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The Best Homemade Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Homemade Buttercream Frosting

yield: 12 SERVINGS

prep time: 10 MINUTES

total time: 10 MINUTES

Ingredients

For vanilla frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

For chocolate frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

Directions

1

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

2

For chocolate frosting, add unsweetened cocoa, and mix together

3

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

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38 Comments
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4.8 / 4 ratings
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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!

This recipe amount could easily frost an entire cake, or 12 cupcakes if piping on frosting using a pastry bag. If you were to simply spread a flat layer of frosting on a cupcake, I’m sure it’d go a lot further and perhaps even frost 24 cupcakes.

vanilla buttercream frosting in a bowl

chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting in a pastry bag

Hip Tips: 

  • 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 water, and set cup upside down over a cold stick of butter and it will soften fast!

  • Create less mess by covering bowl with a kitchen towel. 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 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.


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

chocolate buttercream frosting on a whisk

holding cupcake with sprinkles


Print

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!

Ingredients

For vanilla frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

For chocolate frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

Directions

1

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

2

For chocolate frosting, add unsweetened cocoa, and mix together

3

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

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

adding buttercream frosting a sprinkles to cupcakes

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!

girl holding a cupcake


Eating low carb? Learn how to make keto buttercream frosting on Hip2Keto.com!

Join The Discussion

Comments 38

  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!

    • 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

  2. Nancy

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

  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. Jeannette

    App request – it would be great if there was a tab to select only these kinds of posts; recipes/home tips/crafts. I suspect they’ve been tagged with some keyword that would make a search of your posts “a piece of cake” 🧁🙂

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You can find these in the app! Just click the three white lines to indicate your menu, then Categories and then you’ll see Recipes. The three white lines might also be dots and can be at the top or bottom of your phone depending on the version. Hope this helps, Jeannette!

  12. 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!

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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 😋

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. mccom13

    does anyone have a recipe for traditional BAKERY buttercream frosting that you’d like to share? i’ve made buttercream frosting using recipes similar to lina’s, but there’s something about bakery buttercream frosting that i just can’t nail–but it’s my ultimate favorite! TIA~

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