not hard, not melty) (1.5 sticks or 12 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4-6 tablespoons macerated and puréed strawberries
  • 455 grams powdered sugar, sifted (about 4 cups)
  • 1 half-pint heavy cream, whipped (1 cup)
  • 6-8 fresh strawberries sliced
Macerated Strawberries
  1. Wash and hull one pound of strawberries, reserving a few for decoration. Cut into small slivers. Add ¼ cup of sugar, liqueurs, and mix well. Cover and give the container a little shake. Refrigerate at minimum two hours and overnight is better. You want liquid to accumulate. Purée in a small food processor or blender. Don't strain the liquid. Set aside. You might not use it all and the remainder can be frozen.
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan (about 12).
  2. In a large bowl (stand mixer or hand mixer is fine) weigh flours, add sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk. In a microwave safe glass container melt butter and cool slightly. Add in vanilla, Framboise and puréed strawberries. Mix. Add egg whites. Whisk to incorporate. Add to dry mixture and beat until fully combined and batter is shiny, about two minutes. Scoop into liners about ⅔ full and bake 15 minutes. Rotate pan and bake about 6 minutes more or just until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to a rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Strawberry Buttercream
  1. Whip butter with vanilla and 4 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture until thoroughly combined. Add sifted sugar and mix on low until combined. Add more strawberry purée by the tablespoon until the buttercream looks like frosting. Less is more! Turn mixer to high and whip until light and fluffy. Add more purée if the frosting is too stiff. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.
  1. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and freshly sliced strawberries.


  1. So pretty! Love the strawberry buttercream. <3 strawberries

  2. I love strawberries! The smell, taste and texture is just pure heaven 🙂

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Carol. I’m a fan of strawberries, too. Love this time of year.

  3. Delicious, I love strawberries.

    I’m thinking they might go well with a white chocolate liquor I picked up in italy. White Chocolate Drunken buttercream… hmm I might have to get on this one!

  4. Kristen says:

    Framboise is made with barley, so it’s not gluten free…..

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Kristen – as always, reading labels is a good idea. and if you aren’t sure, call the manufacturer. Good quality distilled liqueurs without additives will not contain gluten. Some brands with the name Framboise in them are not gluten free, but they are not distilled liqueurs. These might be called Lambic which is a beer, not a kirsch-like liqueur. If in doubt leave it out.

  5. Thanks so much for the recipe. I made these pretty pink cupcakes today as per your recipe. They have turned out just like your picture, however are just a little on the dry side, perhaps I have overcooked them. Carol do you have any ideas for next time. Thanks again for your great site and cannot wait to try some more of your yummy recipes.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Yep. Sounds like too much oven time. But sometimes just a little change in the ingredients will make a difference, too. Try taking them out after you see barely done crumbs on the toothpick – they might, in fact, look slightly wet. Bake them a few minutes less than you did this time.

  6. Bless you, Lisa. I haven’t had cupcakes in a year and a quarter. And sometimes you just need that cakey texture! I follow the Genotype diet (Dr. D`Adamo) and I am basically gluten and dairy free Strawberries are a permanent avoid, but guava is a diamond super food, so I substituted.

    Question: I can’t have brown rice flour, I use white rice, sweet rice and arrowroot starch. Any recommendations on the amounts of each?

    Thank you so much.

  7. Can I leave out all the alcohol? I want to make them for my kids

  8. These look great! Can you just substitute regular flour though? Would you do it in the same amount? Thanks!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      It’s been so long since I’ve used regular flour but if I am remembering correctly the weight should be about the same. If anything err on the side of just a little bit more AP flour, maybe 220 grams total. (Our flour is 130 grams per cup and AP flour is around 140 grams per cup). But the cupcake crumb should be light and not be very dense. You might have to adjust – in other words, it’ll be an experiment, but it should be fine. Just keep note of how much flour you use so you can adjust up or down next time. Add more if the crumb is too damp and dense and less if the the crumb is heavy and crumbly. Hope that helps.

  9. Sounds delicious, I will try to make a cupcake at home
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