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Need the BEST buttercream frosting for all of your favorite cakes and cupcakes? I’ve got you covered! This buttercream frosting is the only recipe you’ll ever need. Soft, smooth, and perfectly rich!

Homemade frosting is the best way to elevate any cake. It’s a lot easier than you’d think to make! It also tastes a million times better than store-bought. Try my recipes for cream cheese frosting, chocolate buttercream, and royal icing next!

Hero image of a yellow cake cupcake frosted with buttercream.

The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Buttercream is my favorite frosting to work with. Don’t get me wrong, cream cheese frosting is wonderful too, but there’s something about buttercream that’s so luscious! I have recipes for both chocolate and white chocolate buttercream on the blog, but I decided it was time to add some classic vanilla buttercream! I know it may seem simple, but trust me, it’s anything but! (Speaking from experience) you’ll want to eat the whole bowl.

This buttercream frosting has the perfect consistency. It’s thick and smooth- perfect for frosting cupcakes with! I’ve also included tips on how to thin it out a little if you’re wanting something softer. Either way, you’re going to love how this buttercream tastes. So rich and buttery! Try it out on this classic yellow cake or chocolate cake! I promise you won’t regret it.

Buttercream Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make the best buttercream frosting! I love that they’re all things I have in my fridge and pantry. The key to the best buttercream is the ratios of each ingredient. Every time I use this recipe my buttercream frosting ends up perfectly soft and smooth! You can find exact measurements in the recipe card below.

  • Butter: Since we add salt separately, I used unsalted butter here. To make sure your frosting mixes together smoothly, use room temperature butter!
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness and gives the frosting a smooth texture.
  • Vanilla Extract: Deepens the flavor of the frosting and adds sweetness. I recommend using pure vanilla extract for the best flavor!
  • Salt: Just a pinch to enhance the flavors of the buttercream.
  • Heavy Cream: Adjusts the consistency of the buttercream frosting. It also makes it super creamy!
  • Purple Food Coloring: (Optional) If your frosting ends up yellow and you want it to be bright white, add in a drop of purple food coloring. Purple cancels out yellow tones.

How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

Making perfect buttercream is a lot easier than you’d think! It comes together in just a few simple steps. I know you’re going to love this frosting as much as I do. Definitely the recipe to have on hand for all of your cake-making needs!

  1. Mix Butter and Sugar: Beat the butter and powdered sugar together slowly in a stand mixer until combined.
  2. Add Vanilla, Salt and Cream: Add the vanilla, salt and 3 tablespoons of cream. Then beat until smooth.
  3. Adjust Consistency: Add more cream if needed to reach a softer, smoother consistency.
Top-down view of buttercream frosting in a glass bowl.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few of my favorite tips for working with buttercream frosting! Once you get a taste of this deliciousness, I know it will become your go-to frosting as well!

  • Adjust Color: If your buttercream is too yellow because of the butter, add just a tiny bit of purple food coloring to get a bright white frosting.
  • Consistency: Soft buttercream is better for frosting full cakes whereas stiff is better for piping flowers and details. If you are going to be piping with it and frosting, remove however much you need to pipe with before adding more cream to soften the remaining frosting.
  • Use Room Temperature Butter: Room temperature butter is essential to getting a nice smooth buttercream.
  • Mix Slowly: Start slow when mixing, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. If you go too fast, then the powdered sugar will fly everywhere.
A cupcake being frosted.

How Long Does Homemade Buttercream Last?

Here’s how to store it both in the fridge and at room temperature! Be sure to refrigerate your buttercream if you’re making it ahead of time. It will stay more fresh this way.

  • At Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. 
  • In the Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. You will want to bring it to room temperature before using it to frost anything. It may need to be beaten for a short while with a little more cream to return to a creamy, smooth texture.
Closeup of a cupcake topped with buttercream frosting.

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Best Buttercream Frosting

By: Alyssa Rivers
Need the BEST buttercream frosting for all of your favorite cakes and cupcakes? I’ve got you covered! This buttercream frosting is the only recipe you’ll ever need. Soft, smooth, and perfectly rich!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 Cups

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Beat the butter and powdered sugar together slowly in a stand mixer until combined. Add the vanilla, salt and 3 tablespoons of cream. Beat until smooth. Add more cream if needed to reach a softer, smoother consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 1433kcalCarbohydrates: 192gProtein: 1gFat: 77gSaturated Fat: 49gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 205mgSodium: 24mgPotassium: 37mgSugar: 188gVitamin A: 2399IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cake, pantry staple
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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