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
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
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
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

615 comments
Donielle
Donielle

I used your icing recipe last year and it was simply amazing. everyone loved it! in fact my full sheet cake that was made was all gone and there was only about 15 people at the party :) will be forever making this icing for all my cakes. You can't go wrong! I'm getting excited to be making my daughter's cake again in 10 days! 

MickeyThurman
MickeyThurman

I just made this and used maple flavoring for some brown sugar cupcakes I made, and it was fantastic.  I had never heard of *icing sugar* so I used powdered sugar. 

gee15
gee15

Can someone help me, I would love to use this recipe for a upcoming wedding cake. Its a 3 tier.  Im not sure the amount that I will need. 

liv
liv

Hi, thanks for this recipe! Do I have to put the cake in the fridge if it's not going to be served until the next day? There's no perishable filling, I'm just concerned with the cream in the icing.

Tina Jaklic
Tina Jaklic

Can this icing be made the day before and kept in the fridge?

Kim
Kim

Loved this buttercream recipe. It was a hit with my family. After trying a few different recipe, I finally found the one. Thank you so much. It hold up perfectly for the cake I made (gravity beer can pouring in beer mug).

Allison
Allison

Made this and the chocolate. Both a big hit. Added coconut into it to frost pineapple coconut cupcakes. Mmmmm

Lisa
Lisa

Beautiful in its simplicity and delicious.  I was using your recipe to ammend a less than adequate recipe so I only had milk, but still it turned out tasty and rescued the cake.  And your right, fresh icing sugar!  What a difference

LHall26
LHall26

Thank you for this recipe! I just made it this past weekend to ice to cupcakes in a cupcake cake for my daughters second birthday. The icing is very tasty and was thick enough to pipe designs with but with all the butter in the recipe the heat rapidly affects the consistency. Even inside of our house the hot, humid NC day was against me. I put the large bowl I made into the fridge to keep it cool while I worked and just pulled it out little by little while I was coloring it and decorating with it. It all held up relatively well once I was done but became pretty soft and did slightly melt in some areas. Overall it is an icing with great taste, but if planning on using it to decorate I would be sure that it can stay cool or else you may have a bit of a mess! Thanks again r the recipe!

Faith
Faith

Thanks  for the recipe. I ate about 5 tblspoons in one sitting :)  For the newbies, softened butter doesn't mean completely soft or microwaved.  A simple google search will show you how.  I doubled the recipe for the first time.  I thought it wouldn't fit in the mixing bowl,  but the trick is to gradually add the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. That way it won't splash everywhere. I still managed to make a  bit of a mess. When doubled, I was able to crumb coat,  fill, and heavily   frost a layered (9×9) cake and I still had about 1 cup leftover.  Threw that in the freezer because I know all I have to do is whip out the mixer and beat.

Thanks again. Perfect icing!

KatieWhite1
KatieWhite1

Hi Karlynn... Could you follow this recipe for UNDER fondant or will it be too soft? Thanks so much!

Nejua07
Nejua07

Did you try this buttercream under your fondant? If so, how did it work out for you?

KatieWhite1
KatieWhite1

@Nejua07  I used a mix of buttercream & choc ganache which tasted better - it set amazingly well in the fridge - I used buttercream that was left over on cupcakes and it was also very stiff when dry.  I am sure both will work.  Test on cake offcuts as you're going. 

chocolateforever
chocolateforever

This is THE BEST buttercream icing I have ever made!..Truly the secret is the whipping time on the butter..and it is amazing when adding flavorings or juices from lemons or cherries...Kitchen Magpie, you are the "kitchen Magician" of icings!!!

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@chocolateforever  Hahahah that's the greatest comment ever! Kitchen Magician...I like it!

lisaparberry
lisaparberry

This was the bomb! Thank you! I honestly NEVER make buttercream, because we don't get along, but I was making a frosting shot as a gift and needed a buttercream to work! This was perfect. I used heavy whipping cream, I think your high fat milk is certainly a huge factor in the yumminess. So again thanks a million! I will be using this again.

Jay
Jay

FANTASTIC recipe!! I used it to ice some baby shower cupcakes and they were just fabulous!! i never used salted butter before and boy do i regret it now!! I didnt have any coffee cream so used whipping cream which seemed to work fine. This iced about 24 cupcakes easily. This recipe is a definite keeper! THANK YOU Karlyn!

Jay
Jay

I used this icing on some cupcakes I was asked to make for a baby shower last weekend and it was AMAZING!!! You should change the recipe to say 'cook time: 15 minutes' because that's how long it took me to whip it!! Oh and this is the first time I've ever used salted butter.... What a difference!! I used heavy cream because that's all I had. This recipe is a definite keeper :). THANK YOU!!

Sue Burke
Sue Burke

Going to try this recipe this week ! ... Can you tell me axcactly what coffee cream is please ?

karindamaree
karindamaree

Hi there i want to make the icing for my cupcakes today, can i leave out the coffee cream or is itimportant because i cant find any coffee cream, please respond asap, thank you very much

Jay
Jay

I was asked to make some cupcakes for a baby shower last weekend. Your recipe was the first one to pop up when i googled buttercream icing so i thought i'd try it. Best. Decision. EVER.


I have NEVER bought salted butter before but I thought i'd trust you and tried it out. OMG. It sure did make a HUGE difference....i couldn't believe it! I didn't have coffee cream so just used thickened cream. just amazing!! This covered 24 cupcakes easily. THANK YOU!!!


PS. i think you'll have to change the 'cooking time' in the recipe to 10 minutes....because that's how long i whipped the whole thing for!

Simply Parties
Simply Parties

I always, always use salted butter in everything too ;) Was just looking around trying to see if anyone else used salted butter for buttercream and found you ! #simplypartiesok

BettyDotstampinupdotnet
BettyDotstampinupdotnet

ThankUso much. My first time to make buttercream icing upon the insistence of my children, turned out perfectly and they loved the sugar high

Dana Al Mansour
Dana Al Mansour

Hi i need a quick response plz coz i came across this recipe and i wanna try it out for my cupcakes tomorrow. I live in Kuwait and i can't find coffee cream here. Is it possible to use heavy cream instead?? Will it taste the same?!!

Guest
Guest

I've been using a recipe that's exactly like this, but with unsalted butter & it's WAY too sweet.  Does the salted butter make it less sweet?

Frazzled Baker
Frazzled Baker

@Guest Sorry to jump in, there are some bakers which prefer salted butter which addresses the salt addition to a frosting. However, the preference is unsalted as you can chose the amount of salt you add to your butter cream. Salt cuts the sweetness a bit, you can also try adding acid (lemon/orange juice) as well. If your BC is too sweet, you may have used too much sugar from the beginning. As a suggestion, always scrape down your bowl when mixing to ensure incorporation of every component. Taste as you go, if the recipe calls for 4C icing sugar, begin tasting at 3 cups, and add a little as you go until you are happy with the flavor. I would not recommend adding any more butter/shortening to alleviate sweetness, as some on the net have suggested. Good luck

JenniferRosa1
JenniferRosa1

This is the most amazing frosting. I made it for my husband's birthday today and I couldn't believe how it turned out. I used fat free hazelnut creamer and it was to die for!

LanaKane
LanaKane

This recipe is great. Limited ingredients and is perfect with the salted butter. I also made the lemon one. Excellent. Great recipes and instructions. Anyone who is getting anything 'grainy' is not using powdered sugar. This recipe blends perfectly.


Thanks a bunch!

Java_Junkie
Java_Junkie

@LanaKane  I use this recipe a lot, but not the lemon - will have to give that a go. As for grainy, it could be the powdered sugar itself. I picked up a couple bags from Dollarama one day, and I could beat the living 'you know what' out of that icing, and it stayed gritty. Tried a 2nd bag...same thing. Never had a problem with Rogers or even the stuff from Bulk Barn, but that stuff was awful!!

christineh2
christineh2

Oh, I also had a white pillsbury cake mix in the house. So, I followed the directions on the box, but "exchanged the required "cup of water" for a cup of "cocnut juice(dollar store), then added a cup of "crushed pinapple(squeeze water out real good) to batter and a small jar of "marachino cherries cut up(also squeeze out excess juice in cherries) mix the batter and fill large muffin pans(there's 6 in each)I never make small muffins or cupcakes:)

One box will make 12 large)

After baking, and while "still warm" i poked holes with toothpick into each cupcake, and lightly drizzled melted butter over tops so it "went into the tiny toothpick holes"...Made it sooo moist, along with what the "crushed pineapple does to any recipe", especially "zucini bread"...

Once cooled, (I usually put cupcakes in freezer for a couple hours) Its always easier to ice a cake or cupcakes if slightly frozenI just iced them with the raseberry buttercream icing I wrote about, and lightly sprinkle with coconut! So pretty...

My hubby really is "not into cupcakes", but THIS particular one, well...I had just "one left and was going to bring it to a single friend to try...He said "Absolutly NOT!"...It's staying here! too funny!


Oh, I'm a "lemon head " too!...add fresh squeezed lemon and "grated lemon zest" to your buttercream icing...Too die for!...

Sometimes I just do a "lemon glaze over lemon blueberry muffins, as I don't want them too heavy.


christineh2
christineh2

I have made mine this way for many years. My grandmother was Polish, and I learned from her(60 years ago!) Yesterday I added a couple teaspoons(to taste) of "seedless Raseberry Jam and a 1/4 cup of "Triple berry Cream cheese...Too DIE for!

I put this on fudge chocolate large cupcakes "filled with the raseberry jam OR just chop "maricino cherries in quarters and put in batter...YUM, Yum!



SkylarOsterman
SkylarOsterman

So glad to see another salted butter purist! I don't believe in unsalted butter. I accept that exists but I see no purpose for it. Whenever I've ended up with it accidentally I always just add the salt back in. Thanks for the great recipe!!

Frazzled Baker
Frazzled Baker

Hey there. Where did you get the icing sugar? Isn't it just powered sugar?

LanaKane
LanaKane

I am so frustrated with the way this page loads! I am trying to read the comments and it flips to the top because the videos keep reloading!

ClaudiaAcostaMay
ClaudiaAcostaMay

One more question,  this recipe says it serves 6,  if I double the recipe would it be enough to frost two 9 inch cakes? 

ClaudiaAcostaMay
ClaudiaAcostaMay

I am celebrating my son's 18th birthday and want to use butter cream as the "icing on the cake"  , literally.  I am not a fan of butter creams,  and believe have tried many of them.  This recipe caught my attention because of the salted butter,  will try it on Friday April 17th, 2015 and I'll post back again next week to give my feed back on the recipe.  Do you have a preference of brand? for the butter?


Jillian T
Jillian T

I can't wait to slap this on my upcoming birthday cupcakes for work....question, does it need to be refridgerated??  How long can the icing stay out so if I make them and take them on a car ride, should I not ice anything until I'm ready to serve?? Please advise. :) Thanks again!

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Jillian T It can stay out for a few hours completely fine!

Carole W
Carole W

Is this recipe enough to fill and frost a 9-inch cake?  

melinda_m
melinda_m

I've made lots of icing recipes - this is by far and away the BEST one. I'll never use any others!

KristenJamieson
KristenJamieson

Best icing ever!! I even forgot to put in the vanilla (duh), and it still tasted amazing!

amy
amy

Hello,

Can you pipe roses and such with this recipe?

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  1. […] Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 35 mins Total time 55 mins   Adapted from: The Kitchen Magpie Raspberri Cupcakes Polish Food Recipes Author: Lizzy Hayashida Recipe type: Cupcakes Serves: 18 […]

  2. […] Well 23 years ago today I was blessed with my oldest son Mitchell.  What does that mean CAKE and more CAKE.  Coconut cream or do I do pumpkin chocolate chip.  He has always been a fan of carrot cake.  hummmmm Use this icing for this cake […]