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Homemade Buttercream Frosting

This 5 minute Homemade Buttercream Frosting is the best you’ll ever try! Rave reviews by everyone who has made it on how absolutely delicious it is! This will become your go to recipe guaranteed!

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Homemade Buttercream Frosting
Homemade Buttercream Frosting


When it comes to a good cake or cupcake, you can’t skimp on the frosting.

Frosting has the power to make or break and entire cake.

Forget what kind the cake is, chocolate, red velvet, vanilla, sweet potato – that is what it is.

And forget the filling.

All of that doesn’t matter if the first thing you taste is bad frosting.

The frosting though can either turn that delicious cake into an amazing cake or an Ehh cake.

This Homemade Buttercream Frosting will certainly take any cake or cupcake from generic to amazing.





I tend to be one of those people, when I attend a birthday or a wedding, will gingerly pick out the actual cake and eat that while leaving the frosting on my plate.

Are you with me?

Generally speaking formal cake frosting is packed with lard and Crisco and BLAH ingredients that taste more like wax to me than yummy frosting.

However, that isn’t the case with this frosting.

This frosting is simple to make, tastes EXACTLY like buttercream should and works well with any flavor of cupcake or cake.

You can use it as a filling between cake layers (though I HIGHLY recommend a flavored curd – like lemon, lime or raspberry (or any other flavor).

It also can be piped onto a cake and will hold it’s shape!

This is my favorite buttercream frosting recipe and I hope you’ll enjoy it too!





Homemade Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Frosting for 24 cupcakes


  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, blend butter until smooth & creamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add heavy whipping cream and blend well until full mixed in.
  5. Fill pipping bag and pipe onto cake or cupcakes.


Recipe Adapted from Food Network



95 thoughts on “Homemade Buttercream Frosting

    • Buttercream frosting is stable at room temperature for several days. However if you are are planning on eating your item over a long time frame then yes refrigerate it. OR if you have room in your fridge, it certainly doesn’t hurt to put it in the fridge. However, for a day or two, it is fine on the counter. Great question!

  1. How long would it keep for? Need to make cupcakes for a party and would like to do some stuff prior.
    Also, how many cupcakes would this frost?

    • Hi Rachel! This should keep well for about a week. If you make it ahead of time I’d cover it and keep it in the fridge. Then before let it sit out for about 30 minutes before frosting. If you are frosting cupcakes ahead of time, it will keep for several days. However, depending on your climate and humidity, the frosting can get quite crusty. I like to frost my cupcakes the day of the event.
      As far as how many cupcakes it will frost – for me I can get between 12 – 15 cupcakes frosted – HOWEVER I am GENEROUS with my frosting. I would think most people could get 24 cupcakes frosted with one batch, however I can’t say for sure depending on how generous you are. πŸ™‚

      I hope you enjoy!

  2. Hi I’ve just used this recipe and used Baileys instead of heavy cream to frost a chocolate cake. It tastes amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Christina, I honestly can’t tell you if it will or not. I’ve never tried. I generally just use it on cookies and cupcakes as it’s quite rare I make a full cake. However if you do try it please let us know if smoothing it out with a paper towel works. Sorry for not being able to answer your question.

  3. I’ve made butter cream before. Not sure what I did wrong. This did NOT work at all. I creamed 1 cup of unsalted butter. Slowly added 3 cups of homemade powdered sugar (Splenda) into the stand mixer and that’s where it went down hill… It just turned into small hard chunks??? I added the vanilla & cream hoping it would whip up, but now it’s just hard slimy mess. πŸ™ Any suggestions? Was it the powdered splenda?

    • Hi Pam! Your issue is definitely the splenda powdered sugar. I’ve never made homemade splenda powdered sugar but I know that with regular powdered sugar it works great. I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out. If using spenda powdered sugar, then you’ll have to eyeball it and go with your gut. Cut back on how much you use and only use enough until it creams together nicely.

    • Pam? Truvia (my favorite brand of calorie free unsweetened sugar type stuff), made from the Stevia Leaf, works PERFECTLY for all baked goods, as well as simple recipes like this one – I have never yet, in 8 or 9 tears if using, had a single failure in either. They also sell a blend, sugar AND Truvia – half and half) which you can also use in food prep, though I’m happy with the regular Truvia. Plus? You get NONE of the odd “fake” taste you do from Splenda. πŸ™‚

  4. This is my go-to buttercream frosting recipe. Even frosting haters will love this frosting as its not too sweet and light. I use unsalted butter and it works beautifully. The Bailey’s suggestion has me intrigued so I definitely see that in my future. Lastly, I’ve tried baking with Splenda before and it’s not a 1:1 ratio. Additionally, it just won’t have the same flavor. Perhaps cutting back or trying Stevia may work. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Denise those are all GREAT tips! I’m so glad you are a lover of this frosting too. It really is easy and delicious. Not a heavy frosting at all. I hope you’ll try a few of our other recipes too!

    • Hi Kim! I do not. I’m too impatient to sift! I’m too eager to lick the bowl! You can definitely sift the sugar if you’d like, but it will turn out great without sifting! Thanks for your question!

  5. Made this today for an Easter Cake. Easy and yum! My daughter and I added vanilla bean to one batch and coconut flakes to another… held up wonderfully with both additions! Thank you!

    • Hi! I am going to need more information. The sugar shouldn’t melt into the butter as it’s never heated up. It should just mix into the creamed butter. If you do it 1/2 cup at a time, you shouldn’t have any issues with it blending together smoothly. Can you give me more details. Are you using powdered sugar or granular sugar?

    • Yes you can. The flavor wont be as rich but it should work fine. πŸ™‚ I’d reduce it to 1 1/2 TBS of milk just because it’s thinner than cream. πŸ™‚

  6. Hiya… can I use normal whipping cream since I can’t find the heavy cream here in Spain ? xD

    And would ik be possible to heat the cream up & dissolve a bit of instant coffee granuls? Or should I just use a coffee extract?
    Or add a bit of fresh lemon juice instead of the whipping cream?

    I’m planning on making this frosting for some cupcakes to donate a charity, so I hope when I pipe it on the cupcakes it will stay firm πŸ˜€

    • Hi Danielle! In the states, Heavy Whipping Cream is what I’m guessing you would call Whipping Cream. So they should be the same. And if you can’t find it, then just use milk. πŸ™‚ I can’t help you on the Coffee question as I don’t drink coffee and honestly can’t tell you what would be better. It should work great for the cake as I’ve had others tell me it works great on cakes! Thank you so much for your questions and sorry to not respond right away. It’s been a VERY busy month! Enjoy!

    • Hi Sue! I’ve never tried it before, but I would add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and that should do the trick! If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  7. Will it still be good if I make the colored icing the night before I decorate the cake? I’ve always made icing the night before just wondering about this recipe.

  8. Hi. Your frosting is scrumptious! I took the W Buttercream Class and yes they use Crisco. …Definitely not a fan =yuck! The only benefit was it was easy to pipe and was the crisco is color WHITE I needed. Now I’ve already creamed yours to a light, fluffy pale color. Is there any way to make it WHITE? …Anyone else out there have a suggestion too?

    • Hi Josie! I have to say, that any “buttercream” recipe with crisco in it, should NEVER be called buttercream. It’s just deceitful. Buttercream has BUTTER. And only Butter. Or it’s gross! So the deal with Buttercream – is that because it has BUTTER as the main ingredient, is that butter comes in artificial yellow color. πŸ™ And unless you whip your own butter or you find a local dairy that doesn’t add coloring to their butter, it will always have an off white color. πŸ™ I too have not liked this. HOWEVER, I will say that to the untrained eye, I have fooled many MANY people into thinking this is white (especially on a chocolate cupcake). You best bet is to find out which butter company at your grocery store sells the palest color butter and go with that. Sorry I can’t give you a better answer. πŸ™

    • You can also use Clear Vanilla Extract instead of Reg Vanilla Extract. I use that on my Buttercreme and it turns out great πŸ™‚

    • Does it hold up well in the heat. I have had to use Crisco to keep my frosting stiff. I would like to get away from having to.

    • I also took the W classes and they exclusively use Cisco in the main recipe but the instructor said you can use half butter and half crisco. This is how I make mine and I also use the clear vanilla and the frosting turns out white and it’s also delicious. I’ve had compliments on how tasty the frosting is. The frosting also held up great in 90 degree temps for an outside party.

      • Great tips. I personally am not a fan of the crisco version – full or partial so I will personally only use this true buttercream recipe. However if you need a more heat stable frosting you’ll have to use crisco.

    • Hi , I am a home cake baker. In answer to your question, you can use this recipie, but add an equal part high fat ratio shortening. It willlighten the color to ‘almost white’. But you have to add the same proportion of sugar. As to the liquid, change to water. Add a couple of tablespoons at a time to get the right consistency.

  9. Hi! Everytime I look for a buttercream recipe these are usually the main ingredients. But my frosting ALWAYS comes out wrong so I have to fall back on the tub of frosting which I hate. This is something I really want to get right, especially with my son’s birthday coming up. I always follow the recipe exactly and it comes out tasting too much like the powdered sugar which doesn’t taste right and its not thick enough to pipe. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong! Please help. I’d like this to finally be the golden recipe!

    • Hi Jasmine! Well give this one a try. I literally make it or variations of it weekly in the summer and have never had an issue with it tasting like powdered sugar or not being able to pipe it onto a cake or cupcake. Let me know your thoughts once you try this one!

  10. I’m making this for my son’s birthday today to frost a yellow cake. I’ve only ever had buttercream frosting from store bought cakes or those betty crocker canisters. I’m so excited to do this myself. I actually enjoy buttercream from my store’s bakery cakes lol. But I imagine homemade is much better!

    • Cynthia I hope you do enjoy it. The main difference between a bakery style buttercream and mine is that a bakery style buttercream is not a true buttercream. A true buttercream is what I have here. A bakery style buttercream has a good bit of Crisco and butter. So the flavors wont be the same. However I hope you like it!

  11. Hi Janelle. Do you think this buttercream recipe will not melt in a very hot and humid temp? I have been using ganache exclusively for my cakes because the one time I used buttercream on a “Frozen” cake, it puddled πŸ˜›

    • This will not hold up in hot and humid temperatures. As a true buttercream it will melt. You will want to find a buttercream and crisco mix. That should hold up better.

  12. Hi, a friend just recommended me this recipe for my sons birthday and is tomorrow, we weren’t going to have a party, the plan was to go out of town.. and since we had to called our trip to celebrate my sons birthday, i had to organized an express Bday party in 2 days and make the cake, since I couldn’t order a cake, so I’m making this today to frost tomorrow.
    I read a lot of the comments and thanks for the advice on white icing.
    What about Almond Milk? instead of whipping cream or half and half?
    Thank you

    • Hi Daniela! Yes you can use Almond milk or half and half! Both are thinner than whipping cream so only use half the recommended amount. If it’s too thick you can use the full amount but I don’t think you’ll need to! I hope you like it as much as we do!

  13. Tried this recipe on my daughter’s cupcakes for her birthday. Everyone loved it. I like that it is light and not too sweet.

  14. Hi Janelle, Can i thick the milk with some sour cream or it would change the flavor? In here (Taiwan) half and half is too expensive. But, I know the whipping cream is more flavory. I need to frost 36 cupcakes. Thanks.

    • Hi Yolanda! So excited to hear my recipe has made it all the way to Taiwan! I wouldn’t use sour cream. It will change the flavor. If you can’t use whipping cream, then just use milk. I hope you love it!

  15. I plan to make this butter cream frosting to put on my pull apart Turkey cupcakes. I’m not familiar with using heavy whip cream. How long do I blend the ingredients?

    • Hi Lizzy Beth! Just follow the directions. You only add a little bit at the end to thin it out and add a boost of richness to the flavor. However if you don’t have it, you can always use half and half or even milk. πŸ™‚

  16. Just finished this as a trial run for my daughters birthday cake. Amazing. Added blue and a little green coloring as I’m making an ocean, color and consistency is beautiful. Never using tub frosting ever again. Thank you.

    • Awe Heather thank you so much for your comment! If you love this one you should try my spin off versions of Lemon Buttercream and Oreo Buttercream. Both are equally delicious!

  17. Love this recipe! Used it to frost almost 100 cupcakes that I made for my niece’s baby shower. Guests where telling me that I should open a bakery, they where also taking an extra cupcakes or two when they left the shower. Needless to say they where a huge hit!

    • Rosana make a double or triple batch and that should do just fine. Really though, it depends on how much frosting you put on each cupcake. I’d start with a double batch and if that’s not enough then make more. But really it just depends on if you are a heavy froster or light froster.

    • There are only two reasons I can think of as to why your frosting would be thin and watery. 1) You melted your butter instead of using room temperature. This could be from fully melted or “softening” your butter in the microwave which results in WARM butter will will melt your powdered sugar, making your frosting thin.
      2) You substituted your butter for something else.
      I’m guessing it’s #1. To thicken it up, pop it in the fridge let it chill for an hour and then fluff it again. The consistency will still be off but it’s the only thing I can think of to rescue it.

  18. Hi… I’m making my granddaughter’s birthday cake later this month and have been looking for a recipe that isn’t terribly sweet. I haven’t tried your recipe yet but plan on it. I just wanted to write this to thank you for being so wonderfully kind. You’ve taken the time to answer and respond to each comment or question. That’s a rarity nowadays!! God bless you ?

    • Awe Kay! Thank you! Because I do try to respond to everyones comments it often takes me a few weeks (and sometimes months) to get around to them all. But slowly I do respond. I hope you enjoy the frosting!

  19. This frosting is soooo good. I’ve used the Wilton recipe for years, and just got tired of it so I’ve spent hours on Pinterest looking for something better, and I think this is it. And I believe you said it would be fine to frost cupcakes the night before and leave them on the counter, covered, overnight?

    • Hi Mary! thank you! Yes you are correct. You can make them the night before and leave them on the counter. It wont hurt them at all though the frosting may get a little stiff to the touch but will still bite nice and soft.

  20. I tried this today and was delighted as to the flavor, texture, and simplicity. I also added home made red extract (from beets) and made flowers with my new Russian piping tips. I have never been so excited!! Thank you for the amazing recipe.

  21. I make this frosting all the time and love that it is so easy to work with. My own secrets to make it more delicious are very easy. The first secret is the cream that I use! I don’t usually have real cream on hand but I ALWAYS have the Italian Sweet Cream coffee creamer in the fridge. It works great!!! So do French Vanilla and the other flavors! My second tip is to whip it longer than probably necessary. Talk about light and fluffy, it’s so very delicious. Thanks for printing the real version. “I call dibs on the bowl!”

    • Peggy both GREAT suggestions I’m sure other readers will appreciate! Thank you! And thank you for the fabulous compliment! So glad you like it as much as we do!

    • Michelle I am not familiar with tub butter. Are you referring to Margarine? If so, I can’t see why this wouldn’t work with Margarine, though I’ve never tried it myself. It will just have a slightly different flavor with Margarine vs. Butter. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Abby! Believe it or not it’s my favorite cookie frosting. HOWEVER, it doesn’t harden like a normal cookie icing. It will stay soft (unless left out for a few days). Personally I prefer soft frosting on my cookies!

    • Hi Judy!

      You could, but I wouldn’t. It’s such a waste to open a can of milk just for a few tablespoons. I’ve had other people tell me they used milk and it worked great. However use less milk than you would whipping cream because milk is thinner. I hope you like it as much as we do!

  22. I read many of the comments and one stuck out to me. The lady said the frosting, when mixing, was clumpy and didn’t blend. Mine did the same at 1st, but if you keep blending and adding 1/2 cups like your recipe states, it turns out well. I made a bunt cake last night with your butter cream frosting. It was amazing! I was given rave reviews. I thought I should share. Thanks for the YUMMY recipe!

    • You can either whip it by hand (which I do NOT recommend unless you have amazing muscles), or use a hand mixer or stand mixer. It will turn out beautifully with whatever method you choose!

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