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. 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!


    1. 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? 

    1. Walmart, Safeway, Fry’s/Krogers, Meyer, and Bashas all have freeze dried fruit. Try the baby department. I’ve purchased them from Walmart, Fry’s, Kroger and Meyers. Sometimes I have to go to the baby department and other times I go to the produce department. And I’ve purchased them in Arizona and Indiana.

  3. Could freeze dried blueberries work in this recipe? The reason I ask is because I’m looking for a way to naturally color frosting. Trying to achieve pink blue and white flowers on a cake! Thanks!

    1. Hi Lizabeth! Yes, definitely! In my experience, freeze-dried blueberries create a lavender/blue tinted frosting.

  4. I’ve tried this recipe a few times with different freeze dried fruits and have had great success with the flavor. I have a question about the consistency though, is it meant to crust after sitting out or after used for decorating? I’ve noticed a few hours after it’s made, it crusts and the next day it’s usually hard. The flavor is great and I think it develops a little more after it sits. Can the weather affect it? I’ve only tried it in the summer so can the heat affect it or dry it out? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer! The strawberry buttercream crusts, you are correct. Weather could affect it, though it’s just the sugar and texture from the freeze-dried strawberries. Covering it very tightly– plastic wrap almost directly on the surface of the frosting– helps.

  5. Sally, this might be a stupid question, but what kind of salt is best when using here in the frosting? I’ve made this many times and it is great (made the chocolate cupcakes with strawberry filling and ganache) and made it for a chocolate layer cake! Great taste. Thanks.

    1. Hi Stephie! Not a stupid question at all. A lot of bakers like using sea salt or kosher salt and I agree- it’s wonderful in baked goods– but I usually use morton’s regular table salt.

  6. On June 11 you said the frosting does not crust, but on July 9 you say it does. Which is it and how to avoid crusting if it is expected?

    1. Hi Nellie! My apologies. The correct answer is YES, overtime. The sugar and texture from the freeze-dried strawberries. Covering it very tightly– plastic wrap almost directly on the surface of the frosting– helps.

  7. What are your thoughts on strawberry cream cheese frosting? Would love to use strawberry frosting to decorate a cake, but I’m not a fan of buttercream. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Emily! Here is my recipe for strawberry cream cheese frosting:

  8. All your recipes look amazing Sally.
    I noticed that your strawberry cake doesn’t call for freeze dried strawberries, only reduced strawberry puree. Does it perhaps only work well with strawberry frosting? Can you explain why?

    1. Hi Ann! What a great question. The wetness and moisture from the reduced strawberry puree is not ideal for buttercream. The freeze-dried strawberry powder left a weird flavor and texture to the baked strawberry cake.

  9. This frosting is kinda perfect!!!! Couldn’t find freeze dried strawberries, so grabbed a box of special K red berries & picked them out of there! Kids picked our a cup from a regular size box, worked great. Worth it, this stuff is delicious!

  10. My son requested a “fancy chocolate covered strawberry cake” for his birthday, because that’s what little boys always want….. I used this frosting on onenof your chocolate cakes, and then poured a little ganache on top, and topped it with chocolate covered strawberries. It was heavenly! Months later, people are still looking for thisnfrosting recipe!

  11. I made this frosting for Valentine’s Day used in the cupcake & a few months later for a coworkers going away party as the frosting. This past week, on 2 consecutive days, 2 coworkers told me they are STILL thinking about the frosting and have been begging me to make it again! This recipe is to die for and you will not be disappointed!

  12. Hi!! Can I use blueberry instead of strawberry? I want to try make a cake with blueberry frosting for my son 1st birthday
    Thank you

    1. Hi Emily! I’ve tried both freeze-dried raspberries and blueberries. Both great results! Some readers have even done apple, mango, and banana with the freeze-dried versions of the fruits.

  13. Hi Sally! I just wanted to say that I mixed this frosting with one of your vanilla cake recipes to make cake balls and they turned out incredible! I don’t think I will ever make chocolate cake balls again! I love your blog so much, thank you for all the recipes!

  14. hi so i googled to see where i can find freeze dried strawberries in toronto and Walmart carries it but its a 40$ tub. is it really so expensive? if so I’d really like an alternative as i wont like to spend so much on cake

    1. Do you have the option to order them online? I can often find them on Amazon. It’s also worth a trip to your regular grocery stores or if you have a Target. They are often shelved with the dried fruits.

    2. I’ve just found freeze dried strawberries online at the natural food pantry for $6.29, plus shipping

  15. Hi, can I used this as filling and your vanilla buttercream to cover and decorate the cake? Will they taste nice together? Also which is best for your vanilla cake recipe, is it this type of frosting or the strawberry creamcheese frosting? Thank you

      1. Thank u so much, will let u know soon. My sons party is this Saturday, im excited to present it having read ur good reviews. Thanks for sharing your recipes and knowledge.

  16. Could this work for piping roses? Do I add more confectioner’s sugar. I live in the south. Would love to make this along with strawberry cake for my child’s b’day. Thank you so much.

    1. To pipe simple swirl roses you can use this as written – to pipe more intricate roses (like I have on top of my coconut cake) you will want to add more confectioners sugar to get a very stiff frosting!

  17. For anyone having a hard time searching for freeze-dried strawberries: my grocery store doesn’t carry them, but CVS pharmacy does (if you have those near where you live). They are in the snack section, marketed as a healthy snack!

  18. Sally I have made this fristing on a white cake with a strawberry filling many times. It is wonderful! Question, for 3 nine inch layers, 1.5 pr double the recipe?

    1. Hey Laura! 1.5x should be plenty for a 3 inch cake, but I always like a little extra frosting just in case. You could double the recipe.

  19. Hi Sally, your recipe for The Best Frosting really is the best and your are too for sharing it. Thank you so much.

  20. Hi Sally!
    I am using this frosting for mini cupcakes for an event. I see that you say it does crust. If I am planning to make/decorate with the frosting one day ahead of the event, any recommendations to keep the frosting fresh for cupcakes? It’s kind of hard to wrap it in plastic like a cake =)

    1. Hi Alli! Do you have a cupcake carrier or anything? Or a large tupperware? Storing them in a tight container will keep the frosting extra fresh.

  21. Hi Sally! Would love to try this recipe on cupcakes for a birthday party next weekend. How quickly does the frosting crust? I intend to make it early in the morning (5:00 AM?) to be served in the early afternoon (1:00-ish), and I’d be keeping them in a cupcake carrier. Do you think they would crust within that time range? Thank you!

    1. Hi Rachel! It will crust after letting out for about 1 day. So you’ll be fine! The frosting will stay nice and creamy stored in a cupcake carrier for a few hours.

  22. Hi Sally,
    I need to make and frost my cake a day in advance, and am wondering if it should be kept refrigerated, as are most cakes with buttercream frosting. I’ve only read mention of storing it for a few hours in a carrier. Will refrigerating effect the crusting you mentioned?
    Thanks so much, this is just what I was looking for!

    1. Hi Joan! The strawberry frosting will begin to crust faster if stored in the refrigerator. Keep it covered tightly to help slow that down or store covered at room temperature overnight. (Will be fine overnight!)

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