Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

The BEST Strawberry Frosting

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.)

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  1. Strawberry frosting is pretty much my favorite, so I can’t wait to try this out. I usually make cream cheese icing whenever I make a strawberry cake. This will be a nice change (not that I’m complaining about cream cheese icing!).

  2. Same thing happened to me trying to make raspberry cream cheese buttercream with fresh berries. Even when I would dry them, the buttercream would just turn to slop! Why is that?? Can’t wait to try this method!

    • There’s just too much moisture battling with the fat in the butter. It’s bound to happen! This way WORKS every time. So easy too.

  3. Oh wow, thank u for this recipe. Can I use fresh strawberries instead? If so should I use the same amount? Thank you! 

    • Hi Haifa! Did you see the beginning of the post? We use freeze dried because fresh are so darn tricky here! Thanks so much for asking.

  4. I’ve seen freeze dried strawberries in Hy-Vee, maybe Aldis too…

  5. I was thinking of doing this for my daughter’s vday party tomorrow. If I do not refrigerate the cupcakes how will the frosting do if I frost them tonight, put them in the garage where it is around 50-60* then she takes them to school where they will be warmer. They won’t have the party till afternoon.

  6. Hi Sally. Normally I use a little strawberry coulis in my frosting, If you trickle it in slowly it won’t curdle. That strawberry powder is a great idea though…will give it a go next time I’m whipping up some frosting. Thanks.

  7. I’ve made your strawberry frosting to pair with lemon macaron shells and named them Fruit Loop macarons. They’re like a bite of sunshine.

  8. Yes! Oh, I remember one of my first (disastrous) baking attempts. I was trying to make strawberry buttercream but the moisture was waaaaay too much for the frosting to handle. And now I can make strawberry frosting even when strawberries aren’t in season or are too pricey. This is now at the top of my to-bake list! Thank you so much <3

  9. I love to try some of recipe dessert like peanut butter pies.

  10. I like to try some of your food recipe also.

  11. aaaah. Genius! I can’t wait to try this with the freeze dried baby bananas I got. Maybe I’ll even mix them with the strawberries. hmm hmm.

  12. I made strawberry frosting using strawberry jam, it was good, but not enough strawberry flavor. This is a GREAT idea, thanks for the tip!

  13. You recommended the Ateco 849 tip for piping the frosting – what other tips do you recommend for various uses? I have a few large and small ones but would like to buy more, but am not sure which sizes are most useful. Having 30 to 40 seems like overkill, though.

  14.  Thanks so much for this tip about the freeze-dried strawberries. I tried to make a strawberry purée reduction and that helps with the moisture. I cooked out a lot of the water and used the concentrated purée after it cooled.  I’m excited to make this frosting. I couldn’t find the freeze-dried strawberries at a local Kroger store or Walgreens in the regular section. I did however find freeze dried strawberries in the baby food section. They have a lot of freeze dried fruits there. Just make sure it’s pure fruit and not fruit and yogurt puffs .

  15. Powdered freeze-dried fruit also works great in cake batter too! Kind of like cocoa powder, except fruit. About 5 or 6 years ago, I was trying to find a peach cake that tasted like peach and wasn’t just white or yellow cake with diced peach mixed in. One of the recipes I found called for using a bag of freeze dried peaches. The cake was a hit, and I never looked back.

    The recipe seemed to sub out a package of freeze dried peaches for 1/3 cup of the flour used in the recipe. I have never tried it, but I also suspect this method would work well for homemade ice cream. My only wish is that a company out there would start selling the freeze dried fruit already powdered.

  16. Made this yesterday for my daughter’s birthday cake. Used it as the filling in between chocolate & vanilla cake layers. Unintentionally became a neapolitan cake! It was a hit! I only used about 2-3/4 cups confectioners sugar and thought it was plenty sweet. Thanks for the recipe!!

  17. Hi Sally, I don’t think I have ever seen freeze-dried strawberries in a German grocery store. I don’t think it is worth all the hassle to order them online here. They are very expensive.
    Have you ever considered putting fresh or frozen strawberries in a food processor and then simmering the puree on the stove for a while in order to reduce the liquid? Like for 20 minutes or something like that? I think I will try that, I hate all the artifical flavor and I am looking for the real deal. Hope that works.

    • I’ve reduced strawberries then put them through a sieve to get the seeds out. It just didn’t have that “strawberry in your face” flavor I was craving. So I think it was just too mich work and then not getting what I wanted. I can’t wait to go get some freeze dried berries and try this!

  18. Made a box strawberry cake and fixed this frosting to go on it . Best strawberry frosting we have ever tasted! Holds its shape and I no problem finding the freeze dried strawberries at my grocery store. My husband loved it and it tastes so fresh. Will be making this again. I did make some changes as I live in Colorado. I used 1 stick of butter, 4 cups of  powered sugar and about 1/4 cup of whipping cream and the rest is the same. Can out perfect.  Thanks for the recipe.

  19. Hi Sally, Just wondering on how you think this recipe will go under fondant ?

  20. Just made this with vanilla cupcakes and it was delicious! The strawberry flavor was perfect and the consistency so creamy. Thanks for the recipe

  21. I don’t know if I did something wrong, but my frosting tastes like a strawberry malt ball! Like a whopper! Tasty, to be sure, but not natural or like fresh strawberries. Any idea where I went wrong? Anyone else get this result?

  22. Hi Sally! This sounds amazing… I started making it tonight but I ran into an issue… I ground up 5 packets of freeze dried strawberries (7.6 gram each – a total of 38 grams) and only got 1/2 cup of powder. Your recipe says I should get 1/2 cup powder out of only 10-12 grams. What should I do? I don’t want to put the wrong amount of strawberry powder. I’m going to wait to make it tomorrow. I hope I hear from you! 🙂

  23. This looks SO good! Do you have any recipes for the cupcakes that will match this strawberry frosting?

  24. SOOO excited for this! I am looking for a good strawberry frosting for whoopie pies that will be in the heat for 2 hours (shaded heat). Do you think this will hold up well sandwiched in a whoopie pie? Would omitting the whipping cream result in a thicker, more sturdy frosting? 

    • I wouldn’t change a thing about this frosting or leave out the cream– this strawberry frosting as is would be great for whoopie pies!

      • Thank you sooo much! For the advice and the quick response! Everything you do is amazing!!

  25. How do I change this recipe into Chocolate strawberry frosting to sit atop a gluten free chocolate cake topped with real strawberries?

  26. sally, are those freeze dried strawberries only strawberries or have added sugar in? I remember having seen those but i think it had added sugar. I wanna know before purchasing in case its thr wrong one.

  27. This frosting is fabulous. Tried it last fall for hubs birthday and he was in bliss. Now I keep the freeze drieds strawberries in the cupboard, thinking of pairing it with lemon cupcakes. Yum.

  28. I am giving this recipe a try but I do not have heavy cream. What can I substitute 

  29. Hello Sally! Have you tried this strawberry buttercream with your chocolate cupcakes? I’m hosting a “sprinkle” shower and the friend I’m doing this for loves chocolate and strawberries. Would you suggest doing the chocolate cupcake with this buttercream or is there another cake or dessert you’d suggest for this baby shower?

    Thank you,

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