Easy Buttercream Frosting is so simple and quick. All you need is butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, a little cream, and about 10 minutes!
When I was a little girl, nearly everything that came out of our kitchen was homemade—so naturally, I wanted all the things in the store that were not homemade and canned buttercream frosting was definitely on that list, along with canned biscuits instead of homemade biscuits!
Now the thought of canned buttercream frosting or any kind of canned cake frosting grosses me out, especially since homemade buttercream frosting is SO easy to make!
Helpful tools and ingredients:
- Stand mixer - you can certainly make this easy buttercream frosting using a good hand mixer like this one, but a stand mixer just makes it so much easier! If you don't have one, treat yo' self!
This easy buttercream frosting recipe is a classic and so simple:
- Powdered sugar
- Cream or milk
Pro Tip: For this recipe, I use imitation vanilla or almond extract since it's clear. You can use pure vanilla extract but it will tint the frosting slightly and I like buttercream frosting to be pretty and white.
How to make easy buttercream frosting
Step 1. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high until creamy, about 5 minutes.
Step 2. Turn mixer on low and gradually add powdered sugar, mixing on medium until blended.
Step 3. Add cream or milk, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt and mix until well-blended.
Pro Tip: Add more cream as needed 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Step 4. Turn mixer to medium-high and whip frosting for 1 to 2 minutes.
Does buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?
You can make buttercream frosting a few days ahead and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you're just making the frosting the day you need it, your cake or cupcakes do not have to go in the fridge.
More questions? Here's an article with Every Question You've Ever Had About Buttercream, Answered!
Throw away the cans and make this homemade buttercream frosting for your next cake or cupcake and I promise you'll be glad you did!
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Easy Buttercream Frosting Recipe
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 6 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 3 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- In bowl of stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Turn mixer on low and gradually add powdered sugar, mixing on medium until blended.
- Add 2 tablespoons cream, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt and mix until well-blended. Add more cream as needed 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Turn mixer to medium-high and whip frosting for 1 to 2 minutes.
Here's a great tutorial on How to Frost a Smooth Cake with Buttercream Frosting.
Update Notes: This post was originally published October 20, 2015, and on June 20, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.
More frosting and cake recipes:
Check out all of our Cake recipes.