How to make homemade buttercream frosting

Written by brandy burgess
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How to make homemade buttercream frosting
Buttercream frosting is perfect for cupcakes and sheet cakes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Buttercream frosting comes in many variations to provide different tastes and textures. Homemade buttercream frosting requires few ingredients and does not have the artificial taste that store-purchased frosting can have. You can use buttercream frosting with cupcakes, layer cakes, sheet cakes and other delicious desserts. Use a thinner buttercream frosting glaze to drizzle over doughnuts or muffins.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Unsalted butter
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Stand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Milk
  • Measuring cup
  • Vanilla extract

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  1. 1

    Put 1/2 cup of unsalted butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the bowl in the microwave on low for 20 seconds or until the butter softens.

  2. 2

    Remove the bowl from the microwave and pour the softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Smooth the butter into a creamy consistency with a spatula.

  3. 3

    Measure and add 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar to the stand mixing bowl. Mix the butter and confectioners' sugar in the stand mixing bowl on low speed for 15 seconds.

  4. 4

    Pour 1/4 cup milk into the stand mixing bowl. Combine the ingredients together with the stand mixer on low speed for 15 seconds.

  5. 5

    Drizzle 2 tablespoons vanilla extract into the stand mixing bowl. Leave the stand mixer on low speed while adding the vanilla extract gradually.

Tips and warnings

  • Add more confectioners' sugar for a thicker buttercream frosting. More milk will make the frosting thinner for glazing desserts.
  • Use the same recipe in a food processor if you do not have a stand mixer. Process each new ingredient in the food process for 15-second intervals.
  • Though any type of milk will work with this recipe, whole milk is recommended for a rich creamy buttercream frosting.
  • Dip a toothpick into the desired gel food colours and insert into the buttercream frosting to create coloured frosting.
  • If the confectioners' sugar is lumpy, sift it through a sugar sifter to prevent the buttercream frosting from becoming lumpy.
  • Use room-temperature butter if possible. Cream the butter until fluffy and light before adding new ingredients to the mixture.
  • Store the buttercream frosting in the refrigerator in an airtight container with a lid; use it immediately or freeze it for up to two months.

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