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The essential buttercream frosting recipe for cake lovers and bakers.Prep: 10 min. If you love lots of frosting, double the recipe.

Recipe by Southern Living March 2009

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Recipe Summary

Yield:
Makes about 2 3/4 cups
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

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  • Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 3 Tbsp. milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Beat in up to 2 Tbsp. additional milk for desired consistency.

  • Ultimate Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: Substitute 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste for vanilla extract. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes about 2 cups.

  • Vanilla Latte Buttercream Frosting: Increase vanilla extract to 2 tsp. Proceed with recipe as directed, beating in 1 Tbsp. instant espresso with butter. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: Increase milk to 5 to 7 Tbsp. Prepare recipe as directed in Step Whisk together 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa and powdered sugar. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

  • Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream Frosting: Reduce milk to 1 to 2 Tbsp. Prepare recipe as directed, beating in 3 Tbsp. peppermint schnapps with butter. Proceed with recipe as directed. Beat in 1 (4-oz.) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate baking bar. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

  • Note: For testing purposes only, we used Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar.

  • Chocolate-Malt Buttercream Frosting: Increase milk to 5 to 7 Tbsp. Prepare recipe as directed in Step Whisk together 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1/2 cup malted milk powder, and powdered sugar. Proceed with recipe as directed.

  • Key Lime Buttercream Frosting: Reduce milk to 1 to 2 Tbsp. Prepare recipe as directed in Step Beat in 1 1/2 tsp. Key lime zest. Proceed with recipe as directed in Step 2, beating in 3 Tbsp. Key lime juice with milk.

  • Raspberry Buttercream Frosting: Omit milk. Proceed with recipe as directed, beating in 1/2 cup fresh raspberries with butter. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

  • Note: Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry raspberries before adding to frosting.

  • Blackberry Buttercream Frosting: Omit milk. Prepare recipe as directed in Step 1, beating in 1/2 cup fresh blackberries and 1 tsp. lemon zest with butter. Proceed with recipe as directed, beating in an additional 1 cup powdered sugar. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

  • Note: Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry blackberries before adding to frosting.

  • Butterscotch-Caramel Buttercream Frosting: Reduce milk to 1 to 3 Tbsp. Proceed with recipe as directed, beating in 1/3 cup butterscotch-caramel topping with butter. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

  • Note: For testing purposes only, we used Smucker's Special Recipe Butterscotch Caramel Flavored Topping.

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