This strawberry frosting recipe requires just four ingredients and comes together so fast and tastes so delicious, it will become your go-to recipe! Marshmallow cream and butter create the base for this delicious, creamy strawberry buttercream recipe. We sweeten it with just a little powdered sugar and use strawberry extract for both the flavor and pretty pink color.
I’ve been using this marshmallow cream frosting recipe for years and it remains a family favorite. It pipes cleanly into pretty swirls and the marshmallow fluff base gives it a light texture. It’s not an overly sweet frosting and since we use strawberry extract to flavor it, I almost always have the simple ingredients on hand.
If you want to include real strawberries in this homemade strawberry frosting, you can cook down a strawberry purée like we do in our strawberry cream cheese frosting and mix that strawberry reduction in. You can also use freeze-dried strawberries for real strawberry flavor, but I kind of love the ease of this recipe and I love the slightly artificial strawberry flavor.
We have a wide variety of frosting recipes to try. A Swiss meringue buttercream or Italian meringue buttercream are both great for piping designs and also have a lighter flavor than a traditional American buttercream. Blueberry cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate buttercream bring some pizazz to your cakes.
- marshmallow creme – or marshmallow fluff, this forms the creamy base of the frosting and provides a light and fluffy texture with some sweetness
- unsalted butter – you can also use salted butter. The butter needs to be softened, but still hold its shape when you press with a finger. It should just indent, not squish. If the butter is too soft, the frosting will be too soft.
- powdered sugar – we use only a small amount of powdered sugar to sweeten and thicken the frosting slightly. If you’re adding loads of powdered sugar to thicken your frosting, it is most likely that your butter is too soft and should be firmed up in the refrigerator rather than overly sweetening your frosting with powdered sugar.
- strawberry extract – this provides both flavor and some pink color. If you’re using a dye free extract or simply want a bit more color, you can also add some gel-based food coloring. See variations below for using real strawberries to flavor the frosting.
For a full list of ingredients and their measurements, 📋 please view my printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Substitutions and Variations
- Flavors – you can use this same recipe, but alter the flavor by using different extracts. Substitute vanilla extract for a marshmallow frosting, lemon extract for lemon, or even raspberry.
- Fresh Strawberries – To flavor the frosting with fresh strawberries, combine crushed fruit (use fresh or frozen strawberries) with granulated sugar and cook down into a thick paste. Then mix this into the frosting – you can find proportions in my strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe.
- Freeze-Dried Strawberries – Freeze-dried berries pack a punch of flavor and will also add color to the strawberry frosting. Pulverize dried fruit in a food processor until it forms a fine powder and then mix desired amount of strawberry powder into the whipped strawberry frosting.
- Decorating – This is a great recipe for piping on top of cupcakes. Top with sprinkles or a fresh strawberry half.
- Intense strawberry flavor – If you love strawberry recipes, consider boosting the flavor in your baked goods by adding some strawberry jam to fill cakes or cupcakes alongside your creamy strawberry frosting.
PREP: Set butter out 15-20 minutes before preparing the frosting. You want it to be soft but not melted or warm.
Step 1: Whip two containers of marshmallow creme in a large mixing bowl in your standing mixer.
Step 2: Adding one to two tablespoons at a time, gradually mix in 3 sticks (1-½ cups) softened butter. Beat well. I use the whisk attachment on my standing mixer.
Step 3: Stop and take a look at your frosting. It should be fluffy and hold its shape. It looks like whipped butter. We don’t want a runny frosting. Be sure to use your spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl – the marshmallow creme tends to coat the bowl and we want to make sure it’s fully mixed in with the butter.
Step 4: Add ½ c. powdered sugar and beat in.
Step 6: Now, the simple strawberry part. Add ½-1 teaspoon of strawberry extract (to taste) and a very small dot of pink gel food coloring, if desired. (If you’re not making strawberry frosting, add ½ t. vanilla extract. This vanilla version is heavenly on lemon cake – just sayin’.)
Step 7: Scrape the bowl again to make sure the flavor and color is evenly distributed. Your strawberry icing is ready to add to strawberry cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes or a sheet cake!
Tips for making Strawberry Frosting
Occasionally, people have trouble with the consistency of this recipe. I’ve made it probably a hundred times over the years and get consistently delicious and stable frosting. If your frosting is too soft – it is because your butter is too soft. Place the whole bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then try rewhipping.
It is possible that the brand of butter and/or marshmallow creme could contribute to a different consistency. I typically use Costco butter (salted or unsalted) and Jet-Puff or store brand marshmallow fluff.
This strawberry buttercream recipe is not shelf stable – it’s primarily butter and will melt or become overly soft at room temperature or sitting out in the sun. Keep frosted goods in the refrigerator until serving.
Use gel-based food coloring to deepen the pink color of the frosting. Liquid food coloring may change the consistency and flavor of the frosting. A dot of red food coloring will produce a pink frosting or you can use your favorite shade of pink.
This recipe can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature and re-beat or whip with a mixer when ready to use.
Place the bowl of frosting in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the butter. Rewhip. Adding additional powdered sugar can also thicken the frosting, but will make it much sweeter than intended. I recommend working on the firmness of the butter.
The marshmallow fluff is an integral part of this recipe. You can achieve a similar light and airy strawberry frosting by making our Swiss meringue buttercream and adding strawberry extract. It won’t be the same, but similar.
If you try this easy Strawberry Frosting or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the 📝 comments below.
- 14 oz. marshmallow creme marshmallow fluff
- 1.5 cups unsalted butter
- .5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
- Whip two containers of marshmallow creme in your mixer.
- Adding one to two tablespoon at a time, gradually mix in 3 sticks (1-½ cups) softened, unsalted butter. Beat well.
- Add ½ c. powdered sugar and beat in.
- Add ½-1 teaspoon of strawberry extract (to taste) and a very small dot of pink gel food coloring.