How to Make Buttercream

You have made an amazing birthday cake, or the most delicious cupcakes, or those fantastic holiday cookies for the party, now you need a great buttercream frosting to push your dessert to perfection.

Frosting in a can may be convenient, but this quick and easy recipe will show you step by step how to make a smooth and fluffy American buttercream frosting with a few ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.

Plus, with a few simple tweaks, you can change the flavor and color. Add a few drops of red food coloring to make pink frosting. Change the basic vanilla frosting by using amaretto or another flavoring instead. So, ditch the store-bought, and use this buttercream icing recipe.

Using a spatula to frost cupcakes.

Prep Time: 10 mins.

Servings: 1.5 cups 

Step #1. Prepare Ingredients

Buttercream ingredients on wooden counter.

Gather the following items and ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • Electric mixer

Step #2. Place All Ingredients in a Bowl

Mixing butter with powdered sugar.
Adding vanilla to sugar and butter.

Place all of the ingredients into a bowl.

Step #3. Mix

Using a hand mixer to combine vanilla, butter and sugar.
Using a hand mixer to combine vanilla, butter and sugar.

Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. You can adjust the thickness by adding more milk if it is too stiff, or adding more icing sugar if it is too runny.

Step #4. Serve & Enjoy!

Frosted cupcakes on wooden counter.

You can use the buttercream frosting to spread onto cupcakes, cake, as a filling etc.

Frosted cupcakes on wooden counter.
Frosted cupcakes on wooden counter.

If you plan to use the buttercream frosting for piping, you will want to make it a little thicker. A simple trick on how to make buttercream frosting stiffer is to add less milk to the recipe or more sifted, powdered sugar. Sifting the powdered sugar before you add it, ensures the frosting will be smooth. 

To make the frosting a little less sweet, try adding a little salt, substituting heavy cream for the milk, or adding in a little lemon juice.

Buttercream frosting can be made in advance and stored for up to a week in the fridge or two months in the freezer. Place the frosting in an airtight container and store it away from foods with strong odors. When you are ready to use it, let the buttercream come up to room temperature.

Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out...How to Make Vanilla Powder

Basic Buttercream Frosting

You have made an amazing birthday cake, or the most delicious cupcakes, or those fantastic holiday cookies for the party, now you need a great buttercream frosting to push your dessert to perfection. Frosting in a can may be convenient, but this quick and easy recipe will show you step by step how to make a smooth and fluffy American buttercream frosting with a few ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 1/4 cup servings
Calories 332kcal
Author Joss D

Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. milk

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a bowl.
    Adding vanilla to sugar and butter.
  • Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. You can add adjust the thickness by adding more milk if it is too stiff, or adding more icing sugar if it is too runny.
    Using a hand mixer to combine vanilla, butter and sugar.
  • Serve.
    Using a spatula to frost cupcakes.
Nutrition Facts
Basic Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 332 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 92mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 60g 20%
Sugars 59g
Vitamin A 6.3%
Calcium 0.6%
Iron 0.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It does not include toppings.

Tried this recipe?Mention @inthekitchdotnet or tag #inthekitchgrams!

Tutorial Images Credit: In the Kitch

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