A luscious fresh strawberry vanilla frosting that’s perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookie fillings and or when you want a sweet spoon of deliciousness!
This post is being sponsored by my friends at Rodelle Inc. to showcase one of my FAVORITE products from them – Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste. As always, all opinions my own. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I trust and believe in.
I found myself last weekend with some of the most gorgeous strawberries on hand. I mean it was Valentine’s week which meant I had to make my Double Chocolate gourmet dipped strawberries but I wasn’t going to make 2 dozen of them when it’s just the two of us.
One of the best frostings ever!
Now I’m not a huge frosting person. Heck, most of the time I like my cakes naked but there is just something absolutely magical about this frosting. This is one of those frostings that you want on everything!
I’ll be honest, I’ve eaten it as the filling of a cookie sandwich, in crepes, as a dip for pretzels, frosting for cakes/cupcakes and with a spoon. The intense strawberry flavor from the strawberry reduction is unbelievable!
Ingredients needed to make this frosting
So I’m not a huge frosting person but this… this is unlike any other frosting I’ve had flavor-wise. The pure strawberry taste is INCREDIBLE!
- Strawberries – Fresh strawberries, not frozen but fresh
- Sugar – white granulated and confectioners’
- Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste
- Butter – unsalted and softened
- Heavy Whipping Cream – this is needed to help thin it out to a more spreadable consistency
- Salt – optional but it helps balance out the flavor
Let’s make the Fresh Strawberry Reduction
The process could not be any easier. All you need are fresh strawberries, some granulated sugar and a little bit of butter.
- In a saucepan, add the chopped strawberries and sugar, and bring to a boil.
- Once it starts to bubble around the edges reduce the temp to low and continue cooking until it starts to bubble and foam up.
- When the foam starts to form, add in a little bit of butter and stir.
- The whole process takes about 15 minutes or so. Stir frequently until the mixture thickens and you can drag a spoon through the reduction and the line remains for a bit before it slowly gets back together.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to another container.
- Allow the mixture to come to room temperature or put it in the fridge to chill it faster.
Chef’s Tip about reducing fresh fruit
When making a quick refrigerator jam or reduction sauce, fruit creates its own natural pectin thus negating the need for some type of stabilizer or preservative like Sure-Jel.
The only time you really need items like that is when you’re canning it for long-term storage.
Just like making pie filling or jams, fruits will produce a foam when reducing. The butter helps curb the foam. It’s not necessary as you could spoon off the foam but I’ve always done it.
How to make The BEST Fresh Strawberry Frosting
Once the strawberry reduction is at room temp or cooled down, the rest of the frosting only takes a few minutes to put together.
It’ll take you longer to decide what to use it on first than it does to whip this together.
- Place the softened mascarpone and butter in a bowl. You can use either a stand mixer with the whisk or a hand mixer. Mix until completely creamy and no lumps remain.
- Add in the confectioners’ sugar and SLOWLY turn the mixer back on. Mix until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides.
- Add in salt, the Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste, and strawberry reduction and whip until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides.
- Add in the heavy cream a little bit at a time, blending between additions until the desired consistency is achieved.
Substitutions for this fresh strawberry frosting
Cream Cheese for Mascarpone
Now I’m sure some of you will ask if you can make this with cream cheese. Yes, you can buuuuuut… it’s just not the same. So what’s the difference?
Mascarpone is a buttery, double or triple-cream cheese made from cow’s milk. It is ivory-colored, soft, and delicate and can be either nearly liquid or similar to butter. When fresh, it smells like milk and cream. It has a higher fat content as is just has a richer, creamier taste.
Cream cheese is a soft, unripened cheese made from cow’s milk and by law must contain at least 33 percent milkfat and not more than 55 percent moisture. Plus it has a more acidic taste.
So yes you can but you need to use full-fat cream cheese.
Vanilla extract for Vanilla Bean Paste
As long as it’s from Rodelle, yes. It’s a 1:1 swap.
To refrigerate a frosted dessert or not?
It’s a yes and no answer.
If you’re eating the dessert (cake/cupcake) within 2 days AND your room is ~70F or cooler, then it’s completely fine kept out on the counter.
Anything over 2 days or warmer, it should be kept in the fridge.
However, if you’re not sure, the best answer is always to store in the fridge just to play it safe.
How to store this strawberry frosting
This will last about a week in the fridge, covered.
I find it easier to work with it as a frosting or spread when it’s not as cold.
Ways to use this fresh strawberry frosting
- Cakes –This is is amazing as a filling and coating on a layer cake or on a sheet cake. I would even make extra of the strawberry reduction and put that in between the layers
- Cupcakes – If left a little thicker, this is beautiful on cupcakes. If you leave it thicker you should be able to pipe it
- Crepes – Whether it’s a classic French crepe or a chocolate crepe, this is great spread on the crepes
- Dip – Make it a little thinner by adding more heavy cream and use this with pretzels, fresh fruits, and chocolates
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 3 Tbl granulated sugar
- 6 ounces mascarpone, softened
- 4 Tbl plus 1/2 tsp butter, unsalted and softened
- 1 3/4–2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- up to 1/4 cup of heavy cream *this depends on the consistency you want
- In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the strawberries and granulated sugar. Give it a gentle stir. When the mixture starts to bubble around the edges, turn the heat to low, stirring often. The mixture will start to bubble more and foam up. When it starts to foam, add in the 1/2 tsp of butter and stir in.
- Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and, when you run a spatula through it the line mixture stays separated and just barely starts to melt back together. You should end up with about a 1/3 of a cup of strawberry reduction.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool completely. *To speed up the process, add the bowl the fridge for about 30 minutes or so.
- In a bowl, add the mascarpone and butter. With an electric hand mixer, beat until the mixture is creamy and lump-free. Stop the mixer and add in the confectioners’ sugar. Slowly turn the mixer back on and blend in 1 3/4 cups of confectioners’ sugar completely. Scrape down the sides if necessary. Depending on the sweetness of your strawberry reduction you may need to add the remaining sugar.
- Stop the mixer and add in the salt, Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste and cooled strawberry reduction. Mix in until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Add in 1 Tbl of cream at a time, mixing in until desired consistency. I tend to go with ~4 Tbl.
- Use as desired and store the leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
Keywords: strawberry reduction, strawberry glaze, whipped mascarpone frosting, cookie filling, cake frosting, strawberry frosting, strawberry filling, the best strawberry frosting