This easy buttercream frosting recipe is made with butter and powdered sugar. This frosting is perfect for decorating cakes and cupcakes.
Buttercream is a frosting made from powdered sugar and butter. It is often used to frost cakes or as a decoration on cupcakes.
This vanilla buttercream recipe is enough to decorate about 12 cupcakes or one cake. This fluffy buttercream is quick to make, and you only need a few ingredients.
Butter - to make the buttercream, always use unsalted cream butter. If you want to make lactose-free buttercream, you can replace it with plant-based butter or margarine if necessary.
Powdered sugar - because powdered sugar grains are a lot smaller than regular sugar, it is more easily absorbed by the butter. This gives you a velvety soft buttercream.
Don't have powdered sugar? No problem. I have a step-by-step guide on how to make your own powdered sugar from granulated sugar.
You can find the complete ingredient list and instructions on the recipe card below!
Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until it is fluffy and light in color. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar little by little until the sugar is well incorporated.
To prevent the sugar from dusting too much, set the mixer on low and put a tea towel over the bowl if necessary.
Now you can add flavoring or coloring. Don't add too much at once, and taste in between until you have the perfect buttercream.
If you love chocolate you will love my chocolate frosting with cocoa powder recipe!
How to add flavors to your buttercream frosting
Because the butter in this recipe has a neutral flavor, you can add almost every flavor you like. These flavors are my favorite:
- Coffee: add a tablespoon of instant coffee into the milk for a delicious mocha buttercream.
- Chocolate: for delicious chocolate buttercream, add cocoa powder to the butter while mixing. If your cream becomes too stiff, you can stir in a little more milk or whipped cream if necessary.
- Strawberry: mash or mash a few strawberries and stir them into the butter. It is then not always necessary to add some milk.
- Orange: Replace the milk with orange juice and add a drop of orange food coloring if necessary for an extra intense orange color.
- Lemon - add two tablespoons of lemon juice and possibly some lemon zest for a fresh lemon cream.
My tips for this recipe
- Use soft butter. If your butter is a little softer, you can beat it loose easily and faster.
- Beat the butter long enough. You obviously want an airy vanilla cream to fill your cake with, and you get this by beating your butter long enough. This is quite a workout by hand, though, so I recommend using a (hand) mixer.
- Don't add all the sugar at once. Add your powdered sugar to the butter little by little. This way you prevent all the powdered sugar from fluffing up, and it will be absorbed faster by the butter.
- Add a little milk. Classic buttercream is nothing more than a mixture of butter and sugar, but if you stir in a little milk and vanilla extract, the cream becomes just a little less heavy.
- Chill! If your buttercream has gotten too soft, it's best to let it set in the refrigerator for a while.
- Hand mixer - beating the butter is easiest if you do it with a hand mixer. You can also use a food processor.
- Sieve - to make sure you don't have any lumps in your cream, you should pass your sugar through a sieve.
Frequently asked questions
Add a few drops of food coloring to the butter. You can also dress it with natural coloring by replacing the milk with beet juice, for example.
Yes, you can certainly use margarine. The taste will be slightly different, and in my experience, the cream will also be slightly firmer.
Whipping the butter for at least 10 minutes will make it almost white. You can also mix in a little white food coloring if you want really white buttercream. There is also a big difference in color between different colors of butter. The whiter your butter is, the nicer the color will be.
Yes, you can, but you will never get the cream as airy as with a (hand) mixer. It also becomes a lot less white because you beat less air into it by hand.
Buttercream frosting can be kept in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Stir the cream well before use.
You can also freeze the cream. In a freezer bag or container, you can keep it for about three months.
Let it thaw in the refrigerator and after thawing, give it a good stir before use.
More easy frosting and pie filling recipes you will love
Easy buttercream frosting recipe
- 2 sticks or 250 gram butter
- 3 cups or 400 gram powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of milk *optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- in a large bowl, put the butter and beat with a mixer until almost white and fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar little by little and keep mixing until everything is incorporated.
- Add in some milk and vanilla extract if necessary and mix for another 3 minutes until you have a light, fluffy buttercream. This is also the time to add other flavors, such as chocolate.