Easy, homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting for cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. It’s perfect for spring and summer celebrations.
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Homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Strawberry frosting and strawberry icing are really popular choices for pairing with cakes and cupcakes in the spring and summer.
My favorite way to make it is Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.
That slight hint of tang is amazing with fresh, sweet strawberries. If you’re making a cake or cupcakes for Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays, or any other celebration, consider getting out of the chocolate and vanilla box and try a fruity twist.
I highly recommend trying this frosting recipe if you haven’t had strawberry frosting before! Below, I’ve listed all the tips, tricks, and tools you need for making the perfect buttercream frosting. I’ve also included my favorite cake and cupcake pairings for this frosting. Enjoy!
Can this Strawberry Frosting Recipe be made ahead of time?
Yes it can. Just refrigerate it after preparing it and store it in an air-tight container. Bring it to room temperature (about an hour) before using and re-whip it before adding to your cake, cupcakes, or other baked goods.
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Key Ingredients for Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Freeze Dried Strawberries
- Cream Cheese (see “Tips” below)
- Unsalted Butter – for best results, use a good quality butter! I know that’s so Ina of me to say…
- Strawberry Purée – I use leftover purée from my Gluten Free Strawberry Cake but if you didn’t make the cake, there’s an option for using just freeze dried strawberries.
How to make Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
To make a vegan and dairy free cream cheese frosting, use dairy free cream cheese in place of regular cream cheese. Use 1/4 cup Nutiva Shortening + 1/4 cup vegan butter in place of the regular butter.
Equipment Needed to Make Homemade Strawberry Frosting
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer.
- Food Processor – you can crush the freeze dried strawberries by hand but using a Food Processor is much easier and faster.
- Mesh strainer or sifter – optional but if you want to ensure your sugar has no lumps, use a mesh strainer to sift it before adding it to the cream cheese/butter.
How to Make Strawberry Frosting with Cream Cheese
Step 1. Add the freeze dried strawberries to a plastic bag and and crush them with a rolling pin or mallet until they’re a fine powder. Set aside.
Step 2. Add the cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together until smooth, about 1 minute.
Step 3. Add the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed until the sugar is incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder, strawberry concentrate, and vanilla extract.
Step 4. Mix an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
Step 5. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Let the frosting come to room temperature and mix well before using if you refrigerate it.
Tips for Making Cream Cheese Frosting with Strawberries
- Use block cream cheese. Don’t use whipped cream cheese or cream cheese in a tub. They’ll make the frosting too soft.
- Use full-fat cream cheese. You’re making frosting for a cake or cupcakes. Don’t skimp and go with low fat cream cheese. The flavor and texture just won’t be the same.
- Use room-temperature cream cheese and butter. If your cream cheese and butter are too cold, they won’t cream properly and you’ll end up with a lumpy frosting.
- Don’t over-soften your butter. If your butter gets too soft, it will produce a buttercream that looks greasy, almost like your frosting doesn’t come together all the way.
- Use red food coloring to get the shade of pink you want. You’ll only need a drop or two. It’s totally optional, though! My favorite is AmeriColor Red Red.
Does cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated?
For food safety, desserts frosted with cream cheese frosting should be refrigerated but can be left out at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
You should bring your baked goods to room temperature before serving though if you want the optimal creaminess of the frosting to come through.
The Best Cake and Cupcakes to pair with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Cupcakes – Top gluten free chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting and a drizzle of chocolate ganache for chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes. This would be great with a gluten free chocolate cake or fudgy gluten free brownies too!
- Strawberry Cake – I originally made this frosting recipe for my Gluten Free Strawberry Cake. Strawberry frosting with strawberry cake is such a great combo and perfect for spring/summer parties and celebrations.
- Vanilla Cupcakes – Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes with gorgeous pink strawberry frosting would be a nice light, and fresh dessert option.
- Lemon Cupcakes – Strawberry frosting with Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes is like a fresh strawberry lemonade in cupcake form.
- Coconut Cake – if you’ve ever had a Pink Drink from Starbucks or Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream (our favorite is from The Ice Box CT), you already know that strawberry and coconut is a fabulous flavor pairing. I’m thinking I need a Gluten Free Coconut Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting for my next birthday!
Other Buttercream Frosting Recipes To Try
- Classic Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Nutella Buttercream
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
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Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/4 cup 6 g freeze dried strawberries
- 8 oz. 226 g cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature (4 oz./226 g/8 Tablespoons)
- 4 1/2 cups 618 g powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons strawberry concentrate see notes
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the freeze dried strawberries to a plastic bag and and crush them with a rolling pin or mallet until they’re a fine powder. Set aside.
- Add the cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed until the sugar is incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder, strawberry concentrate, and vanilla extract.
- Mix an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Let the frosting come to room temperature and mix well before using if you refrigerate it.
- I use leftover strawberry concentrate from making my gluten free strawberry cake. If you're not making the cake and you don't have the strawberry concentrate, use an additional 1/4 cup of powdered freeze-dried strawberries. Thin the frosting with heavy cream or milk as needed to reach your desired consistency or if your frosting is too thin, thicken it with additional powdered sugar.
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Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren’t always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.