Easy Homemade Buttercream Frosting Recipe

homemade buttercream frosting

Store-bought frosting is convenient and easy but making homemade buttercream icing is just as simple and super tasty. Thick and dense with a silky texture, this American buttercream recipe is quick, easy, and delicious. It’s perfect for spreading or piping onto cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

As a guide, this single recipe is enough to frost a 9×13 cake, 12 cupcakes piped, or 18-24 cupcakes with the frosting spread on. Depending on how the cakes are frosted, or if icing a layer cake, the recipe will need to be doubled. The recipe can be made 2-3 days ahead of time, placed in a resealable plastic bag, and stored in the fridge. After using the icing, if there are leftovers, the buttercream can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, bring to room temperature (defrost for about 8 hours) and give it a quick mix to make the buttercream fluffy.

Vanilla extract was used in this recipe for a base flavor but other extracts can be substituted to alter the flavor. Extracts like almond, raspberry, orange, caramel, or maple would be delicious.

Here are a few tips to get you started to easily make buttercream at home.

  • Make sure the butter is not too soft. If it’s too soft and greasy, when whipped the buttercream may separate or look curdled.
  • Don’t have cream? Milk can be substituted but the buttercream may not be as creamy.
  • For tinting the buttercream, we like using gel colors (found at your local craft store). Their color is more vivid and less is needed.
  • If making the buttercream ahead of time, do not try to ice a cake with cold buttercream. Bring it to room temperature before using.


  • 1 cup room temperature salted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

How to Make Easy Homemade Buttercream

1. Gather ingredients.

2. Place softened butter in a mixing bowl.

3. With the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.

4. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar.

5. Beat on low until the butter and sugar are incorporated. Then, raise the speed to medium and mix for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

7. Beat on medium-high and check consistency. Add the additional tablespoon of cream if looking for a thinner buttercream.

8. If tinting the buttercream, with a toothpick, add gel food coloring a little at a time.

9. Stir well. Add more food coloring if the color is not intense enough.

10. Use this buttercream frosting to ice cupcakes, cookies, or your favorite cake.

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