Buttercream Icing Recipe


Buttercream Icing is perfect for cakes and cupcakes. You can change the color and consistency to suit your decorating needs. Makes about 3 cups of icing. Download recipe here for future reference: Buttercream Icing Recipe


Buttercream Icing Recipe
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine softened, not melted.

  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract such as Clear Vanilla Flavor

  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb)

  • 2 tablespoons of milk (add more as needed to suit your desired consistency)


  • Large Bowl (or you will covered in powdered sugar!)
  • Electric Mixer
  • Wooden Spoon or spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine with an electric mixer. Some microwaves have a handy soften butter feature.
  • Add vanilla. You want the clear vanilla if you are keeping the frosting white. Although I prefer real vanilla, it can give you a slight tint to the frosting.

making Buttercream Icing
  • Gradually add sugar one cup at a time, mixing at a medium speed. If you have a deep enough bowl, you can mix the entire amount of sugar.
  • Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add food coloring or dye of your choice. We like Wilton Certified Kosher colors. Some sets include a black which is hard to find. Wilton offers different sized sets of colors and individual from Craft Stores like Michaels. Always use less and add more if a deeper color is desired.
  • Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  • You can refrigerate unused icing in an airtight container. This icing can be stored for 2 weeks. Rewhip if necessary or let stand a few minutes to soften.
  • For a thinner spreading consistency icing add 2 tablespoons of either light corn syrup, water or milk.
Adding sugar to the Buttercream Icing

Tips and Suggestions

  • Use a LARGE Deep mixing bowl if you can. If your bowl is deep enough you can mix in the entire amount of sugar at one time. If the bowl is not deep enough you will have sugar clouds!
  • Some recipes call for 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening such as Crisco but I prefer to replace it with a stick of butter. It has less of a "oily" flavor.
  • Li>If you are using a pastry bag and tip to create a swirl, we like 3 Tablespoons of milk. If you add more, you may find it too runny and your frosting will slide. If you are simply spreading the frosting on top of the cupcake or cake, and it is too thick, add up to one additional Tablespoon of milk. (4 Tablespoons)
For tips on decorating cupcakes, check out our Tutorial