Classic Buttercream Frosting Recipe – Creamy, sweet and delicious! The perfect frosting for cupcakes, cookies and cakes. This buttercream frosting will become one of your staple recipes when baking!
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!
This buttercream frosting is so delicious and is perfect on cupcakes, cakes, cookies…you name it. And it’s so easy too. It’s been a staple for me over the years and can be used on so many different dessert recipes.
With buttercream frosting, there are really 4 key ingredients: powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. It’s all about the amounts you put in that will change the consistency of the buttercream. 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! So light and fluffy.
How to make buttercream frosting
This homemade buttercream frosting is so simple to whip up! Remember that in order to change the consistency based on what you’re using this buttercream frosting for, it’s all about the amounts used. Just add more or less milk depending on the consistency you’re aiming for.
- Whip the butter in a large mixing bowl.
- Slowly add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Next 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.
- Then add in your last cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add more or less milk depending on the consistency. You want the buttercream frosting to be thick, creamy and able to hold a point.
Favorite ways to use buttercream frosting recipe
Cupcakes: My absolute favorite way to use buttercream icing is on cupcakes, especially chocolate cupcakes! The frosting holds up so well on them. I use a 1m tip to frost my cupcakes. If using a tip, the buttercream frosting recipe will frost between 12-15 cupcakes. If spreading with a knife, it will frost about 24 cupcakes.
Cakes: This buttercream recipe is perfect for cakes! I love to create variations like chocolate and strawberry buttercream and use them in my layered Neapolitan cake. A common question I get is “Do you have to refrigerate a cake with buttercream frosting?” The answer is no, the cake will be fine at room temperature for several hours. I usually refrigerate any leftover cake just to be safe.
Bars: The buttercream frosting tastes amazing on sugar cookie bars as well.
Frequently asked questions about buttercream frosting
How long can buttercream frosting sit out? This is a personal preference, but I let my buttercream frosting sit out at room temperature for up to 48 hours. If it’s not going to be used before 48 hours, then I’ll store in the refrigerator. Before serving, I’ll take it out of the fridge and let sit out for at least an hour to soften.
Will buttercream melt at room temperature? The buttercream icing will not melt if stored at room temperature. If the temperature gets warm and humid, that’s when the buttercream will most likely begin to melt.
Does homemade buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated? I only refrigerate my homemade buttercream frosting after 48 hours. If I’m using it before then, I’ll let it sit out at room temp.
Can I make buttercream with salted butter? Yes! I prefer to use salted butter when making buttercream. You can use unsalted butter too.
Can you freeze buttercream frosting? Yes. Store buttercream in an airtight container (I prefer freezer bags) in the freezer. To thaw, stick in the refrigerator over night.
Classic Buttercream Frosting
- 2 sticks butter (salted, softened)
- 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk , more as needed
- 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.