Simple Butterceam Frosting

Simple Buttercream Cupcakes

This recipe is a classic. Little black dress, PB&J, Gone with the Wind kind of classic. In fact, I’m shocked I haven’t posted it on it’s own before!  This is the simplest buttercream frosting to make, and a go-to for when you want to frost a cake or cupcakes quickly. It’s so much better, and so easy, you’ll never turn to canned frosting again.

Simple Buttercream Frosting


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons milk

Whip the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, or with incredibly strong arms and a wooden spoon. Add the vanilla extract and mix it in. Add the powdered sugar slowly so it doesn’t go flying out of the mixer and all over your kitchen. I like to turn off the mixer and add about a half cup of sugar then slowly turn the mixer back on until it’s whipped in. When all the powdered sugar is added, the frosting will seem too stiff. Add the 2 Tablespoons of milk, and whip until light and fluffy. Spread or pipe it onto cakes, cupcakes or soft-baked sugar cookies.  It will last for a week tightly covered in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature and then re-whip before using.


  • Colors: When the frosting is done, add in food coloring. I prefer to use gel colors because it will not change the frosting consistency as much as the liquid colors, especially when making bright colors.
  • Different flavors: Feel free to use different flavors other than vanilla! Princess Cake and Cookie bakery emulsion is lovely but so is almond extract, a little bit of peppermint extract, or maple extract. The possibilities are endless! If you are using a strong flavor like peppermint, add just a little at first. It’s always easier to add a little more at the end.
  • For Hot Weather: If you’re making a cake that will be in a hot environment, such as outside at a summer birthday party, I recommend substituting half of the butter for solid vegetable shortening. It’s not quite as delicious, but vegetable shortening has a higher melting point than butter, so it will help your cake withstand the warm weather longer without melting.

That’s all there is to it! Enjoy this baking classic on your favorite cakes and cupcakes!




  1. […] The buttercream frosting from my previous post.  […]

  2. […] fudgy filling, and enrobed it in baby pink Swiss Merinue Buttercream.  For the flowers, I used Basic Buttercream, as it’s much sturdier for piping intricate […]

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