American Buttercream Frosting {Recipe}

Often the most beloved element of a cupcake is the frosting.  A good frosting can elevate a simple cupcake to a delicious, rich dessert.  Classic American buttercream is surprisingly easy to make, and can be adjusted to your personal preferences using added flavorings, and adjusting the ratio of the ingredients.  American buttercream is simply a combination of butter, powdered sugar, vanilla (or other flavoring), and usually a bit of milk or cream- that’s pretty much it!   The frosting I love to use the most often is my Cream Cheese Frosting, which is simply a variation on American Buttercream, with some cream cheese added.  Free free to play with this recipe and adjust it to your palate.  This is a very sweet, classic frosting that pairs well with most any flavor of cupcake.

American Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (salted, or unsalted)
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (best quality available)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half or milk.

*Optional- As mentioned above, I like a cream cheese version of this frosting best.  The cream cheese adds to the creamy texture, and cuts down on the sweetness just a bit.  If desired, for a very light cream cheese flavor add 1/2 block (4 oz). cream cheese, leaving the other ingredients (as listed above) the same.  For a more traditional cream cheese flavor, reduce the butter to 1/2 cup, and add 1 block (8 oz.) of cream cheese.  If using a full block of cream cheese, you can reduce the cream or milk to 1 tablespoon total.

Flavoring options– An almost unlimited number of flavoring options can be added in addition to, or instead of the vanilla.  Orange and/or lemon zest, citrus extracts, mint extract, coconut extract or the seeds of a vanilla bean are all wonderful options.  In most cases I’ll still add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, then 1/2 teaspoon of the other flavoring.  For zest, add about 1 teaspoon fresh zest.  For chocolate buttercream, add 1/2 cup (good quality) unsweetened cocoa powder.

* In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter (on medium speed) until completely smooth (30 seconds to a minute). (If you are adding cream cheese, add it now, then beat until smooth)
* Add salt (if needed).
* One cup at time, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating after each addition.
* Add vanilla, or other flavorings and beat to combine.
* Add about 1 tablespoon of cream, and continue beating.
* Add the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, one at a time.
* Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons cream until desired consistency is reached.  If you want to pipe the frosting on cupcakes, the frosting should be nice and thick.  Continue to beat another minute or so.  The frosting should now be smooth and fluffy.

* If your frosting is not smooth, it is likely because the butter was not fully smooth before adding the other ingredients.
* If your frosting will not hold up when piped on cupcakes, your frosting has too much liquid or is too warm.  Put entire bowl of frosting in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and it will stiffen up.  If it is still too thin, then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar, beat well.

Recipe Source-  American buttercream first appeared in cookbooks in the early 1900’s (here’s a little buttercream history)  Countless sources since then have included very similar versions, always using some combination of butter (or shortening), powdered sugar, milk and flavoring.  The recipe above is simply the proportions I like to use.

Try this classic frosting on top of my favorite Vanilla Cupcakes or Chocolate Cupcakes.

Happy frosting!

Simply PERFECT buttercream frosting! You'll use this recipe again and again!
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212 Responses to “American Buttercream Frosting {Recipe}”

  1. #
    Marilyn — August 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I'm going to put this in my file for future reference. When I make frosting, I use the dump method and don't measure. The cupcakes look so yummy! We served some at my daughter's wedding in July and filled them with divine raspberry cream filling. YUM!♥♫

  2. #
    Raina — August 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Beautiful cupcakes! The frosting sounds great:)

  3. #
    Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) — August 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I love the blue color. I have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #
    Kristan — August 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    LOve this frosting recipe!! It's pretty much the same as my go to frosting (I could make it in my sleep) and ALWAYS a winner.

    Your cupcakes looks just beautiful…love the colors!!

  5. #
    Doodle — August 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Again, so beautiful. You are incredibly talented. The colour combination is so pretty – the cupcakes, liners, and frosting all look perfect. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. #
    Christina @ Cookies are my Canvas — August 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Just beautiful blue! Thank you soooo much for this! I was just looking for a buttercream frosting this afternoon for a cake for my daughter in a couple of weeks! I'm going to make a pink ruffle cake (attempt it!!) and an Eiffel tower on top with royal icing! At least try! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity and ideas with us! *Ü*

  7. #
    Ana MF — August 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I've always been terrible at making frosting!!

  8. #
    Stephanie — August 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I love your cupcake series! It is so helpful! :)

  9. #
    Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) — August 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I love this recipe! It's tried and true. Your pictures are stunning…as always.

  10. #
    Cathy — August 8, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Is powdered sugar what we call icing sugar in Australia?

  11. #
    cookies and cups — August 8, 2011 at 4:56 am

    The world is a better place after this post.
    It is of my firm belief that everyone should make their own buttercream and never, ever buy canned frosting again.

  12. #
    Pat O'Donnell Kuhn — August 8, 2011 at 7:37 am

    last week I made your vanilla cupcakes and used the cream cheese frosting. excellent!!!!!!

  13. #
    Anonymous — August 8, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I am so thankful and happy that you are sharing such wonderful frosting and cupcake recipes….they sound fantastic! As soon as I get my painting project done, (my son's room), I'm going to give them a try! I agree with everyone else…you are such a talented person!!!! Everything you make is so beautiful and stunning!!!! Thank you for having this blog! Jodie

  14. #
    Kelly @ Kell's Kitchen — August 8, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Like your cupcakes! Thanks for this post.

  15. #
    Glory/ Glorious Treats — August 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Cathy- Yes, powdered sugar and icing sugar are the same. =)

  16. #
    Cecilia — August 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I want to eat one of these right now! Yum!
    Love you,

  17. #
    hankerie — August 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Glory, I like your cupcake frosting. This is always I would like to try. May I know what is "half and half milk"? Thanks :)

  18. #
    mollyt — August 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I have a problem with my buttercream frosting separating when I use it for decorating. I have not tried your recipe…usually use the one in the Betty Crocker cookbook. Any suggestions?

  19. #
    Tina — August 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you for the recipe. I always use Italian meringue buttercream as with the American buttercream I make, you can feel the gritiness when you eat it. I live in Greece so not sure if the buttercream should be gritty or if I'm doing something wrong. Any advice would be appreciated :)

  20. #
    Glory/ Glorious Treats — August 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Mollyt- Most any recipes with similar proportions to this one will work fine, if the icing is separating, I would guess that your butter is too warm. The butter should be cool or cold.

    Tina- You are correct, American buttercream can be bit gritty. The addition of cream cheese, as I prefer helps with this a lot. Also, making sure to beat the frosting for a good few minutes helps too. Although it will never be as smooth as Italian buttercream.

  21. #
    Tina — August 12, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Thanks, I will try beating it a bit longer and see if there is a difference. I tried your recipe last night with the cream cheese addition and I ate most of it before decorating the cupcakes :) Very yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. #
    RA — August 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    So nice of you to share a video with us, thank you. For the blue frosting, which is an open round tip, do you make 3 circles, one on top of each other, are you starting on the inside our outside? Would you consider doing a video on this one? It's the one I have the most difficulty with.

    Again thanks so much!

  23. #
    Glory/ Glorious Treats — August 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    @RA- These blue cupcakes were frosted exactly as shown in the video… from the outside, spiraling in toward the center.

  24. #
    Karissa {Tragic and Lovely} — August 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Your cupcakes look picture-perfect. And that frosting sounds oh-so-yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

  25. #
    Amanda — August 15, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Oh yes, I love that recipe! Its virtually identical to mine. I cant help but love a rich thick buttercream!

  26. #
    west05 — August 20, 2011 at 7:31 am

    These look so good! Where do you get your cupcake liners? I'm having a cupcake party for my daughter next month and these purple ones are beautiful :)

  27. #
    Emily — August 26, 2011 at 3:55 am

    These look so good! Love buttercream frosting!!

  28. #
    arrtor — August 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. #
    arrtor — August 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    this looks gorgeous – just wondering approximately cupcakes you guess this would ice? i am making 140 cupcakes for an upcoming wedding of friends, and am trying to estimate how much icing/how many batches to make. (the wedding is out of town, and i have to get the icing ready at home before i leave….). any advice/estimates would be greatly appreciated!

  30. #
    Naheed — September 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Glory, where do you get your cupcake liners from? Your cupcake liners show no grease at all, they are so well dressed :-)
    Have been looking everywhere for grease free liners.

  31. #
    Anonymous — September 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I am planning to use this recipe to frost cupcakes. I'm only concerned about the weather, it's for a party during summer. Can I use the same recipe for hot weather or do you recommend something else?

    I have tried your vanilla cupcakes, they are the best I ever made. Thank you for sharing your perfect recipe.

  32. #
    Occasional Everything — September 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    When you use a frosting with butter do you leave it sit out at room temperature or refrigerate it? I've heard refrigerating a cake dries it out

  33. #
    Margaret — September 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    How many cups of frosting does this yield?

  34. #
    Courty Biggs — October 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Those are so super duper cute!

  35. #
    Ashley — October 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

    This looks great! I'm wondering if this could be made into a strawberry frosting. I have seen recipes with strawberry preserves added to flavor them. Do you think this would work?

  36. #
    Anonymous — November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am

    What type of tip did you use to get the frosting to look smooth instead of a star point?

  37. #
    Emashka — November 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Lovely cupcakes! What piping tip did you use?
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I tried it and it was loved by all! Best, Emashka

  38. #
    Anonymous — November 20, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Lovely cupcakes! What piping tip did you use?
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I tried it and it was loved by all! Best, Emashka

  39. #
    CuriousJess — December 2, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Hi I love your site I plan on making your vanilla and chocolate cupcakes today and a batch of this icing. 2 questions how many cupcakes will this cover? and can I make the icing today and store it until tomorrow because I plan on icing after I get to the site? Thanks

  40. #
    mandnu — January 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    What tip do you use in the picture for the frosting?

  41. #
    Laci Sullivan — January 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    How many cupcakes can you frost with this recipe?


  42. #
    connie — January 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I love your posts. I haven´t tried this recipe yet but I will soon and let you know how it goes.

  43. #
    NongNattha — January 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    i think this buttercream frosting is too sweet for me. what can i do to make it less sweet?? (reduce powder sugar n add more butter???) any suggestion

  44. #
    Nathan and Katie — January 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    FAV icing recipe ever, I use the heavy cream. What tip did you use for the picture?

  45. #
    Tina — January 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I made this yummy buttercream today with the cream cheese. I used regular butter so did not add salt. I made this recipe just as it is but without any liquid or milk. I live in Florida so I like my frosting to be thicker to hold up better. I made two batches and this recipe is my new go to buttercream. It's part buttercream and part cream cheese. It's the best of both. I would not change anything about this recipe. It's fantastic. I made both batches sat the bowl in the refrigerator until ready to frost my cupcakes. Perfect!!!! Oh and they pipe just like buttercream without the added liquid. I did use the vanilla and that was the only liquid I used.

  46. #
    Valerie — February 8, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Can you use margarine instead of butter? Thanks for any help :)

  47. #
    samay — February 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Do I need to add food coloring to get that beautiful blue color?

  48. #
    Andrea — February 10, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I found this recipe on pinterest. I am going to try this the next time I make cup cakes. Thanks for sharing. I am now following your blog. When you get a chance check out my blog

  49. #
    Anonymous — February 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    This is almost the same as my buttercream frosting that my mom used to make. It is wonderful! Thanks!

  50. #
    Shannon — February 12, 2012 at 6:19 am

    What tip did u use and what brand of liners are the purple ones? They look amazing

  51. #
    Brooklyn — February 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    how many cups of frosting does it make? thanks 😀

    sounds yummy by the way!!

  52. #
    Anonymous — February 24, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Hi Gloria

    I am from Australia – can I ask why you add salt to the frosting? I use unsalted butter but have never heard of adding salt – mcan you taste the salt? many thanks

  53. #
    Angie Britt — February 26, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I just wanted to take a second and say thanks for posting such a beautiful blog!! My daughter's 7th birthday is today and I have been back to YOUR blog several times this past week! :) I LOVED your pink cake…the graduated color one…so beautiful! I made your favorite frosting this week-the cream cheese one. OH MY-Yummy! I've subscribed to your blog and I can't wait to learn more! I am a beginner as I have been into mostly papercrafts for the past 7 years! Oh, I found your blog through Pinterest! Have a wonderful day!

  54. #
    Anonymous — February 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    If I Were to use your cream cheese frosting to ice a birthday cake, would I still be able to use the paper towel method? (smoothing with a viva towel once chilled). Will the cream cheese frosting melt? Or does it stay in place like the buttercream?

  55. #
    Anonymous — March 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Your buttercream frosting is the first I've made from my recipe "pins" from pinterest and I am so impressed with the flavor and smoothness! Thank you for the little details in the blog that made a big difference. Can't wait to try another of your recipes! Thank you!

  56. #
    Caitlin — March 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I just made this, and it was dynamite! It is the best frosting I've made ever, and I've made a lot of different frostings trying to find the perfect one. Well, this is the perfect one. I added the 4 oz cream cheese, and it was wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  57. #
    Pearl — March 6, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Do you know if the cupcakes need to be refrigerated once they are frosted if I use cream cheese in it? If so, how long can they realistically sit out before eaten?

  58. #
    Hillary — March 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I am always on the search for the Holy Grail of frostings. I think I have found it. This was absolutely dreamy!

  59. #
    valentinegirl — March 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Loved your American buttercream! Yummy and easy amounts. I frosted 16 cupcakes with my batch, with a very generous amount on each one. Yum! I will try a little cream cheese next time!

  60. #
    Anonymous — March 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    This recipe is delicious! I only put in about 3 cups of powdered sugar because I didn't think it needed that extra cup and they were still super sweet and yummy!

  61. #
    Anonymous — March 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    If you used table salt, and your buttercream looks grainy, try dissolving the salt in whatever liquid you plan to use in your frosting.

  62. #
    Shana — April 5, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I used this amazing recipe for one of my baking adventures. Thanks for the inspiration!

  63. #
    MDitslear — April 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    WHat tip did you use on these?

  64. #
    Anonymous — April 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    This looks frosting looks perfect! Do you use this same frosting for cakes? I am looking for a good buttercream for birthday cake decorating.

  65. #
    MarineWifeKatie23 — April 18, 2012 at 3:49 am

    This frosting recipe was a HUGE success in my home the other day!!! It was a little too soft and runny…and adding more powdered sugar didn't help…but I am definitely going to keep tweaking it cause it was soooo good! Thank you! Oh…and your vanilla cupcake recipe is by far the BEST I have made yet! The oil is definitely the secret key!

  66. #
    Di — April 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I have a question: How long can I store butter cream frosting if I make it ahead? Do you store it in the refrigerator?

    Thanks for the great recipes! I have made you vanilla cupcakes many times now and the butter cream frosting also. I sure enjoy your site!

  67. #
    Julia — April 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I made this frosting for the first time today and it came out so good!! I was delicious and everyone enjoyed it! Thank you for posting your recipe.

  68. #
    Anonymous — April 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    This frosting and vanilla cake recipe cake out perfect for a birthday cake I made over the weekend. I always feel like from scratch recipes are going to be so much work, but the recipes were easy to follow and the results were worth it! Thanks.

  69. #
    HurleyHouse — May 7, 2012 at 7:45 am

    What is a good vanilla extract
    to buy? And where can I find it?

  70. #
    Tayaka — May 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    How many cupcakes does this recipe frost?

  71. #
    Michelle — May 13, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    May I please ask what you use to color your frosting? I am very new at this and am going to be making cupcakes for my daughters 1st birthday and want to make my frosting colors match my polka dot theme…. Help please

  72. #
    cgenovesi — May 14, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My daughter's birthday cupcakes turned out perfect. I made the cream cheese icing and everyone is raving about it.

  73. #
    Lisa — June 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I also would like to know how many cupcakes this will frost? I’m having a graduation party this Saturday for my son and will be using the perfectly chocolate and vanilla cupcake recipes. I’m planning on 48 cupcakes total.
    I will be coloring 24 yellow-gold and 24 blue.

    • Glory replied: — June 13th, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

      Lisa- It depend on how you frost the cupakes, but with an averal sized swirl (similar to what is pictured) you should be able to frost 18-24 cupcakes. You can always adjust the ingredients just a bit to make sure you have enough for 24 cupcakes in each color… maybe increase each ingredient amound by about 25% (you will likely end up with extra frosting this way… so you’ll have to use you best judgement). Happy Frosting!

  74. #
    Erin — June 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I made 75 cupcakes for my niece’s graduation and used the cream cheese variation of this icing and it got rave reviews! There were tons of treats there but everyone went out of their way to comment on how tasty the icing was. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  75. #
    lindsey dwelle — June 21, 2012 at 12:03 am

    How many cupcakes will this cover??

    • Glory replied: — June 21st, 2012 @ 1:32 am

      If you pipe a swirl similar to what is pictured, you should be able to frost 22-24 cupcakes.

  76. #
    Jennifer — June 30, 2012 at 2:07 am

    My butter cream NEVER turns out like this and it always tastes like butter! I’ve made butter cream twice and ended up throwing out the entire batch both times because it tasted too buttery and not sweet at all. I can’t get my butter cream to look like the picture above at all. HELP?

    • Glory replied: — June 30th, 2012 @ 3:07 am

      Jennifer- Have you tried this recipe, and followed my directions? This frosting is very sweet, in fact I usually add at least a 1/2 block of cream cheese to balance the sweetness. The most common mistake made when making frosting is using butter that is too warm, or adding too much liquid, so that the end result is too soft to pipe.

  77. #
    Ansa — June 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    How long will this keep in fridge? Can you freeze it?

    This is the BEST buttercream EVER!


    • Glory replied: — July 12th, 2012 @ 1:45 am

      Ansa- So glad you are enjoying the recipe! This should keep well in the fridge for at least a week. Just make sure there are no strong odors in your fridge that might effect the flavor of your frosting. This can be frozen as well, but should be brought back to room temperature and re-whipped for best texture.

  78. #
    Danielle — July 7, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe and the how-to’s. I used a double batch of this recipe with one block of cream cheese and it came out awesome. It’s still quite sweet but the cream cheese cut it down a bit. This is my first time decorating cupcakes and this was very easy to pipe. Mine came out a lot shinier for some reason but it looks nice both ways. I used the Wilton 1M tip and this held its shape very well on all the colors I used gel coloring in. It did get less crisp looking with liquid food coloring so I’ll stick to gel. I got 42 cupcakes frosted with the double batch with leftover frosting so for me the double batch would do 4 dozen (if I hadn’t run out of cake batter !)

  79. #
    Valerie — July 7, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Loved this frosting! :)

  80. #
    Hannah — July 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Wow the cupcakes turned out perfect…even after whisking the eggs (no beater!) and a too-hot oven 😀 thank you for posting your amazing recipes!

  81. #
    Charity — August 4, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I’ve been making your vanilla cupcakes with the plain American buttercream for 2 weeks. I’m still tweaking it trying to get it as perfect in pictures as yours ;-D They taste amazing!
    If you need a pure white frosting, do you substitute the butter with Cisco? If so, is that an equal substitution or do you increase or decrease the Crisco?
    For all those asking about the tip, I didn’t have any tips large enough and just used an empty standard Wilton coupler with great results.
    Thanks for doing all the legwork towards perfect cupcakes then sharing with all of us, Glory!

  82. #
    Lydia — August 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Does anyone have this in UK measurements? It looks perfect but I would need it in oz or grams! Many thanks! :):)

  83. #
    Lucy Jane — August 11, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Two really big thumbs up!, I tried many buttercream frostings for our twin boys 5th birthday party and this was hands down the best. Thank you!!!

  84. #
    semi — August 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    How many days in advance you can decorate cupcales with this frosting? How long can they be left outside the fridge in warm weather? I’m decorating cupcakes for my wedding and obviously can’t do it on the wedding day

  85. #
    Jill — August 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Just wanted to drop by and say thank you for the American Buttercream recipe and the chocolate cupcake recipe. I like to use baking as a casual math exercise for my 12 year old daughter (an excellent way to reinforce fractions!) and it helps when we find recipes our whole family enjoys. I’ve envied the creations on your website for over a year now and am inspired by your talent!

    Blessings, — Jill Welch

  86. #
    Nadine — August 27, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Best buttercream ever!! Thank you!!!

  87. #
    Sarah — August 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Just made this frosting, but I added food coloring to make a nice light orange and cinnamon to taste and it turned out absolutely delicious. I’m pairing it with a white cake recipe out of a Better Homes cook book and I’m going to add a bit of nutmeg into those for a combination of the two. Hoping for a nice cupcake to remind me of fall, and testing it out for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  88. #
    Jennifer — August 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I just tried making this frosting a few nights ago and the consistency did not turn out like the picture at all .. I even added the cream cheese. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong? My frosting doesn’t look like the picture at all. It looks too sugary and not thick enough. I whipped it up very good … HELP?!

    • Glory replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

      Hi Jennifer, Sorry it didn’t work out for you the first time. Make sure your butter and cream cheese are nice and cool, and beat the butter alone first, until smooth, then add the cream cheese and beat until smooth before adding the sugar. I’m not sure how it could look “sugary”, since the recipe calls for powdered sugar, which does not have granules big enough to see. If the frosting is too thin after it’s made (possibly if you home is warm or if a bit too much liquid was added), put the full bowl of finished frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes to an hour. It should be plenty firm enough to pipe by then. Best of luck!

  89. #
    mimi suraya — August 29, 2012 at 1:54 am

    can we cut down on the amount of sugar so that the frosting won’t be too sweet? btw, i LOVE your site. great pictures, great tips & techniques! thank you

    • Glory replied: — September 2nd, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

      Feel free to adjust the recipe and experiment to your tastes. If you want the recipe to be less sweet, I would first increase the butter, and/or add cream cheese.

  90. #
    Joan Morgan — September 21, 2012 at 12:57 am

    I am making cupcakes for my grandson’s 1st birthday and I finally found a website that was so helpful. I learned so much. I did a practice run earlier this week. I thought that your butter had to be warm, so I had mine sitting on the counter for at least 2 hours. I now know that after visiting your site the butter should still be cool. Also I learned that by adding the cream cheese this will cut back a little on the sweetness. I also watched your video on how to decorate cupcakes and it was very helpful. This will definitely be my go to site for cupcake recipe’s and great advice. I feel a little more confident now and I will be using your recipe’s and technique’s. Thank you so much!!

  91. #
    Kathy — September 26, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Can I get the ratio you used to get this beautiful teal blue? :) please and thank you!

    • Glory replied: — September 28th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

      This frosting is made from using 1 or 2 drops of Americolor sky blue coloring.

  92. #
    Anonomous — September 26, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Any advice on how to dye the frosting red? I use the Wilton food coloring and consistently end up with a deep pink color.

    • Glory replied: — September 28th, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

      It is very difficult to get a rich red color with Wilton coloring. I prefer to use Americolor brand, and I use the “super red” to get a true red. If all you have to work with is the Wilton brand, try adding a tiny bit of purple or burgandy to get a deeper color.

  93. #
    nicsugar — September 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I have made this frosting 2 times and it is simply the BEST! Which tip did you use to pipe them so beautifully?

  94. #
    Sarah Elizabeth — October 3, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I used it for my little girl’s birthday cake, and it was perfect even for a beginner like me!

    • Glory replied: — October 8th, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

      Sarah, You did such a beatiful job with the cake and the whole party! Thanks for sharing!

  95. #
    deb meiners — October 11, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Does this frosting need to be refrigerated? Im looking for a good filling for red velvet cupcakes without refrigeration?
    thank you

  96. #
    Lori — October 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Do you know if the new flavor packages that have come out can be added as a flavoring? Would you use a whole pack? I’ld like to try this with the cotton candy flavoring.

    • Glory replied: — November 12th, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

      I have not tried the flavor packets, but I’m sure they would work fine with this recipe. As with any flavoring, you could start with a small amount, taste it, then adjust to your tastes.

  97. #
    Katie — November 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I made this recipe for my cousins wedding cake, and also an additional 148 cupcakes. It was fabulous! I got a ton of compliments. It wasn’t too sweet and it was so smooth. I used the cream cheese version and it wasn’t too cream cheesy at all. It was perfect. I have another wedding this weekend and I am using the frosting for the cake again. It was a hit! Thank you thank you Thank you!

    • Glory replied: — November 28th, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

      Thanks for your sweet comments! So glad everyone enjoyed it!

  98. #
    Shiela — December 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

    how many cupcakes will this recipe cover?

    • Glory replied: — December 12th, 2012 @ 4:44 am

      If you frost them with a swirl similar to the photo you will be able to frost 20-22 cupcakes. It will cover quite a few more if you are just spreading the frosting on.

  99. #
    Shiela — December 13, 2012 at 2:34 am

    will the weather affect the stiffness of the frosting? I live in the Philippines and the weather here is kinda warm to hot

  100. #
    Cathy — December 17, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Can you use this on cut-out cookies? Is there a way to make it sos it will be stiff enough to hold up/dry to stack them between waxed paper, or not so much?

  101. #
    Julia — January 22, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I can’t wait to try it with your Vanilla Cupcake recipe. I’m making mini cupcakes for my sister’s baby shower. Quick question: When do you add coloring, at the end? Will food coloring work in a pinch? I just want a light yellow and don’t want to spring for a whole tube. of gel. Thanks!

  102. #
    Nadia — February 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Just finished making chocolate cupcakes with this frosting: the frosting was very easy to make, but I found it to be too sweet for my liking. I will use this recipe again, but will alter it slightly. thanks for the great recipe :)

  103. #
    Cathy Latragna — March 29, 2013 at 3:03 am

    I love this frosting and your website. You are great to share all this information with us. I am making 100 cupcakes for a bridal shower and I WILL only use your butter cream frosting because it is so good. Does it have to be refrigerated? The shower is at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday and I wanted to make them on Friday evening. Any suggestions to keep them fresh?

  104. #
    Elle Davidson — April 19, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    This frosting is so delicious and all of my friends love it. But it always turns out a little bit grainy, and I am looking for a smoother look. Does anyone know what may help? I do add the cream cheese to this recipe,

  105. #
    Samaiya — April 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Just tried this recipe I have never frosted anything before and this recipe was perfect I also used your frosting tutorial and I can’t believe how easy it was. Thank you!

    • Glory replied: — April 26th, 2013 @ 2:02 am

      Yay, so glad you enjoyed it!

  106. #
    Mindy — May 9, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Hello, I LOVE all your recipes listed, you are truly talented! I have a quick question though, will this recipe frost two round 9×9’s?

    • Glory replied: — May 18th, 2013 @ 3:03 am

      Yes =)

  107. #
    Nicole Smith — May 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Would you add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to make this a chocolate frosting?

  108. #
    Crystal Hampton — June 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Love this recipe!!! I found this last year at Thanksgiving just trying to find something that tasted similar to my Mother’s. Since then I have used it countless times and in several variations. Thanks Glory !!!

  109. #
    Eileen — June 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Hi! Wondering how your liners always look so colorful? My cupcakes end up attaching to the colorful liners and the colors get lost. Do you plop the finished cupcake in a fresh liner when baked and cooled? What is the secret? Thank you!

  110. #
    little bobby's — June 21, 2013 at 5:00 am

    hi! BTW thanks for this. I just wanna ask, will it work even if I’ll just use a whisk and my hands?

    • Glory replied: — June 24th, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

      I’m not sure that you could accomplish this recipe with much success without an electric mixer. I usually use a large stand mixer, but a smaller, hand held mixer would work as well.

  111. #
    Noor — June 30, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Thanks for sharing :)

  112. #
    Michele — July 5, 2013 at 1:36 am

    This is by far the best frosting I have ever tasted. I make them with the perfect cupcakes and I get rave reviews every time!

  113. #
    cloud1014 — August 13, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Thanks for sharing! How long would the buttercream frosting be good for if I leave it out at room temp?

  114. #
    Milena — September 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Hi ! I found your blog just a few days ago and already tried your vanilla cupcakes and they turned out just perfect! But I have one question about measures: could you please give us the measures in metric? Or at least cups in grams of butter, sugar and some ingredients that are frequently used. Thank you very much!

  115. #
    Rosalie — September 29, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I tried this frosting today on my cupcakes and it would not sit. It melted after a few seconds. The cupcakes where cooled completely.
    I made this recipe twice to see if I forgot something, but both the times where like this.

    Now I think it might be the weather. It is around 88 degrees here and we don’t have an AC. With the oven on it makes the kitchen even hotter, I did troubleshoot it but it has not use. As soon as it was out of the fridge and on the cupcake it started to melt

    Do you have any suggestions for me? I love the taste!

    PS: I only used 1 tbs heavy whipping cream

  116. #
    N.N. — November 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Hi, I’m a young aspiring baker and this website is soooo simple and easy to follow. :) I’m so happy I can find ideas and recipes thanks to you. I’m sure you’ll help make my dreams come true as a successful baker :) xxxx


  117. #
    Jenny Hantz — January 31, 2014 at 8:53 am

    how many gr of butter is the amount?

    • Glory replied: — February 19th, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

      Hi Jenny,
      I use American measurements, feel free to use google to find a conversion chart to metric if you need.

      Happy baking!

  118. #
    Danielle — February 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Hi there,

    I am getting ready to make this cake, and thought it would be nice to spend some time in advance making the frosting. How long do you think you can keep it for?


    • Glory replied: — February 19th, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

      Hi Danielle, Usually I prefer to make the frosting right before use. If you do make the frosting in advance, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, then allow it to come up to almost room temperature and re-beat it a bit to get a nice fluffy texture.

  119. #
    Jennifer Sipes — February 8, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I love the look of your cupcakes! I am curious … the cake appear relatively flat, but the buttercream is nice & puffed. How do you pipe such a nice dollop of buttercream without the cupcake having a large dome on top?


  120. #
    Stacia — March 30, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe! I’ve never made homemade frosting before and it turned out perfect! I will never buy canned frosting again.

  121. #
    JOY — April 21, 2014 at 4:59 am

    Hi Glory, the measurement you indicated for the powdered sugar is 4 cups, what is the equivalent value in grams? And if I do not want to use heavy cream can I use milk or water? What do you mean by half and half? Thanks

    • Glory replied: — April 21st, 2014 @ 5:30 am

      Hi Joy, Feel free to use google to find a good conversion chart to convert the measurements. I use American measurements and I’m not sure what the metric conversion would be. Half and half is sold just as that “half and half” and is half milk and half heavy cream. If you do not have cream, feel free to use milk, although it is much thinner, so you will likely not need as much.

  122. #
    Ashley — May 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Hi there! I know this is an older post of yours but I am so excited to try this for an icing for my daughter’s 1st birthday cake! What did you use to accomplish that gorgeous sky blue color? I was thinking of purchasing gel colors but didn’t know if it’s worth the extra dough! :)

    • Glory replied: — June 2nd, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

      Hi Ashley, The blue color is from Americolor brand and called sky blue. Generally you can purchase the little bottles of Americolor colors for $1.50 or so each.

  123. #
    Jackie — July 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Great tasting recipe! I was searching for a buttercream recipe that was easy to make…this was it. Everyone at my daughters 12th Bday raved about it:) It is definitely a keeper. Thank you!

  124. #
    Andrea — September 26, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Made this this morning … flavored with mint, added half block cream cheese – needed about another 2/3 cup sugar to be stiff enough (and only used 2T whole milk)… bright teal atop my daughter’s birthday cupcakes for school!

    Thanks to this and the perfect vanilla cupcakes, my search for the perfect combo is complete!!! THANK YOU! We’ll come back to this over and over through the years!

  125. #
    lisette wever — October 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    hi I live in aruba. will the buttercream hold as in aruba it is very very hot. I have to make 100 cupcaks but I want to make something diffrend because here they only decorate with icing sugar but I want to make something diffrend. can you please help me. I want to make 3 diffrend flavors of cupcakes. these are for charity. pls can you give me some urg advice. thank you very mutch

  126. #
    Cheryl — November 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    What is the food color formula for the aqua frosting on the glorious cupcakes?

  127. #
    Mandee — January 10, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Just made this for my daughters birthday for cupcakes, probably the best recipe I have found! Pipes beautifully! And tastes great!! I love this recipe!

  128. #
    rachel — March 6, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Such a beautiful butter cream recipe! Those photos make me want to have a lick!

  129. #
    Lina — March 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I made this frosting yesterday and used it on cupcakes, it’s great! So delicious and it didn’t have that greasy feeling from the frosting made with shortening. It held up perfect through the evening and I received many compliments on it. Thanks for a great recipe!

  130. #
    Cate — April 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Just made this last night, absolutely LOVED it. Before it was even on the cupcakes, my boyfriend and I couldn’t stop eating it by itself :-) This will be my go-to buttercream recipe now for cupcakes. I used milk instead of cream, and a little less cream cheese, but the consistency was perfect to decorate Easter cupcakes with. Thank you!!

  131. #
    Erica — April 15, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    How many cupcakes will this recipe cover ?

    • Glory replied: — May 14th, 2015 @ 1:51 am

      When piped as pictured, I can usually frost 20-24 cupcakes.

  132. #
    anisa — May 13, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    how can you post a recipe without the serving size??

    • Glory replied: — May 14th, 2015 @ 1:54 am

      I assume the question you really meant to ask is “would you please mind sharing how much this recipe makes?”
      When the frosting is piped as pictured I can usually frost 20-24 cupcakes. If you are spreading the frosting on cupcakes, you’ll be able to cover many more.
      You can also frost and fill a 2 layer 8″ cake with one batch of this frosting.
      Happy baking!

  133. #
    Kelsey — May 14, 2015 at 2:54 am

    I was wondering what you used to achieve that shad of blue in the frosting? Thank you!

  134. #
    Lizette Ruiz — June 17, 2015 at 1:09 am

    I am in the process of taking a decorating buttercream class and just ran into your website…. beautiful and very helpful… Thank you for all your tips…. If I may I will like to ask you a question…. For this buttercream recipe… more or less how many cupcakes does it decorate…. I have to decorate about 310 cupcakes …. Thank you in advance for your help…

    Lizette Ruiz
    A baker in training

  135. #
    Rumi — July 12, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Hi Andrea, Really nice cupcakes. thanks for the recipe ……..

  136. #
    Shan — September 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Can I use this on a two layered cake?

  137. #
    Tina — October 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Is this frosting something I can make ahead of time? How long is it good for in the fridge? Thanks!

  138. #
    roxy — November 11, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    How far ahead can this frosting be made? Thank you :)

  139. #
    Shauna — December 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Does this icing have to go in the fridge after being made or can it sit at room temp for a day ?

  140. #
    kentckylady717 — February 8, 2016 at 2:12 am

    OMG Your cupcakes and the icing on them are so beautiful and so delicious looking…..just found your blog and I did subscribe…
    Also tried to subscribe to “The Baked Equation” for her Butterscotch Cookies , but was unable to… kept saying email in use !!! I have never seen this before and I subscribe to blogs all the time…..could you email her and have her to put me on her blog list ? I’d appreciate it…..I love Butterscotch anything….I did not see the cookie recipe on your blog…..did you have one ? I saw where you could purchase them on her blog……

    Thank You,

  141. #
    kentckylady717 — February 8, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Hi Glory,
    I just emailed you but have another question, do you just use blue food coloring for the color,? It is such a pretty blue……
    I did see the recipe, but nothing about blue food coloring……


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