How to make cupcake icing

Updated April 17, 2017

What's the best part of cupcakes? The icing, of course. A sweet buttercream icing goes well with any type of cupcake. Plus, it's easy to make.

Put the butter in the mixing bowl, and whip it on high speed with the handheld mixer until it's very soft.

Add 1 cup sugar. Lower the speed of the mixer, and stir the sugar and butter until they are well combined. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time until all of it is used.

Pour in the milk, and mix on low speed.

Add the vanilla and mix.

Turn the mixer to high speed and beat the icing until it is light and fluffy, two to four minutes.


For extra flair, top your cupcakes with sprinkles or candy. Give your icing some colour with food colouring.


Always wash your hands before you start a recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • 0.68kg. confectioners' sugar (1.5 boxes)
  • 0.227kg. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/8 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Large bowl
  • Handheld mixer
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About the Author

A native of Washington, D.C., Caroline Tung Richmond has worked as a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles have appeared in both print and online publications such as the "Baltimore Sun," "Highlights" and She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University.