Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Buttercream Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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4.5 13 20
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This basic buttery frosting has unmatchable homemade taste. With a few simple variations, you can come up with different colors and flavors—from orange, lemon and mint to chocolate and peanut butter. —Diana Wilson, Denver, Colorado
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoons: 453 calories, 16g fat (10g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 80g carbohydrate (75g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.


  1. In a bowl, cream butter. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Yield: about 4 cups.
For Chocolate Frosting: Substitute 1/2 cup baking cocoa for 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar. For Peanut Butter Frosting: Substitute peanut butter for butter. For Lemon-or Orange-Flavored Frosting: Substitute lemon or orange juice for milk and add 1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange peel. For Almond-or Peppermint-Flavored Frosting: Substitute almond or peppermint extract for the vanilla. Liquid or paste food coloring may be added to match flavoring (green for mint, for example) or for contrast when decorating.
Originally published as Buttercream Frosting in Quick Cooking May/June 1998, p64

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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ebramkamp User ID: 702841 244073
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2016

"This is a good butter cream frosting. I made the chocolate and the only change I made was to add in a bit of sea salt to offset the sweetness. The chocolate and sea salt combination is delicious."

pburgpiano User ID: 5947718 226524
Reviewed May. 18, 2015

"This is very easy to make and just delicious."

sazzlebury User ID: 7335757 52449
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2014

"This and similar frostings are good if you don't have a stand mixer, and don't feel the need to own one, because you don't have to beat them a lot. Plus the taste is decent enough, although it is a little on the sweet side."

ailika User ID: 5680109 79416
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2013

"You can add popcorn salt to cut down on the sweetness"

TheSensibleMom User ID: 7144131 47654
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2013

"The four simple ingredients used in this recipe create a delicious buttercream frosting. I did sub in almond milk for the regular milk."

CookingUSA User ID: 7138853 21049
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2013

"Perhaps I should not have been surprised how much confectioners' sugar cake frosting uses, but I was. I was pleased with the recipe, though. I used the frosting on a pumpkin-spice cake, and they complimented each other. My dad pined that it tasted too sweet, probably because he rarely likes cake. I loved the taste, though--it certainly beats any store-bought frosting. Every cake lover will adore this frosting."

Mgarfield User ID: 7301922 49955
Reviewed Jun. 21, 2013

"I love how easy to it make..."

Freshmeninthekitchen User ID: 6208710 16659
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2011

"I am new to baking, cooking, and, all the above... This is a simple, yet, wonderfully sweet recipe. I really really enjoyed it! I usually will only eat wiped cream frosting; now this will be added to the list of edible cupcake/cake frostings. As for how I prepared this frosting I cut the recipe in half; I only used 3 cups of confections' sugar. In addition, I only needed to use 1/3 cup milk. Hope this helps!"

Kris Countryman User ID: 1858674 49926
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2011

"This is very sweet and makes a lot of frosting. I made half a recipe and had plenty for a 9X13 pan."

Chocolateeyes User ID: 3861604 21043
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2011

"This is my stand-by buttercream frosting! I use it every time and this freezes excellent as well! Hardly no measuring ..... half a block of butter and a bag of icing sugar (1kg) plus 2 cups awesome good and fast!"

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