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This pretty-in-pink Fresh Strawberry Frosting is the best because it is made with real strawberries that are pureed and reduced to concentrate their bright, sweet flavor. It pipes well on cakes and cupcakes, but can also be used on brownies, macarons, and other desserts!
Of course this strawberry frosting is amazing with fresh strawberry cupcakes, but when fresh berries are in season you might also want to try our fresh strawberry pie or make a batch of homemade strawberry ice cream.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
I wasn’t much of a frosting person as a kid, which is basically the opposite of most every child I know. I was the one kid at a party who would scrape the frosting off and only eat the cake part below. But I’ve changed my tune as a grown-up ever since I discovered how fabulous really GOOD frosting can be!
I’ve got a whole bunch of amazing frosting recipes on the site and decided they needed their own category because they can be used in so many ways to make new and fabulous treats!
I mean, obviously you can use this frosting for strawberry cake and cupcakes, but try it my chocolate salted caramel whoopie pies with this strawberry frosting and thinly sliced strawberries in place of the salted caramel frosting for an exceptional treat. Or use it to frost between two graham crackers or white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, then dunk them in melted white chocolate. Or spread it on sugar cookies or brownies.
I mean, the possibilities are endless.
Ingredients in strawberry frosting
- Butter: I always use salted butter. If you only have unsalted butter, go ahead and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to this frosting. Make sure to use room temperature butter so it beats up nice and creamy.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners’ sugar, you will need 4 cups for this recipe that makes enough for 12-18 cupcakes or one 2-layer cake.
- Strawberries: It’s difficult to give a number for how many strawberries you need for this recipe since they can vary so much in size, but you will want to have at least 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of strawberry puree, which is about 1 1/2 cups of chopped strawberries to start out with. This will get reduced on the stove to remove some of the liquid and concentrate the flavor.
- Vanilla extract: A little vanilla rounds out this frosting and compliments the strawberry flavor.
How to make strawberry frosting
- Reduce the strawberry puree: Place the fresh strawberries in a food processor and process until pureed. You will need about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of strawberry puree – I find it’s easier to reduce a slightly larger amount than I actually end up using for this recipe. Add this to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. This needs to cool completely before using in the recipe or it will melt the butter.
- Beat the butter: Use an electric mixer and a large bowl to beat the butter really well until it’s nice and creamy and light. This usually takes around 2-3 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar: Start with half of the powdered sugar, mixing until it starts to combine with the powdered sugar. Continue to add the rest of the powdered sugar until it starts to come together.
- Add the cooled strawberry puree: Mix in the reduced strawberry puree and vanilla, beating until combined and the frosting is light and fluffy. You may add a drop of red food coloring if you wish to increase the pink saturation of the frosting, but I think it’s a pretty pale pink as is.
You can use this strawberry frosting to cover layer cakes or sheet cakes, but if you have more than two layers or want enough to pipe around the edges, you will want to double the batch.
Make-ahead and freezing instructions
Like most buttercream frostings, you can make this homemade strawberry frosting in advance. It will keep in the fridge for about a week in an airtight container. Or you can even freeze it for up to 2 months. Just let it thaw completely in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to use the frosting, pull it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for at least 1-2 hours to come to room temperature. I always beat it again with an electric mixer to make it nice and fluffy and spreadable before using on a dessert.
Using frozen strawberries to make frosting
If fresh strawberries aren’t available you can use frozen strawberries to make the strawberry puree that is used in both the cupcakes as well as the strawberry buttercream frosting. I recommend having them thawed a bit before pureeing to make it easier, but because of the added liquid and moisture, it might take a little longer to reduce them on the stove.
Delicious cake and cupcake ideas using strawberry frosting
- Strawberry lemonade cupcakes: Make a batch of lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling, then top them with this strawberry frosting and a fresh strawberry!
- Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes: Pair strawberry frosting with these moist chocolate cupcakes and top each of them with a chocolate covered strawberry.
- Strawberry coconut cupcakes: Make my moist vanilla cupcakes and add 1 teaspoon of coconut extra to the batter. Then frost with strawberry frosting and sprinkle with some shredded sweetened coconut.
More frosting recipes you’ll love
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Oreo Frosting
- Salted Caramel Frosting
- Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Dragon Fruit Buttercream Frosting
- Guava Frosting
- Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Graham Cracker Frosting
Fresh Strawberry Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup salted butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract optional
- Start by processing the strawberries in a food processor until pureed. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, cooking and stirring frequently until reduced by at least half to between 1/4 and 1/2 cup. This usually takes around 10-15 minutes (a little on the longer side if using frozen strawberries). Cool completely before moving on. This step can even be done a day or two in advance.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until light and smooth.
- Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, mixing until the butter and sugar start to come together, then add the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla, and coconut extract, if using, beating again until it starts to come together.
- Add 4 tablespoons of the reduced strawberry puree, beating well until light and fluffy. If needed, add the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of strawberry puree to get the flavor and consistency you desire. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost cupcakes or spread on a layer cake.
- I find that I never need to add any heavy cream or milk to this frosting recipe to make it spreadable or pipeable. But if you feel like it is still too thick, you can always add a couple teaspoons at a time.
- This frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just thaw completely overnight in the fridge, then let it sit at room temperature for at least 1-2 hours before beating again to make it fluffy and spreadable, then using in whatever way you like.