Let’s learn how to make Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting with fresh strawberries! It’s a smooth and velvety homemade strawberry frosting that balances the tanginess of the cream cheese with fresh vibrant strawberries. No food coloring needed! Use it to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, and more.

Bowl of pink strawberry cream cheese frosting

Ever read a post that was a long time coming?

According to my age, I’m supposedly a millennial, growing up in a world immersed in technology. I’m narcissistic, lazy, and expect to be coddled with participation trophies.

Except I grew up in a time without technology. I passed paper notes in high school. I didn’t get my first cell phone until my freshman year in college.

I don’t think my family even had the Internet until I was in middle school. Of course you couldn’t actually use it if somebody else was on the phone.

When I went on field trips, I used disposable cameras. I’d have no clue how the photos turned out until the film was developed. My parents did have a Polaroid camera, but it didn’t work half the time.

When there was a new song on the radio, I’d wait with a blank cassette tape on hand, pressing the record button as soon as the DJ stopped talking. Most of the time they talked over the song intro, so it was hit or miss.

True millennials never experienced a life without technology. They were born into it.

Me on the other hand – I’m caught in between millennial and generation X. That’s when I read about a new term called Xennials.

Of course the date range doesn’t include my year, but the whole article describes me to a tee.

Growing up the way I did shaped the way I cook and bake. I learned how to cook in home economics class.

Everything was made from scratch. No cake mixes or canned soup. It became an obsession of mine, although I have been a little more relaxed once I started working full time.

A few years ago, I posted strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. No cake mix. No Jello. All fresh strawberries.

My homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting made with fresh strawberries became popular enough to deserve its own post. It really is the best strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe!

It’s a sweet and tangy small batch cream cheese frosting with a vibrant berry finish. It pairs well with a lot of flavors – chocolate, lemon, vanilla, even coconut.

Use it to frost my small chocolate cake recipe, strawberry layer cake, or strawberry snacking cake.

You can even use it as a strawberry icing for cinnamon rolls.

Much like my raspberry cream cheese frosting, there is a little bit of cooking involved.

However, it’s the best way to get the most fruit flavor for your homemade strawberry frosting.

You also don’t have to worry about chunks of strawberry getting stuck in your piping bag because you make a puree in the blender.

Ready to make the best strawberry cake frosting?

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting with Strawberry Cupcakes

Ingredients For Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

To make this easy cream cheese frosting with strawberries, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Strawberries: Can’t have strawberry frosting without the strawberries! Although fresh makes the most sense, you can certainly use frozen. Let them thaw until soft.
  • Sugar: Strawberries may be sweet on their own, but you still need a little boost to balance it out.
  • Butter: The base to every good frosting is butter. Real butter, not margarine. Add a pinch of salt if using unsalted.
  • Cream cheese: Adding cream cheese with your butter makes the frosting more tangy than sweet. It’s important you use full-fat blocks of cream cheese. Any fat-free or whipped products won’t work.
  • Powdered sugar: Not only does it balance the fat, it also helps thicken the frosting so you can easily spread or pipe it onto your dessert.
  • Vanilla extract: Much like salt, vanilla brings out the other flavors in dessert.

More Strawberry Frosting Recipes

Don’t want a tangy frosting? Check out my strawberry buttercream frosting or strawberry whipped cream frosting.

Blending strawberries for strawberry cream cheese frosting

Adding Fresh Strawberries To Cream Cheese Frosting

The best strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe starts with its namesake – the strawberries.

In order to incorporate fresh strawberries into your frosting, you need to puree them in a blender then cook down the mixture until thickened.

If you were to add the puree without cooking, your frosting would be too runny. That would mean adding more powdered sugar to thicken it, which would make the frosting a little TOO sweet.

Measuring is very important because you want 1 + 1/2 tablespoons cooked puree (3 tablespoons if you’re doubling my recipe).

Let it cool to room temperature before using. Otherwise, it may curdle your frosting if it’s too warm.

If you’re making the puree the day before, make sure you bring it to room temperature along with your butter. If it’s too cold, it may also split your frosting.

If you don’t want to make strawberry puree, you can also use 1 1/2 tablespoons strawberry jam without pectin or strawberry curd.

Or make a peach cream cheese frosting with peach curd.

More Cream Cheese Frosting Recipes

Not in the mood for strawberry? Check out my Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting or Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cooking strawberry puree for strawberry frosting
Cooked down strawberry puree for strawberry icing

How To Make Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Here’s how to make this strawberry frosting with fresh strawberries:

  1. Blend strawberries and sugar then pour puree through a fine mesh strainer. You should have roughly 1/3 cup puree.
  2. Cook strawberry puree until it thickens and reduces to 1 + 1/2 tablespoons. This is very important to measure because anything more could result in a runny frosting.
  3. Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar until creamy and smooth then scrape down the bowl.
  4. Add strawberry puree and vanilla then continue beating until smooth.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes or until warm enough to spread without tearing up your cake.

Close up Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

How do you store a cake with cream cheese frosting?

Even though this frosting has a good amount of powdered sugar in it, cream cheese frosting is still perishable so you’ll need to refrigerate your frosted cake.

To refrigerate a cake with cream cheese frosting, first put it in the fridge uncovered for about 15 minutes. This will harden the frosting just enough so it won’t smear if accidentally touched.

Next, you want to cover the cake so it doesn’t dry out in the refrigerator.

You can either loosely wrap with plastic wrap (you can use toothpicks if you don’t want it touching the frosting) or store in an airtight cake container (affiliate link).

I highly recommend using a cake container because it won’t actually touch your cake and you can store other items on top in the fridge.

Before serving, take the cake out of refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for an hour or so. This allows the cake to lose its chill and have a better texture when eating.

Bowl of pink strawberry frosting

How much frosting does a small batch make?

Because I made this strawberry frosting recipe for my small cakes, here are some guidelines about how much it makes:

  • If you’re piping Small Batch Lemon Cupcakes, you can frost between 6-8 cupcakes, depending on how tall you make the swirls.
  • If you’re frosting Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes with an offset spatula, you can frost 1 dozen cupcakes because you typically don’t use as much as you would piping.
  • If you’re frosting a 6 Inch Lemon Cake recipe, you can frost the top and edges with about a spoonful or two left over, depending on how thick you like it.
  • If you’re frosting an 8 inch one layer chocolate cake, you can still frost the top and edges. Depending on how thick you like your frosting, you may or may not have some leftover.
  • If you’re frosting a two layer Cherry Vanilla Cake or Lemon Raspberry Cake, you can frost the middle and top like a naked cake OR top and edges.

What is strawberry cream cheese frosting good on?

As much fun as it is to eat homemade strawberry frosting with a spoon, chances are you need small cake recipes too.

That’s why I wrote my 6 Inch Cake Recipes guide.

You can also make small batch cupcake recipes including my Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes for your strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe.

Mix and match your favorite flavors!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting FAQ

Why is my frosting lumpy?

If you beat the cream cheese and butter while too cold, it won’t be as smooth and may result in a lumpy frosting. I also recommend sifting your powdered sugar so it’s not clumpy.

Why is my strawberry cream cheese frosting runny?

Assuming you properly cooked and measured your strawberry puree, sometimes it may still be too warm and runny. If your cream cheese and butter were too warm when beating, the frosting will become too soft to set up.

If this happens to you, sometimes cream cheese frosting will harden in the fridge so if it’s a little too soft for piping, refrigerate the frosting for 15 minutes or until it starts to firm up again.

If your frosting is still too thin after chilling, gradually beat in more powdered sugar until it thickens to your liking.

Can I double this frosting recipe?

Yes. Double the ingredients then cook the strawberry puree until there’s only 3 tablespoons left.

More Frosting Recipes

Looking for more small batch frosting recipes? Check out my other Frosting Recipes for Small Cakes including these favorites:

Close up Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Learn how to make Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting with fresh strawberries! This small batch frosting recipe makes enough to frost a 6-8 inch cake or 6-8 cupcakes.


  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (or thawed if frozen)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (4 tablespoons) full-fat block cream cheese, softened (do not substitute fat-free or whipped)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a blender, add the the strawberries and granulated sugar. Process until smooth. If your berries aren't quite juicy, you may need to add a splash of water to help blend it.
  2. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, discarding any solids left behind. You should have 1/3 cup puree (if you're doubling the recipe, it'll be 2/3 cup).
  3. Add the puree to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down to simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the puree thickens and cooks down to 1 + 1/2 tablespoons (please measure as anything more will make the frosting runny). Cool to room temperature.

    If you're doubling the recipe, cook it down to 3 tablespoons, about 10-15 minutes
  4. In a large mixing bowl (with paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), beat together the butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds or until combined. Scrape down the bowl then add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Scrape down the bowl then beat in the cooled strawberry mixture and vanilla for 1-2 minutes.

    If the frosting is too soft to pipe right away, refrigerate 15 minutes or until it firms up. If it's still too runny, add more powdered sugar to thicken it.

    If the frosting is too thick, add a few drops of milk to thin it out.
  6. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


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First published July 10, 2017