This strawberry cream cheese frosting is a rich and creamy, sweet and silky pink frosting that’s bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. Learn how to make cream cheese frosting into strawberry frosting that’s perfect for topping or filling cakes and cupcakes. You may even find yourself enjoying this strawberry cream cheese icing by the spoonful!
Why Should You Make This Recipe
When warm weather starts, I love embracing the sweet and tart flavors of strawberries. My Strawberry Dump Cake, Strawberry Cookies, Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake and Small Batch Strawberry Cupcakes and are all quick, easy and delicious strawberry recipes. This strawberry frosting with cream cheese is made with freeze dried strawberries maximum strawberry flavor. I know you’ll love this recipe because:
- You love fun variations on classic toppings. Cream cheese frosting is already incredibly delicious, but turning it into strawberry cream cheese frosting with one very easy addition makes this butter cream even more amazing, flavorful and perfect for spring.
- Tons of flavor with little effort. Rather than taking the time to reduce fresh strawberries down into a jam, freeze dried strawberries bring just as much if not more strawberry flavor and a gorgeous pink color to the cream cheese buttercream.
This easy strawberry cream cheese frosting requires only a handful of pantry basics and a few minutes to make. Here’s what you’ll need.
Gather freeze dried strawberries, unsalted butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and heavy cream.
Here are my recommended substitutions to make this wonderfully delicious cream cheese strawberry frosting if you need it.
- Freeze Dried Strawberries: Make sure to get freeze dried, not just dried strawberries. I usually get mine from Trader Joes, but freeze dried strawberries are available in most grocery stores. Freeze dried raspberries would be an excellent substitute. Alternatively, you can use store bought or homemade strawberry jam.
- Unsalted Butter: Feel free to use an equal amount of salted butter.
- Cream Cheese: The tangy flavor of cream cheese is hard to match. If you don’t have cream cheese, use an equal amount of mascarpone cheese.
- Powdered Sugar: I like using Wholesome Organic powdered sugar. If you need a lower sugar powdered sugar alternative, I recommend Swerve or Lakanto.
- Vanilla Extract: This provides a wonderful background flavor that pairs perfectly with the tart flavor of the strawberries. I highly recommend you keep the vanilla extract.
- Milk: This is used to thin the frosting as needed. Feel free to use an equal amount of heavy cream or milk of choice.
Strawberry Jam: For this strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe, I like to use a reduced sugar jam or preserve. To replace the freeze dried strawberries in this cream cheese frosting, use 1/4 cup (59 ml) jam.
Fresh Strawberries: In order to keep the structure of the cream cheese frosting, but still get fresh strawberry flavor, the strawberries must be heated and reduced to a jam like consistency. To do this combine 1 cup fresh diced strawberries with 1 tablespoon (13 g) sugar and 1 tablespoon water (15 ml) in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until gently boiling. Then reduce the temperature to low-medium and cook the strawberries until they have reduced down to 1/4 cup (59 ml) strawberry jam.
How To Make
Learn how to make strawberry cream cheese buttercream in a few easy steps!
- Pour the freeze dried strawberries into a food processor. Process the berries until a powder like consistency.
- Cream together softened butter with the room temperature cream cheese until creamy and well combined, about 4-5 minutes on low speed. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Mix in the powdered freeze dried strawberries on low until fully combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Mix in the sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup (60 g) at a time, beating each addition of powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl as needed. Once all the sugar has been added, mix in the vanilla extract, salt and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream. Beat on high until the whipped strawberry cream cheese frosting is fully incorporated and your desired consistency. If the strawberry buttercream is too thick, add 1 tbsp (15 ml) more heavy cream beating until well incorporated.
How To Serve, Make Ahead, Freeze, Thaw and Store
Serve: Use this strawberry cream cheese to top any cake, cupcakes or even brownies. I highly suggest trying this frosting with my Mini Cupcakes, Strawberry Brownies or Strawberry Crunch Cake.
Make Ahead: This strawberry cream cheese icing can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for one week or freezer for up to three months.
Freeze and Thaw: Transfer the strawberry cream cheese icing to an airtight and freezer proof container to store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw the frosting overnight in the fridge. Then bring the strawberry buttercream to room temperature before using in a recipe.
Store: Transfer the cream cheese frosting with strawberries to an airtight container to store in the fridge for one week.
M’s Expert Tips
- Wait to powder the freeze dried strawberries. These berries love to adsorb the moisture in the air as soon as the bag is opened. This can cause them to become gummy. Make sure to process them into powder right before you plan to make the frosting.
- Use room temperature butter and cream cheese. Using cold butter or cream cheese can cause the frosting to have little bumps. The strawberry cream cheese buttercream will be much smoother if the butter and cream cheese are both room temperature prior to mixing.
- Use a full fat brick style cream cheese. This is the best kind to make a perfect cream cheese buttercream.
- Chill the strawberry cream cheese frosting. If the frosting is too runny or soft, chill the strawberry buttercream in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes. This is especially helpful if you need to pipe the strawberry icing.
- Keep it cool. This buttercream is made with butter and cream cheese. Both of these ingredients will begin to soften easily in warmer environments. Once this strawberry cream cheese frosting is applied to the cake, cupcake, cookie or brownies, keep those baked good in the fridge until it’s time to serve them.
This can be from overbeating the cream cheese, causing it to become thin and runny. If this happens, transfer the frosting to the fridge to chill and thicken.
Generally speaking, frostings are thick and fluffy. Frostings like this strawberry cream cheese frosting are often used to frost cakes or cupcakes or as cake filling. Icings are thinner and glossier. They are typically used in the same way glazes are.
Depending on the temperature of the room, any baked good with cream cheese buttercream should sit out at room temperature for no longer than 2 - 4 hours.
Other Frosting Recipes to Try
Other Strawberry Recipes to Try
If you try this Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting recipe please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Doing so helps other readers decide if this is a great recipe to bake. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using @olivesnthyme so I can see what you’re baking! Happy Baking! - M
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- 1 food processor
- 1 stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters
- 1 1.2 oz. bag freeze dried strawberries
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 oz. (226 g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 cups (480 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 - 3 tbsp (30 - 45 ml) heavy cream
- Pour the freeze dried strawberries into a food processor. Process the berries until a powder like consistency.1 1.2 oz. bag freeze dried strawberries
- Cream together softened butter with the room temperature cream cheese until creamy and well combined, about 4-5 minutes on low speed. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl as needed.½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, 8 oz. (226 g) cream cheese, room temperature
- Mix in the powdered freeze dried strawberries on low until fully combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- On low, mix in the sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup (60 g) at a time, beating each addition of powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl as needed.4 cups (480 g) powdered sugar
- Once all the sugar has been added, mix in the vanilla extract, salt and 2 tbsp (30 ml) heavy cream. Beat on high until the whipped strawberry cream cheese frosting is fully incorporated and your desired consistency.1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract, ¼ tsp salt, 2 - 3 tbsp (30 - 45 ml) heavy cream
- If the strawberry buttercream is too thick, add 1 tbsp (15 ml) more heavy cream beating until well incorporated.
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