Strawberry powder is a versatile ingredient that adds vibrant flavor and color to baked goods, smoothies, desserts, and more.
But what if you don't have any strawberry powder on hand? Not to worry - there are several excellent substitutes you can use to replicate that sweet strawberry taste.
Freeze-Dried Strawberry Pieces
One of the simplest strawberry powder substitutes is freeze-dried strawberry pieces. These are whole strawberries that have been freeze-dried or dehydrated.
Since strawberry powder itself is made by powdering dried strawberries, substituting with freeze-dried pieces is an easy fix.
- Purchase freeze-dried strawberry slices or pieces. You can find these online or sometimes in grocery stores.
- Add the pieces to a dry blender or food processor. Aim for about 1 cup of pieces per 1/4 cup of powder you need.
- Blend on high speed until a fine powder forms, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Sift the powder through a mesh strainer to remove any remaining chunks.
The resulting DIY strawberry powder can be used just like store-bought. Freeze-dried pieces likely won't achieve quite as fine a texture, but will still mix and dissolve easily into recipes.
Just be sure to grind them fully before adding to doughs or batter, as rehydrated pieces could create texture issues. Properly powdered, freeze-dried strawberries make the simplest swap.
Key Takeaway: Grinding up freeze-dried strawberry pieces replicates homemade strawberry powder. Start with 1 cup pieces per 1/4 cup powder.
Other Freeze-Dried Fruit Powders
In addition to strawberry powder, many other freeze-dried fruit powders are available either online or in some grocery stores. These make excellent substitutes, each bringing their own unique flavor profile.
Bright berry powders:
- Raspberry - Provides that seedy raspberry zing and gorgeous color
- Blueberry - Deep blue hue and sweet, slightly tart taste
- Blackberry - Intense purple powder with rich blackberry flavor
- Cherry - Brings a cherry tang and pinkish tint
More delicate fruit powders:
- Apricot - Subtly sweet and perfumed apricot notes
- Peach - Hints of juicy peach without overpowering flavor
- Apple - Light apple aroma with mild sweet-tart taste
These freeze-dried fruit powders can be swapped in at a 1:1 ratio in any recipe calling for strawberry powder. Raspberry and cherry will come closest to mimicking that strawberry taste.
But part of the fun is experimenting with other flavors! Mango strawberry shortcake or blueberry lemon bars offer creative twists.
Just note that flavors like apricot and apple contain less pigment, so won't tint batters and icings as vibrantly pink. But they still add fruity flavor.
Key Takeaway: Raspberry, mango, blueberry, and cherry powders mimic bright berry flavors. Apricot, peach, and apple powders offer more subtle fruit essences.
Raspberry Or Strawberry Extract
Pure fruit extracts are another easy way to infuse recipes with strawberry essence. Both strawberry and raspberry extract offer that sweet-tart berry taste.
Because extracts are so concentrated, you only need a small amount to provide intense fruit flavor. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry or strawberry extract in place of 1 tablespoon of strawberry powder.
Then taste and adjust as needed. A little goes a long way since these extracts are much stronger than freeze-dried fruit powders.
When adding to liquids, mix the extract in thoroughly to incorporate the flavor before adding other ingredients. In batter and doughs, stirring the extract throughout is important to avoid concentrated pockets.
Pure raspberry and strawberry extracts deliver true fruit flavor. Imitation or "flavored" versions won't provide the same fresh-from-the-fruit taste.
Key Takeaway: Raspberry or strawberry extract replicates the strawberry flavor well. Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon extract per 1 tablespoon strawberry powder.
Strawberry Preserves or Jam
Jams and preserves offer an easy shortcut for infusing recipes with strawberry sweetness. Look for versions made from just strawberries and sugar.
Because preserves contain substantial moisture, they won't work as a direct 1:1 substitute in recipes where moisture content is a factor.
But in items like:
- Crepes, pancakes, or waffles
- Cheesecakes, custards, or mousses
- Thumbprint cookies, linzer tarts
- Fruit glazes or compotes
the added moisture won't pose an issue.
For a rough guideline, substitute 2 tablespoons of strawberry preserves or jam for every 1 tablespoon of strawberry powder called for.
The preserve's texture will come through, so this works best in applications where you want both vivid flavor and tiny fruit pieces. In batters, fold it in gently to avoid over-mixing.
For a smoother consistency, puree the preserves before adding. And as always, taste and adjust sweetness since jams contain substantial added sugar.
Key Takeaway: Strawberry preserves or jam replicate both the flavor and moisture of fresh strawberries. Use 2 tablespoons preserve per 1 tablespoon powder.
Similar to jams, strawberry syrup is another way to conveniently add fruit flavor, though with less texture. Homemade or store-bought syrups both work.
Strawberry syrup contains much more moisture than powder, so again is not a direct substitute. But it shines in applications like:
- Pancakes, waffles, or crepes
- Mixing into yogurt or oatmeal
- Strawberry lemonade or cocktails
- Flavoring cakes and cupcakes
- Brushing on scones or biscuits
Use about 2 tablespoons of syrup per 1 tablespoon of powder, and reduce any other liquids in the recipe accordingly.
The syrup's sugar content also means you may need to decrease other sugars added. But the bright strawberry taste still shines through!
For an easy homemade version, simmer equal parts strawberry puree and sugar until thickened to your desired consistency.
Key Takeaway: Strawberry syrup adds vivid flavor without fruit pieces. Use 2 tablespoons syrup per 1 tablespoon powder and reduce other liquids.
Frozen Strawberry Puree
Don't let the freezer aisle fool you - frozen strawberry puree can be just as vividly flavored as fresh strawberries. Either store-bought or homemade puree makes a moist, flavorful strawberry powder substitute.
Since frozen puree contains strawberry pulp, it works best in recipes where you want both fruit taste and tiny bits of berry:
- Swirled into yogurt, oatmeal, or chia pudding
- Folded into muffin, pancake, or waffle batter
- Mixed into milkshakes or smoothies
- As a topper for cheesecake or chocolate mousse
Substitute 1/4 cup strawberry puree per 1 tablespoon of strawberry powder, adjusting any other liquid ingredients accordingly.
The natural sugars in the puree will also add sweetness, so you likely won't need as much additional sugar.
For an easy homemade puree, blend fresh or thawed frozen strawberries, adding just enough liquid to puree smoothly. Spoon into ice cube trays to freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag once solid.
Key Takeaway: Frozen strawberry puree adds both moisture and texture. Use 1/4 cup puree per 1 tablespoon powder and reduce other liquids.
Strawberry Jelly Powder
For recipes where you want strawberry flavor but not lots of excess moisture, unsweetened strawberry jelly powder is handy to have on hand.
Jelly powder is typically made from fruit juice concentrates and natural flavors. It dissolves seamlessly into both liquids and batters.
Per 1 tablespoon of strawberry powder, substitute:
- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened strawberry jelly powder
- 1 tablespoon sweetened jelly powder plus reduce sugar
Use the lesser amount in very sweet items like frosting or milkshakes. Use more in plain batter and doughs to amp up the flavor.
Just stir it in thoroughly, since concentrated clumps of powder could lead to an overwhelming berry burst!
For an easy DIY version, puree fresh or frozen strawberries, then strain through a cheesecloth overnight to extract the clear strained juice. Bring to a simmer until reduced to a thickened concentrate.
Key Takeaway: Strawberry jelly powder provides concentrated flavor without moisture. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons powder per 1 tablespoon strawberry powder.
Strawberry Syrup + Unsweetened Gelatin
If you want to mimic both the flavor and texture of strawberry powder, a combo of strawberry syrup and unflavored gelatin powerfully delivers.
The syrup provides genuine fruit flavor, while the gelatin powder gives a slight texture similar to rehydrated freeze-dried strawberries.
- Add 2 parts strawberry syrup to a bowl (for example, 1/4 cup syrup)
- Sprinkle in 1 part plain gelatin powder (like 1-2 tablespoons)
- Allow to bloom for 5 minutes for gelatin to soften
- Whisk vigorously until well-combined with no clumps
Use this flavored gelatin mixture just as you would strawberry powder. The syrup blends in smoothly, while the gelatin dissolves to give a subtle fruity texture.
Key Takeaway: Mix 2 parts strawberry syrup with 1 part gelatin for a flavored "powder" with texture.
Freeze-Dried Strawberry Granules
If you can't find a pre-made strawberry powder, but do have access to freeze-dried strawberries, here is another powder shortcut.
Rather than pulverizing the strawberries into a fine powder, you can simply grind them into coarser granules.
- Add freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor
- Pulse 5 to 10 times, until the berries break down into tiny pea-sized pieces
- Be careful not to over-process into a powder
These freeze-dried granules can then be used in place of strawberry powder. The berry texture comes through while still adding color and flavor.
Use the same amount of granules as you would powder. The pieces will soften and incorporate as the surrounding recipe bakes or chills.
Just avoid adding the granules to smooth liquids, as they may not integrate fully. But in batters, doughs, and thicker mixtures, they make an excellent textured substitute.
Key Takeaway: Coarsely grinding strawberries into granules replicates powder with texture. Use an equal amount of granules to powder.
DIY Strawberry Extract
For the most authentic and natural strawberry flavor, you can also make your own strawberry extract at home.
While you can find commercial extracts, homemade has an incredibly fresh, real strawberry taste. To make:
- Wash and hull fresh strawberries, chopping if large
- Add to a mason jar, filling it about 2/3 full
- Top off with vodka, almost to the rim
- Seal tightly and shake vigorously to combine
- Store in a cool, dark place, shaking daily for 2 weeks
- Strain out the berries through a cheesecloth
- Squeeze cheesecloth firmly to extract all liquid
- Funnel into an airtight bottle
The resulting extract can be swapped in for strawberry powder using about 1 teaspoon per 1 tablespoon of powder called for.
Shake well before each use, since the extract may separate over time. Homemade keeps several months refrigerated.
Key Takeaway: Steeping strawberries in vodka or alcohol extracts the flavor. Use 1 teaspoon extract per 1 tablespoon powder.
A Creative Combo Approach
Don't feel limited to just one substitution in a given recipe. Get creative and combine a couple complementary strawberry powder subs.
Some tasty combinations include:
- Strawberry preserves + jelly powder
- Strawberry jelly + freeze-dried granules
- Strawberry extract + juice concentrate
- Strawberry syrup + puree
Tailor your mix-and-match combinations to the recipe at hand. In frostings, opt for dry powder alternatives. In muffins and breads, stir in moist ingredients like preserves or purees.
Let your imagination run wild to craft that perfect stand-in strawberry flavor.
Key Takeaway: Pairing two substitutes like jelly powder with preserves or extract with juice concentrates can closely mimic strawberry powder.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best substitute for strawberry powder in frosting?
In frosting and buttercream, dry powder alternatives work best to avoid changing the moisture content. Strawberry jelly powder, freeze-dried fruit powders, or strawberry extract are ideal in frostings.
Can you use strawberry Nesquik powder instead?
Nesquik and other flavored drink mixes already contain sugars, starches, and other additives. They won't provide the same clean, genuine strawberry flavor. Opt for pure freeze-dried or jelly powders instead.
Is strawberry Jell-O powder a good substitute?
Jell-O contains lots of added sugar and won't dissolve properly when heated. Strawberry jelly powder is a better solution for baking. But you could use just a bit of Jell-O in no-bake items like pudding.
What can I substitute if allergic to strawberries?
Raspberry extract provides very similar flavor. Cherry, blueberry, and apricot powders also work well. For frostings, rose or almond extract offer nice fruit alternatives.
With so many options like fruit powders, preserves, syrups, extracts, and more, you can keep enjoying strawberry-infused treats even when you're out of strawberry powder.
Each substitution does vary slightly in exact taste, texture, and color. But part of the fun is experimenting to find your perfect match.
Whip up vivid pink frosting with strawberry extract, vibrant fruit leather with mango powder, or delectable crepes swirled with strawberry jam.