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Rich Buttercream Frosting

A few simple ingredients make a creamy frosting that finishes cakes, cupcakes and cookies. If you love making desserts, keep this frosting recipe handy. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
  • Makes
    5 cups


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla; beat until smooth (frosting will be thick). If desired, tint with food coloring.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 136 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 38mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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  • jon.ruth.alumbaugh
    Dec 29, 2017

    This Taste of Home Volunteer Field editor is in love with this frosting recipe! It's a little hard to spread on a more delicate cake so I just added a little more milk. I'm very happy to have a large quantity to also taste...over and over again.

  • Swallsrn
    Jul 10, 2016

    I've been making this for years and it's always so good.

  • kedenv
    Jan 22, 2016

    I found this frosting to be too thick and too sweet. It does make a ton of frosting. I frosted 2 dozen cupcakes with it, and probably could have frosted another dozen easily. I 'll keep playing with the basic recipe to see if it can be evened out a bit.

  • kmpatch
    Oct 24, 2015

    Good basic frosting recipe. I halved the recipe, which was enough to frost a 9" 2-layer cake. It was very sweet - I added a few more tablespoons of butter and a pinch of salt and it was much better. I also added a bit more milk to get the right spreading consistency for my cake.

  • lurky27
    Aug 24, 2015

    Super! 1% milk is fine. Enough frosting for a 13x9 cake & a 9x9 2-layer cake.- Theresa

  • sgronholz
    Feb 4, 2015

    What a great frosting recipe! I add an additional tablespoon of milk to make the consistency a little softer, which I prefer. I've used it to frost both cupcakes and cut-out cookies and am so happy with the results!

  • Stormie_01
    Dec 6, 2013

    A tried and true recipe. A good recipe like this, well it makes decorating your Christmas Cookies a breeze. Thanks Taste of Home. You are the Bomb!

  • iwuflutegurl
    Nov 20, 2012

    This is a great recipe for basic buttercream. The flavor is perfectly sweet and the texture and consistency are great. It easily accepts extra liquid (water or milk) to make a smoother, more glazelike frosting. It also crusts nicely, making it easier to transport frosted cookies! I have used this recipe exclusively for my sugar cookie decorating since I found it and also for my daughters' birthday cakes. The original recipe yields quite a bit - plenty to generously frost at least 6 dozen cookies or a couple of 9x13 cakes.

  • phillips802
    Feb 18, 2012

    This is a poor mans 6 siblings and I use to make this same tasting fronting with mom growing up for Christmas was powdered sugar and water. I am very disappointed with this recipe. My nice was very excited to try something NEW and unfortunately ended up with an old family recipe....

  • *Glow*
    Mar 3, 2011

    Very good frosting. Sweetness is not overpowering. I tried it on sugar cookies but I think it will perfect on cupcakes. Definitely staying in my recipe box