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Buttercream Frosting is a classic option for cakes and cupcakes. This buttercream frosting recipe is perfection every single time. 

Buttercream Frosting on a cupcake

Looking for the perfect buttercream frosting? Look no further! This frosting is easy to make, holds up to piping designs, and is practically perfect every single time. In this post we will review some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to making buttercream and then follow it up with the recipe.

What type of butter to use for buttercream frosting:

You can use either salted or unsalted butter to make buttercream frosting. A high quality butter that has a higher fat content and lower water content will produce the best buttercream possible.

What is the difference between Italian buttercream and American buttercream?

Italian buttercream is a meringue based frosting while American buttercream is a butter based frosting. Italian buttercream is made by pouring a hot simple syrup over whipped egg whites. It is then whipped into creamy, velvety frosting. It has a more white appearance than American buttercream which tends to have a yellow tint.

What is French buttercream?

French buttercream is similar to Italian buttercream, but has a more shiny appearance. A simple syrup is heated to the softball stage and then mixed with whipped egg whites and butter to form a smooth frosting that has a shimmery shine.

A closeup of Buttercream Frosting on a cupcake

PRO TIP: Butter provides the structure for buttercream. It is important to use real, high quality butter in this recipe. Substituting the butter with margarine or shortening is not recommended and will produce lower quality results. Be sure that the butter is at room temperature for the smoothest frosting. Cold butter does not whip well.

Use this buttercream in the following recipes:

Watch the video below where I walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and I’ve always got you covered with my very own cooking show. You can find the full collection of video recipes on YouTube, or right here on my website with their corresponding recipes. There’s sure to be something you love!

Buttercream Frosting is a classic option for cakes and cupcakes. This buttercream frosting recipe is perfection every single time. 

Buttercream Frosting on a cupcake
Buttercream Frosting is a classic option for cakes and cupcakes. This buttercream frosting recipe is perfection every single time.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat softened butter until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined and smooth.
  • Add in powdered sugar 1 cup a time, mixing in between additions until smooth. After you add in the first 2 cups, add in milk and whip until smooth before adding in the final cup of powdered sugar.
  • Frost immediately or store covered in an airtight container.


Calories: 1527kcal | Carbohydrates: 180g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 92g | Saturated Fat: 58g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 817mg | Potassium: 27mg | Sugar: 176g | Vitamin A: 2835IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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5 stars
Super delicious frosting!!! It was perfect for piping and not too sweet!! 10 out of 10 for sure.


5 stars
I’ve used this recipe 2 times now and I can see it being my go to buttercream recipe. It is so yummy, also the consistency and texture is so creamy and smooth which mays it really easy to decorate. I would definitely give this recipe a try, I’m sure you’ll love it too.


Hi! Great recipe. Loved it. I have a question. Does using salted butter make the frosting taste salty?
I need to make frosting for my daughter’s birthday but all I have is salted butter.


5 stars
Made this frosting for my Goddaughter’s first birthday and colored it light pink yo pit on cupcakes. Tasted amazing and so easy to make!!


How can i make this into a chocolate frosting

For this recipe, add in anywhere between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cocoa powder depending on how chocolatey you like your frosting.


How can I change the color of the frosting?


Can this be made ahead and stored for a few days.

Yes, just keep it in the fridge.


Can this be made ahead of time and refrigerated.


Do you substitute the same amount of almond extract as it calls for vanilla? You say in the cake recipe to use almond extract in the frosting but this recipe says vanilla.

Sandy Walston

4 stars
I added 2 oz of cream cheese, mixed it with butter and vanilla then the powdered sugar..was absolutely yummy took away some of the sweetness..but not to much.

Carol Bodmer

How much frosting for 48 cupcakes


Making your Chocolate Cake today and my little one is requesting white frosting instead of chocolate. How much to cover your most delicious chocolate cake?!? Than you!!!


How much of this frosting would I need to cover your Funfetti cake?


If you don’t use Salted Butter, how much salt should I add in?


At what point is it best to add food coloring? I have some gel color that I plan to add for my daughter’s birthday cupcakes.


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