Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

The BEST Strawberry Frosting

Or try my favorite vanilla buttercream.

How to make strawberry frosting with real, natural strawberry flavor!! Recipe on

Let’s talk about how to make the BEST strawberry frosting.

Strawberry frosting has always left me feeling a little defeated. Problem is that I always tried making it with fresh strawberries. I’d chop them up real small, even blot their moisture a little bit, then throw them into a vanilla frosting. The buttercream would instantly curdle. Instead of relying on artificial strawberry flavor, I took a trick from Sally’s Candy Addiction: strawberry dust!

How to make strawberry frosting on

I have a recipe for strawberry buttercream candies in my 2nd cookbook— they’re the pretty pink striped candies on the cover! The filling is creamy and smooth with lots of concentrated strawberry flavor, made from freeze-dried strawberries. I decided to make actual strawberry frosting the same exact way. Thin it out a bit with cream so it’s perfectly spreadable and pipe-able. The trick is to grind the freeze-dried strawberries up into a powder. Watch to see how it’s made:

Where to buy freeze-dried strawberries? I always find them in my regular grocery store in the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans and Giant carries them, as well as Trader Joe’s and Target. Keep your eyes peeled– they’re more commonly found that you think!

How to make strawberry frosting with real, natural strawberry flavor!! Recipe on

How to make strawberry frosting with real, natural strawberry flavor!! Recipe on

This strawberry frosting is creamy and smooth with LOTS of natural strawberry flavor. Here’s the recipe for fresh strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting (pictured above). You can also pair this strawberry frosting with vanilla cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, and pistachio cupcakes!

Strawberry Frosting


  • 1 cup (10-12g) freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup (235g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon 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, cream, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  3. Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe is enough to frost 12-18 cupcakes or one 9x13 quarter sheet cake. 1.5x the recipe for a double layer cake. (Doubling the recipe would be far too much.)

Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Food Processor | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Freeze Dried Strawberries

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

How to make strawberry frosting with real, natural strawberry flavor!! Recipe on


  1. Hi Sally,

    I just want you to know I have tried three other strawberry buttercream frostings over the past week trying to get ready for a baby shower. Every time I was hopeful and every time, disappointed. I ran across this recipe, and since I love every other recipe I’ve tried of yours, I knew this would be the one. I just made this frosting, and it is perfect! It is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!


    • I’m so happy you enjoyed this strawberry frosting. Thank you so much for trying it! And for reporting back to me about it.

  2. Hi Sally,

    I have called around to every store I can think of and no one carries freeze dried strawberries 🙁 Do you think I could use regular dried strawberries and it would work out ok? 

  3. I am planning to make a smash cake for my daighter’s first birthday, but was wondering if you can sub the confectioners sugar for an ingredient with natural sugars..

    • Hi Monica! You can’t really get the same texture of frosting using a natural alternative. You can try an organic confectioners’ sugar if you’d like. Wholesome brand has a great one.

  4. I plan to make this strawberry cake with the frosting for my daughter’s 4th birthday in a week. We went to get the freeze dried strawberries, but Trader Joe’s was out! They had blueberries, so we’re going to try that instead. I’m picturing the strawberry pink cupcakes with purple blueberry frosting… she’s a berry-lover! Do you think it should work the same?

  5. Could you omit the heavy cream by chance,  or possibly substitute? Just wondering? 

  6. YES!! I was so happy to find this recipe to lessen the artificial red dye in our birthday celebration. And it tastes amazing!! It was a bit too sweet for me, so I added 1 tsp of lemon juice and needed to thin it out with extra cream since it’s winter time in New England. So good!!
    Also, for anyone wondering, a 1.5x recipe was *just* enough to frost a 4-layer 7″ cake (Two 7×2″ cakes cut in half). It’s not quite as easy to work with as a traditional buttercream, but I think that’s just the nature of not using shortening and it being chilly.

  7. Do you think the freeze dried strawberry trick will work with a Swiss meringue or Italian buttercream? If I grind them and then mix in after the butter has been thoroughly beat in? I’ve never mixed a powder flavor into my SMBC before—just extracts, jams and purees. 

  8. Can you use the freeze dried strawberries in vake batter to make a strawberry cake? If so how much would you add? I don’t like the jello method & hope to avoid cutting up fresh strawberries to puree. Thanks!

  9. I made the strawberry and chocolate icing on valentines day and it exceeded my expectations!! Strawberry is my new favorite flavor!! And my husband said it’s my best cake yet. Will definitely be using this recipe all summer. 

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