Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Learn how to make buttercream frosting with this easy tutorial. This is the BEST recipe for homemade buttercream, it pipes perfectly, and makes a great base for other frosting flavors too!

A single cupcake topped with buttercream frosting on top of brown parchment paper.

Today we’re covering how to make buttercream frosting. Actually, we’re covering just how EASY it is to make your own frosting right at home. If you’ve been buying store-bought, you’ll want to ditch it after seeing just how easy it is to make your own.

I originally published this recipe in January of 2017, but decided it was finally time to update it with better instructions and more information. In today’s post, I’m breaking down everything you need to know about how to make the best buttercream frosting.

This recipe also makes a great base for so many different flavor variations. The possibilities are really endless, but I’ve included four different variations for you to try!

The ingredients needed to make a batch of buttercream frosting laid out in dishes on a gray surface.


This easy buttercream frosting uses just 5 ingredients – butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Here’s a simple overview of each ingredient:

  • Butter: I use unsalted butter in all of my recipes because the amount of salt in salted butter can vary quite a bit between different brands. By using unsalted butter, you control the amount of salt in your recipe. Make sure to use actual butter too and not a butter substitute like margarine. 
  • Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar, this helps to thicken and sweeten the frosting. It’s best to sift the powdered sugar beforehand, but if I’m being honest I usually skip the extra step.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream work best in this recipe. You can replace it with milk, but keep in mind that the frosting won’t be quite as creamy. 
  • Vanilla Extract: This adds a little bit of flavor to the frosting. I recommend using pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. You can even use different extracts like mint, almond, lemon, etc. 
  • Salt: This helps to balance out the sweetness of the frosting. I stick with just a tiny pinch of table salt, you don’t need very much at all!


Learn how to make buttercream frosting with this easy tutorial. This is the BEST recipe for homemade buttercream, it pipes perfectly, and makes a great base for other frosting flavors too!



  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Tiny pinch of salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed at first, then increase to medium speed and continue mixing for 1 to 2 minutes or until fully combined.
  • Add the heavy cream (start with 2 tablespoons and add a little more if needed), vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing on medium speed until everything is well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Use the frosting to pipe onto cupcakes or frost a cake or cover tightly and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.


Storage Instructions: Frosting can be made 1 to 2 days in advance, cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting cupcakes/cakes.

Freezing Instructions: Frosting will also freeze well up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting cupcakes/cakes.

Heavy Cream: You may replace the heavy cream with milk, but keep in mind that the frosting won’t be quite as creamy.

Recipe Variations

  • Vanilla: For a vanilla buttercream frosting, I like to add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract to amp up the vanilla flavor.
  • Chocolate: Sift 1/2 cup (40 grams) of unsweetened cocoa powder and mix it into the frosting base until well combined. Add 1 to 2 extra tablespoons of heavy cream if needed for a smoother, creamier frosting. For a sweeter frosting, mix in an additional 1/2 to 1 cup (60 to 120 grams) of powdered sugar.
  • Caramel: Mix in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of homemade or store-bought caramel sauce. For a salted caramel frosting, you can use salted caramel and omit the salt in the recipe. 
  • Strawberry: Add a 1-ounce bag of freeze dried strawberries to a blender or food processor and process until the berries are crushed into a fine powder. Mix the freeze dried strawberry powder into the frosting base until well combined.

By uvu44

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *