Filed under: Brownies & Blondies
February 3, 2023

Strawberry Brownies

Dense brownie-like bars that bear no chocolate and instead burst with strawberry flavor. These bars are covered in a strawberry lemon glaze that really drives that summer flavor home.

5 from 3 votes
Yield: 16 bars
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What are strawberry ‘brownies’ anyway? 

These were inspired by my popular ‘lemon brownies’. 

 

But really, let’s put the brownie part of this in quotations because without any kind of chocolate or cocoa, they aren’t really brownies. They are probably more similar to a blondie (minus the brown sugar); and technically blondies got their name by being a non-chocolate brownie. 

 

They are very similar to a brownie in their texture and the way they are made: all in one bowl, very similar quantities of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. 

 

And if you’ve run into a strawberry brownie recipe before, it was probably one made with cake flour. Those recipes use a strawberry flavored cake batter mix and instead of following the directions to make a cake, they add less eggs, etc. to make a denser bar that doesn’t rise. 

Key Ingredients 

Freeze dried strawberries 

 

These will come in packages of about 35g or 1.2 oz. I buy mine at target or trader joes for about $4. 

 

There’s no substitute for this ingredient, it’s where our berry flavor comes from. Fresh or frozen strawberries will add far too much water and ruin the texture of the “fudgy” bar. 

 

I did try making these with freeze dried blueberry powder and found they really lacked flavor because freeze dried blueberries don’t quite deliver the same punch. 

 

Flour 

 

If you’d like to make these strawberry brownies gluten free use a gluten free flour substitute, like KAB’s measure for measure or Bob’s 1 to 1. Oat flour would also be a great substitute but add another ¼ cup of it or 30g and let the mix sit for a bit before baking so the flour can absorb. 

 

Lemon 

 

I use the zest in the bar itself and then the juice in the glaze. The lemon in the glaze makes for a sharp flavor, you can use milk instead if you want to avoid that. 

 

Butter 

 

If you’d like to make these dairy free, use a df butter. Remember to not 

 

Possible ad-ins 

 

I didn’t do it here but I can totally see these working with a white chocolate chip. I wouldn’t add fresh fruit here, it’ll add too much water. 

 

How to make Strawberry Brownies: Not from a Cake mix 

Rub the sugar 

 

I like to rub the zest of the lemon with the sugar because it allows it to pull the lemony oils out of the zest so you get more flavor into the batter. 

 

Make a strawberry powder 

 

We’ll do this by blending or grinding freeze dried strawberries (I use a small food processor) and then shaking the powder through a fine mesh sieve to remove the larger seeds. 

 

Mix up the batter 

 

Importantly, don’t let the butter spurt out of the bowl when melting. This will cause the loss of some of the liquid and fat needed to make a good bar. 

 

Whisk everything really, really well up until you add the flour. Then a gentle fold and stir until the batter comes together. 

 

Bake 

 

I like to let the batter rest before baking, just for about 10 minutes until the oven preheats. This allows the berry powder to dissolve well into the batter so you’ll have a stronger tasting bar. 

 

You’ll know the bars are done baking when the center is puffed up. It might look like they are undone once you cut into them later but that’s just the bar itself with its ratio of fat to flour. 

Topping these strawberry brownies 

 

Strawberry glaze: two ways 

 

Once the bars are cool, you can top them. For the glaze you have a few options: use some more strawberry powder (this is what I did in the photos) or thaw some frozen strawberries and strain them to get a ‘strawberry juice’. Color will vary quite a bit depending on what kind of berries you have and how much juice or powder you add. 

 

Other possible strawberry brownie toppings 

 

Whipped cream & Fresh Strawberries 

 

In a food processor blend 1 cup heavy whipping cream with a tsp of vanilla, a pinch of sat and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Spread over the cooled bars and top with fresh berries. 

 

Chocolate Ganache 

 

For a white chocolate ganache you can use 200g chopped white chocolate (or chocolate chips) and 100g heavy cream. 

 

For a milk chocolate ganache, use 200g finely chopped milk chocolate, and 150g heavy cream. 

 

In either case, warm the heavy cream until it’s bubbling on the sides and a bit steamy. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and stir until it’s smooth. Spread over the brownies. 

 

Frosting / Buttercream 

 

Much like I do in these lemon cookies covered with raspberry buttercream, you can just top these with a strawberry buttercream (in that recipe sub strawberry powder for the raspberry).

 



Strawberry Brownies Recipe

Dense strawberry bars that are fudgy like a brownie. No cake mix.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 16 bars
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients

  • 350g 1 ¾ cups fine granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 34g freeze dried strawberries
  • 180g ¾ cups unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 260g or 2 cups all purpose flour

Glaze

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons liquid from one of the following options:
  • Option 1: Freshly squeezed lemon juice & freeze dried berry powder
  • Option 2: strawberry juice sieved from thawed frozen strawberries

Method

  • Line an 8x8” square pan with parchment paper
  • In a heatproof bowl rub the zest between your fingers into the sugar to release the oils.
  • Set the butter in the center of the sugar then microwave it for about a minute or two until it’s almost but not fully melted.
  • Grind the freeze dried berries until they are a powder and sift them into the melted butter (you can reserve some of the powder for the glaze if you like).
  • Add the strawberry butter to the sugar and whisk very well.
  • Add the eggs and whisk for a full 60 seconds, vigorously until the mix is light and creamy.
  • Fold in the flour. Pour into pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Let the batter rest while the oven preheats.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until puffed up slightly in the center.
  • Once cool, whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze and spread on top. They might brown a bit on top, that’s fine.
  • Store brownies in the fridge in an airtight container (they don’t have to be in the fridge but the texture is quite nice when cold).

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Recipe Reviews




  1. 5 stars
    These were delightful! Simple recipe. I thought the texture was nice and dense but buttery, and the strawberry flavor carried well.

  2. Hi— 2 cups of flour or 280 grams. Your lemon brownie recipe calls for 2 cups of flour or 260 grams. I just added the 280 based on recipe but they were super thick. Curious if it should be 260 instead… I know the recipe said they were dense brownie like. I’ll see how they bake up. ☺️

  3. Quick question about the glaze: how much liquid should be used? I assume 2-34 tablespoons is a typo (although I had a funny mental image of trying to measure 34 tablespoons. Should it be 2-4 tbsp instead? I have some freeze dried strawbs I’ve been saving for something, and these look fun! Thanks!

  4. Not sure if I missed this—and my apologies if I have—but I have two questions regarding the strawberry product in the glaze.

    Firstly, which yields, for your personal palate, superior overall flavor (what the end product tastes in conjunction with bar) as well as strawberry “authenticity”: the freeze-dried powder or the fresh/thawed?

    Secondly, do either of these options affect the aging of the glaze; that is, do either crust or not?

    Finally, as a bonus third question, what are your thoughts about adding dried or fresh spices and/or commercial extracts, emulsions, herbs, or “flavorings” to enhance the strawberriness? I’m specifically thinking about what recipe writers like Stella Parks claim are tiny cheats to improve a possibly inferior supermarket-friendly cultivar of the fresh fruit or the bright but less complex flavor of your average freeze dried product (eg Parks recommends a smidgen of “Chinese five spice,” which seems to me to be based around dried, ground coriander seed). Further to that, can this glaze stand up to a touch of vinegar, another commonly-used “enhancer?”

    Appy polly loggies or whatever for being long-winded and thank you in advance for your consideration and insight. I really trust your judgment when it comes to these things.

    • Saurs, I think if you have the extra dried berries use that for the glaze as It’s more potent. I love chinese five spice but can’t quite picture it with strawberry tbh so can’t say. As for the vinegar, i think that lemon works better: it’s got the acid but it does a good job drawing out the strawberry flavor.