with strawberry frosting
Because a little pink makes everything better.
Have you ever tried a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction? I sincerely hope you have, because her blog is, hands down, my favorite baking blog out there. All her recipes are well-tested, thorough while still easy to follow, and of course, delicious. Her recipe for white chocolate brownies is no exception. I don’t even like white chocolate, and I had to exercise some serious self-control to avoid taking a second helping.
I followed her recipe for the brownies exactly, but I thought they looked a little sad without any topping. Sally chose to top her’s with cream cheese frosting, which is a great idea since these brownies (like white chocolate) are pretty sweet, and cream cheese frosting is less sweet than a traditional buttercream. The only problem is, I don’t like cream cheese. Like at all. Not on my bagels, and not in my desserts, no thank you.
So I started brainstorming some other less-sweet frostings for these yummy but not-so-festive looking treats. I thought something tart would pair well with the white chocolate, so a fresh fruit frosting immediately came to mind. I’ve made raspberry buttercream using raspberry preserves before, and even though it’s tart, it’s still very sweet. So I did I quick search on Sally’s blog for a fruity frosting and found her recipe for strawberry buttercream, which looked and sounded totally delicious, but it still seemed very sweet. I will definitely be trying it in the future, but for these already-sweet brownies, I decided to make my own twist on her frosting.
Her trick for fresh-tasting strawberry frosting is to use freeze-dried strawberries (can you say genius?!). They carry them in my regular grocery store, so I picked up a package and followed her instructions for powdering them in a blender. Then, I used the powdered strawberries to flavor an ermine buttercream (sometimes called flour buttercream, but ew, that sounds totally unappetizing).
Ermine buttercream starts with a cooked flour and milk mixture that is then used to thicken the creamed butter, rather than a ton of powdered sugar. I love the way it tastes, but full disclosure, this frosting is a little looser than traditional buttercream, so I wouldn’t use it to frost a layer cake. (I learned that the hard way with the Leaning Birthday Cake Disaster of 2017—and no, I don’t want to talk about it.)
The results were a big hit! White chocolate and strawberry is a pretty fool-proof combo, and the frosting was SO good. Lightly sweet, a little tart, and loaded with fresh strawberry flavor. I will definitely be making it again for cupcakes or anything else I can think of adding it to.
Head on over to Sally’s Baking Addiction for the white chocolate brownie recipe (bonus, it only uses one bowl!). Then I highly recommend giving this frosting a try.
For the frosting:
Yields about 1 1/2 cups (I would double this recipe for piping on cupcakes).
- 2 1/4 tablespoons of AP flour
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
- 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup of freeze-dried strawberries (about a 1/2 cup once powdered)
Start by cooking the milk, flour, and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat when the mixture resembles the consistency of pudding, and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool and cover it with plastic wrap. Make sure to lightly press the plastic into the surface of the mixture so it doesn’t form a skin. I placed it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
While the flour mixture is cooling, use a blender or food processor to turn the strawberries into a fine powder—it’s okay if there are a few clumps. When the flour has cooled completely, beat the butter and powdered strawberries until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then beat the flour mixture into the butter, a couple tablespoons at a time on medium speed. Once combined, beat on high speed for another two minutes.
Lastly, grab a knife and start spreading. You won’t regret it!