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Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

5 from 12 votes
Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
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These Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes are my take on the classic strawberry crunch ice cream bars we all ate as kids. They are filled with nostalgic memories and bright strawberry flavor.

Vanilla and strawberry Jell-O cupcakes, topped with vanilla buttercream, and a delicious strawberry crunch layer.

For more delicious strawberry treats, try my Strawberry Blueberry Pie, Strawberry Filled Cupcakes, or this Strawberry Crunch Topping.

Strawberry jello cupcakes topped with not so sweet vanilla buttercream, and strawberry crunch.

You are going to LOVE these cupcakes for FOUR reasons…

  1. The strawberry Jell-O in these vanilla cupcakes gives them the best strawberry flavor without overpowering the other elements
  2. They are topped with my Not So Sweet Buttercream which is stable, not as sweet as traditional buttercream, and has a delicious vanilla flavor.
  3. The strawberry crunch tastes identical to the ice cream bars. All credit goes to the freeze-dried strawberries.
  4. They are made with ingredients you can find year around, no waiting for strawberry season.

All of these elements are quick and easy to make. I will say, it does require a few more steps than normal and a pinch of patience. But don’t worry these cupcakes are so worth it!

A bite out of a Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

Ingredients in Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

  • Strawberry Jell-O Cupcakes:
    • buttermilk
    • vegetable oil
    • egg
    • vanilla extract
    • all-purpose flour
    • granulated sugar
    • baking powder
    • salt
    • strawberry gelatin
    • water
  • Vanilla Not So Sweet Buttercream:
    • unsalted butter
    • full fat cream cheese
    • vanilla extract
    • powdered sugar
    • cornstarch.
  • Strawberry Crunch:

Equipment Needed

  • Cupcake Baking Pan: I love this one. Just make sure what you are using is a light silver pan.
  • Baking Cups: Use any color or pattern you prefer.
  • Piping Bags: I love these ones because they are disposable and a great quality.
  • Piping Tips: I always use extra large piping tips for cupcakes because they are easier to decorate with and look beautiful every single time (just like the bakery cupcakes).
Main ingredients for Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes. Vanilla strawberry Jello cupcakes, Not So Sweet Vanilla buttercream, strawberry crunch.

How to Make Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

Make the vanilla cupcakes. Whisk together your dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, and fold the warm water into the batter. Divide the batter and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Once done, pop them in the refrigerator to cool.

Whisk strawberry gelatin. Whisk together your boiling water and strawberry gelatin. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Poke cupcakes and drench in strawberry gelatin. Use a fork to poke the cupcakes and do not be afraid to press all the way to the bottom and multiple times. Add 1 tablespoon of strawberry gelatin to each cupcake. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until the gelatin has set.

Make strawberry crunch. In a food processor pulse all ingredients until they are crumbs.

Whip up vanilla buttercream. Beat together your butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.

Decorate cupcakes and eat!

Strawberry jello cupcakes topped with not so sweet vanilla buttercream, and strawberry crunch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What if I do not have buttermilk? No problem. All you are going to do is take a 1/2 cup of milk and add a 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar. Give it a good stir and allow it to sour for about 15 minutes.

I don’t have a food processor to make the Strawberry Crumble. A great alternative is to place all the ingredients into a gallon bag and roll it with a rolling pin until crumbs form. You can also use a meat cleaver to lightly beat down the ingredients.

Can I use sugar free gelatin? Of course! Follow the directions as normal and you will have no problems.

I don’t have a piping bag or piping tips. There are a couple alternatives in this situation: (1) you can use a knife or spatula to frost the cupcakes and (2) you can place the frosting in a gallon bag and cut the tip off to make your own piping bag.

Is there any way to simplify this recipe? I want you to use my recipe of course! But if you are crunched for time and still want to make these, I recommend you use a store-bought vanilla cake mix and vanilla frosting. You will still follow the basic directions.

Trio of cupcakes ready to be ate.

More Recipes You Might Enjoy:

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

Elizabeth Swoish
These Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes are my take on the classic strawberry crunch ice cream bars we all ate as kids. They are filled with nostalgic memories and bright strawberry flavor.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 350 kcal



Strawberry Jell-O Cupcakes

  • ½ cup buttermilk - room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg - room temperature
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water - luke warm
  • 1 ½ ounces strawberry gelatin
  • ½ cup water - boiling

Strawberry Crunch

  • 6-8 vanilla Oreos
  • .5 ounce freeze-dried strawberries - I use Thousand Lakes brand
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter - melted

Not So Sweet Buttercream

  • ½ cup unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese - room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch


Strawberry Jell-O Cupcakes

  • Set your oven to 350 °F and line a 12 cavity muffin tin with baking cups or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, granular sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and the egg.
  • Fold everything together until just combined, careful to not overmix.
  • Slowly pour the warm water into the batter, stirring at the same time. The batter should be loose with no lumps of batter.
  • Divide batter equally into the 12 cavities, filling them 2/3 of the way full. 
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cupcakes no longer appear glossy on the top and spring back to the touch. A toothpick test should come out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin. Then remove the cupcakes and place them in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  • While the cupcakes cool, prepare the strawberry gelatin. In a small bowl add boiling water and strawberry gelatin. Whisk until incorporated and set aside.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, poke several holes in them with a fork. You want plenty of holes so the gelatin has places to seep in.
  • Using a spoon, pour the slightly cooled strawberry gelatin over the cupcakes.
  • Place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to set up.

Strawberry Crunch

  • In a food processor pulse together vanilla Oreos, freeze-dried strawberries, and melted unsalted butter until fine crumbs.
  • Pour into a shallow-wide dish or plate and set aside.

Not So Sweet Vanilla Buttercream

  • Using a stand mixer, on medium speed, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the powdered sugar and corn starch.
  • On low to medium speed, add 1 cup of the powdered sugar mixture to the cream cheese mixture at a time, scraping down the bowl between each cup.
  • Once combined, turn stand mixer to high and beat for 30 seconds.
    *Add more powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time if the buttercream is too loose.
  • Fit piping bag with a coupler and piping tip of your choice. Fill with buttercream, tie off with a rubber band, and set aside until ready to use.

Decorating the Cupcakes

  • Pipe a layer of buttercream on top of the entire cupcake. Dip it into the strawberry crunch until evenly and well coated.
  • Pipe a swirl in the center and on top of the strawberry crunch, leaving some of the strawberry crunch exposed.
  • Continue until all 12 cupcakes are decorated. Serve.



Storing Information:

  • In the refrigerator, covered, for four to five days.
  • In the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to three months. 

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on March 27th, 2022
Elizabeth Swoish holding a camera up to her eye taking a photo.

About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

20 thoughts on “Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes”

  1. 5 stars
    😳 omg i just don’t know where to start..this recipe is by far the bestest and a great huge hit with my family..let’s just say i couldn’t stop making it,it’s my 3rd time making double batches lol..it’s very addicting and i’m just glad i came across your recipe..thank you so much for sharing 🙏🏽..

  2. 5 stars
    At first, I thought these cupcakes would be too pretty to eat! But, I baked a small batch and devoured them! The recipe was very easy to follow and the cupcakes came out spongy and moist. Will bake them to take to birthday parties.

  3. 5 stars
    The strawberry crunch is my favorite part of this recipe! I love foods with texture contrasts like this. I also really appreciate this buttercream, as I’m someone who is easily overwhelmed by the sweetness of other frostings.

  4. 5 stars
    Ohh these strawberry cupcakes brought me back! Such perfect flavor and that little bit of crunch on top was perfection.

  5. 5 stars
    These were fantastic! I am still obsessed with Good Humor bars so these cupcakes were right up my alley. Followed the recipe to a “T” and I am in love. I really appreciate your “not so sweet” buttercream. I usually find buttercreams cloying!

    • Hey Amanda:
      Yes, You can omit the egg and substitute it for a flax egg. Whisk together 2.5 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Allow it to thicken for at least 10 minutes prior to mixing into your batter.
      Hope this helps!

  6. 5 stars
    This was my first time making anything from scratch but the recipe was super easy to follow and it tastes amazing! Approval from my 2 yr old as well (which is huge) haha. Thanks for sharing. Definitely gained a new follower!

  7. For the lady whose frosting came out gritty its probably because she used corn flour instead of cornstarch, they are two very different things stick to the cornstarch

  8. 5 stars
    These looked so delicious I couldn’t wait to make them, and they didn’t disappoint! Everyone loved them!!! I was nervous about how much sugar was called for but it ended up perfectly. Next time I’ll put bigger holes in the cupcakes to get more jello in. Thank you for this fantastic recipe!

  9. Hi Elizabeth, I tried making this cupcake. It looks absolutely beautiful. However, about the icing, it tasted a bit gritty, is it because of the cornstarch?? Still delicious though. Will try making this again. Just need tips from you regarding the icing. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • Hi Susan;

      It could be the issue although I have never had issues with the buttercream being gritty. You should try reducing the amount of cornstarch to see if that helps.


  10. 5 stars
    These cupcakes were AMAZING. This was my favorite ice cream bar and this recipe was the perfect hybrid! Complements galore on them, and they were super easy to make! Putting this in my favorites category! Thank you!

    • Leslie:

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I am so glad everyone enjoyed them and that it is a recipe you would make again! Great compliment!


  11. 5 stars
    I bake for fun and love trying new recipes. When I saw this recipe I just knew I had to try it! Not only do the cupcakes look absolutely adorable but they taste sooo amazing. My family can’t stop eating them!


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