Classic buttercream frosting recipe


Classic buttercream frosting recipe -creamy, sweet and delicious! The perfect frosting for cupcakes, cookies and cakes.

I shared a similar version of this recipe when I posted my sugar cookies last year, but have tweaked it a little bit recently, so I thought I would share the updated version. This buttercream frosting recipe is perfect for making those fancy cupcakes you see in bakeries. It is so so good!

buttercream frosting

With buttercream frosting there is really 4 key ingredients: powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. It’s really all about the amounts you put in that will change the consistency. I usually like to stick with 2 sticks of butter and 4 cups of powdered sugar as a starting point. If I’m making cookies, I like my frosting a little thinner, but with cupcakes I like it pretty thick so it holds up really well. You just can’t go wrong with buttercream! Seriously… butter + powdered sugar….YUM!


Classic buttercream frosting recipe on -creamy, sweet and delicious! The perfect frosting for cupcakes, cookies and cakes.


Find the recipe for  these delicious chocolate cupcakes HERE.

Classic buttercream frosting recipe on -creamy, sweet and delicious! The perfect frosting for cupcakes, cookies and cakes.

Here is the cupcakes frosted with the 1m tip. See how perfectly the frosting holds up? Love it! Plus it so so yummy! I could lick the frosting straight from the bowl! ;)

Classic buttercream frosting recipe on -creamy, sweet and delicious! The perfect frosting for cupcakes, cookies and cakes.


Looking for more desserts with frosting? You’ll love these too:

Strawberries and cream cake

strawberry cake

The BEST orange sweet rolls 

Orange sweet rolls on I Heart Nap Time

Neapolitan cupcakes

neopolitan cupcakes


Making this recipe? Don't forget to rate the recipe below and tag #iheartnaptime on Instagram. Thank you! XO

Classic buttercream frosting

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttercream frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 136 kcal
Author: Jamielyn
Classic buttercream frosting recipe -creamy, sweet and delicious! The perfect frosting for cupcakes, cookies and cakes.


  • 2 sticks butter (salted, softened)
  • 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 teaspoons of cream or milk


  1. In a large mixing bowl whip the butter. Slowly add in 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add the vanilla and 1 more cup of powdered sugar and continue mixing. At this point you may need to add a teaspoon or two of milk to thin the frosting down. Add in your last cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add more or less milk depending on the consistency. You want the frosting to be thick, creamy and to be able to hold a point.
Nutrition Facts
Classic buttercream frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 136 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 134mg 6%
Potassium 4mg 0%
Vitamin A 9.4%
Calcium 0.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

of I Heart Naptime

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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65 comments on “Classic buttercream frosting recipe”

  1. My gosh this looks incredible. My mom always told me that buttercream frosting is the very best but I have never made any before. Im totally pinning this to make later!

  2. Does the cake have to be kept refrigerated since the frosting has milk in it?

  3. I want to make these cupcakes using your buttercream frosting. I need to add food coloring though. Is that going to mess up the texture and/or flavor??? I’m doing a rainbow themed birthday party and need frosting in every color.

    • Hi Kelly! I think that it will work well if you add food coloring, I would just use it in moderation! The flavor should pretty much stay the same, but I have heard that if you add too much liquid coloring it could change the texture a little bit in buttercream frosting. Let us know how it goes! :)

    • Kelly, use the gel colors. Wilton and AmeriColor are both brands you should be able to easily find. I prefer the AmeriColor because it’s in an easy to use squeeze bottle. You’ll need a lot less of it to achieve the color you want and it won’t change the consistency or taste. (I realize you have probably already made whatever it was when you asked but I thought it might help for future reference)

  4. These look great, but how much Kilogram would a stick of butter and a cup of powdered sugar be? I use the european system :p

  5. Hi! I’m going to use this frosting for cupcakes. About how many cupcakes will this recipe frost? Thanks:)

  6. Can you tell me how many cupcakes this recipe will frost? Thanks :)

  7. Hi, I am about to make the cupcakes now for my 2 yr old bday party tomorrow and next will be the frosting. I noticed cream of milk in the frosting recipe. What is cream of milk? Is it just heavy cream?

  8. Wow! I just made this for a chocolate cake I’m serving for dessert tonight. Tastes heavenly! I don’t know why I’ve been scared to make frosting all these years…this was easy!

  9. How would you alter this recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting? I would like to use it for a cookie cake. Thanks!

    • Hi Esther! I haven’t tried altering this recipe to a chocolate buttercream, but you could add in 1 Tb. of cocoa powder at a time until you get the taste you want! :)

  10. This frosting looks perfect! How many cupcakes will it frost? thanks!

  11. Do you use salted or unsalted butter for your butter cream?
    Just curious if the salted would make it taste to salty.

  12. Do you use frozen or fresh strawberries for the Icing?

  13. If I use this on the cake and then put fondant over it, would it be okay not refrigerated? Or if I have to keep it in the fridge would that mess up the fondant? Thanks!

    • Hi Heather! I haven’t used fondant very often, so I’m not sure. I have heard that refrigerating fondant will make it start to melt and others who haven’t had a problem with it. I always refrigerate my cream cheese frosting if it will be out for more than a few hours. If possible, I would add the fondant a few hours before and you won’t have to worry about refrigerating it. :)

  14. Hey! I just tried this recipe and it is great! The amount is perfect and it tastes delicious! Good Job and Thanks for sharing :)

  15. Do you use real butter, or margarine in the buttercream frosting?

  16. Just tried this recipe and it was so easy to follow and the buttercream is incredible! I didn’t need to use the milk at all, and the consistency was perfect. I did sift most of the powdered sugar and because it’s summer, I know the heat in the room helped with the softness. I also left my butter out for a couple of hours to soften. Thanks for posting this amazing recipe! My only question is storage. How long will it last and what’s the best way to store it? Thank you!!!

  17. Do you use salted or unsalted butter?  This recipe is so super easy I definitely want try it!!  Thanks for sharing and the instructions for placing it on those cupcakes!  

  18. Wanted to decorate a carrot cake  for my daughters first birthday and was going to try to use this frosting…. Do you think it is stiff enough to do so, I’ve never done one before so I’m talking simple decorating I’m not a pro, LOL. Thinking doing something w a decorating tip or like a rosette design, so basically wanted to know the consistency of this frosting, Thank you!

  19. Hi how many grams of the ingredients would this be, I’m in Australia and our standard stick of butter would be 250g??

    • Hi Panna! I tried to figure it out and this is what I got: 500 grams of powdered sugar, 226 grams of butter, 8.4 grams of vanilla, and 2-4 grams of milk! Hope that helps. :)

  20. Perfect thanks! Wanted to know if you can make icing up ahead time and cover in fridge  covered then use following day????? Also once u frost cupcakes and cake do they need to stay in fridge or out on counter room temp better!???? Thank you

  21. I wanted to know this vanilla is vanilla essence or vanilla ice cream or what?

  22. Hi, I love this recipe! First time I have made buttercream icing (I ususally buy it) and it is sooo easy! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Stephanie my Mom had a great simple recipe she used to put on her angel food cakes. She passed away years ago and wish I could find it.  Will try this one. I remember tasting the sugar granuales, so not sure if powder  sugar would be it or regular sugar? Or combo?  Max cited to see if this is it 

  24. hiya jamielyn can u use unsalted butter for the butter cream frosting 

  25. Just made this and will never stray from it for the rest of my life! My mom taught me to make this, but I only remember throwing the ingredients together without measuring. So, my end result always tasted like confectioners sugar & I’d try to tweak the amount of vanilla and cream to improve it. Duh! It needed the BUTTAH!!! Thanks for saving my frosting & showing me a better way! :-) 

  26. I’m sorry, but please don’t post recipes that are horrible on your website. Me and my sister tried this recipe, it tasted like pure butter. Disgusting..we followed all of the steps and used the exact amount of ingredients. We put more butter and vanilla and what not after we tried the recipe. To cover up the horrible taste. Why do you need that much butter? Two sticks is too much. I should not have picked this website for making icing now I have to buy 2 sticks of butter that were wasted. After this website I looked at some other websites (that I should have used) and the ingredients were only 1/2 stick butter. If this disgusting recipe worked for you, tell me what I did wrong. We’re now in such a bad mood, thanks. And by the way we aren’t even icing the cupcakes anymore. This has ruins my liking for vanilla buttercream frosting

    • Hi Jennifer! I’m sorry you did not enjoy this frosting recipe. Every time I have made this recipe it has had the perfect combination of butter and powdered sugar. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  27. sarah alvarez Reply

    What kind of frosting is hold enough to make roses for cakes .

  28. Should I store the cupcakes with buttercream frosting in the fridge?

    • Hi Ann! This is a personal preference. I don’t store buttercream if in the fridge unless it’s not going to be eaten over the next 48 hours. If I do put it in the fridge, I take it out at least an hour before I want to eat it. Hope that helps! :)

  29. Absolutely delicious!!!!!!! It was so easy to make too!!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  30. William Ronney Williams Reply

    This recipe for buttercream is one i have used many times and the variations you can do with it are endless…..i have fine added finely chopped fruit and stirred it into the mix and piped onto cupcakes (the kids love em)in fact one time i used fresh pineapple very finely chopped and filled a sponge with it Heaven on a cake so to speak.x

  31. hey Jamielyn! how much frosting does this recipe make? i just need to frost 1 dozen cupcakes, so wondering if I should halve this recipe….

  32. Can you please provide the frosting recipe that is shown in the video?  The video shows cream cheese.  Thanks! Also wondering if you actually bake the cupcakes in the parchment squares, like is shown at the end of the video.

  33. Is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made I have gotten so many compliments of they have never had such a great chocolate cake I’m going to try your butter cream on the top of it hope it turns out thank you for the recipe

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