This raspberry buttercream frosting is creamy and fluffy with a delicious natural raspberry flavor. It can be made with fresh berries when they’re in season, or frozen raspberries. The pink color looks beautiful, but it’s the raspberry flavor from real berries that you’ll really love. Perfect for chocolate or vanilla cakes and cupcakes.
**This post was originally published July 26, 2015 and updated April 12, 2022 with updated photos and recipe tips**
This raspberry frosting is the perfect way to take your dessert to the next level. The bright pink color is absolutely beautiful, and it tastes delicious on vanilla or chocolate cake or slathered over a tray of brownies. It has a thick and creamy texture that pipes beautifully. But the best part about this recipe is that it actually tastes like real berries. There’s nothing artificial about this recipe and the beautiful color and raspberry flavor come from using fresh or frozen berries. Nothing fake, no hard to find ingredients.
It’s sweet and creamy and you can 100% taste the raspberries in a way that almost reminds me of a raspberry milkshake or ice cream sundae.
How to Make Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Because this recipe uses real berries, it will take a few extra steps. But the flavor payoff is definitely worth the effort.
To get started, first, the raspberries are processed in a blender or food processor. You’ll likely end up with about ⅔ to 1 cup, depending on if you use fresh or frozen berries. Then push it through a metal sieve to remove the seeds. This process is a little annoying (like sifting icing sugar) – but using a rubber spatula or metal spatula to push the puree through the sieve works great. I typically do about ½ at a time, then spoon out the seeds left in the sieve, and do the other half.
Then we gently boil the raspberry puree for a good 20-30 minutes to remove excess water. When it’s done, you should end up with about 3-4 tablespoons of thick raspberry sauce that has a consistency like jam. The more you reduce the raspberry puree, the thicker and more pipe-able your frosting will be. Below you can see the puree before and after it’s boiled down. Note: If using frozen berries, it will take longer to boil down.
Then you need to cool the puree fully. I cannot stress enough the importance of the puree being cold when it’s added to the butter to make your frosting. If it’s still even the tiniest bit warm, the whole frosting will separate 🙁 🙁 🙁 You can speed this process up by popping the puree in the fridge or freezer – but just be careful of condensation forming. You may need to wipe down the sides of the bowl/measuring cup to remove water droplets that form.
After we’ve made the raspberry puree and reduced it to a thick jam-like consistency, making the frosting is like your typical buttercream.
- Beat the butter until fluffy.
- Mix in the sifted powdered sugar.
- Then add in the cooled raspberry puree.
- And finally, beat in the rest of the powdered sugar and a little whipping cream if needed.
Note: If you really want to save time, you could use pre-made, seedless raspberry preserves. Ideally, you’d want to find one without pectin and a high fruit concentration. I definitely prefer the flavor with the homemade raspberry puree.
Frosting Tips, Tricks and Trouble Shooting
- Boiling the raspberry puree is absolutely necessary to concentrate the raspberry flavor and remove the liquid. If you simply add the puree without reducing it first (boiling it down) the frosting will become watery and won’t have a strong enough raspberry flavor.
- Really boil down the raspberry puree until it is very thick. The thicker the boiled down puree is, the more you can add to the frosting without adding too much liquid.
- The boiled down puree must be room temperature before adding to the butter. Otherwise, it will melt the butter and the frosting will be too soft.
- The butter should be softened, but not starting to melt. If you gently press your finger into the butter, it should make an indent but you shouldn’t be able to press your finger all the way down.
- I recommend sifting the powdered sugar. Annoying, I know, but it ensures that there are no lumps.
How Much Frosting will this Make?
This raspberry frosting is always delicious – whether you choose to pipe it onto cupcakes or frost a sheet cake. This recipe makes enough to frost:
- 12-18 cupcakes with a piping bag
- 24 cupcakes with a thin layer using a knife
- 9×13 inch sheet cake with some leftover frosting
- for a 3-layer round cake, double the recipe for a thick layer of frosting – you could multiply the recipe by 1.5 if you’re happy with a thinner layer of frosting
- for a 2-layer round cake, multiply the recipe by 1.5
- for a 9×9 or 8×8 inch pan of brownies or cake, divide the recipe by 2
It’s creamy, dreamy & delicious. And the raspberry flavor makes it way more special than just coloring the frosting with food coloring. Seriously, if you want to take your cake or cupcakes to the next level – then this raspberry buttercream frosting is for you! It pipes beautifully on vanilla cupcakes, goes amazing with fudgy chocolate cupcakes, or just about any dessert you could think of.
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
- 2 cups raspberries* (about 250 grams) fresh or frozen
- 1 cup unsalted butter* (226 grams) softened to room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar (440-550 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream (15 ml) if needed
- Process the raspberries in a food processor or blender until pureed.
- Place a metal sieve over a bowl and pour the puree through a metal sieve to remove the seeds. You will need to use the back of a spoon or rubber spatula to push the puree through the sifter. I recommend doing this ½ at a time.
- Add the seedless raspberry puree to a small-medium sized saucepan over low-medium heat and gently boil the mixture while stirring occasionally.
- Allow to boil for 20-30 minutes, or until it is about ¼ to ⅓ of the original volume. It should be thick like jam.
- Remove from the heat, spoon the mixture into a glass bowl, and cool the mixture fully. You can speed up the process by placing the mixture in the fridge or freezer - just be careful of condensation forming and getting into the reduced puree.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Turn the mixer on low beat in 2 ½ cups of the powdered sugar. If the powdered sugar is lumpy, be sure to sift it first.
- Then beat in 2-3 tablespoons of the chilled, thickened raspberry puree & salt. (The puree must be fully cooled when you add it - otherwise, the frosting can separate).
- Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time until you get the desired sweetness level. Finally, beat in the whipping cream (if needed).
- Raspberries: If using frozen berries, thawing them in the fridge will make it easier to process in the food processor/blender. You will also need to boil the berries down for longer because there will be more liquid to boil out from the ice. It will likely take closer to 30-40 minutes.
- Butter: If using salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe. I personally prefer unsalted butter.
- Make-Ahead Tips: Puree the berries, remove the seeds and boil down the puree (steps 1-5) up to 48 hours before you plan to frost the cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Then make the frosting (steps 6-8) the day you plan to frost and serve the cupcakes.
- Storage and Make-Ahead Tips: Store frosted cakes & cupcakes at room temperature for up to 8 hours, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature on the counter before enjoying. Frosting can be made ahead of time, placed in a container and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature on the counter, then beat with an electric mixer (if needed) until smooth before frosting cakes and cupcakes.
- Makes enough for:
- 12-18 cupcakes with a piping bag
- 24 cupcakes with a thin layer of frosting using a knife
- 9x13 (23x33 cm) inch sheet cake, with some leftover frosting
- for a 3-layer 8-inch (20-cm) layer cake, double the recipe
- for a 2-layer 8-inch (20-cm) layer cake, multiple by 1.5
- for an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) or 9x9 inch (23x23 cm) pan of brownies or cake, divide the recipe by 2
- Nutrition Details: Nutrition information is based off the frosting divided between 18 cupcakes (not including the cupcake) and is an estimate only.