Buttercream Frosting is easy to make with my simple tips and tricks! Take your cake and cupcake recipes from ordinary to extraordinary with real butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt!
The secret to the very best cakes and cupcakes is to make your frosting from scratch and it isn’t hard to make at all! With my very easy tips, you can make your own buttercream frosting in any flavor at home – easily!
I have been told time and time again – no matter what cake recipe I use, either a box mix cake or homemade cake recipe, that the buttercream frosting is the best part! It is light, fluffy and never tastes too sweet or sugary.
It really is the perfect recipe and YOU can make it, too! Just follow my easy steps below and you’ll be on your way to amazing cakes and cupcakes at home!
Ingredients for Buttercream Frosting
The first step is to gather your ingredients. You’ll need:
- 2 Sticks of REAL butter – don’t skimp here. Buy good quality, unsalted butter. Land O Lakes is my favorite!
- 5 Cups of Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla – again REAL Vanilla Extract is best here
- 3-4 Tablespoons Whole Milk
- Dash of Salt
You’ll need softened butter for the right consistency for frosting. You can sit your butter out on the counter to soften it for about an hour before you’re going to need it. You can also soften butter it in the microwave in 10 second increments.
Make sure to flip your butter over each time you add 10 secs. You shouldn’t need more than 20 seconds. DO NOT melt or soften for too long!
Once your butter is softened, it’s time to get started!
To Make The Fluffy Buttercream Frosting:
1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
2. Reduce the speed to low, slowly add powdered sugar, and beat until fully incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Add vanilla and salt. Mixing completely.
4. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until it’s a smooth consistency. Turn mixer to high and beat until light and fluffy.
That’s it! At this point you can use it as vanilla frosting or add in different flavors. Here are my favorite mix-ins!
Mix-Ins for Buttercream Frosting Flavors:
Chocolate: 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Peanut Butter Frosting: ¾ cup peanut butter
Lemon: zest of 1-2 lemons
Coffee: 1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
Pumpkin Spice – 2 tablespoon pumpkin spice
Frequently Asked Questions For Making Buttercream
Do you have to refrigerate a cake with buttercream frosting?
Buttercream frosting made with small amounts of milk is safe to leave out at room temperature for two to three days. Buttercream made with cream cheese, however, is not safe to leave out and should be refrigerated.
How long is buttercream good for?
I’ve found that Buttercream Frosting is best when used within a week of making. Just add to an airtight container and store in your fridge until you’re ready to use it. For best results, allow to come to room temperature or slightly chilled and then whip again before frosting cakes.
What mixer attachment should I use for Buttercream?
I’ve found that using a stand mixer is best for making buttercream. I like the paddle attachment to make the fluffiest buttercream. If you need to use a hand mixer, just beat, beat and beat until you have a fluffy frosting!
What’s the best way to thicken runny buttercream icing?
It’s easy to thicken runny buttercream icing – just add more confectioners sugar! Don’t overdo it though! Just add 1/4 of a cup at a time – mixing in between adds. You can also pop your bowl into the fridge for about 10 minutes to thicken up.
How can I make Cream Cheese Frosting?
To make Cream Cheese frosting, cut the butter in this recipe in half and add a block of cream cheese. That’s it! It’s easy to make! You can also flavor it by adding in the mix-in ideas above!
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 5 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Reduce the speed to low, slowly add confectioners, and beat until fully incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add vanilla and salt. Mixing completely.
- Add milk one tablespoon at a time until it's a smooth consistency. Turn mixer to high and beat until light and fluffy.
Take your baking to the next level with these tips!