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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 Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

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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January 12, 2019 10:07 am

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

March 29, 2020 6:30 pm

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!!

July 17, 2020 6:57 pm

5 stars
I just made this frosting today and it is so delicious. It complements the most amazing vanilla cupcake recipe perfectly!

Thea Juan
June 19, 2020 1:47 pm

Hi, I was wondering if I can sub the milk for almond milk? Since it only requires a tablespoon… thank you

June 22, 2020 11:55 am
Reply to  Thea Juan

Yes, that should be ok. It may alter the taste slightly though.

May 26, 2020 8:54 am

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.

May 18, 2020 10:30 pm

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.

February 6, 2020 9:38 pm

How can i make this into a chocolate frosting

February 7, 2020 10:31 am
Reply to  jessica

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

June 14, 2019 10:52 pm

How can I change the color of the frosting?

March 18, 2019 8:16 am

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

April 29, 2019 1:38 pm
Reply to  Susie

Yes, just keep it in the fridge.

March 16, 2019 11:34 am

Can this be made ahead of time and refrigerated.

March 4, 2019 8:15 am

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
December 5, 2018 5:38 pm

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
October 25, 2018 2:22 pm

How much frosting for 48 cupcakes

August 24, 2018 7:43 am

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!!!

May 11, 2020 3:44 pm

I’m planning to use this frosting with the Amazing Chocolate Cake, however would like to make it mint. Should I just substitute peppermint extract for vanilla, or do I need to adjust the amount?

April 7, 2018 9:25 am

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

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