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

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


Homemade strawberry frosting with real, natural strawberry flavor!


  • 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 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, 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.


  1. Special Tools: KitchenAid Food Processor | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Freeze Dried Strawberries
  2. Quantity: This recipe is enough to frost 12-18 cupcakes or one 9×13 quarter sheet cake. 1.5x the recipe for a two layer cake. (Doubling the recipe would be far too much.)

Keywords: strawberry frosting, frosting

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


  1. I just want to clarify…is it 1 cup or 1/2 cup of dried strawberries? The recipe says 1 cup, the directions say 1/2 cup. Thanks Sally!

    1. Hi Abby! You start with 1 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, then pulse them into a powdery crumb. You will then have about 1/2 cup of strawberry crumbs.

      1. Just a heads up! You can also crush them by hand right in the package.Just use your fist. I just like to save time from putting the machine together.

  2. Would this work with your strawberry cake recipe or be too much? I am more of a buttercream fan. I will be making it in two weeks for my daughter’s first birthday.

    1. Absolutely NOT too much! The strawberry frosting helps to bring out the strawberry flavor of the cake so they are perfect together 🙂

  3. Hi Sally, Thank you so much for your recipe. If I reduce the sugar to 300g, is it still possible to do flower pipings? Or what changes i should do when I want to reduce the sugar? Please suggest

    1. Hi Saras, this frosting would be way too thin to pipe if you reduce the sugar that much. You can try slightly reducing the sugar and not adding as much of the cream/milk to help it remain thicker, but I can’t guarantee that it will pipe nicely.

  4. I’ve made this thrice and it was FANTASTIC every time. I let it rest for a day before baking the cake allowing the freeze dried strawberries to moisten/reconstitute. 24 hours later its soooooooo delicious!

  5. This is incredible! I had trouble not eating it all while I was icing the cupcakes! Will totally make this again and again.

      1. I’m sorry, what if the cake requires refrigeration? Is it ok to refrigerate after frosting? Thank you for your quick reply! Impressed!

  6. This was so seriously good! Just enough strawberry to please and not be overpowering 🙂 easy, fast, and birthday kid approved! Thank you! (Ps-I doubled it for a 1/2 sheet cake size coverage)

  7. Excited to make this frosting this weekend! Can you tell me, would you double this recipe for a 3 layer (9″ round) cake? Thank you!!

  8. Hi there,
    I’m about to do this recipe and I noticed that you mentioned freeze dried strawberries but I bought dried strawberries. Is there a difference? That’s my first question.
    Second question is I bought 80 grams of dried strawberries which is not equal to 1 cup of dried strawberries. In the recipe it says 12 grams … am I wrong? I’m a bit confused
    Hope you can clarify this for me before I start my recipe. Thank you

    1. Hi Helena! Dried strawberries have a gummy texture, similar to dried apricots or dried pineapple. Freeze-dried strawberries have zero liquid and are not sweetened– they are extremely light and will grind into a powder. Make sure you purchase freeze-dried strawberries for this frosting.

  9. Hi Sally, Thank you so much for your recipe.
    If I pair this strawberry frosting with chocolate cake, will the flavors work together?

    1. Hi Cortez, Every brand of salted butter contains a different amount of salt, so we never really know how much we are adding! You will likely still need a pinch of it to cut the sweetness of the frosting.

  10. Hi, quick question. Should I make 1.5 times the recipe for a 3 layer, 6 inch cake? Or should I stick to the original recipe?

  11. Dang, I was so looking forward to making this for my daughter’s first birthday… Sadly, it didn’t turn out as expected. The colour wasn’t nearly as pink – very pale pink with flecks of strawberries – and the flavour was not very strong. I’m hoping after some hours the strawberry flavour will get stronger *fingers crossed*

  12. Hi Sally,
    I’m planning on making a two-layer 8″ cake, would the original amount be enough or do you think I should do 1.5x ? I want to make sure I have enough frosting 🙂

  13. Hello I have been looking for a banana buttercream recipe, using freeze dried bananas. Could I replace the strawberry with bananas and come out with a great banana frosting? Or do you think It would taste better to use the freeze dried bananas in a cream cheese frosting? I know this is off subject but any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Alex, I have never tried using freeze dried bananas instead but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! The buttercream will be sweeter and the cream cheese frosting will be tangier so it’s really just a matter of personal preference which one you make. Let me know how it turns out!

  14. Would this work to use freeze dried raspberries instead? I’ve made with strawberries and amazing but local store currently out of stock. Thank you!

  15. I can’t find freeze dried strawberries where I live. Would it be ok if I added the extra reduced strawberries I have from the strawberry cake recipe to the icing instead?

    1. You can but keep in mind that your frosting will be thinner and it still won’t have as strong of a strawberry flavor. Feel free to add a small amount of strawberry extract to your frosting if you desire more flavor.

  16. Absolutely the best strawberry icing ever! So much strawberry flavor and no artificial ingredients. I paired this with strawberry cupcakes and with lemon cupcakes for a strawberry lemonade flavor combo. I always receive so many compliments on this yummy frosting.

  17. I’m planning to try this recipe tonight to use on pink champagne mini-bundt cakes. I’m using frozen strawberries, so I think I’ll start with less than a cup since they will add moisture.

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