An easy recipe for homemade strawberry frosting. This strawberry buttercream frosting can be made with either fresh strawberries or freeze-dried strawberries.
It is so easy to make homemade strawberry frosting. I have made strawberry buttercream using freeze-dried strawberries, a strawberry reduction sauce, and pureed strawberries. My favorite way to make strawberry frosting is using freeze-dried strawberries.
I feel that using the strawberry powder from the freeze-dried strawberries makes the best strawberry frosting! I have also included an option for using a strawberry reduction sauce if you want to use fresh strawberries.
This strawberry buttercream recipe makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes, two 9-inch cakes, or one 9 x 13-inch cake. You can see just how easy it is to make this strawberry frosting in the detailed recipe steps photo or the recipe video.
Strawberry Frosting Ingredients
Butter: It is used as the base for buttercream frosting. This recipe also works well with dairy-free butter.
Powdered Sugar: It sweetens the buttercream frosting and gives it structure and firmness.
Pure Vanilla Extract and Salt: These ingredients enhance the flavor of the strawberry frosting.
Strawberries: These are the star ingredients of this buttercream. This recipe includes options for using freeze-dried strawberries or a fresh strawberry reduction sauce.
Milk: The milk helps with the thickness of the buttercream. This recipe also works well with dairy-free milk.
How To Make Strawberry Buttercream
- If using freeze-dried strawberries, add the freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor or blender and puree them into a strawberry powder. (photo 1)
- If using fresh strawberries, make the strawberry reduction several hours before needing the frosting. I have an easy recipe for strawberry reduction sauce.
- In a large bowl, cream the softened butter with a mixer.
- Add the pure vanilla extract and salt to the creamed butter and mix until fully combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the powdered sugar. (photo 2)
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix until the frosting is firm. (photo 3)
- Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder or the completely cooled strawberry reduction sauce and mix until fully combined. (photo 4)
- Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, depending on how firm you want the frosting, and beat until smooth and spreadable. (photo 5 & 6)
My favorite way to make strawberry frosting is to use freeze-dried strawberries. Freeze-dried strawberries can be found with the dried fruit in the grocery store. I purchased at both Walmart and Aldi. Do not use dried strawberries. You need freeze-dried strawberries.
Strawberry Reduction Sauce
If you want to use fresh strawberries to make the buttercream, you will need to make a strawberry reduction. There is a difference between strawberry reduction and strawberry puree. Strawberry puree is just blended strawberries, and a strawberry reduction is the strawberry puree simmered with sugar and lemon juice. Baking recipes will often call for a strawberry reduction because the sauce has a concentrated strawberry flavor and less liquid than just pureeing strawberries.
My recipe for strawberry reduction sauce is super easy to make. It takes only 15-20 minutes for strawberries to reduce. I recommend making it several hours (or the prior night) before using it to make the frosting. The strawberry sauce needs to be completely cooled before using it in the buttercream.
Tips For Making The Best Gluten-Free Frosting
- Sifting the powdered sugar will make sure the frosting is super smooth.
- Make sure the butter is softened. You can easily soften the butter on the countertop for 30 minutes. Your butter is soft enough when you poke it with your finger and see an indent in the butter.
- For a whiter buttercream frosting, use less expensive butter. More expensive butter tends to be more yellow. I use the Great Value Unsalted Butter (Walmart) or Smart Balance dairy-free butter.
- If you want a firmer frosting, use less milk or add more powdered sugar.
- If you see your frosting has bubbles caused by overwhipping, just use a large spoon to stir the frosting until the bubbles pop.
- I like to line a frosting piping bag in a tall glass and then add the frosting. It makes it easier and less messy to fill.
- My favorite frosting tip is the Wilton 1M.
Why is my strawberry buttercream separating?
Some people have a problem with their strawberry buttercream separating. If this happens, it is because your ingredients are either too warm or too cold. This can also cause the buttercream to curdle. Here’s a great video with ways to fix broken buttercream.
Can You Freeze Frosting?
The frosting is easy to freeze. You can freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. Defrost the frosting in the refrigerator overnight, bring it to room temperature, and re-whip.
Ingredient Substitutions for Strawberry Frosting
This recipe for the strawberry frosting is naturally gluten-free. I have also tested this recipe with dairy-free ingredient substitutions.
For the milk, you can substitute it with unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk. For the butter, you can use dairy-free or vegan butter. I like Smart Balance buttery spread. Some brands of dairy-free/vegan butter are softer than traditional butter. You may need to add more powdered sugar to the recipe.
Easy Strawberry Frosting
If you love strawberries, you are going to enjoy this easy-to-make, homemade strawberry buttercream frosting! This strawberry frosting is perfect for your favorite cakes, cupcakes, using as a filling, or cookies.
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- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries (I prefer using freeze-dried strawberries over fresh strawberries when making frosting. )
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (Dairy-free use Smart Balance butter)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons milk (Dairy-free use unsweetened almond milk)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼-1/2 cup strawberry reduction sauce (Start with ¼ cup and add more if you want more strawberry flavor.)
- Add the freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor or blender and puree them into a strawberry powder.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter with a mixer.
- Add the pure vanilla extract and salt to the creamed butter and mix until fully combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the powdered sugar.
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix until the frosting is firm.
- Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder or the completely cooled strawberry reduction sauce and mix until fully combined. I prefer using freeze-dried strawberry powder when making frosting.
- Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, depending on how firm you want the frosting, and beat until smooth and spreadable.
- The recipe makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes, two 9-inch cakes, or one 9 x 13-inch cake.
- For the dairy-free/vegan option, I used Smart Balance butter and unsweetened almond milk.
- Some brands of dairy-free/vegan butter are softer than traditional butter. You may need to add more powdered sugar to the recipe.
- The frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature, and re-whip.
- See the recipe post for all of my tips for the best strawberry frosting.