Buttercream Frosting

A buttercream frosting recipe is one of those kitchen staples that everyone needs to have in their toolkit. There is really one proper way to make a classic american buttercream. That being said, there are a few interchangeable ingredients that alter the frosting slightly. I’ll discuss several of these options below. Here is how you make the most classic version of a buttercream frosting:

Start by creaming 2 sticks of room temperature butter. You want to whip the butter until it’s creamy and smooth.


Next, add in your flavoring. For a classic vanilla buttercream, add in 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Other great flavoring options are mint extract, almond extract, lemon extract, etc. Cream together the flavoring and butter.


The next step is to beat in the powdered sugar. 4 cups of sugar needed to be added in total, but you must add it in increments. Add the sugar slowly so it doesn’t poof out all over your kitchen.

Once all of the sugar is added in, the frosting will look very thick and something like this:


The next step is to thin the frosting to the consistency you need. For piping and filling, you’ll want a thinner frosting, while for more structural spots you’ll want a thicker frosting. Add 1-2 tbs of milk a little at a time and mix until the desired consistency is achieved.


At this point, color the frosting to whatever color you need.


Pipe onto cupcakes, cookies, cakes, or pastries. Enjoy!



Note: For a pure white frosting, use vegetable shortening in place of butter and use a clear extract for flavoring. This frosting will have a slightly different texture and flavor than the frosting made with butter.

Buttercream Frosting

Makes about 4 cups of frosting


  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract (or other flavoring)
  • 4 cups (1 lb) of powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbs milk
  • food coloring (if desired)


Beat the butter until smooth and creamy.

Beat in the vanilla.

Gradually add the sugar while beating. Mix in the milk slowly until the desired consistency is achieved.

Color if desired.

Note: For a pure white frosting replace the butter with vegetable shortening and use clear vanilla extract.

Buttercream Frosting


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