Buttercream Frosting Recipe



Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Whether frosting cakes or cookies, this creamy frosting is a classic.

This recipe makes enough to frost an 8″ two-layer cake or a batch of soft sugar cookies. Or if you have neither of those, I recommend graham crackers. Or cookies. Or spoons. You know, whatever you have on hand.

I know the recipe is called buttercream, but substitutes work just fine. If you eat butter, by all means indulge. But if you don’t eat dairy, give non-hydrogenated margarine a try. It gives you a vegan version that tastes just as good.


1/2 cup butter (one stick) or non-hydrogenated margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract 3 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar 2-3 teaspoons milk or water


1. In a large mixing bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter (one stick).

2. Add the confectioner’s (powdered) sugar and blend thoroughly, creating a dry mixture.

3. Add the vanilla or almond extract and beat thoroughly. The mixture will begin to form clumps.

4. Add the milk or water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. The frosting will begin to form a solid mass.

Mixing Buttercream Frosting

Mixing Buttercream Frosting

5. Continue to add milk or water in 1/2 teaspoon increments until the frosting is the desired consistency for your frosting project.

6. If tinting the frosting, separate the frosting into bowls and tint each individually.

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

When frosting cookies, place the frosted cookies in a single layer on a tray until the frosting dries. Usually within a few hours, the frosting hardens enough to gently stack cookies, however, it never hardens completely, ensuring that the frosting and cookie are soft and delicious. This frosting is best used immediately, but can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. When chilled the frosting will be stiff and will need to be warmed to room temperature before using.



10 responses to “Buttercream Frosting Recipe”

  1. I stumbled upon your site via the Nester. My sweet baby girl turns 1 this week and I want to do iced cookies as treats for the kids to take home. Does this buttercream icing dry stiff? Any suggestions?

  2. Terri Weston Avatar
    Terri Weston

    Yum, that looks heavenly, my daughter make cookie baskets to sell will have to try this recipe for her Christmas cookie baskets.THANKS!!

  3. how do you get the buttercream icing to harden,so you can smooth it down.

  4. I know most of these comments were posted a long time ago, but I wanted to share my two cents. I’m making my own wedding cake (very small guest list), and I’m planning on using a modified version of this icing.This icing does dry crispy on the outside, however, as Angela stated, it is still creamy under its light shell. This is ideal for frosting cookies, or in my case using the “paper towel method” of smoothing cake frosting.My only dislike with this recipe is that I think the icing tastes a little too much like cookie icing, and not as much like cake icing. I used water instead of milk, so perhaps using milk would lend a creamier taste, and one that is not quite as chalky. My other substitutions were for vegetable shortening instead of butter (to make the icing more white), and I used about 5 tablespoons of water, to keep my icing a little more on the soft side.So far I have made two mockups of this icing: one on a mockup cake, and one that I used to frost a bowl. The second I added about 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder to, which made a thick, creamy chocolate icing. This is a very versatile icing, and I would recommend it for anything you need a light crust for.

  5. Thanks for this simple easy recipe. will sure do it at home for my first time when frosting a cake.

    1. Thank you, Jackline! I hope it works out for you! ~Angela~

  6. Well, what do you know. This soft cookie recipe has been in my Grandmothers family for decades. She taught me how to make the cookies when I was in my 20’s, me and my 3 son’s have been making these cookies all these years now–well I’m 55 now. It’s the same recipe. We always make in at Christmas time, although we call the cookies, SHADOW BOX COOKIES. I’m glad you posted this recipe!Love your blog, Thanks Barbie

    1. Oh, that’s so neat to hear, Barbie!! I know it’s a very old recipe. I haven’t made it in a while because I can’t eat dairy anymore, and I miss them. Thanks for visiting!! ~Angela~

  7. Good morning and Happy Valentines Day. I was up early making sugar cookie dough, looking for a buttercream frosting for cookies, and here you are!! Blessings to you♡

    1. On thank you, Mary, that’s so sweet!!! I hope it turned out. Best wishes, ~Angela~

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