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!

A vanilla cupcake with Homemade Strawberry Frosting piped on top

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.

Homemade Strawberry Frosting being mixed using a mixer in a silver bowl
Two vanilla cupcakes with Homemade Strawberry Frosting piped 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.

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.

A vanilla cupcake with Homemade Strawberry Frosting piped on top

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!

A vanilla cupcake with Homemade Strawberry Frosting piped on top
A vanilla cupcake with Homemade Strawberry Frosting piped on top

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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A vanilla cupcake with Homemade Strawberry Frosting piped on top

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 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.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 3263
  • Sugar: 402.2 g
  • Sodium: 64.9 mg
  • Fat: 184.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 417.5 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 488.5 mg

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


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  1. Maria

    I bought a bag of freeze dried strawberries (20 grams). Do I really need to get 10 bags (200 grams)? Each bag is $4.49. Thanks

  2. Tracy

    This is very delicious, however, I got a little over zealous with the strawberry reduction and my frosting looks curdled. Is there anyway to fix it after it has curdled?
    Thank you for the recipe and your time

    1. Lindsay

      You could try adding a touch more powdered sugar. If you don’t want it to get too sweet, you could also add more butter and just end up with more frosting.

    1. Lindsay

      You’d use the same amount as the strawberry reduction. So about 3-6 tablespoons. I think the flavor from jam and jelly is different but you could use it.

    1. Lindsay

      It heavily depends on how much frosting you like to put on each cupcake. I pile it pretty high, so for me it would cover about 12 cupcakes.

    1. Lindsay

      You can store it right away. I would store it in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to a month and freeze for up to three months.

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t know that exact amount of powder, I’m sorry. I’d try adding a few tablespoons, taste it and then see you need more or not.

  3. VV

    I actually made this recipe for macarons, both using strawberry and subbing out the strawberry for blueberry flavored macarons. The strawberry wasn’t the right consistency and was a smidge too melty for macarons, BUT the blueberry was super firm so it can be done.
    For like a cupcake though this recipe would be perfect, maybe go a bit lighter on the cream and you’ll be good to go. It’s delicious and the strawberry (or, blueberry) taste is extremely evident.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! If you wanted the strawberry mixture to be a little thicker for filling your macarons, consider cooking it with a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it further before adding it to the frosting.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s one cup of freeze dried strawberries prior to grinding them up. If using fresh strawberries, it’s actually one and a half cups of chopped strawberries. I hope that helps.

      1. Susan

        Your ingredients list state 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries but in your comments you state 1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries. Please clarify, thank you.

      2. Lindsay

        Perhaps it’s the way the recipe is displaying for you, but it does show one and a half cups of fresh strawberries in the ingredients. Looking at it on my phone, the “1” is at the end of the top line and the “1/2” is at the beginning of the second, so I could see how that would be confusing. It’s just where the line break is.

      3. Lindsay

        It kind of depends on how much frosting you like to use, but a thin layer of frosting, yes.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29