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Strawberry Buttercream

This recipe is paired with Strawberry Cupcakes.

  • yield: Makes about 5 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed

Cook's Note

Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

  2. Step 2

    Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking well after each addition.

  3. Step 3

    Switch to a paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add strawberry puree, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, February 2008

Reviews (43)

  • 30 Aug, 2013

    Someone who had great success with this, please tell me what is meant by 1 1/2 cups strawberries pureed? a) is that 1 1/2 cups of strawberries or 1 1/2 cups of puree? b) how do you puree it?

  • 29 Mar, 2013

    Mine also broke, however having made buttercream before I know that you just need to continue beating it & it will come back together. I turned up the speed & beat for a few minutes, it came back together & turned out delicious. Also I made it with puréed & strained blueberries.

  • 29 Mar, 2013

    cv

  • 29 Mar, 2013

    This buttercream is perfect, resilient, and tasty IF you follow these few tips. 1. fresh berries only, when they are frozen the extra h2o will break it, look up phase separation. 2. use a spatula to mix in the puree beating it could over whip everything you worked to create, nice and easy. it will look horrifyingly irreversibly thin and chunky, keep going just nice and easy, itll smooth out. do ahead: to revive it, put the entire batch in to a low double boil to bring back to rm temp & see #2.

  • 14 Feb, 2013

    VERY DISAPPOINTED !!!!!!!!!!! I followed the recipe exactly as listed, once I added the puree the whole thing fell apart. All that work with disappointment. I really think that this recipe needs to be redone so this problem doesn't happened to future makers.

  • 3 Jan, 2013

    I didn't use a thermometer with the egg whites & sugar, I just sort of eyeballed it and made sure the sugar was dissolved. The recipe was beautiful up until adding the puree, like everyone else. I used frozen whole strawberries since they weren't in season & my puree was a bit runny, so I added only 1 cup. It thinned the frosting out a bit & I beat for 10 minutes - still a bit thin. I put in a sealed container over night & it thickened right up & although not still quite as thick as I'd like.

  • 2 Oct, 2012

    best frosting ever....done this twice but my problem is not with the addition of puree...1st i didnt beat the eggwhites n sugar mixture n add the butter directly...its soft but so delicious, the second time...it was perfect...try it out n u wont regret it....

  • 7 Jul, 2012

    This is delicious frosting!! I added 1.5 cups of pureed strawberries (actually I added even more than that), not 1.5 cups of strawberries that were pureed. It did start to separate but all I needed to do was turn up the speed on the mixer and pour the puree in slowly and it all came together. The puree was cold too, and it worked fine. You just need to add the puree very slowly or else it will separate just like a salad dressing.

  • 28 May, 2012

    Yummy! I would actually prefer it to be a tiny bit sweeter, but love that it is not sickening sweet. If you are having trouble with separation at the end, keep beating and add a few more tablespoons of softened butter. It should come back together.

  • 22 May, 2012

    I also used Extra Large Eggs (which looked more like large eggs in my opinion).

  • 22 May, 2012

    PERFECTION!!
    Adding Strawberries: Cut strawberries into halves THEN measure out 1.5cups. Also make sure your berries are dry before you puree, you do not want extra water in the recipe. Do not add puree all at once…small doses… I actually ONLY used 80% of the puree in my buttercream and it tasted great. Making Swiss Meringue is time consuming… it takes about 5-7 mins to cook on stove top and about 10 mins to come to stiff peak .. Hope this helps!

  • 28 Apr, 2012

    Horrible! Mine turned out like soup! Waaaaaay too runny to fix. What a disappointment.

  • 28 Apr, 2012

    Horrible! Mine turned out like soup! Waaaaaay too runny to fix. What a disappointment.

  • 3 Apr, 2012

    I just made this and it turned out great. I followed the recipe but I didn't use a candy thermometer, I just let the sugar dissolve and whipped it really well. I used my mixer and mixed exactly as long as it said to. One thing I was confused about was the strawberries. I wasn't sure if it called for 1 1/2 cups of strawberries and then puree them, or 1 1/2 cups of strawberry puree. I added the puree very slowly and used about 3/4 cup of puree. I was afraid it would be runny if I used more.

  • 20 Mar, 2012

    @ChristinaStallard
    Thanks for the tip! I have made this recipe countless times because of the taste (not sweet as the usual buttercream) and I have only had the perfect consistency ONCE out of all those times!!! I don't understand how the butter can still be too cold... maybe because the eggwhites came from being hot? My prob starts after adding the puree, it doesn't mix into the buttercream smoothly and stays liquid. So if I gently heat it all up over simmering water it'll come together then?

  • 21 Feb, 2012

    I needed a Valentines Day cupcake frosting, this pink strawberry topping looked adorable! I used my kitchen aid blender and a good digital thermometer to keep with with instructions. I usually prefer a whipped cream frosting but this frosting is pretty and has natural ingredients. I left my cupcakes out of fridge in a container overnight,and put frosting in fridge since it has butter and eggs. Had to microwave to soften frosting for fast spreading next day.

  • 11 Feb, 2012

    This recipe can be tricky when the puree is added because it can cause the frosting to separate. Make sure the puree and the butter are at room temperature. If your frosting does separate and becomes greasy and lumpy, place it over a pot of simmer water and beat until it regains the proper texture. Swiss meringue buttercream tends to separate if the butter is too cold when added to the mixture. You might consider using less butter as well. Mine worked after some trial and error. Good luck!

  • 31 Jan, 2012

    I made this, only I substituted the pure for strawberry and raspberry jam. It mixed great and tasted great.

  • 21 Jan, 2012

    This didn't work at all! I ended up throwing out the whole batch and just going dry

  • 9 Oct, 2011

    This recipe was terrible! I wasted so much time on this. VERY dissapointed! Please if you try it, DO NOT add the puree!

  • 29 Sep, 2011

    I always use these directions when making any Italian Buttercream recipe.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBoRMWcfNc

  • 26 Sep, 2011

    Yeah, the same separation happened to me. Beautiful buttercream then added the puree and it went to a disgusting, though still tasty, mess. I've been mixing it on low with a paddle for the last half hour and it's barely starting to mix... too much work for me. Hopefully it'll eventually take otherwise I'm hooped and have nothing to frost my cupcakes with.

  • 21 Jul, 2011

    Can someone help me figure out what I'm doing wrong? I tried this recipe twice, and both times it was a complete flop. First time I didn't use a candy thermometer, second time I did. First time, just before I added the strawberry puree, the frosting 'split', and the second time it happened when I added the strawberry puree. It ended up being a blobby mess. Ahhh!!! What a waste. What did I do wrong?!?

  • 8 May, 2011

    This icing was amazing. I made it with the Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/258957/sprinkles-strawberry-cupcakes.
    They were a huge hit! I was worried that the icing wouldn't turn out because my digital thermometer stopped working during the first step. Then when I added the strawberries it looked like strawberry soup. I turned away from the mixer to look for powdered sugar to add to stiffen it up, and when I looked back it had firmed up into perfect icing!

  • 3 Apr, 2011

    SMBC, will you EVER be fully tamed? It seems that the Swiss Meringue buttercream base of this frosting only works for me about 60 percent of the time. Today, the failure was at the egg white stage; no matter how long I whipped, they just would not fluff. *hangs head in shame*

  • 4 Mar, 2011

    I made a good buttercream frosting instead of this one. I added the strawberry puree before adding any cream/milk. It was delicious and we all enjoyed the strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing.

  • 7 Dec, 2010

    @ julialw

    Yes! I made it w/ a handheld mixer and everyone loved it!

  • 18 Oct, 2010

    Can this be made using a hand mixer instead of a fancy stand mixer?

  • 16 Oct, 2010

    i got it! for the frosting, after you add in the puree you're gonna see some "phase separation", which seem like the butter is separating into small chunks away from the liquid. just keep beating the mixture for at least 5 minutes and everything will come back together into normal frosting look.

  • 4 Aug, 2010

    Chagen, you either added your butter before the egg whites and sugar had cooled down completely, your butter wasn't soft enough (it should be squishy) or you added the butter too fast and it didn't have enough time to combine with the egg white mix so the entire thing broke or "chunked up." Wait until the bottom of your mixing bowl is cool before you add the butter and add it slowly only a few pieces at a time checking to make sure that the butter and egg mix combines before adding more butter.

  • 7 Jul, 2010

    can somebody help me figure out what i did wrong... when i was whisking the 160 degree egg whites/suger and room temp butter together it chunked up and separated. did my egg whites get to hot or was my butter not at the correct temp or was it something else???

  • 30 Apr, 2010

    would using confectioners type sugar be better? There is a good recipe for buttercream frosting on the bag and I am going to try it. I think it's the moisture content of the strawberries that ruin the frosting so how about just a buttercream with a drop of red food color? The cupcake will carry the fresh strawberry taste adequately I feel.

  • 17 Nov, 2009

    It was a challenge to keep it from separating but the most disappointing was the taste. It was over the top sweet for my taste.

  • 10 Jul, 2009

    Can these be frosted a day in advance? I am worried about the strawberry running --or should I wait unitl the morning of the shower?

  • 13 Jun, 2009

    my frosting separated too, but I didn't wait for it to fully come to room temp, so that probably has something to do with it. Best just to use all at once, I think.

  • 3 May, 2009

    Correction - just took WAY longer to mix frosting back to normal than I thought! If this happens to you just put in mixer on low and walk away for a bit.

  • 2 May, 2009

    Any way to fix this? Frosting came out fine but put in fridge and seperated when warmed and beat on low! Glad I made a half batch!

  • 23 Apr, 2009

    add the puree alittle at a time. so it's not watery.

  • 2 Mar, 2009

    Try putting in an airtight container and refrigerating. It works better the next day and thickens to frosting consistency.

  • 2 Mar, 2009

    I had a problem with the frosting, too

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    I'm sad to say that this frosting just does NOT work. I tried it according to the original recipe; I tried making it with some variations to see if I could get it to work; I chilled it and then rebeat it...NOTHING worked. What a waste. :(

  • 2 Feb, 2009

    Yes I had a problem with the strawberries, I had to throw away my entire batch, because I didnt drain the strawberries after I pureed them...so upsetting. When brought back to room temp the buttercream looked very unappetizing.

  • 30 Jan, 2009

    Buttercream was rather flavorless except for strawberry touch. Rather greasy texture but pairs well with yellow cupcakes. After pureeing the strawberries, I put them in a colander over a measuring cup and let the excess water drain out. Had read previous reviews that adding strawberries made it watery. This seemed to do the trick.