Buttercream Icing Recipe – How to Make the Best Buttercream Icing

buttercream icing

I have found my buttercream icing recipe, it’s perfect and I won’t fiddle around with it any more. Promise. Ok, well maybe one day I will try adding a couple drops of lemon juice to it, to give it a little pizazz. You know me and lemon. It’s bound to happen one day that the two will meet. Lemon really gets around in my house.

This is amazing, melt in your mouth, whippy, ultimate swirly cupcake worthy. It was fantastic on the homemade chocolate cake I made to go with it. The cake was dense and moist, and paired with a light as air buttercream icing…heaven. Angels dancing on your taste buds.

Please go and have a read of my Buttercream Icing Recipe FAQ which answers a lot of the questions asked in the 300 comments below! 

Ingredients

1 cup of salted butter
3  teaspoons of vanilla
4 cups of icing sugar
4-5 tablespoons of  coffee cream (18% and up)

buttercream icing

Trust me on this one and use salted butter. I haven’t come across a single buttercream icing recipe that uses salted, and I think that is what made the difference. I don’t do unsalted butter. Ever. I don’t even know where it is in the store, to be honest. I suppose I could find it if I tried, but I always leave the salt out of my recipes if it’s a sweet one, or just go with the flow if it’s savory dish instead. Salt and sweet are a match made in heaven. You want salt in this icing.

Whip that butter, with a paddle beater if you have it, if not, don’t worry.

buttercream icing

Add in the icing sugar. **I came back to edit this to say that fresh icing sugar makes all the difference. Icing sugar goes stale, and you can sure taste it when it does! Crack open a fresh bag for icings, you won’t be sorry!**

buttercream icing

When you have a royal mess like I did by not using the cover I have, add in the cream. Not milk, cream. Perhaps this is another reason why it worked out so well, milk is also something else I rarely have in my house since none of us drink it or use it on cereal. So…to make my long story short…I used cream and it rocked. I used 4 tablespoons for my preference, you adjust to what you want. Stiffer icing = less cream. Whippier buttercream icing = more cream.

buttercream icing

Vanilla…. I used 3 teaspoons, again, you can try a little more if you like.

buttercream icing

Then whip it…whip it gooooood! Lordy, and try not to eat it all before it makes it to the cake. Good luck with that. I had to smack my own hands.

** Remember to join ZIPLIST to create your own online recipe box and then click SAVE on my recipe below to add it! I use my online recipe box ALL the time! **

4.9 from 28 reviews
How To: Make The Best Buttercream Icing
The Best Buttercream Icing ever, all because of rich cream and salted butter. You won't find another to match the decadence of this icing.
Author:
Recipe type: icing,
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of salted butter
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 4 cups of icing sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons of coffee cream (18% and up)
Instructions
  1. Trust me on this one and use salted butter in this icing.
  2. Whip that butter, with a paddle beater if you have it, if not, don’t worry.
  3. Add in the icing sugar. **I came back to edit this to say that fresh icing sugar makes all the difference. Icing sugar goes stale, and you can sure taste it when it does! Crack open a fresh bag for icings, you won’t be sorry!**
  4. Add in the cream. Not milk, cream. I used 4 tablespoons for my preference, you adjust to what you want.
  5. Stiffer icing = less cream.
  6. Whippier icing = more cream. Vanilla…. I used 3 teaspoons, again, you can try a little more if you like.Then keep mixing it until fluffy and thoroughly combined

 

 

buttercream icing

529 comments
Shirley
Shirley

Im making a white cake with lemon curd between the layers.  Did you ever try lemon juice in the icing?  I'd love to do that but don't want to experiment on this one (it's for a fancy shower) unless I hear someone has actually tried it and it was good.  Anybody try using lemon juice instead of water?  Was it good, too sour, too strong, too odd?  Help.

david lollis
david lollis

is the coffee creamer just any liquid creamer ?


RedMtl
RedMtl

I frequently wonder at people who seem surprised at the use of salted butter. I don't use anything else, nor did my Mother or either of my Grandmothers. The salt acts as a catalyst against the sugar, and this chemical reaction is missing with the unsalted butter, resulting in the flatter taste.

This recipe has been my base for decades, but I rarely see it except in antique cookbooks. Glad someone discovered a preferrence for it and made it more widely known.

From this starting point I flavour as needed. The most frequent choices for me are coffee-cream, mint or strawberry.

As a note to the post below, when using almond extract, remember that some people are nut allergic. A such a person, I know from more than fifty years experience that most people never realise that the extract means that the resulting item has nut content. I have lost count of the number of times I have been told that something has no nuts, only to find out too late that extract was used for flavouring.

If anyone cares to try the coffee flavouring, I recommend using instant dissolved in extremely little liquid. The concentration is greater, and the end result does not have too much liquid.

Brian J
Brian J

Karlynn,  When you say "cream" for the icing, is it a heavy cream or half & half?  Thanks

Anna
Anna

Salted butter is by the unsalted butter :/

juliewilds1
juliewilds1

This was perfect!!!  It was the first time I had ever really decorated a cake from scratch.  I did use orange wilton, which was a greasy mess, and made my fox look mangy.  But it is still cute!  Next time I will make my own bright colors with the yummy buttercream!   Julie

zsantiago39
zsantiago39

I have not tried your recipe yet, but everytime I make buttercream frosting it taste too much like butter. What am I doing wrong?

I use unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract, and a little milk.

tessyjo
tessyjo

Tried it. Nailed it. Loved it!

I used Lurpak slightly salted butter. To quote my 9 yr old daughter "OMG this icing is amazeballs!".

My new go to recipe for icing.

JonMichael
JonMichael

OMG! You are my new BFF. I absolutely hate having to use unsalted butter. Coming across your buttercream icing recipe was a godsend. Thank you! Thank you! And THANK YOU again!!!!

linda
linda

recipe says "serves 6" Aprox. how many cupcakes will this recipe frost?

ElsaCakes
ElsaCakes

This butter cream frosting recipe looks and sounds delicious! I would love to try making this for a birthday cake I am making but because I live in Florida where its HOT and HUMID, I really doubt that this frosting would hold up well since its made from all butter. Can i substitute half of the butter with shortening without it affecting the taste much?

PMiller
PMiller

I use evaporated milk instead of cream - its great

Samantha
Samantha

Really great recipe! tried it for the first time tonight and it turned out great! i only changed a few things. Instead of using 4-5 tbsp of cream, i used 3 Tbsp of whole Guernsey milk (which has a higher butter fat than the store boughten whole milk), and added 1 tsp of almond extract. really good on spice cake. :) definitely will use this recipe again!

Donnagk
Donnagk

Hi, can someone help please - I followed a recipe for Vanilla Buttercream Frosting with 1 cup butter, softened; 3 - 4 cups confectioner's suger (forgot to sift it); 2 teaspoons vanilla; pinch salt; 2 - 3 tablespoons of half-and-half.    The problem is it is sweet - is there anything I can do to make less sweet???   

michelle
michelle

Is icing sugar just confectioner powdered sugar

Betty
Betty

Would this butter cream icing work for a  wedding cake.

Emily
Emily

I hate frosting! I've never really cared for it..until now! Great...you've created the frosting to addict even the frosting haters. The world is screwed lol!


But seriously, this icing is easy, delicious, and wonderful to spread! It's not too rich and not to bland. The salted butter REALLY DOES make it perfect!

April
April

This is soo good. I used 2 tbsp. of French vanilla coffee creamer (it was all I had), and surprisingly it came out great. Light and creamy. Great for cupcakes.

Walkingyellowmags
Walkingyellowmags

Hi Karlynn, I did post this before, but maybe I was a guest and it didn't go?? I just wondered, if it is not too cheeky to Ask, whether I can really freeze the cake, put the crumb coat on, re freeze it, put the icing on ..... (Am making a dragon cake for little grandson, and cake will be a bit tricky to ice.... So it sounded a godsend to read that you froze cakes, iced them, re froze ....) I have made 2 huge bowlful a of this delic icing ....a nd it seems pretty stable, but I wondered how the cake stood up to several re freezes and thaws?? Clearly moisture doesn't seep through or you would have said!! Am doing the icing tomorrow, cakes are in freezer as we speak!, Thank you so much for an amazing site.

Angie
Angie

PHENOMENAL. This is the best icing I've ever tasted, and I'm not usually a fan of buttercream icing! I used heavy cream because it's what I had on hand, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. This is a keeper for sure. I'm taking birthday cupcakes to a friend tomorrow, and I can't WAIT to hear his reaction!!

Grana143
Grana143

Making a Birthday cake for my Grandbaby. Doing Mickey Mouse and mom wants buttercream. Can I add coloring to make the black and red and if so what type should I use. Also, if I smooth out this icing will it set?

Ella 1712
Ella 1712

hi can i use this frosting under a fondant? 

Thanks so much 

nikki
nikki

Hi do these need to be refrigerated ? Need for wedding cupcake bouquets .many thanks

Shelby K
Shelby K

Does this icing taste very heavy and gritty from the sugar?

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@RedMtl I know, it's really weird! Salted butter is where it's at UNLESS it's very finicky baking like pastries etc where the balance has to be exact. Thanks for stopping in!!

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@linda It yields around 2 cups ,depends how heavy or light you are with the icing!

Lindsey Grimes
Lindsey Grimes

@ElsaCakes I understand what you mean about the hot humid weather. I live in Alabama. As long as you are inside, it doesn't affect the recipe much. If you are going to be outside, I don't think that the shortening would hold up any better to the heat.... I honestly don't know of a frosting that does hold up to the heat well considering what they are made of. LOL Good luck!

MelissaMoss
MelissaMoss

@michelle  Yes!  Look at the FAQ. She addresses it there.


Barbara
Barbara

@Betty I had a gorgeous simple vanilla cake with buttercream frosting at my wedding.  Best decision ever.  I used floating tiers so each cake layer could be fully frosted instead of simply stacked on one another), and the bakery I used had lovely, skillful designs.  If buttercream is what you like, go for it!

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Emily  Ok this made me laugh this morning!! I'm glad I converted you ;) 

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@April  I keep meaning to try the coffee creamers! It sounds soo good!

Ella 1712
Ella 1712

Made this heavenly delicious buttercream for my sons Spider-Man cake and it turned out amazing! I used hazelnut coffee creamer and off course some color :)

Thank you for this great recipe

MelissaMoss
MelissaMoss

@Grana143  I have colored this icing various colors with no problems. I find the Wilton's gel colors make more vibrant colors without thinning your icing out like regular liquid food coloring will do, because you have to use so much to get a vibrant red (not pink). 

You'll have to make the cake ahead of time if you want it to set, but it does set after a little while. It will probably set better if you chill it.


RedMtl
RedMtl

@thekitchenmagpie How true.  That said, I don't use unsalted for anything, really, including pastry.  Occasionally I make an exception for puff pastry, but even my Mother didn't bother with that.


Have looked around your site and found other things of interest.  Perhaps more comments to follow.

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Ella 1712  This is fabulous!! You should share it on my Facebook page as well!! What a great job you did!!

Ella 1712
Ella 1712

Thank you ☺️ I will be more than happy to share it on your Facebook page!

Trackbacks

  1. […] by kitchenchicksblog I’m on the search for the perfect frosting. I found this recipe on The Kitchen Magpie. It was very tasting, but I almost too…umm..sweet? It was quite light enough or delicate, you […]

  2. […] I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to come up with a chocolate buttercream icing that I liked. I have to be honest and admit that I only have tried on a couple of occasions to whip one up, but they never seemed to compare to my regular Best Buttercream Icing recipe. […]

  3. […] My Best Buttercream Icing Recipe Ever is the single most popular recipe on my site, without a doubt. With almost 300 comments and over 12,000 people who pinned it on Pinterest (Seriously? What do you people DO all day? Just kidding. Kind of.) there have been a lot of people who have weighed in on this amazing icing and almost %100 percent are in love with it. […]

  4. […] 10-12 minutes, depending on the size you make them. Cool on a rack. Once they are cooled, whip up my Buttercream Icing Recipe. Take two cookies and frost the underside of each, then press them together. Roll the icing in […]

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