How to Make Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

strawberry cream cheese frosting

There are countless baked goods out there that taste great with a classic, plain cream cheese frosting, but why not take things to the next level with strawberries?

Whether you’re making a layered cake or a batch of cupcakes, a good strawberry cream cheese frosting is sure to delight your taste buds and make the perfect finishing touch.

What are some key details that make a truly great frosting? Obviously, flavor is an important part of any dish. But, when it comes to frosting, texture is also extremely important!

Making Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

You want your strawberry cream cheese frosting to be light, fluffy, and smooth, and there are a number of factors that must come together in order to get it just right.

For starters, patience is key. You don’t want any lumps or bumps in your frosting!

Remember to blend and strain your strawberries enough, and allow for the time it will take to soften your cream cheese and butter completely. It might be frustrating to sit around waiting for a good, frosted cupcake, but the payoff is worth it.

Before you go any further, let me see that ingredients list!

Ingredients for your strawberry cream cheese frosting:

  • ¾ cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

This recipe makes enough frosting for around 6-8 cupcakes or one small layer cake, which is perfect for smaller desserts.

Go ahead and double or triple the recipe if you’ve got a whole party coming up!

Now, the recipe involves two key parts: Cooking down the fresh strawberry puree and whipping up the frosting.

For the strawberry puree you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

That’s it! Pop the berries and sugar together into your blender and puree them until the mixture is as smooth as you can get it.

Ideally, you should have around ¼ cup of strawberry puree. Then, you’ll want to run the puree through a strainer to remove any lumps or seeds that the blender might have missed.

Remember: that smooth texture is crucial! If you still see seeds or lumps in your mixture, it’s worthwhile to strain it a second time.

Heat your beautiful strawberry puree in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil.

Then, reduce the heat to medium-low so that your mixture calms down to a simmer.

Simmer the puree for around 5-10 minutes until it thickens visibly and sports a texture similar to that of strawberry jam.

You will need to use 1 ½ Tablespoons of the cooked strawberry puree in your frosting.

If your strawberries produced more mixture than this, resist the urge to add it anyway in hopes of intensifying the berry flavor! 1 ½ Tablespoons will offer plenty of flavor, and any more will run the risk of making your frosting go runny.

Now it’s time to let your strawberry mixture cool down to room temperature.

This is also the perfect time to soften your other key ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (full-fat)

While you’re letting the butter and cream cheese soften on your countertop, go ahead and assemble the rest of what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sifting the powdered sugar is important!

It’s not a good idea to depend on your mixer to get rid of them for you–it won’t, and you’ll wind up with unpleasant lumps in your frosting.

You want the sugar to be light and airy without any clumps before you add it to your cream cheese and butter mixture.

Once the cream cheese and butter are completely soft, it’s time to beat them together in a big mixing bowl using either a hand or stand mixer depending on what you have.

Add in the pinch of salt and the powdered sugar and keep mixing! It will take around 3-5 minutes to beat the mixture into that fluffy, cloudlike texture that you want.

Next, add in your vanilla extract and (fully cooled) strawberry mixture to the frosting base and watch the magic happen as you blend it all together with your mixer! The fluffy texture should maintain itself and the color should be a charming, gentle shade of pink.

Remember that strawberries sport lots of natural variation in terms of color: If you have a certain shade in mind and your frosting doesn’t look quite the way you want it to, then now is the perfect time to add a drop or two of food coloring.

And, just like that, your strawberry cream cheese frosting is done!

If the frosting is already at piping consistency, then you can use it immediately. If it’s a bit soft after all the mixing, then refrigerate it for a while first until it holds its shape more firmly.

You can store your delicious creation in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week!

Any other extra important tips or things to watch out for?

The timing is very important when it comes to getting the outcome you want.

The strawberry mixture has to be completely cooled before you beat it into your frosting base! Otherwise, the texture may be compromised if the warm berry puree partially melts your other ingredients.

As we mentioned before, it’s also crucial to make sure that the butter and cream cheese are completely soft before mixing. If you forget to set them out in time while your strawberry mixture is cooling, then do so as soon as you remember and adjust around the time that it takes for them to soften.

It’s never a good idea to try and cut corners or rush things by microwaving the cheese or butter–it won’t soften evenly, and your frosting mix won’t be fooled!

You’ll simply wind up with some parts chunky and others runny, which is never good.

It’s much better to wait for the ingredients to soften and put your strawberry puree in the refrigerator for a few minutes if needed while things catch up.

Another tip: Popping the strawberry puree into the refrigerator or ice box for a little while is also a great way to speed up the cooling if your butter and cream cheese soften more quickly than anticipated!

You also want to make sure that your cakes are completely cooled before frosting them, and that the frosting is firm enough to hold its shape when you pipe it on.

Compromise either of these things, and your frosting runs the risk of melting right off.

If you have a schedule to keep and find yourself pressed for time, then placing your baked goods in the freezer once they’re approaching room temperature will help them to cool down faster during the final stretch.

Here is a enjoyable video of the making of strawberry cream cheese frosting:

What are some other things I can do to take my frosting game to the next level?

If you have some strawberries left over once you’ve made your puree and finished your frosting, they’ll make a perfect chopped garnish!

A couple of strawberry slices nestled into the frosting on top of a cupcake make for a beautiful finished piece. If you’re making a cake, then some chopped strawberries make a perfect addition on top or in between layers as well.

You can use up tiny scoops of the cooked strawberry puree if you have leftovers of that, too. Remember that the flavor is intense and a little bit goes a long way. A little garnish of the puree is also balanced nicely with a light drizzle of honey.

Letting your strawberry cream cheese frosting shine its brightest can be all about context, too. This frosting isn’t limited to desserts–it makes a beautiful spread for biscuits or crackers during brunch or an afternoon coffee with friends. It’s also delicious on bagels and toast every now and then!

Remember:

Making something as creamy and delicate-looking as strawberry cream cheese frosting might seem complicated at first, but it really isn’t!

As long as you pay attention to your timing and make sure that your ingredients are mixed at the right temperature, you’ll be all set.

It’s easier than you might think to create a versatile, delicious frosting that you can use for anything from breakfast to dessert!