Homemade Strawberry Frosting – Two Ways
I would say that of all the frosting flavors, strawberry frosting has the most questions. It's a bit of an illusion. Strawberry puree alone often doesn't add enough flavor, and if you add too much, you dilute your frosting beyond what is usable. And if you add strawberry chunks, it really messes things up. So what's a strawberry lover to do?
I've used both of these strawberry icing methods before in various recipes on the site, and I finally decided to make it a separate post to give you all my tips! First, let's look at the two ways to make this frosting. The first method is to use fresh strawberries that have been cooked in a pan on the stovetop to reduce the liquid and create a thicker, stronger strawberry puree/sauce. The second method is to crush freeze-dried strawberries and add the powder to your glaze.
How to Make Strawberry Frosting
Both methods of strawberry icing have the same icing base. As with the vanilla buttercream frosting, you start by beating the butter (and shortening, if you like) until it is smooth. Then you add about half of the powdered and mix it all together until it's smooth.
Next, you'll want to add your strawberry flavoring. If you are using fresh strawberries, your strawberry reduction should be ready and cold. To prepare it, puree your strawberries and strain the puree to remove the seeds. While it is not necessary to strain the puree, it is a good idea to do so so that your glaze does not contain any small seeds.
Next, slowly cook the puree on the stovetop and reduce it by half. This doubles the flavor of the strawberry while giving a thicker puree to add to your glaze. Let the strawberry reduction cool and you are ready to add it to your frosting. I usually add three to four tablespoons so my icing isn't too thin. If you prefer a thinner frosting (which is often okay for cupcakes and sheet cakes, but less ideal for layer cakes), you can add a little more.
If you're using freeze-dried strawberries, put them in your food processor and grind them to a powder, then simply add the powder to the frosting. This is much easier and faster, if you can find them at your local store.
The only other difference with the freeze-dried strawberry method is that you will also need to add cream or water. Since the reduction naturally adds liquid to the frosting, you don't need to add any. But with this version, the dry powder doesn't do the job on its own and some liquid is needed to thin the icing a bit.
From there - whichever version you make - you'll want to add a touch of vanilla extract and the remaining powdered and mix it all together until it's smooth.
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries in this Frosting?
Frozen strawberries are a good option for this strawberry glaze. I personally don't like using them because you can't tell until you buy them and thaw them if they taste good or not. Since flavor influences the glaze so much, I like knowing that mine smell and taste amazing. The other thing about frozen strawberries is the added water. Yes, you will cook them and intensify their flavor, but again, I prefer to know that I get the best and strongest flavor. So, while you can certainly use them, it's not what I prefer.
What Makes this the Best Strawberry Frosting Recipe?
No matter how you decided to make your strawberry frosting, both versions are great! In fact, while the freeze-dried strawberries give an intense flavor, the strawberry reduction does a great job. I could barely tell the difference between the two in terms of flavor. The good news is that you have two amazing approaches to making the best strawberry glaze!
Homemade Strawberry Frosting – Two Ways
This strawberry frosting is the BEST you can make! And there are two different ways to make it! You can use fresh strawberries that have been reduced on the stove to increase the flavor, or freeze-dried strawberries!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries OR 1 1/2 cups (200g) chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups (460g) powdered
- 3–4 tbsp (45-60ml) water or cream, if needed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch or two of salt
1.If using fresh strawberries, put them in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You should have about 3/4 cup of puree.
2. Add the puree to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Let the mixture boil slowly, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until it thickens and reduces to about 6 tablespoons, about 10 to 15 minutes. To measure, pour the puree into a measuring cup. If there are more than 6 tablespoons (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup), return it to the pan and continue cooking.
3. When the puree has thickened and reduced, pour it into a large measuring cup and let it cool to at least room temperature. This strawberry mixture can be made ahead of time, if desired, and stored in the refrigerator.
4. If using freeze-dried strawberries, put them in a food processor and grind them into a fine powder. Set aside.
5. Whichever version you make, add the butter to the large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
6. Add about half of the powdered and beat until combined and smooth.
7. If using strawberry reduction, add about 3 tablespoons of reduction and beat until smooth. If using freeze-dried strawberries, add the powder and about 3 tablespoons of water or cream and beat until the mixture is blended and smooth.
8. Add the vanilla extract and slowly add the remaining powdered and beat until well combined and smooth.
9. Add strawberry/milk reduction or cream until your frosting is the right consistency. Use your frosting on cakes, cupcakes, etc. The frosting can be left at room temperature for 1-2 days, but if you don't use it right away, I recommend refrigerating it for up to a week or freezing it for about a month.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 3263
- Sugar: 402.2 g
- Sodium: 64.9 mg
- Fat: 184.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 417.5 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 488.5 mg