Homemade Strawberry Frosting – Two Ways

This Homemade Strawberry Frosting is the BEST you’ll ever make! And there’s two different ways to achieve it! You can use fresh strawberries that have been reduced over the stove to increase flavor, or freeze dried strawberries!

close up of homemade strawberry frosting on top of a cupcake

The Best Homemade Strawberry Frosting Recipe

I would say that of all the flavors of frosting, I get the most questions about strawberry frosting. It’s a bit illusive. Strawberry puree alone often doesn’t lend enough flavor and if you add too much, you thin out your frosting beyond where it’s usable. And if you add chunks of strawberries, it really throws things off. So what’s a strawberry lover to do?

I’ve used both these methods for strawberry frosting before in various recipes on the site and finally decided to put it into its own post and give you all my tips! First, let’s go over both ways to make this frosting. One method is to use fresh strawberries that have been cooked in a pan on the stove to reduce the liquid and create a thicker, stronger strawberry puree/sauce. The second method would be to grind up freeze dried strawberries and add the powder to your frosting.

How to Make Strawberry Frosting

Both methods of strawberry frosting have the same frosting base. Much like my vanilla buttercream frosting, you’ll start with your butter (and shortening, if you like) and beat that until it’s nice and smooth. From there, you’ll add about half of the powdered sugar and mix it all together until smooth.

strawberry frosting in a mixer bowltwo cupcakes with homemade strawberry frosting on top

Next, you’ll want to add your strawberry flavoring. If using fresh strawberries, you’ll want to have your strawberry reduction ready and cool. To make it, puree your strawberries and strain the puree to remove the seeds. While straining it isn’t completely necessary, it’s nice to do so that your frosting doesn’t have little seeds in it.

From there, slowly cook the puree on the stove and reduce it by half. This basically doubles up the strawberry flavor while also giving you a thicker puree to add to your frosting. Cool the strawberry reduction and then you’re ready to add it to your frosting. I typically add about three to four tablespoons so that my frosting doesn’t thin out too much. If you prefer a thinner frosting (which is often ok for cupcakes and sheet cakes, but less ideal for layer cakes), you can add a little more.

If you’re doing to use the freeze dried strawberries, you’ll pop them into your food processor and grind them into a powder, then simply add the powder to the frosting. It’s a much simpler and quicker way to go, if you’re able to find them at your store.

The only other thing that’s different with the freeze dried strawberry method is that you’ll need to also add some cream or water to it. Because the reduction adds liquid to the frosting naturally, you don’t need any extra. But with this version, the dry powder doesn’t do the job on it’s own and a little liquid is necessary to thin out the frosting a bit.

side by side photos of the strawberry reduction and strawberry powder and the frostings they makecupcake with strawberry frosting on top from the side

From there – regardless of which version you make – you’ll want to add a touch of vanilla extract and the remaining powdered sugar and mix it all together until it’s nice and smooth.

Can I Use Frozen Strawberries in this Frosting?

Frozen strawberries would be a fine option to use for this strawberry frosting. I personally don’t like to use them because you can’t tell prior to buying and thawing them if they have good flavor or not. Since the flavor influences the frosting so much, I like to know that mine smell amazing and have great flavor. The other thing about frozen strawberries is the water added. Yes, you’ll cook them down and intensify the flavor, but again I just prefer knowing I’m getting the best and strongest flavor. So while you can certainly use them, they aren’t my preference.

What Makes this the Best Strawberry Frosting Recipe?

Regardless of how you decided to go with your strawberry frosting, both versions are awesome! In fact, even though the freeze dried strawberries give some intense flavor, the strawberry reduction actually does a great job of keeping up. I could hardly tell a difference between them as far as flavor. The great news about that is that you have two amazing approaches to making the best homemade strawberry frosting!

strawberry frosting make with strawberry reductionstrawberry frosting made with freeze dried strawberries

More Strawberry Recipes to Try:

Strawberry Whipped Cream – 2 Ways
Homemade Strawberry Cake
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Strawberry Poke Cake
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Cake
Strawberry Cheesecake
Strawberry Pound Cake
No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

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The BEST Homemade Strawberry Frosting | How to Make Frosting

Homemade Strawberry Frosting – Two Ways

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American


This Homemade Strawberry Frosting is the BEST you’ll ever make! And there’s two different ways to achieve it! You can use fresh strawberries that have been reduced over the stove to increase flavor, or freeze dried strawberries!


1 cup freeze-dried strawberries OR 1 1/2 cups (200g) chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
34 tbsp (45-60ml) water or cream, if needed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch or two of salt


1. If using fresh strawberries, add the strawberries to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You should have about 3/4 cups of puree.
2. Add the puree to a small sized saucepan and cook over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a slow boil, stirring consistently to keep it from burning, until it has thickened and reduced to about 6 tbsp, about 10-15 minutes. To measure, pour the puree into a measuring cup. If it’s more than 6 tbsp (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup), add it back to the pan and continue cooking.
3. When the puree has thickened and reduced, pour into a large measuring cup and allow to cool to at least room temperature. This strawberry mixture can be made ahead, if you like, and stored in the fridge.
4. If using freeze dried strawberries, add them to a food processor and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
5. Regardless of which version you’re making, add the butter (and shortening, if using) to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
6. Add about half of the powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth.
7. If using the strawberry reduction, add about 3 tablespoons of the reduction and beat until well combined and smooth. If using the freeze dried strawberries, add the powder and about 3 tablespoons of water or cream and beat until well combined and smooth.
8. Add the vanilla extract and slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth.
9. Add additional strawberry reduction/milk or cream until your frosting is the right consistency. Use your frosting on cakes, cupcakes, etc. Frosting can be left at room temperature for 1-2 days, but if you aren’t using it right away, I recommend refrigerating it for up to a week or freezing it for about a month.

Keywords: strawberry frosting, strawberry buttercream, homemade strawberry frosting, fresh strawberry frosting

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Recipe rating

  1. Sami T

    How do I make the frosting look more fluffy like yours? Mine arnt runny but they won’t stack that high like yours

    1. Lindsay

      It’s all about a balance of powdered sugar and the strawberry purée. You want to cook the strawberry purée down so that you don’t need as much in the frosting to add good strawberry flavor. But you should only add as much strawberry purée as you can without compromising the thickness of the frosting. If it’s not piping well enough, you probably added too much strawberry purée.

    1. Lindsay

      It depends a little on how much frosting you like, but I would make at least make one and a half recipes worth.

  2. Faith

    This recipe has been a favorite for my family!! I use it and everyone falls in love! I recommend almost all the reduction with real strawberries! I’ve used it for cakes, and even cheesecake! Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Lindsay

      It really depends on the size of your layers and how much frosting you use between layers and on the outside. For me, I’d at least double it for a 3 layer 8-inch cake.

  3. Vivian A Robaldo

    Great recipe…not familiar with freeze dried strawberries, but will look! How can I measure my ingredients for 7″ cake pans? Thanks!!!:)

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not really sure. Are you using it as the filling and frosting? It depends a little on how much “frosting” you like. I might double it.

    1. Lindsay

      Buttercream generally last for about a month in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer. If you’re using freeze dried strawberries, that should be the case. With fresh strawberries, it may not last quite as long in the fridge. I think it’d be ok for a week though. You could certainly make it and freeze it, then thaw it.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12