How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

Cakes & Cupcakes
June 7, 2019
Cakes & Cupcakes
June 7, 2019

How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

Are you a frosting person or a cake person? And don’t try to wiggle your way out of this and

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How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

Are you a frosting person or a cake person? And don’t try to wiggle your way out of this and tell me you’re both, because that’s a cop out and we all know everyone likes one more than the other. Well, ladies and gents, I am a frosting person. I could do without the cake (unless it our best vanilla cake ever because it’s so good), and just eat the frosting. I mean butter and sugar? What’s not to like. And today we’re sharing a secret with you: how to make the best buttercream frosting ever.

What ingredients do you need to make frosting?

  1. Butter: Uh duh. Softened butter will be the base of your buttercream frosting. We recommend using unsalted, that way you can control how salty your frosting is. The most important thing is to use room temperature butter. This will ensure you get fluffy, perfect vanilla buttercream every time. 
  2. Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectionery sugar, this will sweeten and thicken your buttercream to perfectly complement your cake’s flavor and hold everything together.
  3. Milk: We prefer to use whole milk for frosting to keep it creamy, dreamy and delicious. You can always add a little more milk if you want a slightly thinner frosting or a little less for a thicker option. Just keep in mind that one tablespoon can have a big difference on your texture, so make sure to do it gradually.
  4. Vanilla Extract: High quality vanilla extract is so important as it’s the only other flavor going into your frosting. It’s totally worth the splurge.

Step One: Bring your butter to room temperature.

I know this isn’t really a step, but it’s SO important. If your butter is not room temperature, it will take twice the time to whip up a good frosting and get all your ingredients to incorporate together. Either set your butter on the counter for a few hours, or microwave for about 15 seconds to soften.

Step Two: Place the butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.


Step Three: Beat the butter and sugar together until just combined.

The mixture will be very thick, but the sugar and butter should combine, with no clumps of powdered sugar remaining.

Step Four: Add the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat for 3 minutes.


Use a high quality vanilla extract–we love Rodelle, the perfect amount of salt and some milk to thin out your frosting. This will give you the perfect consistency for a spreadable, fluffy frosting.

Step Five: Switch out the paddle attachment for the whisk attachment and beat for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

While the paddle attachment works to beat everything together and completely combine all the ingredients, the whisk attachment will beat air into the frosting, creating a fluffy, light buttercream frosting. So dreamy 🙂


Enjoy all this buttery, sugary goodness with your chocolate cake, vanilla cake, sugar cookies whoopie pies….literally put it on anything.

What other kinds of frosting would you love to see on the blog? Chocolate? Cream cheese? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy weekend lovebugs. 



The Best Buttercream Frosting



  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk


  1.  Place the softened butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the butter and sugar together until combined. The mixture will be thick.
  2. Add the milk, salt, and vanilla extract and turn the mixer on high. Beat for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Beat for 2 more minutes until frosting is thick and fluffy.
  3. Transfer to a piping bag to frost your favorite cake, cupcakes, or cookies!


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  1. Hello! I’m planning on making this for my birthday on Monday, along with your vanilla cake recipe as well. How much frosting does one serving make? Thank you!

    • You should be able to frost the whole cake with this recipe! If you want a lot of frosting I would double it!

    • Hi Alayna. Yes it can. You can make it up to 3 days in advance or you can also freeze it! We like to beat it up in the mixer again before using to keep it fluffy 🙂

  2. I really want to make this recipe but I don’t have a stand mixer with a paddle and whisk attachment—just a plain old 2-beater electric mixer. What changes will I need to make? Thanks.

    • Hey Mary! You can absolutely use a hand mixer. You’ll follow the recipe exactly, just make sure you use a big bowl and that your butter is very soft to prevent any flying butter or sugar!

  3. Hi, Sarah. I would appreciate it if you could post a buttercream that is not as sweet as American Buttercream and is also not a meringue, if such a thing exists. Thanks.

    • Hey Marsha! Hmmm we’ll have to get on that! Generally when we’re making a less sweet frosting we do an Italian buttercream (which is meringue based), so we’ll have to do some brainstorming. Keep you posted xx

  4. Is this frosting good for piping? I am in need of fluffy frosting that will hold on my cake and not slump down.
    Thank you!

    • Hey Jen! This is a great thick frosting for frosting a layer cake and definitely won’t slide off like a glaze would. If you’re looking for a thicker frosting for piping work or anything like that I’d recommend adding a little more confectionery sugar to stiffen it up! Hope this helps!