This Strawberry Buttercream is smooth and creamy with a mild strawberry flavor. The pale pink color is all natural from the fresh strawberries that we use to make this. Not vegan? No problem! Just swap out the vegan baking sticks for unsalted butter. As always, it’s gluten free and nut free too!
This strawberry buttercream is made with fresh strawberries just like in my no bake strawberry pie!
Many people make strawberry frosting with freeze dried strawberries. When I was looking for freeze dried ones I discovered many companies make them in facilities that also process gluten and nuts.
So I said forget this and decided to make the frosting with fresh strawberries instead!!! The result is a creamy frosting with a mild strawberry flavor that isn’t overly strong and so perfect with my Strawberry Filled Cupcakes and in my Strawberry Red Velvet Cake!
Reasons to love this frosting
- Allergy Friendly- This recipe is gluten free, nut free, egg free and dairy free (vegan).
- Smooth & Creamy- Even though we use fresh strawberries, there are no seeds at all!
- Made with Fresh Strawberries- No need to try to find gf/nf freeze dried strawberries. This recipe uses fresh ingredients! You could also use frozen quartered strawberries like I do in my Strawberry Sugar Cookies.
- Natural Pink Color- No food coloring is needed to get that light pink hue just like with my blackberry frosting on my Blackberry Cookies!
- Vegan Baking Sticks- Make sure they’re softened but not melted. Melted vegan baking sticks will make the frosting runny permanently. It won’t even be fixed if popped in the fridge.
- Confectioners’ Sugar- We need about 4 cups.
- Water- This frosting requires room temperature water vs milk.
- Vanilla- Make sure to use pure vanilla extract.
- Fresh or Frozen Strawberries- Quarter them after washing.
- Granulated Sugar- We cook this down with the fresh strawberries to create almost a syrup.
- Kosher Salt- Just a pinch to bring the flavors out.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
How to Make this Frosting with Dairy
- Use butter instead of vegan baking sticks.
This recipe has not been tested with these substitutions and/or variations due to celiac disease and food allergies. If you change any of the ingredients, please let us know how the recipe turned out in the comments below!
How to Make Strawberry Buttercream
Here are the step by step instructions to make this buttercream!
Step 1: Heat the Strawberries and Granulated Sugar
In a saucepan set over medium heat, cook the granulated sugar and strawberries until they are syrupy. 5-8 min. It will still appear chunky and that’s fine.
Step 2: Strain the Strawberries
Set a mesh colander over a bowl. Pour the strawberry liquid through the strainer and set aside to let cool.
Step 3: Beat the Vegan Baking Stick/Butter
In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter or vegan baking stick until it is soft and creamy. About 2-3 minutes.
Step 4: Beat in the Other Ingredients
With the mixer still on, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, water, salt, the cooled strained strawberry liquid (4 tablespoons) and the vanilla until smooth and combined.
That’s it! Could not be more simple.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use Softened Butter-Using vegan baking sticks or butter that’s softened is great when making this frosting. However, make sure you DO NOT melt the butter. If you use melted butter, the frosting will be a liquid mess. I find that vegan baking sticks are softer than butter as it is. If you melt it, the buttercream will be runny and will not even solidify when you refrigerate it.
- Only Cook the Strawberries for a few Minutes- Cook them over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Since there is no additional water in it, if you cook it too long it will be too syrupy and not enough to flavor the buttercream. Make sure to let the liquid cool before adding it to your buttercream.
- You must Strain the Cooked Strawberries- If you don’t do this step, your buttercream will not be smooth. It will have chunks of skins and seeds all throughout. Straining it gives us that beautiful strawberry liquid without the seeds.
If the frosting is too thick, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
If the frosting is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
The color of your frosting will depend on the strawberries themselves.
If they’re super red and ripe, the buttercream will be more pink.
If it’s off season and the strawberries are white inside when you cut them, your frosting will be a much paler pink.
Storing and Freezing
If you're not using your strawberry buttercream right away, store it in the fridge in an airtight container or in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap.
You can keep it refrigerated for up to 4 days.
When ready to use, let it come to room temperature on the counter.
Once room temperature, re-whip the buttercream to get that nice creamy consistency.
You can freeze the frosting for up to one month in an airtight freezer safe container.
To defrost, put it in the fridge the night before.
When ready to use, let the buttercream come to room temperature on the counter.
Once room temperature, re-whip it to get that smooth and creamy consistency.
Recipes You'll Love with this Vegan Strawberry Buttercream
Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!
- 1 ¾ cups quartered strawberries fresh or frozen
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegan baking stick 1 stick unsalted butter or unsalted vegan baking stick
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the quartered strawberries and granulated sugar. Stir constantly for about 5-8 minutes until the strawberries have liquified a bit and the sugar has dissolved. Use the back of your spoon to mash the strawberries apart.
- Set a strainer or a mesh colander over a bowl and strain the strawberry liquid. You don’t want any of the seeds, you just want the liquid. You should have about 4 tablespoons of liquid.
- With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat the softened vegan baking stick until creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, water, strained strawberry liquid (4 tablespoons), salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth and combined. If the strawberry liquid solidified a bit, that’s ok. Just use a spatula to scrape it into your mixing bowl.