A while ago while still working in the chemistry world, my friend and I signed up to bring dessert for our annual summer kick-off potluck. As we sat in the break room during lunch, we hatched a nerdy yet brilliant idea…
Homemade cupcakes — decorated and arranged to look like the periodic table of elements!
With a lighter workload, I offered to bake all 118 if she was willing to frost them. She quickly agreed, so I scribbled down a grocery list and a variety of fun flavors.
I started with classic options of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet, and I wrote down carrot and funfetti next, which, although not quite as iconic, were both popular with our group. Feeling a little adventurous, I also took a small risk and included lemon, banana, and cinnamon apple.
After six straight hours of baking, I drove the freshly prepared cupcakes to my friend’s apartment two days before the party. Upon answering the door, she accepted the large platters and explained she had decided to play it safe with plain chocolate and vanilla, plus a little cream cheese frosting specifically for the red velvet and carrot cake.
When we set everything up on a picnic table in the park that weekend, everyone admired our work and raved about the cupcakes. The flavors, the textures, the symbolic letters on top of each “element” in our edible periodic table… It was a huge success!
Raspberry frosting is towards the top of my list too — and I have two simple ways to make it!
QUICK OVERVIEW – HEALTHY RASPBERRY FROSTING
Difficulty: Easy, including for many beginner bakers.
Taste: Bright, fruity, and moderately sweet, with a well-balanced berry flavor.
Frosting #1 Texture: Thick and creamy, with a pipe-able consistency almost like buttercream.
Frosting #2 Texture: Also creamy and thick — although just a teensy bit softer — and pipe-able too, similar to buttercream.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HEALTHY RASPBERRY FROSTING
Let’s go over what you’ll need to make these healthy raspberry frosting recipes! For each one, there are only four ingredients.
Greek yogurt. If you’ve browsed through my recipes before, you already know how much I love Greek yogurt. It adds moisture to batters and doughs, gives your treats a protein boost, and makes fantastic frosting too!
That’s right… No butter or powdered sugar in these raspberry frosting recipes. Greek yogurt makes them beautifully creamy and thick instead!
For the best frosting, look for Greek yogurt that only includes milk and live active cultures. (Cultured pasteurized milk is fine too!) If the Greek yogurt contains any other ingredients (such as cornstarch, sugar, or fructose), then put it back on the shelf! Those Greek yogurts are generally thinner and runnier, so they produce frosting that’s noticeably looser and not as thick.
Tip: FAGE plain nonfat Greek yogurt is my favorite for making frosting. From my experience, it’s one of the thickest brands and also has less of a yogurt “tang” to its flavor, so it yields frosting with a fantastic texture and taste.
Sweetener. You have quite a few options here! I often turn to liquid stevia to make my raspberry frosting sugar-free. Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that contains nothing overly refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!), and it’s also really concentrated. You only need a small amount to sweeten your entire batch of frosting!
Just remember… Many stevia brands and products have different sweetness levels, so they’re not always 1-for-1 substitutes for each other. This is the one that I use (← and I buy it online there because it’s the best price I’ve found!), and I don’t notice any prominent aftertaste, like with some other stevia products.
You can easily substitute a different stevia product though — or another no-calorie sweetener altogether! I really like granulated sucralose, which is readily available at many stores in the US. Erythritol, monk fruit, and other granulated sweeteners generally work well too. See the Notes section of the recipe for my recommendations about how to swap in any of those!
Tip: Other than the aforementioned liquid stevia, which is highly concentrated (you’ll use less than 1 teaspoon!), I don’t recommend other liquid sweeteners, such as honey, agave, or pure maple syrup. They’ll add too much liquid volume to the frosting, so it’ll turn out more like a glaze instead.
Instant pudding mix. I know it might sound a little strange… But this is the secret ingredient that magically makes your raspberry frosting as stiff and thick as buttercream!
Instant pudding mix works differently than cornstarch or cook-and-serve pudding mix. Unlike those other two, which require heat to work, its thickening properties are activated simply by beating it together with milk (or Greek yogurt, in this case!).
To keep this raspberry frosting light and sugar-free, you’ll use fat-free, sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix. You just need the dry powder — don’t prepare it according to the package’s instructions!
Raspberries. Both of these frosting recipes use real berries — but the type depends on which one you plan to make!
For Frosting #1, you’ll need freeze dried raspberries. They’re different than regular dried berries! Freeze dried raspberries are airy and crunchy, not soft and chewy. Although not sold everywhere, I’ve had good luck finding them at Trader Joe’s and Target.
For Frosting #2, you’ll need fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries. They’re much easier to find than the freeze dried kind and available at just about every grocery store!
HOW TO MAKE RASPBERRY FROSTING
Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, let’s go over how to make the best raspberry frosting. Both of these recipes are quick and simple to whip up!
Prepare the raspberries. The preparation method depends on which frosting you plan to make.
For Frosting #1, you’ll need to turn those crispy little berries into a powder. There are a few ways to do this! My favorite is to use my coffee grinder, but single-serving blender cups or miniature food processors also work decently. (Standard full-sized blenders and food processors generally require a greater volume of stuff inside to work efficiently, so they can be a bit cumbersome or frustrating!)
And if you have none of the above? Just grab your favorite rolling pin! Add the freeze dried berries to a zip-topped bag, seal that inside of another zip-topped bag, and pretend like you’re playing whack-a-mole at the local arcade until the bag is full of fine bright pink powder. (The second bag helps contain any potential mess, just in case the first bag breaks from the pounding it takes from the rolling pin!)
For Frosting #2, both fresh and thawed frozen raspberries contain too much water content to add directly to the frosting, so you’ll turn your berries into a purée with a blender or food processor first. Next, add that to a small pot or pan, and cook the purée on the stove until it’s reduced by at least half. The more you cook it, the thicker your frosting will be. Just remember to stir frequently so it doesn’t burn!
Mix. The good news? Preparing the raspberries was the hardest part. It’s all downhill from here!
Just add all of the ingredients to a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Yes, exactly 2 minutes. Not 1 ½, not 2 ¾… Precisely 2 minutes. Overmixing and undermixing can both yield frosting that’s looser and more liquidy, so set a timer and watch it like a hawk!
Tip: I strongly recommend a hand-held mixer for this, instead of a stand mixer. (This is really similar to the one I own!) Stand models tend to mix more unevenly and often miss bits on the sides or bottom of their bowls, so the consistency of your frosting doesn’t turn out quite as well. I know it’s a bit of a workout to hold your arm and the mixer out for 2 minutes straight… But it’s certainly an attractive alternative to extra reps at the gym!
Chill. The easiest step of making these raspberry frosting recipes! Cover the bowl with foil, and pop it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This chilling time allows the instant pudding mix to finish working its magic and turns the mixture into a thick, stiff, almost buttercream-like consistency.
Bonus: It also means you can easily make both of these raspberry frosting recipes in advance. In fact, I highly recommend it! They’ll keep for multiple days, as long as they’re covered and chilled, without affecting their taste or texture.
Pipe. Now all that’s left to do is use your raspberry frosting! Provided that you didn’t sneak half of it from the bowl while it sat in the refrigerator… I know just how tempting that can be — especially with the spoons and silverware drawer so close!
Tip: Although both of these raspberry frostings are pipe-able, I’ve found Frosting #1 is a little easier to work with because the dry raspberry powder makes it a bit stiffer and thicker. So if you plan on piping swirls or rosettes on top of cupcakes, for example, that’s the version I’d recommend!
For the cupcakes in these photos, I used a 1M frosting tip from this set. I almost never remember to buy special piping bags, so… I use a gallon-sized zip-topped bag instead! I cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners, slip the frosting tip in, and make sure it’s snuggly nestled inside.
Tip: To quickly and easily fill the bag (whether a specialized piping bag or standard gallon-sized one!), place it inside of a large tumbler or drinking glass after you’ve added your piping tip. Fold the top of the bag’s opening over the rim of the tumbler. The tumbler acts as a holder and stand, so you can transfer the frosting into the bag with a spatula or spoon — without any frustration, slipping, or mess!
Or spread. Running short on time? Or can’t find your frosting tips? Just spread the raspberry frosting on top of your treats instead! I like using an offset spatula, but a regular butter knife works well too.
WAYS TO USE RASPBERRY FROSTING
There are lots of treats you can top with either of these raspberry frosting recipes! Here are some ideas to get you started…
- Mini Chocolate Cupcakes (pictured in this post)
- Fudgy Brownies (pictured above!)
- Dark Chocolate Cupcakes (pictured in this post)
- Banana Cupcakes
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Vanilla Bean Cake
- Simple Orange Cake
- Lemon Cupcakes
- Chocolate Fudge Cake
- Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
- Banana Cake
FAQS ABOUT RASPBERRY FROSTING
Is this healthy raspberry frosting sugar-free, low calorie, low fat, low carb, gluten-free, or clean eating?
Yes! As written, both versions of this raspberry frosting are sugar-free (and therefore low sugar too!), low calorie, low fat, and gluten-free. They’re also higher protein and lower carb compared to traditional buttercream frosting. If you omit the instant pudding mix (see below or the Notes section of the recipe for more info on that!), then either raspberry frosting will also be clean eating friendly.
What’s the best Greek yogurt for making frosting?
FAGE plain nonfat Greek yogurt has performed the best for me. See the “Greek yogurt” header in the “Ingredients to Make Healthy Raspberry Frosting” section above for more info on good Greek yogurt options — and which ones to avoid!
Can I substitute a different sweetener?
Absolutely! See the Notes section of the recipe for my top recommendations.
How should I measure the instant pudding mix if I don’t have a kitchen scale?
Great question! Look at the back of the box to see how many servings it has. Many contain 4 servings, but some larger boxes have 6 instead. For the former, you’ll need approximately half of one box, whereas you’d need about a third of the latter.
However… If you have the space for one, I highly recommend a kitchen scale. ← That’s the one I own. It’s really affordable, and it ensures your treats turn out with the best taste and texture every time you make them!
Can I substitute something for the instant pudding mix?
Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything that works in place of the instant pudding mix. I’ve tried xanthan gum, and while it does thicken at room temperature and when chilled, it gave the frosting a weird consistency.
If you can’t find or prefer not to use it, you can omit the instant pudding mix. If you do, then simply stir together the ingredients by hand with a fork until they’re just incorporated. Do NOT use a mixer! Without the instant pudding mix, stand and hand-held mixers often overmix and yield a thin, loose, and runny consistency that’s closer to a glaze than frosting.
Can I make this raspberry frosting in advance?
Definitely — and I actually recommend it! It needs to chill for at least 2 hours, but you can also make it a few days before. Just cover and chill until you’re ready to use it.
How long will this healthy raspberry frosting keep? And how should I store it?
Store it in the refrigerator, either in a bowl covered with foil or an airtight container. It’ll keep for at least a few days, if not longer! It mainly depends on the freshness of your Greek yogurt.
On top of cupcakes, brownies, cake… Or simply a spoon. When it comes to this frosting, the serving options are endless! 😉
And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amys.healthy.baking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy raspberry frosting!
Easy Raspberry Frosting (2 Ways)
FROSTING #1 – BUTTERCREAM-LIKE, PIPE-ABLE + SLIGHTLY THICKER
- To prepare Frosting #1, add the freeze dried raspberries to a coffee grinder or single-serving blender cup, and pulse until they’re a fine powder. Add the Greek yogurt, instant pudding mix, liquid stevia, and raspberry powder to a large bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer for 2 minutes. Cover the top of the bowl with foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using. (If refrigerating longer, transfer the frosting to an airtight container with a lid instead.)
- To prepare Frosting #2, add the raspberries to a blender or food processor, and purée. Transfer the purée to a small pot or pan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has reduced by at least half. Cool completely. Add the Greek yogurt, instant pudding mix, liquid stevia, and cooled raspberry purée to a large bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer for 2 minutes. Cover the top of the bowl with foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using. (If refrigerating longer, transfer the frosting to an airtight container with a lid instead.)
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Chocolate Frosting – 3 Ways!
♡ Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting – 2 Ways!
♡ Healthy “Cream Cheese” Frosting (made without cream cheese!)
♡ Healthy Vanilla Bean Frosting
♡ Healthy Strawberry Frosting
♡ Healthy Cinnamon Frosting
♡ Healthy Raspberry Glaze