How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Homemade Buttercream Frosting

yield: 12 SERVINGS

prep time: 10 MINUTES

total time: 10 MINUTES


For vanilla frosting:



Using a mixing bowl and hand mixer or stand mixer, add butter and sugar to a bowl. Cream together for about 10 seconds until combined. Add vanilla and cream, and mix again until smooth.


For chocolate frosting, add unsweetened cocoa, and mix together.


Spread buttercream frosting on cupcakes, cake, or cookies, as desired. Enjoy!

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Keep reading for the best buttercream frosting recipe!

using buttercream frosting on christmas sugar cookie

Love to bake and want a buttery creamy frosting recipe?

Check out how to make the best buttercream frosting recipe! It’s so good and takes just a few minutes to whip up. When you’re in the mood to bake cupcakes, cakes, and homemade sugar cookies, keep this recipe on hand for fail-proof frosting that’ll taste 100% better than any store-bought version!

butter cream on Christmas cookies

This recipe amount could easily frost an entire cake, 12 cupcakes, or a tray-full of Christmas cookies as pictured above if piping on frosting using a pastry bag.

If you were to simply spread a flat layer rather than large swirls of frosting, I’m sure you could make this recipe go even further!

chocolate buttercream frosting on a whisk

Any chocolate lovers in the house? 🍫

Easily make a yummy chocolate version of buttercream frosting! Add 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to this recipe.

using a glass to soften a stick of butter

Hip Tips for making the best buttercream recipe:

  • Forgot to set out the butter? Check out this helpful hack for quickly softening cold butter! Heat a glass of water in the microwave, pour out the water, and set the cup upside down over a cold stick of butter and it will soften faster!
  • Create less mess by covering the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel. Do you know that first puff of powdered sugar that creates a mess when mixing up frosting? Just throw a thin towel around the outside of the mixing bowl during those first initial seconds of mixing to avoid a mess.
  • Add some color if desired! You can mix in a few drops of food coloring to achieve a colored frosting.
  • This recipe works great to pipe on frosting using a pastry bag with a decorative tip. Or you can use a Wilton cake decorating tool as well!

mixing beaters with buttercream frosting

chocolate buttercream

chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting in a pastry bag

chocolate buttercream being piped onto cupcake

adding buttercream frosting a sprinkles to cupcakes


Homemade Buttercream Frosting

yield: 12 SERVINGS

prep time: 10 MINUTES

total time: 10 MINUTES

Here's a creamy buttery frosting that whips up in just a few minutes!


For vanilla frosting:



Using a mixing bowl and hand mixer or stand mixer, add butter and sugar to a bowl. Cream together for about 10 seconds until combined. Add vanilla and cream, and mix again until smooth.


For chocolate frosting, add unsweetened cocoa, and mix together.


Spread buttercream frosting on cupcakes, cake, or cookies, as desired. Enjoy!

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

girl holding a cupcake

Frosting is the BEST part of a cupcake!

I love how easy it is to make frosting yourself and customize your baked goodies. Everyone knows frosting is the best part, and this recipe won’t disappoint!

Use this buttercream recipe to top off your Christmas sugar cookies!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 51

  1. Lo

    I use a similar ratio recipe but it uses regular sugar ( I never have powdered on hand) and you cook the milk with flour.
    The true red velvet frosting.

    • Shannon

      Can you share that recipe? I know pioneer woman had one she shared once but now I can’t find it.

      • lucinda11

        That cooked milk, flour and granulated sugar frosting is called “ermine frosting”. That’s my go-to frosting as well. Once you e had it, nothing else compares!

        • 5pink1blue

          I know it by the name roux frosting. Sooo good!

        • Amy

          Does the ermine frosting need to be refrigerated? Can I use it on cookies?

    • Lo

      Yes! That’s our fave recipe. I never have powdered sugar which is why I found this recipe. It’s a little hard to master. Well not rushing the cooked milk

    • Brooke

      You can also make powered sugar in your blender with regular sugar. 🙂

  2. Nancy

    I agree I use the same exact recipe with the addition of a tsp of salt but indeed the best recipe

    • Kathy

      Why the salt?

      • Linda

        Tge salt cuts the sweetness down. Allows the vanilla flavor to come through the sugar. It really works

  3. Kate

    Have extra powdered sugar on hand if you use food coloring. It makes the frosting too runny to pipe well onto cupcakes. It’s really worth it to just buy the gels for coloring frosting.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh great tip! Thanks Kate ❤️

    • RJK

      For this reason it’s best to use gel food coloring. It doesn’t water down the frosting the way liquid food coloring does.

  4. Jeri

    I use almost the same recipe, adding a pinch of kosher salt, using only one tsp of vanilla and adding the zest and juice of half lemon. Always heavy cream / never milk. Makes the best lemon frosting.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      oh I love that! Thanks for sharing – I love lemon <3

  5. S

    If anyone has a really good homemade icecream recipe, I’d love it!

    • Lana

      4 cups half and half, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Tastes very much like Chick fil A.

  6. chaeysa

    I use this same recipe but whip together the butter and heavy cream then add vanilla then add sugar to desired consistency. Heavier when piping than spreading.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great tip! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  7. A.B.

    I use a very similar recipe, but add a dash of salt and 2 egg yolks. It’s the recipe that came with my granny’s Kitchen Aid mixer that I inherited. It’s delicious, and always gets rave reviews!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh really? Interesting! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  8. ~jenn~

    I bake and sell cakes all the time and I make a homemade Oreo cake (yes even the Oreos are homemade) and if you really need that frosting to be white as possible…. whip the butter in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes before adding anything and use clear vanilla! Of course for cakes I don’t like a lot of air in my frosting so once that butter is whipped, slow the mix speed way down. It’ll come out creamy and with less air bubbles to smooth out. I always add liquids last because it’s no fun trying to rebalance a runny frosting!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great tips! And I always wondered about the clear vanilla – thanks for sharing!

  9. Gisette

    Thanks for posting a sugary recipe!!!!!! Love icing 😋

  10. Jennifer

    I make specialty cakes as a side gig. I learned that if you cut your butter up into small cubes then there is more surface area exposed to room temps so it will warm up faster than just laying the whole stick on the counter.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh I LOVE that – Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

  11. mel

    The only thing I do different, is that I sift the confectioners sugar first. If you don’t have a crank sifter, just use a large sieve. Hold it over a bowl and 1 cup at a time, bat your hand on the side to get the sugar through.
    I do this for the cocoa powder too. It’s something my mawmaw did and whenever I helped her bake, that was my job!
    Then I found a realllllyyy awesome chocolate frosting recipe that (IMHO), comes out much better than adding the cocoa powder to the buttercream frosting. It’s on the back of Hershey’s cocoa powder. You melt the butter and add the cocoa to combine. Then beat in the powder sugar, vanilla extract and milk (or heavy cream). Soooo good!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh wow yum! Thanks for sharing Mel!

  12. atm

    i do mine (crusting buttercream) with 1/2 high ratio shortening 1/2 butter and meringue powder, it’s delicious, but will definitely try this recipe since it seems much easier 😉 thanks hip2save!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sure! Enjoy 😉

    • Lin

      I love eating high ratio shortening frosting and would like to try to make it myself. Where is the thriftiest place to purchase in smaller amounts?

    • Kathy

      Yes, I also use 1/2 shortening. But I need to know what can I do not to make cream cheese icing not so sweet.

  13. June

    I run a small bakery out of my house. If you don’t like overly sweet frosting, try using salted butter instead(play with the salted/unsalted ratio, depending on your preferance). Kind of like salted caramel, it’s a big hit with my customers.

    • Kathy

      I have used both butter, I don’t like to see people eat around the cake ;even me lol) when the icing do sweet. I have a cake business out of my home and I’m new at this. My cakes are awesome just need to work on the icing.

      • Emily NYC

        Do you have a basic non chocolate cake recipe that you would share? I’m just getting into baking. Thanks

  14. barb

    I love this recipe, mine is very similar but I always add about 1/2 tsp of almond extract to my frostings in addition to vanilla, the flavor is incredible and everyone always comments its the best frosting they’ve ever tasted. Try it, almond extract is the bomb – just be careful not to add to much, a little goes along ways. Another tip if you really want to impress is chill your cake/or cupcakes after you have frosted them in the fridge. A cold frosted cake tastes amazing, so much better than just room temp cake – I always serve birthday cupcakes this way and everyone always raves about them when all I did was chill them, go figure, haha!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yum! Great tips and I love almond extract in sugar cookies so I’m gonna try it in frosting 🧁!

    • 5pink1blue

      Yep! I love leftover cake straight out of the freezer!

  15. Chloe

    I remember my first foray into cooking as a college student. Frosting was the second thing I learned to make, besides scrambled eggs. The frosting was so easy, and I could never go back to store bought frosting after that.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh nice! Yes I agree homemade is delicious 😋

  16. Jane

    Has anyone ever made a dairy free version of this? I know there are vegan butter sticks but I wonder if replacing the heavy cream would just ruin it.

    • Nikki

      I decorate cakes as a side business, and I make a vegan version. It takes smart balance sticks of vegan butter and the non-dairy milk of your choice instead of cream. I use far more sugar than recommended in this recipe, though. The vegan butter taste is very overpowering. I also use half butter and half shortening.

  17. Donna

    Years ago I took a cake decorating class and we used Crisco shorting instead of butter, water instead of milk or cream. We also added a little bit of salt to the icing. I have used this for years to decorate cakes.

  18. Cherrill

    I see many talking about how sweet the icing/frostings are and wanted to let you know that you can use popcorn salt to fix that. Popcorn salt is finer than regular salt that’s what I use.

    • Carralynne

      Yes! I do this too Popcorn salt is so fine, that it mixes and blend so well.

  19. johnson16

    I see that milk can be used instead of heavy cream. Does it taste just as good with the milk? I do not have heavy cream on hand so just wanted to see if milk is just as good

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I would say yes. It’s just a bit to whip up with the powdered sugar.

  20. JMonte509

    How do I print it out??

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi there! You can print the recipe by clicking on the print icon at the very top or bottom of the post. Hope this helps!

  21. Amy Perales

    I like a butter-forward flavor, but this one was more like sweetened butter to us and didn’t yield enough frosting for the cake. I added another cup of sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. It still isn’t enough for me to get it all over the cake, so it’s going naked. Also didn’t need any liquid other than vanilla. Perhaps my butter was too soft.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh darn, ya sorry this was a miss but glad you were able to just add sugar to the desired consistency! This would be easy to double for a larger cake.

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