Whether nestled between layers of moist sponge cake or elegantly piped on top of your favorite cupcakes, strawberry cream cheese frosting is a burst of fruity and delicious pink perfection! Crafted with fresh strawberries cooked down into a perfectly sweetened jam and then whipped together with velvety cream cheese and rich butter, this heavenly cream cheese frosting strawberry style is easy to make and impossible to resist!
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- It’s delicious - Free from red food coloring and additives, this easy strawberry cream cheese frosting celebrates the essence of ripe strawberries. By cooking down fresh strawberries, it brings a burst of all-natural fruity vibrance to your favorite baked goods.
- Its velvety creaminess - The luxurious combination of tangy cream cheese and rich butter results in a frosting with a velvety smooth texture that glides onto cakes, cupcakes, and macarons effortlessly.
- It’s pretty and pink - The natural pink hue of the strawberries gives the frosting a beautiful pink color. From birthday celebrations to quiet date nights, this elegant frosting is a treat for the taste buds and the eyes.
- It’s easy to make - You don’t need any fancy baking equipment or pastry skills. With just a handful of basic ingredients, this simple strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe can be made in just 30 minutes!
- It’s versatile - You can easily customize this recipe. Whether you’re making strawberry cream cheese frosting for cake, cupcakes, or to use as a filling, feel free to incorporate other ingredients such as a bit of chocolate, warm spices, or a hint of citrus.
📝 Ingredient notes
- Strawberries: Cooked down into a jam consistency, fresh strawberries give the frosting an intense strawberry flavor and beautiful pink color. Store-bought strawberry jam is also another option if it isn’t overly thin or thick. You can also make strawberry cream cheese frosting with frozen strawberries. However, you may have to cook them a little longer to thicken up. Freezed dried stawberries can further engance the taste and color of this frosting however it might not be available for everyone and the cost of it is quite significant.
- Granulated Sugar: Used to sweeten the fresh strawberry puree. Check out my sugar guide to learn more about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking.
- Lemon Juice: A dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice enhances the natural flavor of the strawberries.
- Unsalted Butter: Acts as part of the creamy canvas of the cream cheese icing. I always use unsalted butter with 82% fat content in all my recipes. You must use room-temperature butter. You can even make and use homemade butter. Cream cheese is the hero ingredient in this recipe, however, butter makes it more stable.
- Powdered Sugar: Used to sweeten the icing and give it structure. You should always sift powdered sugar to prevent any lumps.
- Full-Fat Cream Cheese: It’s essential to use plain, full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia) with a minimum fat content of 33%. A low-fat version will not produce the same results. Also, if you’re wondering, is whipped cream cheese used for cake frosting? No, you must use block cream cheese.
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
You no longer need to ask yourself, how do I make homemade strawberry frosting!? With these easy steps, you can now whip up a batch of strawberry cream cheese frosting with jam anytime you want to add a layer of fresh strawberry flavor to your baked goods.
- Begin by washing the strawberries and cutting them into small chunks.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the freshly cut strawberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Next, simmer the mixture over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it reduces to 60g (about ⅓ cup). Then let it cool down to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to whip the room-temperature butter for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar to the butter and continue whipping until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
- Add the cream cheese and continue whipping for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- While the mixer is running, slowly begin adding the strawberry jam, one tablespoon at a time, until it’s combined with the butter cream cheese mixture.
- Once you get the frosting made, transfer it into a piping bag and then put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes before using.
- The strawberry cream cheese frosting will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
💡 Top Tip: If you forgot to leave your butter out to come to room temperature. Don’t worry! You can learn how to soften butter quickly in just a few minutes.
📚 Flavor variations
This strawberry frosting is truly exceptional! However, you might be pondering, what can I add to cream cheese frosting to make it better? Learning how to make strawberry cream cheese frosting with fresh strawberries is just the first step! This recipe offers endless opportunities for customization.
- Freeze-Dried Fruits: Intensify the strawberry flavor by adding some ground freeze dried strawberries. You can also experiment with other types of freeze dried fruit like raspberries or mangos.
- Berry Fusion: Turn the strawberry cream cheese icing into mixed berry icing by using a combination of different berries such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.
- Strawberry Chocolate: Add a little cocoa powder to your frosting in place of the powdered sugar.
- Citrus: Infuse the icing with lemon zest to make strawberry lemon cream cheese icing.
- Vanilla: Enhance the strawberry goodness with a teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Spices: Add some warm spice with a pinch of ground cinnamon or ground ginger.
🎓 Expert tips
- Measure all your ingredients with a digital scale for the best results.
- Use full-fat (33%+) cream cheese for the proper consistency. Lower-fat versions contain too much water. My personal favorite is Philadelphia strawberry cream cheese frosting. I find that the Philadelphia brand produces the best flavor.
- Always use unsalted butter in baking. It should also have a fat content of at least 82% and be at room temperature before you begin this frosting recipe.
- Cut the strawberries into very small chunks to help them quickly cook down. If there are any chunks of strawberries after cooking, you can strain the mixture with a mesh sieve or puree it in a food processor.
- While many recipes call for cream cheese softened, you don't need to use softened cream cheese to make this recipe.
- Be sure to sift your powdered sugar to prevent any lumps in the icing.
- The strawberry jam must be at room temperature before mixing it together with the cream cheese frosting. Warm jam will melt the frosting.
- You must incorporate the jam into the frosting one tablespoon at a time. If you add it all at once, the frosting can break.
- Chill the frosting for 30 minutes before decorating your baked goods. But be cautious not to over-chill, as the butter might solidify too much, making it hard to pipe.
- Add ¼ cup of freeze-dried strawberries to the icing to intensify the fruity flavor and pink color.
Nope! These terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same delicious topping.
The most common reason is adding too much sugar that is absulutely not necessary although many recipes out there use way more sugar than my recipe.
Cream cheese frosting can become runny due to using lower fat cream cheese with high water content or overmixing. That’s why it’s important to use full-fat cream cheese and stop whipping the frosting once it’s the proper consistency.
You can store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Yes, you can freeze cream cheese frosting for up to 3 months in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag. However, freezing can sometimes alter the texture.
🍰 How to use Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Now the fun begins! Let’s answer some questions like, what type of cake goes with cream cheese frosting? But ideas like strawberry cake with cream cheese icing and strawberry cream cheese cupcakes are just the tip of the iceberg! There is so much you can do with this easy cream cheese frosting recipe!
1. Use it to top baked goods
- Vanilla muffins or vanilla cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting is a classic combination
- Make a pretty cake by using this colorful icing to frost my pink cake
- Instead of strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting use this strawberry cream cheese icing
- Make a neapolitan cake with chocolate sponge, this fresh strawberry frosting, and a drizzle of vanilla custard
- Top strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting infused with fresh strawberries
2. Use it as filling
- Spread it between French macarons (you might need to slightly alter the recipe eg. adding more butter so the frosting is more stable)
- Use it as a strawberry cream cheese filling for cupcakes
- Spread a layer of it between strawberry shortcake
- Make cookie sandwiches with chocolate chip cookies
3. Serve it on the side
- Use it as a dipping sauce for fresh fruit
- Serve it alongside French toast, crepes, or pancakes
- Pair it with some chocolate covered pretzels
🧁 More frosting and filling recipes
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Wash the strawberries and cut them into very small pieces.
- Cook the strawberries in a medium saucepan together with the granulated sugar and lemon juice over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to 60g / ⅓ cup. Then let the mixture come to room temperature.
- Place the soft, room-temperature butter into a mixing bowl. Then use an electric hand mixer to whip it for 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add the sifted powdered sugar and continue whipping until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
- Then add the full fat cream cheese and continue whipping for 2-3 more minutes.
- Now, very slowly start adding the room temperature strawberry jam one tablespoon at a time with the mixer running. You can stop whipping once the jam is incorporated.
- Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and chill it for 30 minutes before using.
- The frosting can be stored refrigerated for 2-3 days.
- Make sure you read my Expert Tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details and science behind baking.
- Measure your ingredients with a digital scale for accuracy.
- You may further enhance this frosting with a small amount of freeze dried strawberries (¼ cup). However it is not required, the strawberry jam alone will provide a lovely color and strawberry flavor.
- The cream cheese needs to be high in fat. Using the low-fat version may result in a thinner frosting due to the excess water content.
- Cut the strawberries into very small pieces so they will easily cook and blend into a jam consistency. If there are chunks of strawberry in the jam after cooking, you may want to run it through a sieve.
- Make sure to let the strawberry jam come to room temperature before adding to the cream cheese frosting.
- Adding the jam to the frosting needs to happen very slowly step-by-step or the frosting might break.
- Because softened butter is being used, the frosting may still on the softer side right after it's whipped. If this is the case, just chill it for 30 minutes before piping. However, if it's chilled for too long, the butter will solidify and you might find it difficult to pipe. If this happens, you just need to let it soften a little before using.