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Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

This super creamy and fluffy strawberry buttercream frosting recipe uses fresh strawberry puree rather than processed strawberry syrup… A must try!

fresh strawberry buttercream frosting piped on pink velvet cupcakes

Have you ever had one of those days in the kitchen where literally nothing turns out the way you want it to? Yeah, that was my Monday…

It started with a cake recipe I’ve been wanting to try. I found it on Pinterest (of course!), and it uses pie filling to replace the oil and water in a boxed cake mix. I thought it would easily convert to cupcakes, but I was less than impressed. They were totally meh — more like muffins than cupcakes and very artificial tasting. Bummer!

So I scrapped that idea in favor of straight-out-of-the-box pink velvet cupcakes, thinking I would dress them up by converting my favorite whipped buttercream frosting recipe into a delicious fresh strawberry buttercream frosting — which turned out a grainy, gloppy mess. Whomp, whomp whomp…

I really had my heart set on using fresh strawberry puree instead of a processed strawberry syrup, so I called it quits for the day and did a little research instead.


pink velvet cupcakes topped with fresh strawberry buttercream frosting

Pink Velvet Cupcakes

How pretty are these pink velvet cupcakes?! As I mentioned, I settled on a boxed cake mix so I could focus on perfecting the strawberry buttercream frosting. My girls went crazy for the gorgeous pink color, and the delicious buttery vanilla flavor pairs perfectly with the frosting — once I got all of the kinks worked out, at least!

You’ll notice when you mix up the batter that it’s much thicker than your average cake mix. I definitely recommend using a large cookie scoop to fill the cups. The package says that it should make 24 cupcakes, but I only managed to get 18 out of it. Of course, I may fill the cups slightly higher than average, but I still think you’d be hard pressed to eke out two dozen. Just something to keep in mind if you need a specific number for an event!

fresh strawberry buttercream frosting piped on pink velvet cupcakes in a swirl pattern

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Back to the strawberry buttercream… After a little research and thinking about what might have gone wrong in my initial strawberry buttercream attempt, I realized two things. One, I didn’t factor in how long it would take my butter to soften up enough with the cold temps we’re experiencing. It was still too firm in the center. And two, I didn’t add the strawberry puree at the proper time in the mixing process.

My second attempt at a fresh strawberry buttercream frosting turned out pretty darn close to perfect! The only adjustment I might make in the future is to use a clear vanilla extract, as I think the regular vanilla extract gives the frosting a very slight orangish undertone. But then again, I prefer to use pure vanilla extract whenever possible. I’ve never found a clear vanilla extract that’s not imitation, so I’m okay with the tradeoff in color. What do you think?


fresh strawberry buttercream frosting on a pink velvet cupcake cropped square

Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This super creamy and fluffy strawberry buttercream frosting recipe uses fresh strawberry puree rather than processed strawberry syrup... A must try!


  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1/4 cup fresh strawberry puree
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Using a paddle beater, beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add sifted confectioners' sugar and strawberry puree. Stir on low until incorporated, scraping the sides as needed.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy, again stopping to scrape the sides once or twice.
  4. If a thinner frosting is desired, add additional heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.


I used regular pure vanilla extract in this batch, but if you prefer a truer pink color, you’ll want to look for clear vanilla extract.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

super creamy and fluffy whipped best buttercream frosting recipe on chocolate cupcakes

Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

For more tips how to make an amazing buttercream frosting, check out my BEST buttercream frosting recipe. By the way, I don’t bestow the “BEST” title lightly… It’s been pinned over 100,000 times and has rave reviews!

I’d love to see how your fresh strawberry buttercream frosting turns out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check it out. Enjoy!


Tuesday 19th of December 2023

Hi. Have you cooked the strawberries to make puree? Or have you just blended fresh strawberries?

Tara Kuczykowski

Tuesday 19th of December 2023

Hi Husain! I just pureed fresh strawberries.

Lorie Schlabach

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

How thick does the puree need to be? I made one that is cooked with water and sugar, then strained. It is loose- pourable. Is that too loose for this buttercream?

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 10th of August 2022

Hi Lorie! This sounds like it should be fine. However, since it's already sweetened, you may want to decrease the amount of confectioners' sugar you use

Lorie Schlabach

Thursday 4th of August 2022

Could I substitute the strawberry puree for raspberry puree? Or do you have a recipe for raspberry buttercream?

Tara Kuczykowski

Friday 5th of August 2022

Yes, you could just substitute an equal amount of raspberry puree!


Monday 23rd of February 2015

Don't have a paddle beater what else can I use

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Tuesday 24th of February 2015

Hi Mary! You can use a hand mixer to make this, as well -- it just may take a little longer.


Wednesday 16th of July 2014

Just made this frosting to pair with white "wedding cake" cupcakes for a co-workers' birthday who requested strawberry frosting. I followed the recipe just as written, and it came out perfectly! I had enough to pipe on 40 small cupcakes and topped them off with halved small fresh strawberries. 2 dozen of them were gone before noon! I received many compliments on this frosting. I will definitely be making this again.

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