Strawberry Buttercream

This strawberry buttercream made from real strawberries is sweet, bursting with fresh strawberry flavor, and has the slightest hint of lemon. It is perfect for stacking cakes, is great under fondant, and is so easy to make!
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 2 hrs 35 mins
Serves: 6 cups
close up of strawberry buttercream on a chocolate cupcake with a strawberry on top

This is the best strawberry buttercream recipe made from real strawberries! Thick strawberry puree made from fresh or frozen berries mixed into creamy easy vanilla buttercream frosting. This recipe pairs well with lemon cakevanilla cake, strawberry cake, or even chocolate cupcakes.close up of a chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream and a strawberry on top

The trick to this strawberry buttercream is getting the strawberry puree to the right consistency by reducing it. The longer the berries are reduced, the thicker they will become and the more flavor will be concentrated. When strawberries are fresh, juicy, and warmed by the sun, there’s nothing like it, but frozen strawberries are a wonderful alternative that give the same real strawberry flavor.

Strawberry Buttercream Ingredientsbowls of ingredients for strawberry buttercream

Strawberries: If you have fresh berries available then this is a great way to use them and save that seasonal flavor. If not, frozen berries are just as good because they are picked at the peak of ripeness and flash frozen. The freezing process starts to break down the berries, so as they thaw they will release their juices and break down quicker in the reduction process. Freeze-dried strawberries won’t work as well in this buttercream, because the butter will prevent the strawberries from rehydrating and releasing their flavor. 

Pasteurized Egg whites: Pasteurized egg whites are heat-treated (like milk) so they are safe to eat. They usually come in a box carton in the egg aisle. If you don’t have pasteurized egg whites then you can use my Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe instead. Note that undercooked egg whites are not recommended for pregnant women just to be on the safe side.

Butter: Using good quality, real butter is best, but you can substitute it with margarine, vegan butter, or vegetable shortening. I can’t guarantee the taste will be the same, but you can use whatever is your preference! You can also mix the strawberry puree into any of my buttercream recipes, like Swiss meringue buttercream, American buttercream, and even cream cheese frostingpiping bag piping a swirl of strawberry buttercream on top of a chocolate cupcake

How to Make Strawberry Buttercream

I recommend making the strawberry puree a day ahead, or at least 2 hours ahead so that it has time to cool. The buttercream can be made ahead of time as well, but it comes together quickly so I like to make it when you’re ready to use it. You can use store-bought strawberry preserves instead of homemade strawberry puree for an easy version of this recipe. It won’t have the exact same flavor, but will still be delicious!

Making the Strawberry Puree

  1. Place the fresh or frozen whole strawberries and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, this will break down the berries and release the juices.hands adding frozen strawberries to a pot.pot of cooking strawberries.
  2. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Stir to combine. 
  3. Using an immersion blender, blend until the berries are a smooth consistency and there are no large chunks of strawberries. You can also pour the mixture into a food processor if you don’t have an immersion blender.Pot of cooked strawberries being blended with an immersion blender.
  4. Return the berries to low heat and continue to reduce until the excess water has evaporated and you have reached a thick consistency, this can take up to 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. For this buttercream, we want a thick strawberry jam consistency with an intense strawberry flavor. blended strawberry mixture slowly simmering in a pot.
  5. Cool the puree completely before adding it to the buttercream, or it will melt the butter. The puree can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 6 months. Pro-tip: Make the reduced strawberry puree during strawberry season and freeze it to use during the winter.spoonful of strawberry puree
  6. You will only need about a cup of strawberry puree for this frosting. I like to use the rest as a filling, on top of ice cream, or in my fresh strawberry cake or doctored box mix strawberry cake recipes.

Making the Strawberry Buttercream

  1. Place the egg whites and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed and then whip on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the powdered sugar.pouring pasteurized egg whites into a glass bowlclose up of egg whites and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl
  2. Add in the salt and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the softened butter in chunks and whip with the whisk attachment for 8 to 10 minutes until it no longer tastes like butter. It will look curdled at first but this is normal, just keep whipping. adding butter to buttercream mixtureclose up of whipped buttercream
  4. If your buttercream continues to look curdled, remove about 1/3 cup of buttercream and melt it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until it is barely melted. Pour it back into the whipping buttercream to bring it all together.pouring melted buttercream back into the mixer
  5. Switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for about 10 minutes to remove the air bubbles and create super smooth buttercream. This is optional but will make it extra creamy. close up of mixed buttercream
  6. Add about 1 cup (8 oz) of room temperature strawberry puree and lemon zest to the buttercream and mix until combined. You can add additional strawberry puree a quarter cup at a time until your desired flavor is reached. The more puree you add the less structure the buttercream will have.strawberry puree being added to a bowl of vanilla buttercream in a stand mixer
  7. This buttercream has fresh fruit in it, so make sure it stays refrigerated. This recipe makes enough frosting to cover and fill an 8-inch layer cake. Store excess buttercream in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze it for up to 6 months. Defrost the buttercream in the fridge and re-whip it before using.clear bowl filled with strawberry buttercream

FAQ

Why is my strawberry buttercream splitting? 

The buttercream splits because it’s too cold. Take out 1/3 cup of the buttercream and melt it in the microwave until it’s just melted and then whip it back in. That little bit of warm butter helps it all come together again.

Can I cover this buttercream with fondant? 

YES! I do it all the time, just make sure to chill your cakes until the buttercream is firm to the touch before applying fondant. It goes great with my homemade marshmallow fondant too! Check out my video on how to cover a cake in fondant.

Can I use other berries? 

Yes, you can use whatever berry you prefer or your favorite fruits, just follow the same process in the puree. 

Are pasteurized egg whites safe to eat? 

Yes! Pasteurized egg whites are heat-treated (like milk) so they are safe to eat. They usually come in a box carton in the egg aisle. If you don’t have pasteurized egg whites then you can use my SMBC recipe instead. Note that undercooked egg whites are not recommended for pregnant women just to be on the safe side.

How can I use this homemade strawberry frosting?

This frosting is great to use with almost any flavor of cake, cupcake, or cake pop and is perfect for piping. For more information on how to frost and decorate your first cake, you can watch my free tutorial on how to decorate your first cake.

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Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
close up of strawberry buttercream on a chocolate cupcake with a strawberry on top

Strawberry Buttercream

This strawberry buttercream made from real strawberries is sweet, bursting with fresh strawberry flavor, and has the slightest hint of lemon. It is perfect for stacking cakes, is great under fondant, and is so easy to make!
4.91 from 10 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Chilling Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 35 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Calories: 993kcal

Ingredients

Strawberry Puree

  • 32 ounces (907 g) fresh or frozen strawberries 6 cups
  • 4 ounces (113 g) granulated sugar 1/2 cup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Strawberry Buttercream

  • 8 ounces (227 g) strawberry puree room temperature, 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 ounces (227 g) pasteurized egg whites room temperature
  • 16 ounces (454 g) powdered sugar 2 pounds
  • 16 ounces (454 g) unsalted butter room temperature, 2 pounds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Equipment

  • 1 Large saucepan
  • 1 Stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachments optional

Instructions

Making the Strawberry Puree

  • Place the fresh or frozen whole strawberries and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, this will break down the berries and release the juices.
  • Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Stir to combine. 
  • Using an immersion blender, blend until the berries are a smooth consistency and there are no large chunks of strawberries. You can also pour the mixture into a food processor if you don’t have an immersion blender.
  • Return the berries to low heat and continue to reduce until the excess water has evaporated and you have reached a thick consistency, this can take up to 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. For this buttercream, we want a thick strawberry jam consistency.
  • Cool the puree completely before adding it to the buttercream, or it will melt the butter. The puree can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 6 months. Pro-tip: Make the reduced strawberry puree during strawberry season and freeze it to use during the winter.
  • You will only need about a cup of strawberry puree for this frosting. I like to use the rest as a filling, on top of ice cream, or in my fresh strawberry cake or doctored box mix strawberry cake recipes.

Making the Strawberry Buttercream

  • Place the egg whites and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed and then whip on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the powdered sugar.
  • Add in the salt and vanilla extract.
  • If your buttercream continues to look curdled, remove about 1/3 cup of buttercream and melt it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until it is barely melted. Pour it back into the whipping buttercream to bring it all together.
  • Switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for about 10 minutes to remove the air bubbles and create super smooth buttercream. This is optional but will make it extra creamy.
  • Add about 1 cup (8 oz) of room temperature strawberry puree and lemon zest to the buttercream and mix until combined. You can add additional strawberry puree a quarter cup at a time until your desired flavor is reached. The more puree you add the less structure the buttercream will have.
  • This buttercream has fresh fruit in it, so make sure it stays refrigerated. This recipe makes enough frosting to cover and fill an 8-inch layer cake. Store excess buttercream in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze it for up to 6 months. Defrost the buttercream in the fridge and re-whip it before using.

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
  1. If you want a quick and easy version of this frosting, you can use store-bought strawberry preserves instead of homemade strawberry puree. It won’t have the same flavor, but will still be delicious!
  2. The best investment you can make when you’re getting started with baking is a digital kitchen scale
  3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in its place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 993kcal (50%) | Carbohydrates: 110g (37%) | Protein: 6g (12%) | Fat: 62g (95%) | Saturated Fat: 39g (195%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 163mg (54%) | Sodium: 377mg (16%) | Potassium: 314mg (9%) | Fiber: 4g (16%) | Sugar: 102g (113%) | Vitamin A: 2241IU (45%) | Vitamin C: 113mg (137%) | Calcium: 51mg (5%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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34 comments on “Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Recipe

  1. 4 stars
    Would this recipe be the same with other berries like blueberries or raspberries?

  2. Hi Liz,

    Is it 1 cup of strawberry puree or 2 cups? In the ingredients list says 1 cup but in the instructions indicates 2 cups.

    Thanks

    1. Sorry, it depends on how much buttercream you are making. If it’s single batch I would add 1 cup of the puree but you can add more if you want a stronger strawberry flavor

      1. Hi, just to double check, are all the quantities in the ingredients list for a single batch – so 1 cup puree, 1 cup egg whites, 2lbs sugar, 2lbs butter etc? Thanks.

  3. Hi – where it says ‘Optional: switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes until all air bubbles are gone,’ what is the effect of this? Thanks.

  4. Hi there, how much icing would this recipe yield? I want to ice an 8″ round cake but have no idea if this is enough/too much icing and if it may be worth halving the recipe to save wastage.

  5. You mentioned on your strawberry cake made with freeze dried strawberries blog that you used freeze dried strawberries in this strawberry buttercream (lots of strawberry, lol). I’m assuming you replaced the puree with the freeze dried strawberries, but how much did you use? Thank you.

  6. Hi! I am a cottage baker. With the fresh fruit in this one, i would not be able to use it, because it must be refrigerated. Do you have any suggestions for what I could use?

  7. I feel that 2lbs of butter is alot for a 2 layer cake. I just want to make sure I was reading this right- 8 sticks of butter and about 8 cups of powdered sugar? Do you normally have left over frosting? I’m excited to make your strawberry cake this weekend.

    1. Please use weight. It is 2 lbs of powdered sugar, not cups. And yes the butter is correct. If you have leftovers you can freeze them.

  8. I would love to know what the egg whites do in this buttercream………. I’ve never used them in basically, an American Buttercream. Will the consistency be adequate to cover a stacked cake and will decorations hold their shape? Love the idea of not heating and beating the whites first.

    I’m looking forward to trying it this weekend.

    1. This is a mock swiss meringue buttercream. Because the egg whites are already heat treated (pasteurized) they don’t need to be heated again. Whipping the egg whites with the sugar creates a sort of meringue and then adding in the whipped butter makes it very light and fluffy and less sweet than ABC. It’s definitely stable enough for piping and stacking. It’s all I use. The added fresh strawberries are just a way of customizing it 🙂

  9. Question: This is probably the first recipe of yours that I see the ingredients are listed as measured, not weighed. Is this correct?
    I prefer weighing my ingredients as it helps with accuracy. Should I convert to weighed ingredients? Thanks for your reply.

  10. Can this be used in a fondant covered cake? If so, it must stay refrigerated correct? Also, when would you suggest removing from fridge to serve?

    1. Yes you can cover this cake in fondant and it needs to be refrigerated. I typically will let a cake be at room temperature for 3-4 hours before cutting so that the butter is no longer cold. Bigger cakes take longer to come to room temp obviously.

  11. In your recipe for the butter cream it calls for one cup of purée but in your instructions you say 2 cups of purée so which one is it please?

  12. 5 stars
    This was amazing! But it was kinda TOO buttery… But thanks for this recipe! 😊

  13. Is it possible not to use eggs? Thanks

  14. 5 stars
    I’ve made this buttercream so many times and it’s heavenly. Today I was rushed and microwaved the “room temp” items to make up time. Well…as it whipped with the paddle attachment for 15 minutes…it became super soupy. Any troubleshooting suggestions before I put the purée in?

  15. Would freeze dried strawberries or raspberries etc work with this?

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