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Buttercream Frosting

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
    about 4 cups


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


  • In a bowl, cream butter. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency.
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.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 453 calories, 16g fat (10g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 80g carbohydrate (75g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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Average Rating:
  • dlynsmith9
    Jan 12, 2019

    The easiest and best buttercream frosting I have used. I added cocoa powder as directed it it turned out great. It is not overly sweet, so it was great on my chocolate caramel brownies.

  • ebramkamp
    Nov 30, 2018

    This is an easy and tasty buttercream with a nice consistency. I added a pinch of sea salt to counter some of the sweetness.

  • scott196004
    Jul 26, 2017

    Totally yummy. I put this in between graham crackers, then in the refrigerator to make a delectable sweet treat. I substitute almond extract. Gives it that nutty flavor.

  • pburgpiano
    May 18, 2015

    This is very easy to make and just delicious.

  • sazzlebury
    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
    Dec 17, 2013

    You can add popcorn salt to cut down on the sweetness

  • TheSensibleMom
    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
    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
    Jun 21, 2013

    I love how easy to it make...

  • stwood64
    Jun 12, 2013

    No comment left