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Let me teach you how to make naturally flavored (and colored) strawberry buttercream frosting. The secret is to replace some confectioners’ sugar with powdered freeze-dried strawberries. Simply grind freeze-dried strawberries into a powder using a food processor. This strawberry buttercream is ultra creamy and smooth with intense strawberry flavor. 

strawberry frosting in a glass stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment

Let’s talk about how to make strawberry buttercream frosting.

Strawberry frosting has always left me feeling a little defeated. The problem is that I always tried making it with fresh strawberries. I’d chop them up, even blot the moisture a little bit, then throw them into a vanilla frosting. The buttercream would instantly curdle as a result of the excess moisture. Instead of relying on artificial strawberry flavor, I took a trick I learned while writing my cookbook Sally’s Candy Addiction. Use strawberry dust!

I have a recipe for strawberry buttercream candies in that cookbook– they’re actually the pretty pink striped candies you see on the cover. The filling is creamy and smooth with lots of concentrated strawberry flavor which– you guessed it– is made from freeze-dried strawberries. I decided to make actual strawberry frosting the same exact way.

2 images of freeze dried strawberries in a food processor and freeze dried strawberry crumbs in a food processor
strawberry frosting in a glass bowl with a spatula

How to Make Strawberry Buttercream Frosting: Quick Video Tutorial

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  1. Freeze-Dried Strawberries: Grind these into a fine powder using a food processor or blender. Want to make a raspberry buttercream? Use freeze-dried raspberries instead.
  2. Unsalted Butter: Start with room temperature butter. Room temperature butter is cooler than you think. If the butter is too warm, the frosting will taste greasy.
  3. Confectioners’ Sugar: Confectioner’s sugar is the bulk of this frosting, sweetening it and binding the ingredients together.
  4. Heavy Cream or Milk: Liquid thins out and adds creaminess to the frosting. You can use heavy cream or milk. Half-and-half works too.
  5. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds incredible flavor.
  6. Salt: A pinch of salt offsets all the sweetness.

Baker’s Tip: Do not use “dried strawberries” which are like raisins, dried apricots, and dried pineapple. They have a gummy texture and don’t grind into a powder. You need freeze-dried strawberries, which have all of the moisture removed. They’re the strawberries you find in some boxed cereals.

unwrapped lemon cupcake with pink strawberry frosting on top

Where Can I Buy Freeze-Dried Strawberries?

They’re more commonly found than you think. I always find freeze-dried strawberries in my regular grocery store in the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans, Giant, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Amazon, and Target each carry them.

What Tastes Best with Strawberry Frosting?

The possibilities are endless.

Or you can add a little white chocolate like I do with these white chocolate strawberry cupcakes or turn it into cream cheese buttercream like I do with my strawberry cake.

lemon cupcake with strawberry buttercream cut in half
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strawberry frosting in a glass stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment

Strawberry Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Homemade strawberry frosting with real, natural strawberry flavor!


  • 1 cup (about 25g) freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup (235g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream or whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste


  1. Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, heavy cream/milk, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Taste. Add 1-2 more Tablespoons of heavy cream/milk if needed to thin out, if desired. (I usually add at least 1 more.) Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  3. Use immediately or cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. After thawing or refrigerating, beating in a splash of heavy cream or milk will help thin the frosting out again, if needed. (It stiffens in the refrigerator.)


  1. Heavy Cream: Heavy cream produces an extra creamy frosting, but whole milk or even half-and-half work too. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch, but the frosting isn’t as creamy.
  2. Quantity: This recipe is enough to frost 12-18 cupcakes or a thin layer on a 9×13 inch quarter sheet cake. 1.5x the recipe for a two layer cake. (Doubling the recipe would be far too much.)

Keywords: strawberry frosting, frosting

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This looks so good! I’ve also had a hard time trying for strawberry buttercream using purée. Are there noticeable seeds in the finished product here?0

    1. Hi Megan! Seeds have never been an issue with this buttercream, the freeze dried strawberry powder is quite fine – hope you love it!

  2. First off- I LOVE all of your recipes!! So with this frosting- I have someone wanting a cake with strawberry frosting, but it’s for a boy’s 3rd birthday dinosaur party. Think I’d be able to turn it into blue or green frosting? Have you ever tried coloring strawberry frosting?

    1. Hi Marcia, You can color the frosting, but because it’s already a bright pink your colors will turn out differently. I recommend mixing all of the frosting ingredients except the freeze dried strawberry powder, set a little aside in a separate bowl to be colored, and then add your strawberries to the rest. I hope this helps!

  3. Oh my goodness…this frosting is delicious. My grandsons don’t eat any artificial food coloring and I wanted pink frosting for my Valentine cupcakes. This was perfect and tasted so amazing! I think I used less than 1/2 cup of the strawberry powder. I just kept adding until I liked the color and taste.

    1. Hi Bounlieng, this strawberry buttercream frosting is stable enough to frost a three layer cake.

  4. This was an excellent recipe — super strawberry flavor and nice and firm. I was wondering if I could replace the strawberries with other freeze-dried fruits such as banana since I can’t find a good banana frosting that is firm enough for my purposes.

    1. Hi Dede! We’ve had success using other freeze dried berries like blueberries raspberries, but haven’t tested banana. Let us know if you try it!

      1. So I did try this recipe with freeze-dried bananas and it, too, was outstanding!! I had to use the whole package (about 70 g.) instead of the 25 g. in the original recipe to give it enough flavor. I’m so excited to use this frosting recipe for a lot of different freeze-dried fruits. Thank you so much!

  5. This frosting was perfection! We used it on my four year old’s bday cake after she requested the flavor. So strawberry-y. No problem with gumminess or texture. We used Target and Aldi freeze dried berries. My mother in law, who likes fruit but not sweets, hovered over the dregs in the bowl until I asked if she wanted a spatula. She pounced on it! 😀 Thank you!

  6. This frosting is beautiful to look at and easy to work with. It tastes very strawberry-y. I added about a tablespoon of lemon juice, which freshened the flavor a great deal.

  7. Super flavorful. I love how it uses real strawberries, I always get a ton of compliments when I make this frosting 🙂 One of my go-to’s!

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