I’m always on the hunt for frostings that are flavorful, yet a little less sweet for cupcakes and cakes, and this Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is the BEST. It’s easy, intensely strawberry flavored, and a lot less sweet than traditional buttercream. And it’s such a pretty color!

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting

It can be hard to make a frosting for home-baked goods that tastes as good as the kind you’d get at the bakery. This one though, it totally passes muster. It’s naturally sweet from the strawberries, creamy from cream cheese and butter, and it’s a perfect match for Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes, Easy Chocolate Cupcakes, or Vegan Vanilla Cake.

It goes above and beyond plain Cream Cheese Frosting!

The strawberry flavor, which comes from freeze-dried berries, is intense and bright. And it makes the mixture the most amazing pink color. It requires just a few steps to make, too, so you don’t have to worry about setting aside too much time.

(You may also like Strawberry Sheet Cake, Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes, and Yogurt Frosting.)

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Ingredients You Need

To make this easy strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe you’ll need to have the following ingredients on hand.

ingredients in strawberry cream cheese frosting
  • Freeze-dried strawberries: These are typically sold near the dried fruit or in the produce department. They are crunchy and have had all of the moisture content removed.
  • Cream cheese: I use a traditional block of full-fat cream cheese here. You’ll want to let this rest at room temperature so it’s soft to the touch.
  • Unsalted butter: You’ll want to let this rest at room temperature so it’s soft to the touch.
  • Pure vanilla extract: This adds a nice flavor base that pairs well with the berry flavor.
  • Maple syrup: You can also use honey if you prefer. (Though avoid honey for kids under 12 months old.)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s an overview of the process involved in this strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe so you know what to expect. See the full recipe at the end of the post for the specifics.

Ground up freeze dried strawberries in glass bowl.

Step 1. Grind the freeze-dried strawberries into a powder with a blender or food processor.

Hand pouring ingredients for strawberry cream cheese frosting into glass bowl.

Step 2. Add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients for strawberry cream cheese frosting in glass bowl with mixer.

Step 3. Mix with a electric hand mixer until fluffy and evenly mixed.

Strawberry cream cheese frosting being whipped with hand held mixer.

Step 4. Place into a zip-top bag and seal. Cut off one bottom corner to use as a piping bag. Frost onto cupcakes or add to cake layers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to thicken strawberry cream cheese frosting?

If this frosting gets a bit runny, it could be that your butter is too warm. Put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes to help firm up the butter before continuing with the recipe.

Can I make this with a different fruit?

Use freeze-dried blueberries in place of the strawberries if you’d like a different flavor.

How can I make this strawberry frosting sweeter?

Add ¼-½ cup powdered sugar to make the frosting sweeter if you’d like. (I sometimes do this if serving to older kids and/or adults who may expect a sweeter frosting.)

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

We love to pair this strawberry cream cheese frosting with my lower sugar Vanilla Cupcakes and my easy Vanilla Cake. It would also be great with Chocolate Cupcakes or my Easy Chocolate Cake.

And for a baby’s first birthday, try it with my One-Year-Old Birthday Cake (or any of my first birthday cakes.)

cupcakes-with-frosting-in-a-row

How to Store

You can make the strawberry cream cheese frosting up to 24 hours ahead. Store in a storage bag in the fridge, with as much air removed as possible and sealed, until ready to use.

Best Tips for Success

  • Let the cream cheese and butter soften at room temperature for a few hours so it’s very soft to the touch. This will help it mix up smoothly.
  • Grind the freeze-dried strawberries to form a fine powder. (Look for them in your store near the dried fruit or in the produce department.) They have less moisture and more concentrated flavor than fresh strawberries or strawberry puree, so they are my preference here.
  • Add ¼-½ cup powdered sugar to make the frosting sweeter if you’d like. (I sometimes do this if serving to older kids and/or adults who may expect a sweeter frosting.)
  • Top with sprinkles if desired.
  • Use freeze-dried blueberries in place of the strawberries if you’d like a different flavor.
  • Make this dairy-free with vegan cream cheese and butter.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!

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strawberry cupcakes with sprinkles

Favorite Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

With a bright strawberry flavor and pretty pink color, this Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is delicious and ready in minutes. You can make this up to 24 hours ahead and store in a plastic zip-top bag in the fridge until ready to use.
4.97 from 55 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 197kcal
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I like full fat, softened at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick, softened at room temperature)
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar optional
  • sprinkles optional
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Instructions

  • Place the strawberries into a blender or clean spice grinder. Grind into a fine powder.
  • Add to a medium bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Blend well using a handheld electric mixer on high speed to make a fluffy frosting.
  • Transfer to a zip-top quart-size bag. Seal. Cut off one bottom corner and pipe onto cupcakes. (You can also just use a spatula to frost onto a cake.)

Video

Notes

  • Let the cream cheese and butter soften at room temperature for a few hours so it’s very soft to the touch. This will help it mix up smoothly.
  • Grind the strawberries to form a fine powder.
  • Add ¼ cup powdered sugar to make the frosting sweeter if you’d like. (I sometimes do this if serving to older kids and/or adults who may expect a sweeter frosting.)
  • Top with sprinkles if desired.
  • Use freeze-dried blueberries in place of the strawberries if you’d like a different flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 61mg, Potassium: 292mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 372IU, Vitamin C: 241mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published March 2020.

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4.97 from 55 votes (40 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. I am totally in love with dehydrated raspberries right now-have you ever used those in this recipe (or maybe something else)?

    Thanks for being great!

  2. 4 stars
    Made the cupcakes and strawberry frosting today. Very easy to do. The dried strawberries definitely make the frosting, bright pinky red. I am just wondering. I put them in the refrigerator since they have cream cheese in them. I wasn’t sure how that would be on the counter. We’re not eating them till tomorrow For birthday celebrations

    1. Blending in fresh berries will make the frosting too liquidy. You can make the frosting plain though, and decorate with sliced fresh berries though.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! The strawberry flavor is so good! I prefer more sweetness and butter cream frosting type consistency on chocolate cupcakes so I made the base recipe then added more powdered sugar to taste.

  4. 5 stars
    Love your recipes and this one was very tasty – made it to top your chocolate muffins for my kiddos daycare for a valentine’s snack and I’m told they loved them!

    For next time, can the butter be omitted or replaced? Butter cream frosting makes my tongue feel kind of tingly, which I’m not a fan of, and this did the same for me. I did think about it when making it, but didn’t have time to try something different!

  5. 5 stars
    This is the first time I’ve ever reviewed a recipe but I wanted to say this is hands down the best icing I have EVER had, including icing on the fanciest of bakery cupcakes I’ve eaten. I used freeze dried strawberries that were already in powder form (purchased from amazon) so I used 1/4 cup or roughly half of the 45 gram container I bought. This was AMAZING, not just for kids cupcakes but I will use this to frost cakes in the future too!

    1. I haven’t frozen it but it might be okay, or it’s fine for a few days in the fridge. Put into a storage bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing.

  6. 5 stars
    My son (nearly 6 years old) and I made this today for my husband’s birthday and oh my goodness! This frosting was so delicious. We used this to top the chocolate cake recipe and it was a fantastic combination. We also opted to use seedless raspberry spread between the two layers. Seriously- some of the best frosting I have ever had!

  7. Hi, this frosting looks delicious! How much cups of frosting does this recipe make? 😋😋
    I hope you have a good and safe day 😊

  8. Hi

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.
    Looking to make this.
    Do you know if it’s possible to make this frosting with something vegan ?
    Coconut milk or vegan cream cheese?
    Thanks!

  9. Made this using 3 tbsp syrup and no extra sugar to frost 2nd birthday cake. Topped with sliced strawberries. Was delicious.

  10. 5 stars
    Omg this is so delicious! I made this a day ahead for my son’s bday. Only had 1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries left as I didn’t realise my son ate them up 😂

    I used mascarpone instead of cream cheese and only used 2 tbsp of honey. The flavor was fantastic! I couldn’t stop licking it off the whisk haha I’ve now stored it in the fridge to frost and pipe a small 4-inch mini cake and 6 cupcakes (I used the easy vanilla cake recipe for that) ☺️

  11. Do you think these could be made with defrosted frozen strawberries? Maybe patted dry and thickening the frosting somehow so it’s not runny? I can’t find freeze-dried strawberries locally. Thank you – always love your recipes.

    1. If you wanted to try that, I would thaw them and drain them so you’re not adding all the liquid. Then blend into a puree and blend in a little at a time. I would add a little at a time so you can stop as soon as it starts to get thin. You may not want to add much of it, but a little should add some flavor I’d think.

  12. Hiya, do you have a muffin receipe to accompany the yummy strawberry frosting? Thank you:)

  13. 5 stars
    This worked out well for us. I made cupcakes with a low sugar banana cake recipe. Then I frosted them with this frosting, making little stars in the middle and topping with a sliced strawberry.

  14. 5 stars
    This stuff is amazing. We like to use powdered swerve or monkfruit instead of sugar. One of my kids favorite ways to eat it is in between graham crackers with a little dot sprinkles. I’ve also topped cooled pancakes and banana bread with it.

  15. I plan to make this to go on the Vanilla Oat Cake (your recipe!) for my daughter’s smash cake. Hoping I don’t regret the color from the strawberries when she’s got it all over her. Lol. Would you recommend waiting to frost the cake until ready to serve? Or can it be frosted in advance?

  16. Hello, I bought the dry Freeze strawberries already grinded up. How much should I use since it’s already in powdered form?
    Thanks!

    1. You could use a small amount of strawberry jam or strawberry puree, though add just a little bit at a time so the frosting doesn’t become too runny

    1. I honestly haven’t ever frozen it so I am not sure. If you try it, freeze it in a plastic freezer bag with as much air removed as possible.

  17. Oh dear. I bought frozen strawberries as opposed to freeze-dried… is there a way I can still use these for the recipe? Or do you think it will be a flop?

    1. It won’t work the same. I would make the cream cheese frosting plain and then top with some of the thawed (and drained) strawberries.

  18. This sounds delicious and looks great! Would this be good on a chocolate cake? My son’s bday request.. thanks!.

      1. Thank you! Do you think I should double the recipe if frosting a two layer 9” cake, including between the layers?

      2. If you plan to frost between the layers and outside the cake I would at least 1.5 it—doubling it would ensure you have plenty but you might have a little extra. (Wouldn’t be the worst problem to have though!)

  19. Can’t wait to try this recipe! How long can the frosting stay at room temperature once made and applied? Or must it be refrigerated because of the cream cheese? Thanks!

  20. Hi
    I can’t wait to try this recipe but can you provide alternative measurements for the unsalted butter, freeze dried strawberries and powdered sugar please as I am unsure what the cup size is?

    Thanks

      1. I took 5 oz of freeze dried strawberries to make 1 cup of ground down powder.

  21. That worked! Thanks so much! I decided to go with strawberries after all 🙂 Do you think I could whip some heavy whipping cream and add to it to make this a little lighter?

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks! This is for my son’s first birthday cake and he absolutely LOVED! this frosting!!! It’s fruity, creamy and not too sweet!

  22. 5 stars
    This frosting is SO good! I used blueberries instead of strawberries. It came out a little gritty though. Is that because of the dried fruit powder? Do you have any suggestions for making this smoother/creamier?

    1. If you can grind the fruit a little more to get it as pulverized and into a powder form, that could help. (That may depend a little on the blender you have.) I agree that the flavor is great though!

    2. Tastes like straight Philadelphia strawberry cream cheese, not like frosting. I love the dehydrated strawberry idea, though, and I might try making a more traditional frosting with that for flavor. Spread nicely and came together easily.