Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is thick, silky, and bursting with strawberry flavor thanks to a special ingredient...crushed, freeze-dried strawberries!
I know a certain little 4-year-old who adores all things strawberry. Strawberry smoothies, strawberry ice cream, strawberry muffins, strawberry cake...if it starts with strawberry, she's a fan. She's requested strawberry cupcakes for her last couple of birthdays, and I've typically just topped them with my family's favorite Classic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe with some fresh strawberry puree blended in.
The problem is that fresh strawberry puree tends to be pretty watery. And that means that adding too much makes for thin, runny frosting. But adding too little means the strawberry flavor gets overpowered by the cream cheese. So what's a cream cheese frosting-loving mom with a strawberry dessert-loving daughter supposed to do???
Well, I'll tell ya what she's to do. She's to procure a bag of magical, freeze-dried strawberries. And she's to dump them into her blender or food processor and pulverize them into a bright red, strawberry-packed powder. And then she's to whip that powder into her tried-and-true cream cheese frosting recipe!
This recipe is super easy to whip up and it's good enough to eat with a spoon. It's thick and silky. It has a strawberry flavor that's big and bold. And take a gander at that gorgeous color!
This frosting is a beautiful, scrumptious complement to strawberry cakes, cupcakes, or cookies, but it's equally delicious on vanilla or chocolate treats. I mean, how good would this stuff be slathered on a rich, fudgy pan of brownies?!
Other Flavor Options
And can I let you in on a little secret?
The beauty of this recipe is that you can take the general concept and flavor your cream cheese frosting with different types of freeze-dried fruits!
Peaches, cherries, mangoes, pineapple, bananas, blueberries, blackberries...a wide variety of freeze-dried fruit is readily available these days.
Just be sure you're using freeze-dried fruit -- which can be easily crushed into a fine, dry powder -- as opposed to dried fruit -- which is chewy and leathery and won't turn into a powder now matter how much you beat on it. 😉
Also, since freeze-dried fruit is always available, you can make fruit flavored frosting year-round, without worrying about what fruit happens to be perfectly sweet and in-season.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting will make your desserts happy.
It'll make your family, friends, and bake sale recipients happy.
And I can guarantee that it'll make any and all 4-year-old strawberry lovers verrrry happy.
Tips & Tricks
- The longer you whip this frosting, the lighter and fluffier it will become.
- As depicted in a couple of the photos in this post, I like to scoop my frosting into a gallon-sized plastic baggie, snip off the corner of the bag, and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes in a spiral, starting from the outside perimeter and working towards the center. Piping the frosting as shown in these photos requires a lot more frosting than spreading it with a knife, so in that case, plan on making a double recipe of frosting for 24 cupcakes.
- The small amount of almond extract gives the frosting a nice, but not overpowering, undertone. However, if you don't have any almond extract on hand, the frosting will still be delicious if you leave it out.
More Strawberry Treats
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Sparkling Strawberry Floats
- Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastries
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 ½ cups sliced freeze-dried strawberries, about 1 ounce
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, depending on your desired consistency & sweetness of frosting
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon pure almond extract, optional
- Pour freeze-dried strawberries into a blender or small food processor. Pureé until crushed into a fine powder (with some small lumps remaining). Set aside.
- Using an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment), beat together the butter and the cream cheese. Slowly and gradually blend in the powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat until smooth and well-combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. Slowly blend in the strawberry powder, then beat on high until it's completely incorporated.
Our new favorite frosting!!! My granddaughter loved it!!
This frosting is incredible! I love that is doesn't require a puree or frozen strawberries but still has a delicious, fresh strawberry flavor!
Would this recipe make enough to frost a 3 layer cake?
I think you would need to make 1.5 to 2 times this recipe in order to have enough for a 3-layer cake, depending on if you're putting frosting between the layers or using some other type of filling. 🙂
Hi Molly, I just made a double batch of this for a 3 layer 8 inch round and it was just perfect amount. It was a pretty loose frosting and wanted to slide on the sides of my cooled cake. So I would suggest a little more powdered sugar to thicken slightly before frosting and maybe put on a cooled cake from the fridge. It was a very good tasting frosting and the dehydrated strawberries were the best. So easy and a flavor punch unlike fresh berries.
DO NOT DO WHAT I DID! The frozen strawberries melt during mixing and no matter how much powdered sugar I added it never thickened up. I put it in the freezer for almost an hour and added corn starch and still not stiff enough to ice cupcakes. Needless to say I had to ice them anyway cause I was late for my granddaughter's 1st birthday! I cried all the way there....if you use this recipe make it the night before so it can be in the fridge all night long!
Hi Sheri! I'm sorry your frosting didn't work out, but this recipe doesn't call for frozen strawberries...it calls for freeze-dried strawberries, which are very different because they contain no moisture. There is a lot of information (plus photos) in the post to explain why the strawberries must be freeze-dried for this frosting to work.
Ugh! I'm so sorry....I realized my mistake when I looked at the recipe again today trying to figure out where I went wrong. I am going to try again for some other, not so important event...like a sweet tooth on a Saturday night:)
Ha...this frosting is *perfect* for a sweet tooth on a Saturday night! 😉
I made this today and all I can say is...delicious! Thank you for sharing this.
The flavour came out great! I used a very reduced strawberry puree and the freeze-dried strawberry. My frosting is a bit loose, so I'm guessing I didn't add enough powdered sugar (or the strawberry puree messed it up).
I tried that with the same results, fortunately I was making test run and so I wasn't sunk. The strawberry puree is the culprit, the puree, even reduced is adding too much liquid. That's the magic of the freeze-dried strawberries, they have all of the strawberry flavor with no moisture, so they don't loosen the frosting.
This is just what I’ve been looking for!! So easy and just the right balance of tangy and sweet!! I paired with a dark chocolate cake (for me, this recipe was plenty for a 2 layer 9” cake). I had a little frosting left over and may or may not have eaten by the spoonful over the kitchen sink. 🙂
This may be the best frosting I've ever made. Huge strawberry fan but I have to say it's that hint of almond extract that really takes this over the top. I never use almond extract but clearly this is what it was destined for!
Can I make this a couple days ahead and refrigerate to pipe later?
Yes! You'll just need to let it come to room temperature before you pipe it. But just to clarify...this is not a stiff frosting that will hold shape if you pipe it with a flower tip, etc. But you can swirl it onto a cupcake with a piping bag. 🙂
Can I use frozen strawberries?
Unfortunately, frozen strawberries contain too much moisture and will make the frosting watery.
Is this recipe enough for a double layer cake?
Hi Mary! It depends on if your pans are 8-inch or 9-inch, and it also depends how thick you prefer your layer of frosting. I would probably make at least 1.5 times this recipe (which will yield about 4 1/2 cups of frosting) to safely frost a two-layer cake. 🙂
Cupcakes drive me bonkers because the icing gets all over my face. I far prefer cake. Questions: (1) Do you have a cake recipe that would go with this icing, and (2) would I double (or maybe triple?) the recipe so it would provide a filling, plus enough for the sides and top?
Hi Doral! My favorite cake to pair with this frosting is this one: https://www.fivehearthome.com/homemade-chocolate-cake-mix-recipe/. My daughter loves chocolate + strawberry and always requests this combo for her birthday. 🙂 But honestly, this frosting should work with any of your favorite cake recipes, vanilla or chocolate! The recipe makes enough to frost a 9x13" cake in the pan, but you would want to double it (or at least make 1.5 times the recipe) for a round layer cake.
The trick to eating cupcakes…. Remove the bottom of the cupcake and place it on top of the frosting, so it’s like a sammich. You’re welcome…cupcakes will never be the same. 🤣🤣🤣
I made this and followed the instructions but mine came out loose, any suggestions
What type of cream cheese did you use? Low-fat or fat-free cream cheese can just have a different consistency. But if you used regular/full-fat cream cheese, then the best way to thicken it is to add a bit more powdered sugar and/or strawberry powder.
If I frost my cake the day before does it require refrigeration?
Yes. But then you can let the cake come to room temperature before serving if that's your preference. 🙂
This looks like the perfect filling for some macarons I'm making. Is this a sweet frosting as I wanted to keep it a bit tangy.
The cream cheese does give this frosting a tangy undertone. You can also use a little less sugar to keep it on the tangier side. 🙂
Can I use frozen strawberries?
Hi Olga! Unfortunately, frozen strawberries contain a lot of moisture and will result in watery frosting. That's what makes freeze-dried strawberries ideal for this recipe.
Can I use chopped strawberries if I can’t get freeze dried strawberries?
Hi Vonya! Unfortunately, chopped strawberries won't work the same as freeze-dried in this recipe because of their water content. They'll water down your frosting.
I've had this bag of freeze dried strawberries for months. I knew I wanted to use them in some kind of frosting or mousse but I didnt have a recipe. Yay, you! You saved the day. Today we shall have funfetti cupcakes and strawberry frosting!
I usually use about 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in my standard cream cheese frosting recipe - is this okay to do for this as well?
Sure. It just may make your frosting a bit looser than what is shown in the photos. 🙂
I made this today with vanilla cupcakes. It is to die for. Perfect for Valentines Day tomorrow. I bought some freeze dried peaches to try next time. I never would have thought to use freeze dried fruit. Incredible! Thank you for a whole new way to make frosting!
Yay, so happy to hear that! I've done this recipe with freeze dried blueberries before, but now I'm going to have to try peaches... 😉
Question, the measuring for the strawberries is before they are ground up or after?
Measure them straight out of the bag, and then grind them up. 🙂
Mmmmmm! A nice thick, not too sweet cream cheese frosting! I like that one could use different freeze-dried fruits. They are usually found in the baking aisle or raisin aisle. Definitely use the vanilla and almond extracts. They play off of each other for great flavor. I try to use both in any recipe that calls for them. If a recipe calls for 1t vanilla, I would use 1/2t vanilla and 1/2t almond.
This is the best strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe I have ever tried. The freeze dried strawberries were the right solution. I've tried so many other recipes that used fresh or frozen strawberries and the frosting was just too runny.
I made this frosting to top a strawberry cake for a birthday party. It got rave reviews and was quickly devoured. The actual store bought birthday cake never had a chance!
Thank you for sharing!!!