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
Recipe

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

Description

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!


Ingredients

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


Instructions

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.


Nutrition

  • 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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Recipe rating

154 Comments
  1. Patty MacTigue

    Hi Lindsey,
    I noticed you don’t use Crisco for this frosting. Is there a specific reason? I’m using the recipe to frost a layer cake and just want to be sure it won’t be too soft or thin without the shortening.
    Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I’ve kind of switched to not using the shortening. I get so much negative feedback about it. You can certainly use it if you want to be sure that the frosting is more stable, but it shouldn’t be terribly necessary unless it’ll be in a warmer environment.

  2. Kelly

    This was amazing! What a nice frosting! I had some freeze dried strawberry snack packets my kids didn’t like because they were too sour. Perfect for this recipe! I’m about to try it again for my son’s birthday.

  3. William Fowler

    I have made this frosting several times and turned out great, very sweet. But the recipes make too much, so I decided to halve the recipe. 2 problems. I did this by weight and according to Google, 2 cups of powdered sugar is about 60 grams. Obviously this made a much smaller amount of frosting and not as sweet. I added probably another 60 grams and it came out OK. The other problem is that you need to puree with more strawberries (than 3/4 of a cup – half the full amount) as 3/4 of a cup would process with my Vita Mix blender, not a big problem.

  4. Tonya W.

    Mine has come out very thin. I followed the instructions, i thought, to a “t”. I used my mixer. Is that why? Should i have hand mixed it? Now im having to add a lot more sugar to thicken it up unless you have another suggestion.

    1. Lindsay

      The way buttercream turns out too thin is if you had too much liquid (purée in this case) or you don’t add enough powdered sugar. If you added too much of the strawberry purée, that could’ve done it. Or if you didn’t add all of the powdered sugar listed in the recipe. The only way to really thicken it is to add more powdered sugar. Next time I would try adding only as much strawberry purée as needed.

  5. Maria Fernanda

    I’m really looking forward to try this recipe! Do you know how many grams 1 cup of freeze dried strawberries is? Thanks!

  6. Katie

    Hi there, If I use cream in the recipe are you referring to heavy whipping cream & can I leave the cupcakes out for a party or would the icing need to stay cold? How well does this icing hold up to heat? Thank you for sharing recipe I’m hoping to test it out this week.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I am referring to heavy whipping cream. If you are going to be letting them sit out for a while, you may want to use water instead. With the cream, it’s probably best to refrigerate. Yes far as holding up the heat, it’s butter based so it does start to soften and melt if it gets too hot.

  7. Lizzy

    This worked out so good! It tasted delicious and looks beautiful~ I used your vanilla cupcake recipe and frosted this on top. Thank you so much!!

    1. Lindsay

      It really depends on how much frosting you tend to use and how big the cake is. It’s enough for me to frost 12 cupcakes. I would probably double it or so for a full sized 8 inch cake.

  8. Cali

    This is an amazing recipe! 5 stars! It doesn’t have any artificial ingredients and whips up to a beautiful, bright pink color!

  9. Samantha

    This looks AMAZING, but is there a way to add more strawberry flavour? Perhaps lemon juice or more strawberry powder? Thanks!!!

    1. Lindsay

      You could try a little more strawberry powder, but you don’t want to dry it out. You could also try strawberry extract.

      1. Danielle

        Yes you can add additional flavour by using the strawberry candy &baking flavouring. I buy mine at Bulk Barn or you can buy some on amazon. You can visit LorAnnOils.com

Lindsay
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!

Scripture I’m Loving

“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