My daughter and I were out grocery shopping when she spotted them – chocolate cupcakes piled high with bright red frosting to resemble Santa Hats.
While I’m not anti-food dye, I still could not stomach the thought of that much red food dye working it’s way through either of our systems, so I decided to tempt her with a healthier alternative – Strawberry Santa Hat Cupcakes.
These bright red strawberry cupcakes also make the perfect Valentine’s Day treat!
Strawberry Santa Hat Cupcake Recipe
Okay, so “healthier” is a relative term when we’re talking cupcakes, but I still feel a lot better about serving my daughter and our daycare kids these delicious cupcakes versus those store-bought ones that were bound to dye their teeth bright red (and guarantee an all-day sugar high).
Sugar causes strawberries to macerate (let out their juices) so if at all possible, try to add the strawberries close to the time of serving. It’s not a big deal if you can’t, just expect a bit of strawberry juice on the frosting (which I personally didn’t mind).
We brought a batch of these into my daughter’s classroom for her Christmas party and they were a huge hit, and it was hilarious getting to watch the kids try to stretch their mouths out big enough to get the strawberry, frosting and cake all in one bite.
Strawberry Santa Hat Cupcakes Ingredients
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Strawberries, hulled
Tip: letting the kids hull the strawberries is a great practical life and fine motor activity. Read Jennifer’s how-to here.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful:
- Cupcake pan
- Reusable non-stick silicon cupcake liners
- Non-slip mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Strawberry huller or knife
- Cutting board
- Wilton cupcake decorating kit
How to Make Strawberry Santa Hat Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a muffin pan with themed cupcake liners.
Tip: Reusable silicon cupcake liners are a breeze to use (cupcakes pop right out!) but they save money and are less waste in the long run!
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place softened butter into a bowl and beat in 2 cups of icing sugar. Add 2 Tablespoons heavy cream and vanilla.
Add remaining icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 2D Wilton tip, or other preferred large piping tip.
Swirl the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, starting in the center – moving outwards and then back in and up, being careful not to give the frosting too much height.
While the frosting is soft, press a hulled strawberry on top so that the cut edge is against the frosting.
Add a small dot of frosting to the tip of the strawberry and let set.
Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
Pin this Strawberry Santa Hat Cupcakes recipe:
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For the Cupcakes: For the frosting:
For the Cupcakes:
For the frosting:
Would your kids go crazy for these delicious Strawberry Santa Hat Cupcakes?
For more delicious ideas for holiday baking with kids, check out: