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Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting

This frosting recipe is the perfect topper for Candace Nelson's Strawberry Cupcakes.

  • Yield: Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes
Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 3099


  • 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Reviews (52)

  • bballbabe85 24 Jun, 2014

    I think this tastes pretty darn exact to what you actually get at Sprinkles I wanted to eat the whole bowl instead of frosting the cupcakes with it, and I don't even like frosting. It is a bit soft though so you just really have to make sure you don't over mix and maybe add just a bit more confectioners sugar if needed.

  • the4peytons 15 Feb, 2013

    I LOVE this recipe! I use it with Paula Deans "Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake" recipe and I make cupcakes instead of cake. I also use frozen strawberries in syrup which makes frosting sweeter and not as "buttery" as others have said. With that being said, it makes is a bit more runny. So I add more confectioners sugar. I also add a bit of fresh lemon juice & zest.
    I have made this recipe many times and have been told I should open up a cupcake shop. Their that good. Hope my suggestions help.

  • eseniya latfullina 1 Dec, 2012

    I just tried this and honestly its crap !
    Its too buttery and you will need to use much more powder sugar if you want a real set does not taste good!!

  • Isaiahleah 7 Jun, 2015

    Is it bland?

  • eseniya latfullina 1 Dec, 2012

    I just tried this and honestly its crap !
    Its too buttery and you will need to use much more powder sugar if you want a real set does not taste good!!

  • vipgroup007 15 Oct, 2012

    I loved this recipe. I decided to bake my own Birthday Strawberry cake with Strawberry icing, and this worked perfectly. Thanks Candace ;)

  • hellowookie 14 Jul, 2012

    SO many complainers in the reviews!!! Man alive! I have made this MANY times as it is one of my husband's favorites. I follow it exactly as it is written, and it turns out every single time. I put it on top of Smitten Kitchen's Pink Lady Cake recipe for my cupcakes. Plenty of perfect strawberry flavor. This is definitely one of the most requested cupcakes that I make!

  • atomicdog5 10 Jul, 2012

    A lot of people seem to have had problems with this recipe, but I just made it and it was absolutely PERFECT! Not too buttery, loads of strawberry taste.I used frozen strawberries & strained them to get rid of the seeds so it looked prettier.Be sure to ONLY add the 3 tablespoons of puree though- I think this is where a lot of people went wrong and added ALL of the puree they made. I also added a bit of pink food dye to make the color stronger. The icing looked gorgeous and tasted delicious!

  • srhixon 23 Jun, 2012

    I wasn't very pleased with this recipe. I concur that it didn't taste much like strawberries at all. My mixture separated as well; I think the butter should be room temperature and not slightly cold. This is a good basis for other recipes though. :)

  • raprilmartinez 4 Jun, 2012

    I thought the buttercream was far too buttery and not enough strawberry flavor. I think I will cook down the strawberries next time like others have done. I do have puree left over and will be trying it again. I hope this time the buttercream tastes better and does not separate. :)

  • gayashell 23 Jan, 2012

    i call [filtered word]. my frosting has seeds from the strawberry and way less flavor. either i'm gonna have to cook down my strawberries like rschmorr said, or i'm gonna face the fact that this [filtered word] probably lied about her recipe and they probably use strawberry extract and not real fruit. it makes total sense. they also probably use extract for the cupcakes too. what a bunch of [filtered word].

  • mauimel 8 Nov, 2011

    I made this as instructed and it looked perfect but I didn't taste much strawberry so I added more puree. I think I over mixed it because it separated a little. Tastes great though.

  • Bitty62268 1 Sep, 2011

    This is a great, traditional buttercream recipe. It had a wonderful rich texture and taste that perfectly suited the light taste of the cupcake. I made 3 batches to cover the 4 dozen cupcakes I made for my daughter's third birthday and they look beautiful. The frosting was plenty thick enough to pipe pretty swirls.

  • guessecl 26 Jul, 2011

    well, i didn't know about the baking soda, but my cupcakes turned out great! Nice and puffy. Only problem was...they are grey!! What happened?? I was making a test run for my friends birthday since she loves the Sprinkles cupcakes, and they have a great pink color. I'm really disappointed!

  • cakemakingkat 17 Jul, 2011

    this frosting was good it was a bit grainy from all the suger if u want to make this recipe follow ALL the directions

  • booitsyisa 11 Jul, 2011

    If your frosting turns out more like a liquid or melts on your cupcakes, you did something wrong. I made it and its a perfect buttercream frosting, just follow the recipe exactly and you should be fine, remember not to over mix.

  • abivins 6 Jul, 2011

    This recipe is flawless...a perfect strawberry buttercream. A true buttercream is made with butter not vegetable lard. So if you are used to eating store bought cakes this may be the reason you do not have a taste for this strawberry buttercream.

  • mcris88 30 Jun, 2011

    Agree w other comments. I went ahead and follow this recipe and it was a total disaster :( When I put the frosting on top of my cupcakes it melted completely damaging the texture of the cupcakes. Avoid this please!!! and safe your cupcakes!

  • seanayates 28 Jun, 2011

    It tasted like I was eating a stick of butter. Absolutely terrible recipe. Avoid it!

  • cityplanner03 30 Apr, 2011

    Delicious. @rschmorr - did you add the entire 1/2 cup strawberry puree or just 3 tablespoons as called for in the recipe?

  • ejchristian86 3 Apr, 2011

    I don't know what this recipe makes, but it's not frosting. Even using cold butter, the amount of powdered sugar in this recipe is nowhere near enough to absorb the added liquid of the strawberry puree. I added an extra 2 cups of powdered sugar and still wound up with a weird strawberry goop. Maybe refrigerating the frosting before piping to thicken it up would help? I refrigerated the frosting cupcakes after, and that helped a bit, but I still lost the pretty swirls I normally pipe.

  • youngshell 11 Mar, 2011

    Perfect frosting! Yummy yummy!!

  • Gipsy13 19 Feb, 2011

    Although I agree that buttercream needs a strong butter flavor - that's what makes it different from normal icing, cream cheese frosting, etc. - I did sub Best Life baking sticks for the unsalted butter and used coarse ground salt instead of table salt. I'm also too lazy to clean a food processor for such a small job, so I just used finely minced berries. GREAT result! LOVE this frosting - can't wait to try with different berries!

  • rschmorr 14 Feb, 2011

    i've made this recipe several times, adding the 1/2 tsp baking soda, and they're incredible. for a stronger strawberry flavor, i cook the strawberries down for about 20 minutes in a heavy saucepan on medium heat, then follow the measurement guidelines in the recipe. i use the same concentrated strawberries for the frosting (i also add a little cream cheese, but that's me) and it turns the frosting a beautiful pink color.

  • abivins 22 Jun, 2010

    i really love this strawberry buttercream frosting. the reason some reviewers may have an issue with the "butter" flavor is because they eat cake/cupcakes from a bakery or store...this frosting is made with crisco hence not a true buttercream. a true buttercream is made with BUTTER. thanks for the recipe! delicious!

  • Burnysuds 26 Apr, 2010

    I thought this frosting was AMAZING! I admit, I did add about 2 tbs more of the strawberry puree and a dash more of vanilla. The comment was "decadent"... I didn't taste the butter at all - I tasted pure strawberry. On the other hand, I was not as happy with the actual cupcake as it didn't look or taste strawberry enough -I probably should have added more pur?ɬ

  • sapphirebluebell 30 Mar, 2010

    I made these for my daughter's birthday cupcakes -- they were cute, pink and delicious! Very strawberry-y in flavor. I was worried about the strong butter taste people had written about so starting with almost a cup of frozen berries, I pureed them and then cooked them down to the 3 TBSP needed. Perfect! For the record, I love frosting and would never likely say that frosting is 'too sweet.' It is sweet, but that's a good thing!

  • annikan42 12 Feb, 2010

    I said below I thought these were too sweet, but I made them again and again and again... and, you get the picture. I love this frosting recipe. While the frosting is very sweet, it's very good. The first time I made it it was almost too buttery tasting, but I haven't had that problem again.

  • annikan42 23 Oct, 2009

    I thought these were way too sweet and buttery tasting. I love frosting (almost more than the cake), but I didn't care for this recipe. Also, I found that this made twice as much frosting as I needed to cover one dozen cupcakes. This recipe makes enough frosting to cover 2 dozen.

  • freelancer11 25 Sep, 2009

    To make the strawberry flavor more intense, just cook down the strawberry puree on low heat to thicken it up considerably. Will take a while. Then measure it out once it's thickened. That way you get a stronger strawberry flavor as the water has evaporated. This tastes almost as good as the real thing at Sprinkles. Like a strawberry ice cream cone.

  • Irene242482 13 Jun, 2009

    It's a succues I made the frosting its great!!!!yayay not hard at all.

  • dianajanielle 18 May, 2009

    This looks like it will taste delicious

  • Jillybelle 5 Apr, 2009

    I recently made this icing, but instead of 2 sticks of butter, I used 1 stick of butter, and one package of cream cheese. I also didn't use as much sugar, I started with a cup and gradually increased it from there until it was just sweet enough. It came out fantastic- my boyfriend, who usually avoids any dessert that isn't chocolate, couldn't stop eating this frosting

  • greenEm 28 Feb, 2009

    I made this frosting as well- I lightened up the butter and the sugar and added a little more strawberry. I think those changes helped, but I still got that "butter" taste. I think I would sub. some of the butter for milk and have a less dense frosting.

  • aguayamor21 27 Feb, 2009

    I made this frosting too and it was too sweet but it also had a strong butter flavor. I'm not sure how to fix that. Any advice?

  • cungem 16 Feb, 2009

    I made this for valentine's day. The cupcake was delicious, but the frosting was way too sweet! The frosting was a bit clumpy and not smooth. I just reread the recipe, It says to add 3 Tablespoon of the 1/2 cup of strawberry! No wonder! That's confusing, why not just list 3 Tablespoon in the Ingredients listing! I would definitely make it again, but cut out 1/2 the sugar. The strawberry flavor was really good.

  • tropigirl 12 Feb, 2009

    Made this icing to go over chocolate cupcakes for my daughter's Valentine's Day bake sale. Excellent. Very sweet, but the strawberry flavour comes though. I, too, found the recipe enough to cover 24 cupcakes.

  • AHuff 10 Feb, 2009

    Made this for my daughter's birthday

  • jennkev97 13 Jan, 2009

    I wish I had read the suggestion to NOT thaw the berries before I made this frosting because mine came out VERY runny. I had to dump it (although it was tasty), and made a basic buttercreme recipe, substituting my thawed strawberry puree for the amounts of vanilla and milk called for (about 2 Tblsp), and it was bright pink, thick, and very strawberry tasting! I think the puree in the pic must have also been strained to remove seeds, though I actually prefer them for visual interest.

  • welove2cook 15 Dec, 2008

    I found the flavor more sugary than strawberry-y but still good. This recipe makes enough frosting for at least 24 cupcakes, even when generously applied.

  • Purpletiger 17 Sep, 2008

    I used this on vanilla cupcakes and it turned out wondeerful. It is very delicious and worth the effort,

  • jodyluttrell 28 Aug, 2008

    Definitely delicious! I will make this frosting again and again! The cupcakes were a litte plain, though - I was hoping for more strawberry flavor. I'd like to try it on vanilla or chocolate cake as NeatNickers suggested.

  • NeatNickers 18 May, 2008

    YUM! My frosting turned out a fun almost artificial pink from the frozen berry puree... and yet it's all natural!! I mixed frozen and fresh berries together. This frosting is sweet, fresh and creamy. The flavor works nicely on Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes, too, and would also top off a chocolate cupcake very well! I like to garnish the frosting with half a strawberry.

  • zooooplace 13 Apr, 2008

    I make cupcakes every year to offer to people who donate to Relay for Life in the office where I work. This strawberry frosting is really good. I can't wait to take them to work in the morning. I already have my first $....My daughter had to have one. :} I used fresh strawberries with just a little bit of water and about 1tsp. of Splenda instead of the frozen ones. Turned out great!!!

  • zoeonna 13 Apr, 2008

    Wow...I just LOVED this frosting. Cannot wait to try it with other fruit flavors. EXCELLENT!

  • korriem 4 Apr, 2008

    Where do you get those colorful decorations that are on top?!

  • miro224 4 Apr, 2008

    loved it!
    it made enough for 24 cupcakes but the cake recipe only made 12. so i stored the leftover in the fridge for a few days and then made more cakes. the older frosting was thicker and more like that in the picture. It had that dry crust on top. so make it ahead!

  • NicoleyK 17 Mar, 2008

    I normally don't like buttercream but this one was an exception. I had to leave out 1/2 cup of sugar b/c I ran out but it was still very sweet. So if you like things a little less sweet, cut out some of that sugar!

  • joannapark 26 Feb, 2008

    I agree with jdevine. My frosting looked NOTHING like the Sprinkles frosting. It also wasn't as sugary as the frosting on the cupcakes they sell at Sprinkles. But I still liked the frosting. It tasted like strawberry ice cream.. just not as sweet and sugary.

  • pixiebdg 23 Feb, 2008

    The frosting turned out perfectly for me and I don't have a paddle mixer, just a hand held run of the mill mixer. The only difference for me might have been that I used 3 1/2 cups of pre-sifted sugar (meaning I used possibly more powdered sugar since I measured before I sifted). The icing tastes much better than the actual cupcake in my opinion.

  • tedevine 17 Feb, 2008

    I followed this recipe exactly and the frosting didn't come out anything like the photo. Which make me question if it the same recipe. The frosting looked like the frosting on Strawberry Meringue Buttercream. I think its because of the seeds, you dont get a smooth texture. Also, the frosting taste better the next day and it's very sweet. I didnt think it was worth the calories. Martha has a lot better cupcake recipes.

  • pattydale 15 Feb, 2008

    I have made this frosting many times for a strawberry cake,,however..the frosting always turns out very runny if you thaw the strawberries turns out perfect if you do NOT thaw the strawberries...always use them frozen.

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