If you are making a strawberry cake for spring or you need a fun pink frosting for chocolate or vanilla cupcakes, make some of our dairy free strawberry frosting! Our strawberry buttercream is naturally colored and flavored, and it’s gluten free and vegan as well. We included 2 frosting recipe variations for different tastes.
Strawberry recipes are perfect for spring and summer, and you can add a pop of strawberry flavor to all kinds of cakes and cookies with our easy dairy free strawberry frosting.
We included 2 different recipe variations in this post: one made with freeze dried strawberry powder, and one made with strawberry fruit spread. I love the one made with freeze dried strawberries, but my kids aren’t fans of the taste of strawberry powder, so I made a second recipe that uses a strawberry fruit spread.
Both recipes are creamy, delicious, and have slightly different flavors and colors, and both work great on both cakes and cookies.
When I recipe tested these and took my photos, I ended up mixing the leftover frosting from both versions and they tasted pretty great mixed together, too. If you want a well-rounded strawberry flavor, you can make a half-batch of each and mix them together if you like.
This recipe is:
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- Peanut free
- Tree nut free (depending on the dairy free butter you choose)
How to make dairy free strawberry frosting
Since I made 2 different variations of strawberry buttercream, here are the 2 different ways to make the recipes (this is just an overview, the full recipe is at the end of the post).
Recipe with freeze dried strawberry powder:
- In a mini blender or food processor (or a mortar and pestle), grind up your freeze dried strawberries into powder. Sift out any larger pieces and set aside.
- If you don’t want to grind your fruit, you can buy bags of freeze dried strawberry powder that has already been ground up.
- In a medium bowl, beat the soft dairy free butter until creamy and fluffy.
- Add half the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the strawberry powder and beat until smooth.
- Add the rest of the powdered sugar and the dairy free milk. Beat to incorporate, then blend again for about 1 minute until the frosting is smooth, creamy, and fluffy.
This frosting is more firm and colorful than the next version, it is pretty colorful on it’s own and doesn’t need any additional food coloring added unless you want it very bright or dark red.
Recipe with strawberry fruit spread:
- In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer beat the dairy free butter until creamy.
- Add the strawberry fruit spread and beat until smooth.
- Add half the powdered sugar and beat again until mixed.
- Add the other half of the powdered sugar, the dairy free milk, vanilla, and natural food color powder and beat for a minute or so until everything is smooth and creamy.
- If you are making this a day ahead, you may need to beat this again before frosting to make sure everything is still incorporated.
The strawberry spread doesn’t add as much color to the frosting as the powdered strawberry does, so we added a little bit of natural red/pink food color to this batch of frosting. The natural color turned it more of a pinkish/purple color, but it still looks nice!
I also discovered that the fruit spread frosting doesn’t get as thick as the frosting made with the powdered freeze dried strawberries. I didn’t want to keep adding more powdered sugar to it, messing with the balance of butter. This version holds up fine with piping, it isn’t quite as thick and firm however.
Notes on strawberry fruit spread
For our second version of strawberry frosting, I used the Smuckers Simply Fruit strawberry spread. Unlike jam, this is seedless and smooth, so it doesn’t have chunks of fruit in it making it great for recipes like this where you don’t want chunks of fruit.
This is a decent and affordable option for strawberry compound for home cooks. Strawberry compound is a concentrated strawberry paste that some pastry and dessert chefs use to add real strawberry flavor to recipes.
It is pretty concentrated, and thus rather expensive. The Smuckers fruit spread isn’t as concentrated of course, but it still has a nice flavor, it’s natural, and it doesn’t cost a ton.
Our recipes this frosting goes great with
We took the photos of this frosting on our reader favorite vegan vanilla cupcakes, but here are some of our other recipes this would go great with!
- Gluten free dairy free vanilla cupcakes
- Gluten free vegan lemon cupcakes
- Gluten free vegan chocolate cupcakes
- Allergy friendly strawberry cupcakes
- Vegan Sugar Cookies
- Gluten free sugar cookies
- Gluten free and dairy free cut out sugar cookies
Dairy Free Strawberry Frosting
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons dairy free butter, completely softened*
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons freeze dried strawberry powder
- 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice milk (or other dairy free milk)
- Dash salt
- With a mini food processor or mortar and pestle, grind about 1.6 ounces of freeze dried strawberries into powder and sift out any larger pieces and seeds. Set aside the powder.
- Alternatively, you can buy strawberry powder already ground and sifted.
- In a large bowl, beat the dairy free butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until creamy, then add half the powdered sugar and blend.
- Add the other half of the powdered sugar, along with the rice milk, vanilla, and dash of salt and beat until creamy.
- Add in the strawberry powder and beat in until incorporated and smooth.
- Beat the frosting until it is smooth, creamy, fluffy, and a good consistency for piping if you are decorating with a piping bag and frosting tips.
- Use the frosting to top cakes or cookies. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Since my kids aren’t fans of freeze dried strawberries, I made a second recipe for strawberry frosting that uses a natural strawberry fruit spread instead of the freeze dried strawberries.
My favorite is the one made with freeze dried strawberries, but my kids love the recipe shared below. The flavors are slightly different, but both distinctly strawberry. The colors are slightly different from each other as well.
Dairy Free Strawberry Frosting (no freeze dried strawberries)
- ¼ cup + 3 Tablespoons dairy free butter, completely softened*
- ¼ cup Smuckers Simply Fruit strawberry spread
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon oat milk (or other dairy free milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash salt
- Natural red or pink food color powder
- In a large bowl, beat the dairy free butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until creamy, then add the strawberry fruit spread and beat again until smooth and creamy.
- Add half the powdered sugar and beat together.
- Add the other half of the powdered sugar, along with the oat milk, vanilla, and dash of salt and beat until creamy.
- Beat for 1 to 2 minutes until the frosting until is smooth, creamy, fluffy, and a good consistency for piping if you are decorating with a piping bag and frosting tips.
- This frosting won't be quite as firm as the one made with powdered strawberries, but you can add a little bit more powdered sugar to make this more firm. Just be careful not to add too much or it may end up a slight gritty texture instead of being smooth.
- Use the frosting to top cakes or cookies. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. This frosting may separate a little the next day, so if you make this a day ahead, you can beat it again to re-incorporate anything that might be separating slightly.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist