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ATK Kids

For Better Strawberry Frosting, Use Freeze-Dried Strawberries

They have all the flavor but none of the moisture of fresh berries.
By Published Jan. 11, 2022

Right about this time every winter, I start to get a craving for the taste of summer—and for me, summer tastes like sweet, mouthwatering strawberries. 

At the same time, I do a lot of baking this time of year. Strawberry frosting, dolloped on cakes and cupcakes, would be the perfect way to combine my yearning for summer and my favorite winter pastime. But out-of-season strawberries can be bland, and it’s hard to pack their flavor into a batch of frosting. Luckily for me, the best strawberry frosting bypasses fresh fruit altogether, opting for freeze-dried strawberries instead.

Freeze-dried strawberries are dehydrated without heat, meaning that they still have all the peak summer flavor they started with but none of the moisture that can turn frosting into a runny mess. As an extra perk, they make the frosting a pleasing shade of pastel pink.

This frosting recipe beats the store-bought stuff every time, and it’s just one of several homemade frosting recipes from The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs. With this book, kids can make their own cakes and cupcakes, flavor frosting with everything from chocolate to Nutella, and learn how to frost like a pro.

Strawberry Frosting

Makes 3 cups (enough for 12 cupcakes or 1 sheet cake)

  1. Place 1½ cups freeze-dried strawberries in large zipper-lock plastic bag. Press out as much air as possible, then seal bag. Use rolling pin to gently pound strawberries into powder.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer (or large bowl if using handheld mixer), combine 12 ounces softened cream cheese, 6 tablespoons softened butter cut into six pieces, 1½ tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and strawberry powder. Lock bowl into place and attach paddle to stand mixer, if using.
  3. Start mixer on medium speed and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Stop mixer. Use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl.
  4. Start mixer on low speed. Slowly add 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, a little bit at a time, and beat until smooth, about 4 minutes.
  5. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stop mixer. Remove bowl from stand mixer, if using.

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