The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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This is a classic recipe for fluffy, homemade vanilla buttercream frosting. It’s made with simple ingredients the are whipped together to create the best buttercream frosting!

A cupcake topped with homemade buttercream frosting

I could eat this straight from the bowl it’s so good! Is there anything better than whipped buttercream?! It’s like fluffy clouds!! Smooth, creamy and pure perfection.

This recipe is great for cupcakes or the perfect frosting for a layered or sheet cake. Also, it’s so simple to make. I always make my own frosting as you can’t even compare the freshness, flavor and whole ingredients of homemade frosting to store-bought frosting.

Bowl of buttercream frosting

How to Make Buttercream Frosting

It’s actually really simple to make! You only need 4 simple ingredients and 5 minutes of your time!


  • Butter, room temperature. I use salted, but you can use unsalted too.
  • Confectioners sugar. This is also called powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla extract. Use good quality extract.
  • Milk. We only use a little organic whole milk in this recipe. However, you can actually skip the milk if you feel the frosting texture is good without it!


  • The butter must be room temp and soft so it can whip easily giving it a creamy and smooth texture.
  • Add the butter to a stand-alone electric mixer and beat on high with the paddle attachment.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and continue to beat
  • Add in the powdered sugar and continue to beat until it becomes fluffy and whipped.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon whole milk.
  • Continue to beat the frosting until whipped. Add another tablespoon butter if it’s too thick.
Buttercream frosting in a piping bag on a marble table.

For cupcakes, scoop the frosting in piping bag to frost! You can also use a cookie scooper and scoop a ball of frosting on top of a cupcake.

Overhead picture of a cupcake with a bite taken out on a marble table.

Colorful Buttercream Frosting

Make a rainbow buttercream frosting by dividing the whipped frosting into five bowls and dying each one a different color.

Use gel food coloring to get your desired color.

Colorful buttercream frosting in a piping bag.

Then scoop a little of each color into a piping bag until he colors are layered and the piping bag is full.

Colorful buttercream frosting with a lucky charms heart

When you pipe the frosting on cupcakes it will come out as all different colors! It’s so fun! We did this for our Lucky Charms Cupcakes, which are also filled with marshmallow cream, yum!

Adding Flavor to Buttercream Frosting

Lemon buttercream frosting recipe with lemon zest on the top of a vanilla cupcake.

Adding flavor to buttercream is easy! All you have to do is switch out the vanilla extract for a different flavor. What makes buttercream vanilla is the extract, so if you change that you’re adding a hint of your desired flavor!

Flavored Extracts

  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Almond
  • Peppermint
  • Banana
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut

You can see more flavors here, they have SO many delicious extracts!

Vanilla buttercream framing topped on a vanilla cupcake

Frequently Asked Questions about Buttercream Frosting:

Can buttercream frosting be left out?

Did you know many people, especially in other countries, actually leave their butter out on the counter for weeks? There is a debate about this, but it’s actually okay to leave butter out if it’s salted and pasteurized and stored in an airtight container.

It can be left out for a week or two at the most. So yes, you can leave buttercream frosting out if it only has a tablespoon or two of milk.

Do you have to refrigerate a cake with buttercream frosting?

If the cupcakes or cake are frosted, place a glass dome over the dessert and it will be totally fine on the counter for a few days. After a few days it should be consumed or thrown away.

Buttercream Frosting or Whipped?

Buttercream frosting can be considered a whipped frosting. When you beat room temperature butter and sugar on high it whips into a light and fluffier texture.

Chocolate cupcakes with homemade frosting topped with a chunk of toffee.

Check out our favorite chocolate cupcakes topped with our easy, homemade buttercream frosting! There is toffee baked in the center, so good!

Let us know if you make this easy buttercream frosting by leaving a comment and review below!

Buttercream Frosting

A whipped vanilla buttercream frosting recipe that works every time!
4.67 from 21 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 2595kcal
Author: Eden


  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature and soft
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar , also known as powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp whole milk


  • In an electric mixer, beat the butter until it's whipped.
  • Add in the sugar and continue to beat until whipped.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the vanilla and milk.
  • Continue to beat for about 2-4 minutes until the frosting is super whipped.


If you’re making 24 cupcakes double this recipe! This will frost about 12 cupcakes and 1 round 9″ cake. It will also frost the top of one sheet cake. 
Use high-quality butter, milk, and vanilla when making the buttercream. It makes a huge difference in the taste of the finished product.


Calories: 2595kcal | Carbohydrates: 241g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 185g | Saturated Fat: 117g | Cholesterol: 490mg | Sodium: 1633mg | Potassium: 54mg | Sugar: 237g | Vitamin A: 5673IU | Calcium: 71mg
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