Strawberry Pop-Tart Cupcakes

Summer is in full-swing (and a blistering hot bitch), which means you better be well on your way to seeing many of the Kailley’s Kitchen bucket list items through to completion. If not, click here, here, here, and here to refresh your mind and get back on track.

#7: The eat-like-you’re-twelve breakfast: The older we get, the less exciting breakfast becomes. As kids, we would get down with Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch like it was goin’ out of style (little did we know– it really was; people don’t quite know how to respond to the 40-year-old man chowing on hearts, stars, and clovers…), eat twelve chocolate chip pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse in one sitting, tell our siblings to get their filthy paws off our Eggo waffles, mix the sprinkles into our precious Dannon Sprink’lins, and strategically eat the “crusts” of our Pop-Tarts first so the center (the best part) was saved for last. Now, most of us are lucky if we even get breakfast, let alone have something that’s as fun to eat as it is delicious. Screw you, granola bars and pre-packaged smoothies– we want the good stuff back! In the name of summer, flip ageist dogma and hectic mornings the bird, sitcho’ ass down, and break your fast like you’re twelve all over again.

By now, you’ve probably noticed that this blog is virtually overflowing with eats reeking of the 1990s. With breakfast cereals and DunkAroos represented on our grand cupcake list, it’s time to show Pop-Tarts some love. This is the first of a 3-part Pop-Tarts-inspired recipe series, because yes, I really am that obsessed with Pop-Tarts. Case in point…

...because every food blogger needs a Pop-Tart iPhone case.

…at least I don’t have a Pop-Tart tattoo…


Strawberry Pop-Tart Cupcakes

Strawberry Pop-Tart cupcakes stuffed with homemade strawberry pie filling and topped with strawberry buttercream.

Homemade strawberry pie filling

Homemade strawberry pie filling

Strawberry Pop-Tarts in all their delicious glory.

Strawberry Pop-Tart Cupcakes

Strawberry Pop-Tart Cupcakes


Strawberry Pop-Tart Cupcakes

Strawberry Pop-Tart Cupcakes


    For the cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • For the strawberry filling:
  • 1/2 cup mashed strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water cup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • For the strawberry buttercream:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • *1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • *I found that using fresh strawberries in the buttercream caused the frosting to be too liquid-y; freeze dried berries give you the same flavor without compromising the structural integrity of the buttercream!


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and add liners to cupcake pan.
  2. Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Keep mixer on and add eggs and vanilla, beat until fully incorporated.
  5. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low, then repeat with the remaining half.
  6. Pour in milk and mix.
  7. Add sprinkles and stir with a rubber spatula.
  8. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. While cupcakes are cooling, combine mashed strawberries and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes
  12. Strain juice from cooked strawberries and discard pulp.
  13. Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, and strawberry juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil until thick, about 5 minutes
  14. Remove from heat and cool slightly
  15. Stir sliced strawberries into strawberry sauce, allow to cool
  16. Once cupcakes and strawberry pie filling have cooled, use a cupcake corer to create a hole in the center of the cupcakes
  17. Fill core of cupcakes with strawberry pie filling
  18. Once cupcakes have been filled, cream together butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
  19. Pulverize freeze dried strawberries with a small food processor (or zip in a plastic bag and roll with rolling pin) until strawberries are powdery
  20. Add strawberry powder, vanilla extract, and confectioner's sugar to wet ingredients and mix until fully blended
  21. Fill a piping bag with buttercream and pipe onto cooled cupcakes
  22. Top cupcakes with fresh sugared strawberries and pieces of strawberry Pop-Tarts!


  1. says

    Hi! I plan on making these but am wondering… you list granulated sugar and refined sugar… aren’t they the same thing?


    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Yes, the are absolutely the same. Thanks so much for pointing that out, Emily! I have a tendency to use them interchangeably, but for the sake of continuity, I’ve changed “refined” to “granulated” in the recipe so there’s no more confusion. Can’t wait to hear how the cupcakes turn out for you!

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