These bright strawberry cookies get their flavor from real strawberries–no cake mix or extract needed. My recipe is quick and requires NO chilling! Recipe includes a how-to video!
Strawberry Cookies With Real Strawberries
These super soft strawberry cookies are loaded with incredible, fresh flavor, thanks to freeze-dried strawberries. That’s right, these pretty pink cookies contain no artificial flavors, boxed strawberry cake mix, or gelatin! Instead, they rely on perfectly ripe, REAL strawberries that incorporate beautifully into the dough.
When testing this recipe, I did make a few attempts to use fresh strawberries instead of freeze dried, but all were unsuccessful, or at least they weren’t as good as I knew they could be. Using fresh berries introduced a lot of excess moisture into the dough (even when I cooked the berries down on the stovetop), making the cookies cakey (if you’ve made my pumpkin cookies, you know how I feel about cakey cookies) and honestly just lacking in strawberry flavor.
So I chose to use freeze-dried berries for the brightest (and most consistent) strawberry flavor, much like in my strawberry frosting!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- NO chilling required!
- No artificial flavors (and the option to skip the food coloring too).
- Only 8 ingredients!
- Less than half an hour to make.
- Uses REAL strawberries (they’re freeze-dried, but they’re still real!)!
What You Need
Besides the berries, you’ll need a few other basic ingredients, all of which should be in your pantry already.
- Freeze-dried strawberries. These are real strawberries that have been sliced and dehydrated. No additional ingredients should be added to them. They are light, crisp, and super flavorful! We’ll process these into a fine powder using a food processor before adding them to our strawberry cookies. Can’t find them in your local grocery store? Amazon sells them too!
- Flour. Make sure you know how to measure flour properly; adding too much flour to the dough can cause dry cookies that don’t spread much.
- Butter. Use unsalted butter since we are adding salt ourselves. Make sure your butter is softened, but don’t let it get too melty, or your cookies will spread too much. If all you have on hand is salted butter, you can reduce the salt in the recipe to ¼ teaspoon–I talk about this conversion in my salted vs. unsalted butter post!
- Sugar. We’ll add granulated sugar to the dough itself and then use a bit more for rolling the strawberry cookies before they bake.
- Food coloring. This is optional, but it does give the cookies a pretty pink color. I recommend using gel food coloring for the best results.
You may notice that this recipe doesn’t include vanilla extract. This was intentional. The vanilla extract bullied the flavor from the berries and diminished it too much. You get a more vibrant berry flavor if you don’t include this ingredient.
SAM’S TIP: Be careful not to over-bake your cookies! This will make them dry and greatly affect their taste. These cookies lose so much of their strawberry flavor if overcooked.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Strawberry Cookies
- Pulverize the freeze dried strawberries into fine powder using a food processor. Set aside one tablespoon for rolling later.
- Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the strawberry powder (not the reserved tablespoon) until combined, then stir in the food coloring, if using.
- Add the egg and stir until combined.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them into the strawberry mixture in three parts.
- Make the rolling mixture – Whisk together the reserved strawberry powder and ¼ cup granulated sugar. Roll 1½ tablespoon sized dough balls through the sugar mixture.
- Place the dough balls 2″ apart on a parchment lined sheet and bake for 11 minutes at 350F.
- Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on their sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
SAM’S TIP: Make sure to let your baking sheet cool completely between batches. Adding the cookie dough to a hot (or even warm) sheet could result in runny, messy strawberry cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely not! Food coloring is helpful for a true pink color (or a hot pink color, like I clearly opted for), and your strawberry cookies will simply be much prettier this way. If you don’t care about the color, you can skip the food coloring, but just know the cookies will be a more natural, brownish color if you do. I show an example of an un-dyed cookie in the video (and un-dyed is typically how I feed them to my kids!).
I haven’t tried this myself, but I suspect that any other freeze dried berry would work just fine here.
If you try this recipe with another type of freeze dried fruit, please let me know how it works for you in the comments!
Yes! You can make this dough up to 5 days in advance. If you’d like to freeze the dough, follow the instructions for rolled cookies in my how to freeze cookie dough post.
Love fruity cookies? Try my lemon cookies next!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- pink food coloring optional
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
- Place freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until they’re ground to a fine dust. Measure out 1 Tablespoon of fine powder and place in a small dish (for rolling the cookies).2 ½ cups (45 g) freeze-dried strawberries
- Combine butter and granulated sugar in large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until well-creamed (about 2 minutes on md-high speed).1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- Add strawberry powder (minus the Tablespoon which you will reserve for later) and stir on low-speed until combined.
- If desired, add pink food coloring until desired color is achieved.Pink food coloring
- Stir in egg until combined.1 large egg
- In a separate dish, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. With mixer on low-speed, gradually add to the strawberry mixture in 3 parts, stirring until completely combined.1 ¾ cups (215 g) all-purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Take your reserved strawberry powder from earlier and add ¼ cup (50 g) of granulated sugar. Whisk until well-combined.¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- Scoop dough by level 1 ½ Tablespoon and roll between your palms to make a smooth ball. Roll through the strawberry/sugar mixture until completely coated and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing at least 2” apart.
- Bake in center rack of 350F (175C) oven for 11 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for several minutes before using a spatula to carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before enjoying.
Freeze-dried strawberriesThese are usually sold in the grocery store in the dried fruit and nut section. I place these in a food processor and pulverize until they’re a fine dust.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.