Homemade Buttercream Frosting is one of the best basic recipes to have on hand. This classic recipe makes enough pillowy frosting for 24 cupcakes or a 9-inch layer cake.
Of all the recipes on My Baking Addiction, this Homemade Buttercream Frosting is definitely the recipe that I make the most in my kitchen. In fact, it’s probably the most requested recipe amongst family and friends – well, maybe the second most requested next to My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Whether I’m whipping up cupcakes, cake, or cookies, this Homemade Buttercream Frosting is the perfect way to top just about anything.
I can’t tell you how many times people have said, “I could eat this with a spoon!” And I’ve actually made this for my aunt’s co-worker to do just that. She would put a serving in a little bowl and snack on it while watching her favorite TV shows.
Guys, it’s THAT good!
HOMEMADE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
One of the most common questions that I get from my readers is about buttercream frosting.
Although I have made several types of buttercream frosting recipes, this Homemade Buttercream Frosting is by far my favorite due to its flavor, simplicity, and smooth texture. This buttercream recipe can be infused with many different flavors to accompany your baked goods.
There are many variations of recipes for buttercream. I prefer using unsalted butter for the fat component because I find it to be less greasy than buttercream made with shortening.
However, to each their own; if you’re a shortening fan, see the notes in the printable recipe card for this adaptation.
This Homemade Buttercream Frosting is extremely easy to pipe on 24+ cupcakes or a 9-inch layer cake and holds its shape very well.
It will flow easily through a variety of piping tips. My favorite tips are the 1M from Wilton, large round and large French tips.
With this basic homemade buttercream recipe under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to creating cake and cupcake masterpieces.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
American Buttercream Frosting – This buttercream is fast, simple and what you see on most grocery store cakes. It’s essentially fat (butter, margarine, shortening), confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract whipped together.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream – This type of buttercream in made by cooking egg whites and sugar together in a bowl placed on a pot of boiling water.
The mixture is continuously whisked while it reaches 140° F. The egg white and sugar mixture is then removed from the heat and whipped at high speed until it forms stiff peaks and has cooled.
Italian Buttercream – This buttercream is made by adding simple syrup, which is made by heating sugar and water (soft-ball stage) to the egg-whites and allowing the syrup to cook the egg whites and whipped to form stiff peaks.
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Our Homemade Buttercream Frosting is so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered buying frosting.
All you need to make buttercream frosting is a big bowl, an electric mixer, and a rubber spatula. If you are using a stand mixer instead of a hand mixer, I recommend using the paddle attachment.
First, make sure your butter is softened. (Don’t worry if you didn’t set it out ahead of time – check out my guide for how to soften butter to figure out how to soften it in a jiffy!)
Cream the butter until it is fluffy. This is really the most important step in this entire recipe. I often set a kitchen timer for 6-7 minutes and just let my KitchenAid Stand Mixer do all of the work. Then add in the salt and slowly add in the powdered sugar, continuing to beat the mixture until it is well blended.
Then add in the vanilla and cream or milk and beat on low speed until combined. Once the vanilla and cream or milk are incorporated, I’ll turn up the speed to medium-high and set another timer for an additional 6-7 minutes. This will ensure your Homemade Buttercream Frosting is ultra-fluffy and creamy.
You can add additional cream or milk if you want a softer consistency, but I recommend adding it just a couple of teaspoons at a time until it’s just right.
It’s ready to use or store for later!
FLAVORED BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
One of the best things about knowing how to make buttercream frosting is being able to make your own flavored buttercream frosting!
There are lots of different ways to flavor Homemade Buttercream Frosting. Of course there is always the classic vanilla extract, vanilla paste or vanilla beans. You guys know I am obsessed with vanilla everything and always use pure vanilla extract; however, this buttercream is the exception.
More often than not, I turn to Wilton’s Clear Vanilla Extract for this recipe. It keeps my homemade buttercream frosting super white and has the perfect, yummy, creamy vanilla flavor that is simply my favorite in buttercream.
You can also use any other flavor extract you like, such as peppermint extract.
For any citrus flavors, I like to reach for fresh citrus zest or juice. Even though lemon is the most common, you could try lime, orange, or grapefruit instead. I used both lemon and lime for Lemon Lime Cupcakes.
We can’t forget chocolate – you can add cocoa powder or melted chocolate to turn Homemade Buttercream Frosting into chocolate buttercream like I used on Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.
You could even try fresh fruit puree (like I did with my Lemon Blueberry Buttercream), jam, curd, or even salted caramel sauce.
USES FOR HOMEMADE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
There are a million different ways to use homemade buttercream. The most obvious is for frosting cakes or cupcakes. This recipe will make enough frosting to generously cover 24 cupcakes or a 9-inch layer cake.
You can also put your homemade buttercream inside your cupcakes! Try using one flavor as a cupcake filling and a second flavor on top.
It also makes a fantastic filling for sandwich cookies. Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies are perfection thanks to a buttercream filling.
Really, Homemade Buttercream Frosting can be used for anything that has frosting on top! Think Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats, for example.
HOW TO STORE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Homemade Buttercream Frosting can be made a few days ahead of time, so it’s easy to prepare before a party and pipe onto a cake or cupcakes the day of.
Cover and refrigerate Homemade Buttercream Frosting for up to three days. When you’re ready to use it, simply bring it to room temperature and beat it for about 5 minutes or until smooth. You may need to add a splash of cream or milk to revive the consistency before piping.
Homemade Buttercream Frosting
Enough frosting for 24 cupcakes or a 9-inch layer cake
Homemade Buttercream Frosting is one of the best basic recipes to have on hand.
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- Tiny pinch fine sea salt
- 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 6-7 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the salt and powdered sugar, and continue beating until the sugar is fully incorporated.
- Add in vanilla and cream or milk and mix on low speed until incorporated.
- Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the buttercream for an additional 6-7 minutes.
- If the buttercream is too thick, add in a bit of milk, one teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- This recipe will make enough frosting to generously frost 24 cupcakes or one 9 inch layer cake.
- You can easily adjust the consistency of this recipe by simply adding in more heavy cream or milk.
- If you are a fan of shortening in your buttercream, simply omit one stick of butter and replace with 1/2 cup shortening.
- Clear vanilla extract is used in this recipe to keep the frosting nice and white. If you don’t mind a slight color change, feel free to use pure vanilla extract, but decrease the amount to 2 teaspoons.
- Covered and refrigerated frosting can be stored for up to three days. Simply bring it to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. You may need to add a couple of teaspoons of heavy cream or milk to revive the consistency.
- If you choose to dye your frosting, go easy with the dye. Remember, you can always add more color, but you can’t remove it.
- If you garnish with sprinkles, make sure you do this immediately after you frost your baked goods. Once the top layer of the buttercream crusts, nothing will stick
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KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer
Wilton Tips Star 2110, #1M
Wilton No. 1A Round Decorating Tip
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 33mgSodium 13mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 0gSugar 28gProtein 1g
Category: Baking Basics