Baking/ Desserts/ Recipe

Buttercream Frosting

May 25, 2016 (Last Updated: September 26, 2019)

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A perfect buttercream frosting for cakes or cupcakes.

An absolutely perfect Buttercream Frosting..


I do a lot of baking and bake a lot of cakes and cupcakes. Having a great buttercream frosting is a key element to any great cake or cupcake.  This is my go-to buttercream frosting recipe. This is for frosting a cake or piping swirls on cupcakes.

Smooth vanilla buttercream frosting on a vanilla cupcake.

This buttercream is buttery and creamy.  It is perfect for piping and holds up under most circumstances. If I am making a cake in really hot or humid weather or if my cake has to be showcased outside, like in my sister’s wedding, I adjust this recipe with less butter and more shortening.

Buttercream frosting swirled onto vanilla cupcake topped with colored sprinkles.

This recipe makes a fairly large amount of buttercream frosting. You can easily halve the recipe. I don’t like to run out midway through decorating so I usually make a full batch. Extra frosting can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.  Bring to room temperature and stir before using.

Tips for Buttercream Frosting

  • If your powdered sugar has lumps, sift before using.
  • Do not over whip the frosting or you may get little air bubbles.
  • Food coloring may be added after the frosting is completely mixed. I use gel food coloring rather than liquid food coloring. The colors are more vibrant and it won’t thin your frosting.
  • This recipe may be doubled.
  • For warmer weather use, decrease the amount of butter and replace with shortening.

I really prefer making my own frostings. I also have a Lemon Buttercream, a Chocolate Buttercream,  and a  Pumpkin Spice Buttercream. Having a variety of recipes makes it easy to match to your favorite cake or cupcake.

Here is a site that provides easy piping techniques. It’s fun to create your own designs. 

Don’t Forget to Pin for later

Swirled frosting on a yellow cupcake.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

If you loved this recipe you’ll LOVE all the others in this category. Check out all my desserts here!

An absolutely perfect Buttercream Frosting..

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream frosting rich in taste and perfect for piping. 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 584 kcal


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk


  • In a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening together.
  • Mix in powdered sugar. I add half at a time, mix and then add remaining sugar. Mixture will be thick.
  • Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix
  • Continue adding milk until desired consistency.


To make a frosting that will stand up to warmer weather, use 1/2 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups shortening.
If frosting is too thick, stir in a bit more milk. Just add a little at a time.
Coloring can be added after frosting is made. Just stir in amount of coloring you desire.
Keep left over frosting covered in fridge for up to a week. Bring to room temperature and stir before using.


Calories: 584kcalCarbohydrates: 75gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 138mgPotassium: 9mgSugar: 74gVitamin A: 480IUCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword buttercream frosting, buttercream recipe, cake decorating frosting, icing recipe
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.





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  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    5 stars
    Sounds like a perfect recipe, but never used shortening before-what kind do you use? please and thanks

    • Reply
      April 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      I use Crisco shortening in this buttercream to offer stability.

  • Reply
    December 22, 2016 at 2:04 am

    I’m a bit late in this conversation, but can I use all butter? Is this a creamy frosting or a fluffy frosting? I like creamy over fluffy, that’s why I’m asking.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2016 at 4:16 am

      The shortening offers stability. Butter is often too soft by itself and is difficult to decorate with. If you are just wanting to spread the frosting all butter should work.

  • Reply
    Anne Lawton
    December 7, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    You cant beat buttercream frosting! Love your pictures

    • Reply
      December 8, 2016 at 5:10 am

      Thanks, Anne!

  • Reply
    Citra Kale @Citra's Home Diary
    December 7, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I Always trial and error with many buttercream recipe for my cake… I’m surely bookmarked yours..sound great to try. thx for sharing.

    • Reply
      December 7, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      I hope you do give this a try the next time you need to decorate a cake! We’ve used this recipe again and again.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2016 at 10:11 am

    5 stars
    I suck at buttercream. Thank you for sharing these tips with us at #FoodieFriDIY.

    • Reply
      June 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      I think you could be successful with this buttercream! Give it a go!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 31, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Nothing like classic buttercream! Thanks for sharing, my friend!!

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 5:00 am


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