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The best buttercream frosting recipe is all thanks to sweet and salty mixing together! This recipe is one of the oldest and most popular on my website, it even made it into my first cookbook! When I first wrote this recipe 9 years ago, no one was using salted butter in their frostings – or at least there weren’t any posted online that I could find. This is THE original salted buttercream frosting recipe that went viral and has been shared by hundreds of thousands of people – and this recipe has been read tens of millions of times! This was my very first viral recipe here on The Kitchen Magpie! **Updated February 2018**

Sweet and salty mix together to make this the best buttercream frosting recipe! This recipe is one of the oldest and most popular on my website, it even made it into my first cookbook!

Millions Have Read This Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe!

This buttercream frosting recipe made it in to my cookbook, that’s how amazing it is! This recipe was one of the first on my website and has been viewed by tens of millions of people over the years! Isn’t that crazy? So I knew when I was writing my cookbook that I had to share it with everyone that bought my cookbook. This buttercream frosting recipe is the best and I have literally not changed a thing since I first published it back in 2010!

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This buttercream frosting is still 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 very first time I whipped it up. The cake was dense and moist, and paired with a light as air buttercream icing… heaven. Angels dancing on your taste buds. I’ve tried it on every cupcake that you can imagine and it’s even amazing on vanilla. Salty vanilla icing on a vanilla cupcake is heaven for vanilla lovers!

Please go and have a read of my Buttercream Icing FAQ which answers a lot of the questions about this recipe asked in the hundreds of comments on this post below!

How do you make buttercream frosting?

There are four basic ingredients for this buttercream frosting and I have kept it simple and straightforward for years now:

  1. One cup of salted butter
  2. Three teaspoons of vanilla
  3. Four cups of icing sugar
  4. Four to five tablespoons of  coffee cream (18% and up)

Commonly Asked Buttercream Frosting Questions and Answers

Do I have to refrigerate a cake with buttercream frosting?

This buttercream has butter and it has whipping cream in it. I personally leave it out all day and it’s fine ( butter is always fine at room temperature) but the whipping cream? That’s a personal call for you. I have left it out overnight, but I honestly have to tell you to refrigerate it instead of leaving it out. But it’s really a personal decision. Apparently because of all the sugar you can leave a cake with buttercream frosting out for 2-3 days. 

How long can you leave a cake with buttercream frosting out?

I leave mine out for a day, not in the hot sun at all and it’s fine. According to the US food and inspection agency, you can leave a cake with buttercream frosting out for 2-3 days.

What is the best butter to use for buttercream frosting?

Salted and organic butter is literally the best butter that you an use in a buttercream frosting. It is the salt that really makes this the best buttercream frosting ever. It’s actually a myth that salted butter is an inferior quality – it’s not. It’s the same quality.

How do I make buttercream frosting stiffer?

You will want to use less cream in order to make the frosting stiffer. Start out with only a small amount of cream and add it until you get the consistency that you want.

How do you thicken up buttercream frosting?

This buttercream frosting is thick to start without adding in the cream! To start, beat in the icing sugar and see what the thickness of the frosting is. Then you can add a little bit of cream, a little at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. IF you go too far, you then can add more icing sugar/powdered sugar to thicken it back up.

How do you soften buttercream icing?

This one is easy, leave it out on the counter at room temperature for 45-60 minutes and it will be soft! If that doesn’t work and your frosting is too thick, then you might have to beat it again and add some more cream.

Can you store buttercream frosting in the refrigerator?

You bet! Buttercream frosting/icing can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or two, as long as the whipping cream that you use wasn’t going to expire soon.

Can you freeze buttercream frosting?

I freeze it all the time! Simply defrost, mix and use as normal.

 best buttercream frosting on a cupcake

Tips and Tricks for the Best Buttercream Frosting

  • Always use salted butter. When I first wrote this recipe in 2010 there weren’t many people that were food blogging compared to today, so I literally couldn’t find a SINGLE buttercream frosting recipe on the internet that used salted butter! Now I am sure that if I looked there would be tons of recipes similar to this one.  Oh, how times have changed! So I had discovered that salt and sweet are a match made in heaven for icing and I never looked back. You can also read about the difference between salted and unsalted butter.
  • Whip that butter, with a paddle beater if you have it, if not, don’t worry. You can also use the beaters on your handheld mixer just fine to beat the buttercream frosting! You want the butter to be smooth and creamy before you add the icing sugar.
  • Fresh icing sugar makes all the difference. Icing sugar/powdered sugar/confectioners sugar goes stale, and you can sure taste it when it does! Crack open a fresh bag for icings, you won’t be sorry! Over the years many people have agreed that this is another trick to making great buttercream frosting.
  • You can make this frosting as light or as heavy as you want by adjusting the amount of heavy cream that you use.
  • Read this if you are looking for piping techniques.

Take a peek at how to make the perfect buttercream icing in the video below! She does a great job and look at that buttercream frosting! Now, she leaves out the vanilla which is CRAZY so make sure to follow MY recipe but watch it for her buttercream frosting piping technique if you want to learn!

Some More Buttercream Frosting Recipes:

  1.  Lemon Buttercream Frosting
  2. Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
  3. Chocolate Buttercream Icing
  4. Pistachio Pudding Buttercream Icing
  5. Vegan Buttercream Icing
  6. Candy Bar Buttercream Icing

Happy baking everyone!

Love,

Karlynn

Pin This Buttercream Frosting Recipe to Your Desserts or Cakes Boards!

Famous Buttercream Frosting! Sweet and salty mix together to make this the best buttercream frosting recipe! #frosting #recipe #dessert #cakes #icing

4.74 from 142 votes
The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

The absolute best buttercream frosting recipe you'll find! The secret is salted butter! This recipe was in my cookbook and has been featured everywhere! It's famous! This will frost one 8 inch cake, if you need to frost a large cake make sure to double it! 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: icing
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 223 kcal
Author: Karlynn Johnston
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. Get out the salted butter! Trust me and use salted butter, it's the secret ingredient!

  2. Beat the butter until it is light and creamy. This is important as you are adding the icing sugar next. If the butter isn't creamy you can get lumps in the icing.

  3. Add in the icing sugar. Again, if you are like me and can taste stale icing sugar, you will need a fresh bag.

  4. Add in the cream.. I used 4 tablespoons for my preference, you adjust to what you want.

  5. Stiffer icing = less cream. Lighter icing = more cream. Adjust the amount to your liking by adding one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

  6. Add the vanilla then keep mixing it until fluffy and thoroughly combined.

Recipe Notes

Using salted butter instead of adding a dash of salt ensures that you have salt added throughout the frosting.

If you want low sodium, take out the salted butter and use unsalted.

This frosting freezes very well! You can ice a cake and freeze it, or simply freeze your leftovers to use another day.

If you are making a 9x13 cake, double the recipe.

I find I can cover 16 cupcakes with one batch. How many you can ice depends on how thick you slather the icing on!

Nutrition Facts
The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 223 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 101mg 4%
Potassium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Sugars 29g
Vitamin A 7.1%
Calcium 0.3%
Iron 0.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

180
Author

Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!

880 Comments

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  3. This recipe is as fantastic as advertised! I made several batches to ice the cake and cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday, and even the first batch (when I forgot to add the vanilla) was tasty. It was even better with the vanilla in the subsequent batches. I found when piping it for the cupcakes, that it went really far, and I was able to do 24 cupcakes with one batch and even had a little frosting left over. I needed about 2.5 batches to do a two-layer 13×9 inch cake. The frosting had a great texture, and was decadent and buttery without being overly sweet. I received lots of compliments and requests for seconds at the party! This will be my go-to frosting recipe from now on. Thanks so much!!

  4. Chrissy love Reply

    Great recipe. I made in a bind when the store bought frosting was a total fail. Will never buy that again!!!! Usually my kiddos don’t like homemade icing but they loved the cupcakes. I disagree with those that say the salt is too strong. I think the salted butter is what perfectly balances this recipe. I didn’t taste the salt at all but the frosting was so well balanced because of it. I didn’t add quite as much vanilla as called for because I wanted the butter to really stand out. It’s a great recipe and my new go to. Five stars all the way!

  5. Instead of using my grandmas secret recipe for buttercream icing, I decided to try this one.

    Now, I have had tasted several amazing buttercream icing before, and I don’t know if it was the ingredients I chose or rather how I did it, but this is not one of them. The salted butter was too much for me- I could taste it’s unpleasantness through the icing sugar and vanilla- and It was so thick… Even after 5 tablespoons of cream and less icing sugar (like what it was suggested) it still was a struggle to thin it down.

    It’s obvious other people didn’t have a problem with it, but I for sure will be just sticking to my grandmas recipe.

    • If you could taste the “unpleasantness” of the salted butter in the recipe, your butter was BAD, not the recipe! A good salted butter can taste like heaven, so I’m pretty sure you used a poor quality butter or rancid even.

  6. YOUR BUTTERCREAM SEARCH IS OVER! This stuff is amazing!!!!!! For once I used a good butter and not my cheap store brand! I only had unsalted so I added a pinch or 2 to my butter. I used 2T of almond extract and 1T vanilla extract. I also used 4T of half and half and eventually a few splashed of whole milk to thin it out. My only good to buttercream from ow on! Thank you!!!!

  7. I just made this recipe and I can’t get enough! Usually American buttercream is too sweet for my taste, but wow this is just perfect. I only used 2 Tbsp of heavy cream (instead of coffee creamer), which kept it thick enough to pipe decorations. After an hour on the counter, the piped frosting has kept it’s shape beautifully and has lightly crusted over the top. I am just so pleased with this recipe. It’s a keeper. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. I was wondering is this a crusting buttercream? After three days on the counter on a cupcake will the icing be super hard? I’m looking for just a Slightly crusting buttercream recipe.

  10. I just made this recipe to ice mini cupcakes for an office event and got rave reviews. People were asking what is in it and how I made it. They kept saying how delicious it was. As we have some dairy free people in our office (allergies) I used coconut milk instead of cream and it turned out perfectly.

  11. Hello
    I am making a two tiered
    2 9 inch cakes 3 layers
    and a 6 inch 3 layers white wedding cake
    how much frosting do I need to make?

    thank you
    Diane

  12. I love this icing recipe! I’ve been using it for a couple years and just started experimenting using flavored coffee creamers for the cream. I’ve used peppermint and Christmas and just made it with strawberry cheesecake creamer for chocolate cupcakes. It adds just enough flavor to the icing and isn’t over powering. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

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  14. This is the WORST buttercream icing recipe, EVER. I just reviewed your grape pop cupcakes – which were terrible and the worst cake I’ve ever made – and I frosted them with this icing. Doubly terrible. I LOVE buttercream icing and have tried just about every variation out there, but this one is the worst. Why? Because the salted butter completely overwhelms the flavor. I really like salty desserts with chocolate and caramel, but I do not like this frosting, nor did my entire family with 6 kids who tried it with me tonight. I had to throw it out and I never do that. The frosting is too salty, too thick – even with extra cream – and I used only the best, organic, and freshest ingredients. What a waste!

    • I’ve used this very same icing recipe for my little cousins since beginning to make their birthday cakes at the beginning of their lives and never had an issue with it as others have indicated here as well.. Could it have been the milk/cream you used or the “organic butter” that imparted a different taste than you and family are accustomed to?

    • Expressing your opinion is one thing, but trying to slander the recipe simply because its not your favorite? Come on. I’ve made this recipe countless times using the exact ingredients and it has always been a hit. I have people constantly asking for this recipe. BUT.. I would never go so far as to say this is the only good buttercream recipe ever, simply because its my opinion. I also wouldnt use different ingredients, therefore changing the recipe and then start attacking it because I chose to NOT follow it exactly. “Only the best organic and freshest ingredients”…. Organic doesn’t mean better. Get off your pedestal.

    • Sorry it didn’t work out for you, but really you are the first person to every say this is the worst recipe ever LOL! This gets rave reviews, so maybe it was your ingredients!

  15. This is the best buttercream frosting ever! Thank you! It was a hit with everyone!

    • I’ve only made the recipe for this amazing buttercream frosting once since I found it on your website. However, if I wanted to make it a “Chocolate” Buttercream Frosting, what would you suggest adding to it? Melted semi-sweet chocolate or cocoa? Please advise. Thanks so much!

  16. I’m sure it has been said before and will be said again, but this recipe is amazing! Thank you!

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  18. I just made this delicious Buttercream Icing this afternoon to frost a Chocolate Mayonnaise cake that I made to take to a party tonight. Besides it being Halloween, it is also one of our friend and neighbor’s birthday today, and although I would have preferred to frost this cake with Chocolate Buttercream, her preference is Chocolate Cake w/White Icing, so of course, I am obliging her 🙂 🙂

    First, let me say that this is hands-down, the absolutely best Buttercream icing that I have ever made. It’s very creamy, but it does have a substance to it, and it’s very flavorful, as well. For the cream, I used “Heavy Whipping Cream”, and I only had to use 2 tablespoons of it in order to get the right consistency. I did use salted butter, but then I have always used salted butter in all of my baking and cooking. I also used all 3 teaspoons of the vanilla extract, as well as the 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar. However, I was making this icing to frost a 13″ x 9″ cake, and I found that there was only enough to adequately cover 1/2 of the cake (I prefer a thick layer of icing on my cakes). So, naturally, I ended up making another batch of this recipe to cover the other half of the cake. So please bear in mind, if you are making icing for an oblong cake, that you will need to double the recipe to have enough icing to really cover your cake adequately.

    But if you are looking for a great Buttercream Icing, look no further, because you’d be hard pressed to find anything that is as easy to put together and is as flavorful as this one. It literally glides across the cake whenever you are frosting it. Thanks so much for passing this along to us, Karlynn!

  19. This recipe never lets me down! It actually is the BEST buttercream frosting ever! My family loves it!

  20. Hi! I am going to try this recipe tonight. I am baking a unicorn cake for my granddaughter’s birthday. I am an exact person. lol How long should I whip it? I would appreciate a time approximation. Thank you!

  21. This is definitely easier than the Swiss meringue buttercream frosting I used for my sister’s wedding cake which used 1 pound(!) of butter for each batch. God, it was good, though!

  22. Jane V Suchomski Reply

    Thank you so much for this recipe! This has become my signature icing and I get compliments on it EVERY time I make it. It really is the perfect buttercream – not overly sweet, which has been my husband’s complaint about every other buttercream I’ve tried. I look forward to trying the chocolate variation!

  23. I’ll Join the rest of the commenters and add – make this NOW! This is honestly the best buttercream icing recipe out there! I will never use another one ever!

  24. Hands down this is the BEST BUTTERCREAM ICING I have ever made! The salted butter – brilliant! I love you! Really, I love you for this recipe!

  25. Love this recipe! I’ve used it on several birthday cakes and cupcakes for various holidays. I too prefer a little salty with my sweet and not so overly sweet. I’ve noticed some here have inquired of what is coffee creamer. I’ve always understood that coffee creamer is canned cream.. like evaporated milk. Used it in my coffee for decades. It turns out great! Have you ever used almond extract in place of vanilla? Just curious.

  26. Oh my goodness! This is fabulous! I chose your recipe because we used to call our daughter our little magpie. This cake is for her 13th birthday. Best frosting ever!

  27. Emily Miller Reply

    I want to make a coloured butter cream to embellishe my daughter’s birthday cake. Can I add feed colouring to the same exact recipe?

    • Emily Miller Reply

      And I meant food coloring not feed colouring!! Thank you!

  28. Little Music Reply

    I just made this for my students and their year-end celebration, to top my homemade chocolate cupcakes. OMG it is a WONDERFUL buttercream recipe!!! The key is to whip whip whip (you weren’t kidding, and I took due note). This will elicit many smiles of delight. Thank you so much. 🙂

  29. A++ Buttercream
    Misread the recipe and added 4 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract – still came out great
    Only had unsalted butter so added a scant teaspoon of salt – again no problem
    Used a bit more heavy cream than called for to make spreading easier
    This will be my ‘go to’ Buttercream for regular and chocolate

    THANX MUCHO

  30. Omg I have not been able to master butter creme for years and this was instantly perfect!! And just in time for my son’s birthday party

  31. OK… I probably did some thing wrong… but is this icing suitable for using piping tips… like really fancy ones with large multiple passage tips..??

  32. Can you please confirm how many grams of butter on one cup? Is it 150grams?

  33. Loretta Campbell Reply

    I’ve been using this recipe for years, it’s definitely one of the best! Thank you!

  34. Love this icing!! I’ve just made a batch and iced the cake ready for my son’s birthday party tomorrow, do you think it has to be refrigerated overnight or if it’d be ok to leave in a cool room overnight? Thanks!

    • You absolutely do not have to refrigerate this icing. I make this all the time and it’s always fine as long as it’s not directly in the sun.

  35. Angela Hammill Reply

    Absolutely love this recipe! It’s one of my all time favourite go-to’s.

  36. Kayla Marie Grissett Reply

    If you want to add food coloring you want to add a paste or gel. They sell these in the wilton aisle in stores.

    • I just add cocoa and everyone loves it! They say it reminds them of the Vachon cake icing!

  37. Danielle Jamieson Reply

    How much icing does this make? I need to ice a 2 layer 9″ round rosette cake and not sure if I need to double the recipe.

  38. I laughed out loud when you said “if there’s any left” and that “you had to smack your own hand” Hahahaha!!! THAT IS SO ME!!

    I too will ONLY use salted butter, IT Just makes everything taste so much better! Thanks for your recipe, I think you must be family bc it’s the exact same situation with the milk too! I’m off to frost a cake before the sun comes up, I’m late as usual!

    Sweet days!

    Maureen

  39. I made this last night and was good. I used. The Nielsen-Masssey pure vanilla. For cofffee creamer I always have coffee-mate Italian sweet cream on hand. My husband loved the taste n he’s not a big icing person. I actually used two different kinds of butter and let them sit out to room temperature(that was what I had on hand). And always use the dominion powdered sugar. So buttery tasting n smooth. Success for the new go to buttercream icing Thanks Karlynn.

  40. Also I made it in a stainless steel mixing bowl, not glass- would that make a difference?? So confused!

  41. How long are you supposed to whip? Mine came out tasting too buttery and not light or fluffy, and I followed the recipe instructions and ingredient amounts to a T! Is it possible I over whipped it? It felt like I whipped it for a long time. Also I made this in my kitchenaid stand mixer with the paddle, the butter was room temp. Should I have used the whisk attachment instead? Any help would be greatly appreciated, I am on the hook for providing 60 cupcakes this weekend!!! \U0001f633 Thank goodness I made a test batch, haha

    • You may nothave added enough cream. I’ve made this icing several times, and the one time it was flat, I fixed it by adding more cream. Don’t give up on this icing -it’s too good!

  42. hi, can I ask you what brand you use for butter to make buttercream? can you send me the picture? thank you

  43. I have made this icing before and I will be making it again very soon. I LOVE it. It is sooooooo delicious. I whip it just a little longer to make it a little more fluffy. I have had great compliments on it. Thanks for posting it xx

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  45. Salted butter may be used freely in icings. It is in pastry making and to a slightly lesser extent in cakemaking that you want unsalted. Something about the way salt reacts with moisture and affects the finished product.

  46. I want to make your delicious frosting tomorrow and had a few questions :

    1. Do you use cold butter?

    2. How do you measure out your powdered sugar?

    3. Is the coffee creamer supposed to be at room temperature?

    Thanks in advance!

  47. AmyLynBonney Reply

    I want the “buttery” taste in my icing, So using salted butter gives it that buttery taste?

    • RiahGbaiwonHills Reply

      AmyLynBonney If you want more buttery try making a swiss meringue buttercream! Really simple to make. Youtube it.

  48. Used this recipe for baby girl’s birthday cake and it was a major hit!  Thanks for sharing.

  49. Is this very sweet? Proportionately it seems to call for a lot more sugar than other recipes (usually I see about 3 cups confectioners’ sugar : 1 cup of butter). But maybe the salt in the butter cuts the sugar a little? This recipe sounds yummy but I’m scared because I find most frosting to be way too sweet.

  50. Peekspastry Reply

    That is what I have always said about using Salted Butter…. It makes all the difference in the world.  Our recipes are almost spot on! Yum!!

  51. What if I do not have a paddle beater? How would you recommend mixing this. I do a lot of mixing by hand but what would you do?

  52. I wanna make cupcakes for my sons birthday but wanna do the icing the day before.. so that’s fine? once I am done the icing just refrigerate it until I am ready to ice the cupcakes .. I will need to add food colouring as well but can do that the day of.. ?? and how many cupcakes does it ice ?

  53. Katrina Epperly Reply

    Oh My Gosh!! I am so happy I came across this recipe!!! It is truly the best buttercream icing! Thank you 🙂

  54. This is the only butter cream icing I ever use and everyone raves over it. It is amazing! For my daughters birthdays or if I’m making a strawberry cake I sub the creamer for smashed strawberries. Try dipping fresh strawberries in it made this way. It’s SO good!!

  55. Mark Richards Reply

    I made this recipe as directed. Unfortunately it seemed to have way too much vanilla. I made the recipe again with no vanilla and mixed the two batches together and it was perfect – best icing I’ve ever made. So my advice is to put less vanilla in at first and then taste it to see if you need more.

    • Mark Richards all buttercream you make will have at least 2-3 tsp of vanilla.  be careful you are not using tbsp.

  56. Family baker Reply

    Great recipe, thank you!!! I substituted the coffee cream for coconut cream, lactose intolerance, and that worked out perfect.

  57. PadriacRiley Reply

    I actually don’t have coffee cream in the house because I most often drink my coffee John Wayne style or with Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream added (you know after dinner and not before driving to work).

    That said I used 6 tablespoons of Irish cream and it came out pretty fantastic. Kerry Gold brand Irish cream if it makes a difference. It’s about half the price of Bailey’s here but is every bit as good.

  58. AMAZING!! I am French, and I happen to be super picky when it comes to dessert. I find North American dessert to be too sugary for me most of the time, so I usually cut on the sugar… but not this time!!!!

    I used salted butter, as suggested, and “Nutriwhip” dessert topping product instead of coffee cream, also 5 tbsp. All other ingredients stayed the same as in the recipe.

    Used corkscrew (spiral) beater with my mixer since I don’t own a Kitchenaid beater.

    I like my frosting somewhat dense, and this recipe definitely met my goal.

    The result is fluffy and not too sugary, and I love it!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! 

    • DanaHolmes Reply

      @Tiff You’ll find the coffee cream in the milk cooler in any grocery store.  It will likely say “Coffee Cream” on the container but if it doesn’t, look for 18% cream written on it. 

  59. Jessbear02 Reply

    I usually use half butter, half shortening… But can you pipe roses or other decorations with this all butter recipe and if so, will they hold up?

  60. i am pretty sure you have seen or perhaps used the Russian Icing tips by now..

    is this buttercream good for use with the Russian tips??

    seems a “good” firm but not crusty frosting is needed along with technique….. 

  61. CrystalDay Reply

    I love this recipie, but need a strawberry buttercream. How would you suggest getting that flavor? I feel like extract will taste artificial and a puree will leave it too thin. Help??

    • AidanDevlon Reply

      Preserves or jams are great for frosting – just add it a tablespoon at a time until you achieve your desired result.

    • Buy a bag of freeze dried strawberries from Target. Use a rolling pin to smash in the bag until dusty then sift through sifter/strainer. Put large pieces back into bag and smash /soft again. Repeat process until almost all the pieces have been sifted through. You want to use a 12 oz bag and basically just add the powdered strawberries to the buttercream with same amount of vanilla and add 1-2 tsp of lemon juice (I prefer fresh but pre-juiced is just fine). I get tons of compliments every time I make my “real” strawberry buttercream ! Hope this helps ! It also turns the frosting a nice pink color and you can pipe roses and other designs as usual. I’ve used on cupcakes and cakes and it always keeps shape even after being out of the fridge . Enjoy!

  62. Hi, I’m new to baking 🙂 can I use this recipe to cover the cake before covering it with fondant ?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Yes, I’ve used this as the thin layer of buttercream under fondant, and it works beautifully.

  63. Heirloom Girl Reply

    Used a recipe like this for over 35 years, it is the best and can be altered such as milk if you don’t have cream, may not be exactly the same. I have added a touch of peppermint, crushed candy canes on top, food coloring depending what the icing is for. There are so many things you can do with this recipe. It was pass to me and i have passed it to my tow oldest children and friends. Better than any store bought poor substitute.Great sharing and teaching, old simple recipes are the best.

  64. I know it says serves six but does that mean six cups of icing?

  65. I did not have the same success as everyone else, I found it to be to liquidy even tho I was careful with my measurements.  Dang!

  66. Totally agree with you on the stale icing sugar – I’ve started buying it in bulk, just a cup or two at a time, since I was throwing away half a bag each time I bought one. I buy it just before I’m going to make icing, so it is always good and fresh.

  67. gordhuebert Reply

    Hi, I’m a first timer when it comes to baking and was just going to try your buttercream icing recipe for a cake I just baked.  I don’t have coffee cream, is there something I can substitute it with? 

    • gordhuebert You can use regular cream or I have even used plain milk in a pinch.

  68. Cookinmama Reply

    Been a housewife, mother, cook, baker for 33 years and this is by far the best butter cream frosting.  Made it last night for a birthday cake and it is amazing.  Far better than any others I have used!  Thank you for sharing!!

    • Do you need to refrigerate the cake once is had the buttercream frosting on it??

  69. This may be a silly question but will adding food dyes alter this at all?

    • @mommaof3 I don’t think it would make a difference, you’d only have to use a couple of drops of food dye. Buttercream has liquid in it already (coffee cream) so adding 3 drops of liquid dye wouldn’t damage the texture. If you are concerned, or if it turns out that I am wrong, there are spray-on food dyes – they are kinda specialized so you can’t really find them at superstores like liquid food dye – that you spray on the outside of the finished product. It only colours the outside though.

      • 7ducksinarow Reply

        @Sophia You can purchase gel coloring. Doesn’t change to consistency of icing. Wilton makes it in a variety of colors. More pricey than liquid but you only need small amount and  lasts a long time

  70. Jacqueline Sheila Kemi Reply

    Hi Karlynn,

    I am very green in these things, my family loves cakes and cookies alot, I thought I should learn how to make them plus icing a cake so that we are able to make them ourselves more often, at a less cost. I like the humour that you use as you give the instructions, that way, you create a relaxed environment which in turn stimulates the medulla oblongata to register and remember them.

    God bless you from Jacqueline Sheila Kemigisha- Uganda- East Africa.

  71. Great minds think alike!! I thought I was the only one that was granted the ability to understand that buttercream NEEDS salted butter!!! I used unsalted once and never again. Coffee creamer??? That’s my other secret ingredient an yes you descibed it well- “Angela dancing on your tounge”! I use different flavors depending on flavor of cake!!

  72. what if you do not have a paddle better.what can you use.what can replace cream

  73. Well….mmmm….mmmm….mmmm!!!! You just made my day!! I had decided to make my son’s cupcakes for his birthday instead of buying an expensive store cake. I did a trial run of another buttercream earlier this week and it was ok, very over powering butter taste and did not pipe well. I found yours and hoped it would be good as the party is tomorrow. It was perfect!! Not overly sweet, not overly butter tasting, piped awesome! And being absolutely delicious is just the “icing” on top! Lol This is going in my keeper file! Thank you so much!!!

  74. JeannetteKantzalis Reply

    Oh good gawd that’s GOOD!!!!  I’ve made my own buttercream frosting for years and the little tweaks she teaches here make all the difference in the world.

    • @Kiran Coffee cream is not the same as coffee creamer. Coffee cream is similar to half-and-half cream except higher fat, usually 15-18% milk fat, whereas coffee creamer is artificial powdered “cream” for putting in coffee.

    • @Kiran Coffee cream is completely different from coffee creamer. Coffee cream is another name for half-and-half: it’s 10% milk fat cream. Coffee creamer is artificial powdered “cream” for putting in coffee.

  75. This turned out great but I guess salted butter doesn’t work for me…I found it just too salty 🙁 Defintely going to try this with unsalted butter!

    • SonjaMarieFischerLeVan Reply

      @Julie Try half salted and 1/2 unsalted….worked for me!

  76. I’ve been using your recipe for a long time now, and it’s ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. Thank you from Sylvan Lake, Alberta!

  77. Can you use half and half instead of coffee cream?  I’m not a coffee drinker, and not sure what coffee cream is…??

    • AidanDevlon Reply

      Coffee cream and half & half are pretty much the same thing. 🙂

  78. Hi Everyone, how many days in advance, if any, do you think this could be made? Thanks!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      Erin233 You’re good with a couple of days for sure!

      • I wanna make cupcakes for my sons birthday but wanna do the icing the day before.. so that’s fine? once I am done the icing just refrigerate it until I am ready to ice the cupcakes .. I will need to add food colouring as well but can do that the day of.. ??

  79. If you do not have salted butter, could you use a non dairy spread or add salt to the recipe?

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Motherof2 You can, but it won’t spread though as nicely as using salted butter will. You DO need the salt though!

  80. chattanookee Reply

    Tried it just as you wrote it and it turned out fantastic! The salted sweet butter cream and coffee cream (evaporated milk) turned out wonderful tasting and the consistency was good enough to not only do the crumb layer but also as the frosting underneath the fondant. I just can’t understand other folks here though, nitpicking something to death when someone takes time to write out a recipe with photos. 

    • Mery042309 Reply

      chattanookee Hi, coffee cream is evaporated milk, like Carnation?

      • Mery042309 chattanookee  No, coffee cream is a fresh cream, not a canned product. It is lighter than whipping cream, but heavier than half-and-half.

    • chattanookee  I was thinking the exact same thing, if you don’t have what is asked for in the recipe, either work it out, or try another recipe.  I can’t wait to try this, it sounds amazing.  I have a recipe but it is just too sweet and doesn’t set up well.  Very excited to try this one. 

      • Where do u find the coffee cream in the grocery store? What section

        • Ppitts319 Dairy. It is cream. If they don’t have it, then whipping cream thinned with a little milk will make coffee cream. It is also known as “light cream”. Since the recipe calls for 4-5 Tbl, I would suggest mixing  3 Tbl cream with 2 Tbl milk.

  81. This frosting is absolutely delicious! I used it on cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday party and everyone loved it. Thank you for posting.

  82. Newbie in baking here. Landed on this post thru Google search for buttercream icing. Has many great reviews so I just follow though. It looks really good but oh boy is super sweet for my liking. I think 4 cups of icing sugar is too excessive.

  83. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so so much, I changed a thing or two on it. Only 2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Literally this recipe was my last hope to make buttercream. I’ve made between 5-7 different buttercreams that are just WAY too sweet. I can’t eating it because it makes me sick. I mixed it for a couple minutes. They are delicious! Thank you!

  84. Tried this with cream alternative· Was too sweet and too thick· Try wilton recipe instead but with all butter. Do not recommend this one·

  85. I am going to try this. I’m trying to recreate my childhood bakery cake from bake rite bakery of Watsonville Ca. They went out of business 17 years ago and I’m still upset about it. Their cakes were a slice of heaven. White cake with white butter cream frosting with lemon filling

  86. hi for the cream can i use buttermilk?? i only can find 10%cream or cooking cream any suggestions.. thks

    • Hi, not for a vanilla or light flavor! I tried it with chocolate though and it rocked! Just my 2 cents.

  87. Denise Stover Reply

    In the past I’d add almond extract along with the vanilla extract and it gives it somewhat of a depth or body. Don’t misunderstand me, I grew up on buttercream icing/frosting with only vanilla extract, but the almond extract gives it another layer!

    Thank you Kitchen Magpie, for sharing your recipe’s! God Bless!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      Denise Stover You are so welcome! The almond extract sounds really good as well!

  88. I have always avoided butter cream icing because it never turned out right for me , consistency not right and was way too sweet.

    I tried your recipe and suggestions. It turned out great. Perfect.

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I wont hesitate to use it again!

  89. From reading the comments, it seems that many people think the recipe calls for “non-dairy coffee creamer”, which is not what “coffee cream” is. It’s sad that society is losing its understanding of what real food is.

  90. Why doesn’t the recipe say “1 Tbl of vanilla”, which is the same as 3 tsp and easier to measure? 

    • candicemaidment Reply

      Maybe because 3 tsp is easier to adjust to taste than 1 Tbl

    • yanogator I didn’t even pick up on that until you mentioned it, but you’re right, good point!

  91. 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! 

  92. MickeyThurman Reply

    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. 

    • Frazzled Baker Reply

      MickeyThurman You did the right thing…… POWDERED sugar is icing sugar. This should be changed in the recipe to avoid questions like this. No one calls is icing sugar.

      • Frazzled Baker MickeyThurman Icing sugar is the common name in Canada, where the blogger resides. Don’t knock it ’til you Google it.

        • thekitchenmagpie Reply

          IviaRelle Frazzled Baker MickeyThurman Powdered sugar, Confectioner’s Sugar and Icing sugar = all the same thing. Depends on where you live!

          • xpatinfrance

            thekitchenmagpie IviaRelle Frazzled Baker MickeyThurman

            Hi. I’m not sure if this will interest you but I find it interesting. Here in France the literal translation of “powdered sugar” (sucre en poudre) is actually what we in the USA call granulated sugar.  If you want powdered sugar, you have to look for “sucre glace” –  that is sugar meant for icing or frosting (glaçage).  

          • Laura Finch

            thekitchenmagpie IviaRelle Frazzled Baker MickeyThurman yep!

      • Justclaire Reply

        I’m in Ireland and it’s icing sugar, same in the UK. It’s a big world out there with diff names for lots of things! The recipe it just fine as It is! Try using Google and you’ll learn a few alternate named products!!

  93. 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. 

    • Frazzled Baker Reply

      gee15 I don’t know if anyone answered you yet. but you will need to make this X4 depending on the tier sizes along with doing a crumb coat

  94. 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.

  95. Tina Jaklic Reply

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

  96. 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).

  97. I have a 3 tier wedding cake to make. Can I use this icing on here?

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

  99. 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

  100. 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!

  101. 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!

  102. KatieWhite1 Reply

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

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

      • KatieWhite1 Reply

        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. 

    • MelissaMoss Reply

      I have used this under fondant many times, and it works out very nicely.

  103. chocolateforever Reply

    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 Reply

      @chocolateforever  Hahahah that’s the greatest comment ever! Kitchen Magician…I like it!

  104. lisaparberry Reply

    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.

  105. 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!

  106. 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!!

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

  108. karindamaree Reply

    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

  109. 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!

  110. Simply Parties Reply

    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

  111. BettyDotstampinupdotnet Reply

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

  112. Dana Al Mansour Reply

    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?!!

  113. 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 Reply

      @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

  114. JenniferRosa1 Reply

    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!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      JenniferRosa1 Aw I love hearing from everyone who made it for special occasions! Happy birthday to your hubby!

  115. 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!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      LanaKane You are SO welcome! Thanks for letting me know!  The lemon one is my favorite!

    • Java_Junkie Reply

      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!!

  116. christineh2 Reply

    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.

  117. christineh2 Reply

    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!

  118. SkylarOsterman Reply

    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!!

    • SkylarOsterman  There is definitely a purpose for unsalted butter. Salt isn’t added to butter for flavor. Instead, it is a preservative, so the butter can be kept in cold storage for a long time without going bad. Unsalted butter has to be sold when it is fresh. You can add salt for the flavor.

  119. Frazzled Baker Reply

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

  120. 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!

  121. ClaudiaAcostaMay Reply

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

  122. ClaudiaAcostaMay Reply

    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?

  123. 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 Reply

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

      • thekitchenmagpie  I’m excited to make this!   How many days in advance do you think this could be made?  Or, is that not recommended?  Thanks!!

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

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      melinda_m Glad to hear it! Thanks fo popping by to let me know!

  125. KristenJamieson Reply

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

  126. I also only ever use salted butter – I’ve had people horrified at me that I don’t use unsalted when the recipe calls for it 😀  I figure adjust as needed…..or not, it hasn’t failed me yet!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Rachel IF it tastes great off the spoon plain (the butter) then you know it’s amazing and NEVER too salty in the icing. So simple! I don’t get it, a pinch of salt never turns out the same, its’ truly the secret!

  127. BrennaCollyard Reply

    This frosting is ridiculously insane bonkers delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I just made a trial batch of cupcakes for my daughters birthday and I can’t believe how they turned out. I have a feeling I’m going to be singing your praise to a lot of parents come this weekend. One question though, do I need to refrigerate the frosting? Or, would it be fine to make the batch of cupcakes and frosting before the party and have them stay out?

    And thanks again for this recipe, I’m going to use it for everything now, cake, cupcakes, lunch…

  128. laurensguitar1999 Reply

    Is this buttercream stiff enough to pipe roses and such, my grandmother is a cake decorating master, but my cousin and sister want to surprise her with a homemade cake, for her surprise 65th birthday party.

  129. EagerNewbie77 Reply

    Hi there,

    Have been looking all around for an easy yet effective recipe. Just wondering if I can substitute Coffee cream with Sour cream?

    Thank you

  130. kindredcottage Reply

    so very good! added 1 T vanilla ext. plus 1/2 t lemon emulsion. what a light fluffy texture and fresh taste! thank you so much for sharing!

  131. ShatteredHelix Reply

    I have made this recipe several times with a couple of sight modifications.  Instead of coffee cream, I used the highest percent heavy cream that I could find.  Also, I used un-salted butter for one batch because I did not have any salted (I use both depending on the application) and instead used 1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea salt. I have to say, this is by far my favorite icing and I look forward to experimenting with it in the future to get additional flavors.  Perhaps a chocolate, or mint, or chocolate mint version would be worth trying out.

  132. Excellent recipe!  Just made a batch for a 1/2 sheet cake (18×22)  I modified it just a bit for this larger cake: 1 lb butter, 15 c 10x sugar, almost 1/3 c whole w/cream milk and vanilla.  Yummy!!!!

    • Jan Marie Did you ice a single layer or was it a 2-layer 1/2 slab? I’m doing the same cake right now and I’m not sure what icing batch size to use. Thanks Jan!

  133. How long does it last? I was planning to make the icing Thursday to ice the cake Friday night to eat on Saturday. Will this work? If so, what is the best way to store it in between? Thank you!

  134. threeboys061114 Reply

    Where do u buy icing sugar??? I’m from northwest Indiana and CAN NOT find icing sugar in any stores????? Any online site u can give me??? Your recipe sounds too good to miss!!! Thanks -meryl-

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      threeboys061114 It’s also called powdered sugar and confectioners sugar.

  135. Am looking for a filling for a cake and will definitely try this recipe! How long can it stay out in the open for (ie. If it’s used in a wedding cake, can the cake be displayed for a few hours)?

    Thanks in advance!

  136. Georgette76 Reply

    Wonderful taste and texture, the kids loved the taste of it.

  137. Outstanding recipe Karlynn! I’m making the Hello Kitty cake for my granddaughters birthday and came across your recipe. Used less cream for piping the icing. This frosting is scrumptious! Can’t go back to any other recipe now. ☺️

  138. This was great. I was able to make this with a hand mixer! Just do small portions and mix well, add a little more, mix well. 

    I did exactly as the recipe instructed, except I substituted buttermilk for the cream. And I omitted the vanilla extract. It tasted amazing without it. Great recipe! Will definitely use this every time we need buttercream icing.

  139. I was looking for a buttercream that tastes delicious and would work perfectly for crumb coating… I have to say THIS IS THE BEST AND EASIEST BUTTERCREAM EVER!!!

    Thank you so so much! You are a life saver! 🙂

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Sally Woot! Glad that it worked out for you so well! 

  140. Edible Delights Reply

    This is the by far the Best buttercream recipe! I made it last week & got lots of compliments.

  141. Edible Delights Reply

    I made this last night & OMG! This recipe is a winner! !!The French Vanilla coffee creamer added a perfect flavor & using salter butter added another element. This will be my go to recipe.

  142. I think what makes this recipe is the heavy cream (whipping cream). If you don’t want vanilla use a different extract. I’ve added lemon and cocoa. Don’t replace the cream.

  143. HI – I’ve never made buttercream before, but Im wondering if I can use your recipe but instead of heavy cream and vanilla flavor – if you’ve ever used flavoured coffee cream instead? A hazelnut buttercream on a chocolate cake would be SO GOOD!

    • honeychile Reply

      ErinYEG, I may not be understanding your question, but I’m not sure whether coffee creamer could be used in lieu of cream.  That’s because most coffee creamers contain little, if any, actual dairy product.  They are mostly water, sugar, and hydrogenated oil.  You could try this on a very small scale to see if it works without breaking down the consistency of the icing.  But I think, instead, I’d still use cream (or half’n’half is what I used in this recipe) and some hazelnut extract.  Even if coffee creamer worked, such a small amount would be unlikely to give you a delicious, recognizable hazelnut taste.  Hazelnut extract would provide that; in fact, I might use half vanilla and half hazelnut extract.  If you try either version, I hope you’ll post here with your results!

  144. Best frosting ever.  I’ve added lemon and cocoa.  Wonderful.

  145. Thank you for the recipe – I’ve just made two batches (separate colors) and they are both delicious! I also added Peppermint extract to my green buttercream to place on the chocolate Cupcakes – I have a feeling this will be yummy! Thanks again for sharing your wonderful recipe!

  146. EmilyPelous Reply

    I was wondering, about how many cupcakes would this frost? It sounds really good and I would love to use it on a chocolate cupcake recipe I’m dying to try. Thanks!

  147. honeychile Reply

    Great recipe!  I haven’t made buttercream frosting in a while and couldn’t remember the proportions; a Google search led me to your welcome recipe.  I usually use salted butter for the same reason you mention.  It seems to cut the cloyingly sweet taste, but I only had unsalted butter on hand.  I added a generous pinch of fine salt, and it worked well.  I substituted half’n’half (that’s what we use in coffee) and used about a third less than the thicker cream.  My favorite vanilla extract is Sonoma Syrup Company’s Vanilla Bean Crush which is a blend of both Madagascar bourbon and Tahitian beans along with vanilla bean seeds. I used 4 tsps.  The end result is delicious and creamy.  It was soft enough to spread, but stiff enough to pipe.  In fact, it spread so cleanly that I didn’t bother with a crumb coat.  I saved enough of the frosting to pipe a simple border around top and bottom and a few piped roses in the center.  Beautiful, simple, delicious!  Thanks again!

  148. I just made an icing using your recipe – it worked. It’s so
    good. Thank you for sharing. I have to work on my piping skills a bit more.

  149. 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.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      david lollis No it’s a heavy cream between whipping and half and half, but all three will do!

      • ShanenSteppenwolf Reply

        thekitchenmagpie david lollis

        So what coffee creamer is the best to use?

        • Frazzled Baker Reply

          ShanenSteppenwolf thekitchenmagpie david lollis I don’t want to jump in, but use unflavored Coffee Mate or French Vanillia flavored. Also, as a tip, havae stayed in a few hotels which provide Coffee Mate creamer as well as pure maple syrup. Since they are provided with your meal and/or the room, you have already paid for it. Both can keep forever.

  150. 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.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @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 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.

  151. Karlynn,  When you say “cream” for the icing, is it a heavy cream or half & half?  Thanks

  152. juliewilds1 Reply

    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

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      juliewilds1 Oh my goodness how did I miss this? That is ADORABLE!!!!! Thank you for sharing!

    • KitchenMagpie Reply

      Asadourian EakinEagles Awww I love little bakers in the making!! <3

  153. zsantiago39 Reply

    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.

    • zsantiago39  It’s supposed to taste like butter. If you don’t want that, you can use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening.

  154. 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.

  155. JonMichael Reply

    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!!!!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      JonMichael Haha yes I am a lover of salted butter! It’s the best in sweet sauces and frostings!

  156. recipe says “serves 6” Aprox. how many cupcakes will this recipe frost?

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

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

  157. 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?

    • Lindsey Grimes Reply

      @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!

  158. 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!

  159. 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???   

    • MelissaMoss Reply

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

    • @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!

    • My wedding cake was a carrot cake with buttercream frosting but the baker topped it with fondant to get the design I wanted.

  160. 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!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

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

  161. 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.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

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

    • 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

      • thekitchenmagpie Reply

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

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

  162. Walkingyellowmags Reply

    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.

  163. 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!!

  164. 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?

    • MelissaMoss Reply

      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.

  165. hi can i use this frosting under a fondant? 

    Thanks so much 

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

  167. ChristinaMosbyChildress Reply

    Unsalted always. Found right next to salted. Salted butter is unusual for cakes and frostings. I bake quite often.

  168. linda lou 249 Reply

    are you using a special kind of sugar that you are calling icing sugar or is it just powdered sugar

  169. Surrey Bee Reply

    Steffie I use single cream (the type you would put into a cup of coffee) and it has always worked brilliantly! This really is the BEST recipe ever and for those of you using oz I just tried 3oz butter, 12oz icing sugar and around 4tblspn of single cream to bring it all together, a dash of vanilla – perfect!

    • LauraFletcher Reply

      Surrey Bee thanks for the oz’s i am going to try this for my gran xmas choc cake with this in the middle im going to make tomorow.

  170. Java_Junkie