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These strawberry crunch cupcakes are light, crunchy and loaded with sweet strawberry filling. Topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting and crumbles, they taste just like a strawberry crunch cheesecake. And the best part? These cupcakes taste like summer in bite-size form!
Have you ever wondered what happens when you merge cupcakes with strawberry cheesecake? You get the most delicious strawberry crunch cupcakes in existence. These strawberry cheesecake cupcakes are the best of both worlds: light and smooth, and crunchy and fresh.
I know I’m not alone in my obsession for strawberries, so this recipe is perfect for the strawberry lover. Not only do they look super cute, but they pack a punch of flavour. Naturally sweet, this recipe is great for celebrations, birthdays, or as complete showstoppers for any events!
These cream cheese cupcakes have a light and moist strawberry muffin base placed on a crunchy golden Oreo cookie. Next, the core is filled with juicy and sweet strawberry compote, just like the type you find on top of cheesecakes. The muffin is then iced with cream cheese, covered in crunchy crumbles, and topped with a juicy strawberry.
Why these strawberry crunch cupcakes are amazing
These strawberry cheesecake crunch cupcakes are guaranteed to become your favourite strawberry dessert! Not only are they delicious, but they’re also incredibly fresh and light – perfect for summer.
This recipe uses no artificial flavours, and seasonal summer fruits are used to maximise the taste. Strawberries are found in the muffin base, filling, cream cheese frosting and crunchy crumbles.
The strawberry cheesecake cupcakes are:
- Delicious like a strawberry cheesecake, but in cupcake form
- Crunchy, with an Oreo base and topped with crumbles
- Moist and light, with a soft strawberry muffin base
- Sweet and juicy, filled with fresh strawberry compote
- Smooth and sweet, covered in strawberry cream cheese frosting
- Easy to make
- A celebration of summer seasonal flavours
- Refreshing and indulgent
The cupcake components
Oreo cookie – placed at the bottom of the muffin, the Oreo cookie adds flavour and crunchiness to the cupcakes.
Strawberry muffin base – a super light and moist muffin, made with dried strawberries. You can also make the muffins on their own, as they taste delicious!
Strawberry filling – homemade compote, like the strawberry topping on cheesecakes. The filling is placed in the core of the muffin, for a sweet surprise! You can also use jam or fresh strawberries instead.
Strawberry cream cheese frosting – silky smooth and fragrant, this frosting is seriously next level. You can also use it for cakes, cheesecakes, and other strawberry desserts.
Crunchy crumbles – made with crunchy cookies and dried strawberries. The crunchy layer adds more texture to the cupcakes and tastes just like a cheesecake crust.
Juicy strawberry – a punch of extra freshness and flavour, placed on the top of the cupcake.
Strawberries – This recipe uses fresh and freeze-dried strawberries. I used fresh strawberries to make the compote filling and for decoration. You can also use frozen strawberries for the compote, just make sure you drain any excess liquid once thawed.
For the dried strawberries, I recommend using freeze-dried strawberry pieces for their intense flavour. I use them in the muffin batter, in the crunchy crumble and the cream cheese frosting. Freeze-dried strawberries are great for their intense flavour and also as natural food colouring.
Oreos – Use golden Oreo cookies, vanilla or strawberry flavoured round cookies that can fit in a muffin tin. I do not recommend chocolate Oreos for this recipe as the taste would be too strong. I used Oreo Strawberry Frosted Donut, which works perfectly for these strawberry cream cheese cupcakes.
Vegetable oil – Use oils without flavour, such as sunflower or canola (rapeseed). Oil is used to make the strawberry muffin extremely soft and light.
Buttermilk – makes the texture of the muffin soft and moist. You can replace buttermilk with sour or double (heavy) cream.
Vanilla cookies or biscuits – used for the crunchy crumbles. I recommend using plain vanilla cookies (without any cream) or caramelised cookies like Lotus Biscoff.
Chocolate – used in the cream cheese frosting. I like to use ruby chocolate because it adds a fruity note to the frosting. If you don’t have it, you can use good quality white chocolate instead.
How to make strawberry cheesecake crunch cupcakes
Before commencing the recipe, I recommend preparing some components in advance. First, prepare the crunchy topping by blitzing together the cookies and freeze-dried strawberries. Set aside for later use.
Next, prepare the strawberry cheesecake filling by adding the strawberries and sugar to a saucepan and cooking over low heat. Try not to mash the strawberries, as we want them to be firm. Add in the cornstarch at the end and cook until it thickens into a sauce. If you’re on the clock, you can also use store-bought strawberry sauce or jam.
Pro tip: Not in the mood for frosting? This cupcake base makes for an amazing muffin!
Now let’s make the cupcake batter:
- Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and give them a good mix to combine. This way the leavening agent (baking powder) will be evenly distributed and make for even cupcakes.
- Add the wet ingredients and mix only until combined. Do not over-mix, as this will result in a dense and tough cupcake base.
- Line a cupcake tray with liners, then place one single golden Oreo at the base.
- Pour the cupcake batter over the cookie and smooth out the top with a spatula. Rap the tray a few times on the work surface to remove any large air bubbles, then bake. Once ready, let the cupcakes cool down for 10 minutes in the tray, then place on a cooling rack to cool fully.
Start preparing the cream cheese frosting when the cupcakes are baking or cooling. Follow my step-by-step method to make perfect White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. The only addition to this frosting is a little strawberry powder for some natural flavour.
Assembling the cupcakes
This is hands down is my favourite part in making these strawberry crunch cupcakes! Gather all your ingredients: cooled cupcakes, crunchy crumbles, strawberry filling and cream cheese frosting in a piping bag.
- Use a cupcake corer to remove the core of the muffin base. You can also use the tip of a knife, but it’s so much easier when you use a corer.
- Fill the hole you’ve just made with strawberry filling or jam. Try not to overflow with the filling, only add to the brim.
- Frost the top of the cupcake with strawberry cream cheese frosting, and use a spatula (or spoon) to smooth it out. This will be the ‘glue’ that helps the crumbles stick.
- Dip the cupcake in the crunchy crumbles and coat the entire surface in it. Dipping the cupcakes in the bowl of crumbles is the least messy method of doing it!
- Pipe some strawberry cream cheese frosting in the centre of the cupcake. Don’t go all the way to the edges, as we want to showcase the yummy crumbles. I like to use a star shaped cupcake nozzle, as it looks beautiful. But you can get creative with the piping.
- Decorate as you wish! I added a few drops of strawberry filling on top of the frosting and finished it off with half of a strawberry.
Serve the cupcakes immediately for the best flavour and maximum crunchiness!
Natural flavours are best. Artificial will never taste as delicious as the real thing, so please use real strawberries or freeze-dried. Similarly, for the crumble it’s best to use dried strawberries instead of strawberry jello powder.
Prep in advance. I always like to make the strawberry topping in advance, which saves me a lot of time. You can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Similarly, you can make the crunchy crumbles ahead.
Chill, chill, chill. Make sure the cupcakes are fully cooled (even chilled in the fridge overnight) before frosting them. Adding cold cream cheese frosting to warm cupcakes will make it melt and ruin the look.
Keep in simple. If you’re in a rush, replace the homemade strawberry filling with store-bought jam.
Frequently asked questions
These strawberry cheesecake cupcakes cannot be left out, as the frosting contains dairy. When left out dairy can spoil, and the frosting can start to melt in hot temperatures.
Store these cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I do not recommend freezing the filled and frosted cupcakes. Instead, you can freeze the cupcake base by wrapping each individual muffin in plastic wrap. Afterwards, cover in aluminium foil or place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw by leaving them in the fridge overnight. The strawberry filling can also be frozen, as well as the cream cheese frosting.
Yes, absolutely. You can completely leave it out, although I recommend using it because it’s delicious! You can also replace it with store-bough strawberry cheesecake filling or jam.
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Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes with Cheesecake Filling
- 12 Golden Oreo cookies*
- 160 g cake flour* (1 ¼ cups)
- 60 g sugar (⅓ cup)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg, large, room temp
- 60 g vegetable oil (¼ cup)
- 80 g sour cream or buttermilk (⅓ cup)
- 60 g butter, melted & cooled (¼ cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 10 g freeze dried strawberry pieces* (approx. 2 tbsp)
- 200 g strawberries, fresh (1 cup)
- 5 g lemon juice (1 tsp)
- 40 g sugar (¼ cup)
- 2.5 g corn starch (1 tsp)
- 30 g water (1 tbsp)
- 10 plain vanilla cookies
- 5 g freeze dried strawberries (approx. 1 tbsp)
Cream cheese frosting
- 200 g white chocolate, melted (1 ¼ cups)
- 200 g butter, cold (1 cup)
- 300 g cream cheese, cold (1 ⅓ cups)
- 5 g strawberry powder* (approx. 2 tsp)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan assisted. Line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners. There's no need to grease the tray.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and soda. Add in the salt, sugar and dried strawberry pieces then give everything a good whisk to combine well.
- Add in the wet ingredients: sour cream (or buttermilk), egg, melted and cooled butter, vegetable oil and vanilla. Use a whisk to combine everything until you get a sticky batter.
- Place one golden Oreo at the base of each cupcake liner, then add one scoop of batter over it. Do not fill to the brim of the paper, only about 3/4 of the way.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the tray for 10 minutes, then place on a cooling rack to cool fully.
- Cut the strawberries in smaller pieces, then add to a saucepan. Add in the sugar, lemon juice and salt. Give everything a quick mix and cook over low-medium heat until the strawberries become softer. Try not to mix too much, as this will crush the pieces.
- Separately, combine the corn starch and water. Add the mixture to the strawberries, mix gently to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes. The strawberry filling should thicken up, but still be quite runny with larger pieces.
- Add the cookies and dried strawberries to a food processor and blitz a few times to crush into smaller pieces. Alternatively, use a ziplock bag and a rolling pin to crush them. Place in a bowl for later use.
Strawberry cream cheese frosting
- Follow my step-by-step method to making perfect White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting every time. Add the strawberry powder to the prepared frosting at the end.
Assembling the Cupcakes
- Use a cupcake corer to remove the core of the cupcakes.
- Fill in the hole with strawberry filling. Do not overfill.
- Cover the top of the cupcake in cream cheese frosting, levelling it with a spatula.
- Dip the iced cupcakes in crunchy crumbles, pressing gently to help it stick to the frosting.
- Pipe a small dollop of cream cheese frosting in the middle of the cupcake.
- Decorate with a few drops of strawberry filling and strawberry halves. ¼
- I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead.
- Golden Oreos can be replaced with any other vanilla-flavoured round cookies that can fit in a cupcake liner. For a lower calorie version, leave out the Oreos.
- Cake flour or type 000 flour yields a much softer cake. If you cannot find it, you can still use plain white flour, but the cake won’t be as fluffy. If using plain flour, only mix the flour with the butter for 1 minute.
- Freeze dried strawberry pieces cannot be replaced with fresh strawberries in the same quantities. If using fresh strawberries, cut in small pieces and add no more than 40g (1/4 cup). The cupcakes may require a little longer in the oven by 2-5 minutes.
- To make strawberry powder, blitz freeze-dried strawberries in a blender or food processor until you get a fine dust. Alternatively, you can replace it with strawberry flavoured powder, such as Jell-O.