I use LorAnn oils a lot when I am looking for a certain flavor. I really have never used any of their strawberry or raspberry flavorings. I would rather do as other posters have said and make my own real fruit puree. I have made blueberry, strawberry, raspberry. I use them in place of any liquid in my buttercream! I add quite a bit right to the butter to cream it together. That way I can slowly add the powdered sugar a cup at a time for the right consistency, and to make sure the buttercream doesn't taste like sugar.
I squeeze my own lemons for lemon buttercream. The same with orange and lime.
You can melt down chocolate chips and add them to the buttercream for awesome chocolate frosting!
Make salted caramel and add that into the buttercream.
If you are a newbie at baking, you may want to nail down regular American buttercream before you try any of the meringue based buttercream. While they are AMAZING and life changing when you eat them, they are a little trickier if you are not familiar with cooking sugar or egg whites and making a meringue.
Don't be stingy with the butter! That's what buttercream is! 3-4 sticks in every batch - MINIMUM! otherwise it will just taste like powdered sugar.
I actually use a NYC bakery's recipe.
1 pound butter
6-8 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons milk (if needed for consistency)
1 Tablespoon vanilla
(or other flavoring)
Be sure you taste as you go...if you are adding flavoring oils, add a drop at a time. They are very strong! If you are adding fresh juice, you may need to use less butter or a little more powdered sugar.
You'll get the hang of it!