Easy homemade buttercream frosting on chocolate cupcakes and in a piping bag

Buttercream Frosting

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In this simple step-by-step recipe, you will learn how to make classic vanilla buttercream frosting. Buttercream frosting is the king of frosting and is so versatile!

It is so easy to use and pipe and only requires a few easy ingredients. You just may not want to buy store-bought frosting anymore after making it at home.

Use it on your cupcakes and cakes and any other recipes you may have. If I can do it, you can do it! Let’s get started.

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

To make this easy homemade buttercream frosting you will need just four everyday simple ingredients. Chances are you already have them at home:

  • Butter – I generally use unsalted butter but salted butter will work fine too. You can’t have buttercream frosting without butter! If you are Vegan, use Vegan butter.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract gives vanilla buttercream its specific taste. You can switch it out with other flavored extracts too like almond, strawberry, etc.
  • Powdered sugar – This is the main sweet component in the frosting, just like other frostings. Did you know you can make your own powdered sugar with this homemade powdered sugar tutorial?
  • Milk or Heavy Cream – I like using whole milk, but other milk will work fine. Heavy cream works great as well. Leave this out if you are Vegan.


  • Bowls
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment

What is buttercream frosting?

The easiest way to describe buttercream frosting is a frosting that has butter and powdered sugar creamed together with added flavoring and milk for consistency.

It is used for decorating cakes and cupcakes and is also sometimes used as a filling for pastries and on sugar cookies. The name comes from the butter.

Step 2: How to make buttercream frosting

Butter creamed together with vanilla extract in a large glass bowl.

Begin by adding softened room temperature butter to a large bowl. Blend it well with the vanilla extract using a hand mixer (Affiliate Link. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases) or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. You can also use a stiff whisk if you like.

If you have another flavor that you would like to use, use that instead of the vanilla. There are all kinds of different flavors (Affiliate Link. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases) that you can use. Add food coloring to match the flavor as well if you like.

Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.

TIP: To make cream cheese frosting add 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with the butter and vanilla extract.

Step 3: Finish the homemade American buttercream frosting

Powdered sugar being added to buttercream frosting in a large glass bowl.

Now add the powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar little by little to the buttercream. Blend using low speed so the powdered sugar doesn’t fly up everywhere. Once it is all incorporated you will be left with very thick frosting.

Don’t have powdered sugar on hand? That is okay you can make your own in about five minutes with this powdered sugar tutorial.

Hand with small glass dish of milk pouring it into a large bowl of thick homemade buttercream frosting.

Thin out the easy buttercream frosting add milk or cream a little bit at a time until you get the right consistency. Also, food coloring can be added at this point if not added earlier. Or add additional coloring to make the color deeper.

Large glass bowl of homemade buttercream frosting.

Now you are left with a large bowl of vanilla or whatever flavor you made of fluffy frosting. Use it however you like! Enjoy.

How to use a piping bag with frosting

Hand holding a plastic disposable piping bag over a bowl of buttercream frosting.

You can use your spatula to frost your cake like this vanilla cake or cupcakes like these easy chocolate cupcakes and you can use a piping bag with a piping tip to make designs.

There are a variety of piping bag options that you can use. A lot of times I just use disposable piping bags (Affiliate Link. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases) so I don’t have to wash them afterward.

A large gallon-sized ziplock freezer bag will work as well. Or you can always buy a professional piping bag (Affiliate Link. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases) that you can use over and over again, but you will need to wash it. I use all three options regularly.

To use the bag you can fold it over your hand so it creates a large opening that you can stuff the frosting in, or you can fold it over a large diameter tall glass as well. Make sure to add whatever frosting tip you want to use.

After filling the bag, twist the top and squeeze, and the basic buttercream frosting or other frosting will come out through the tip.

I love the contrast between the white buttercream frosting and the chocolate cupcakes. And the flavor combination it provides. A classic look and taste for a classic kind of guy.

How to store homemade buttercream frosting?

Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge where it will last about 2 weeks. To use it, remove it from the fridge and allow it to soften at room temperature.

Can I color this frosting?

Sure! To make different colors of frosting all you need to do is add some drops of food coloring and mix.

Can I add cocoa powder to make chocolate buttercream frosting?

Yes! Just add 3/4 cup of cocoa powder when you add the powdered sugar to make it chocolate frosting. I demonstrate that in this chocolate cake recipe.

Classic homemade buttercream frosting pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

Here are a few more recipes you may like:

Pumpkin Donuts

Homemade Crunch Bars

Red Velvet Cake

Strawberry Sorbet

Pumpkin Roll

Easy homemade buttercream frosting on chocolate cupcakes and in a piping bag
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5 from 14 votes

Classic Buttercream Frosting

This classic buttercream frosting is perfect for all your cake and cupcake decorating needs. And it is super simple and quick to make at home. It will probably take you less time to make it at home then it does to drive to the store and buy some premade frosting, provided you already have the ingredients of course. If I can do it, you can do it!
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert, Ingredient
Cuisine: American, French, Italian
Keyword: creamy, smooth, soft, sweet
Servings: 36 Servings
Calories: 76kcal
Author: Matt Taylor


  • Piping bag
  • Tips
  • Bowl
  • Mixer
  • Spatula


  • 1 cup softened room temp unsalted butter 227g
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract 10ml
  • 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar powdered sugar (500g)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. of milk 30 to 45ml


  • Begin by creaming the butter with the vanilla or other flavoring extract in a large bowl with a hand mixer, stand mixer, or sturdy whisk. If you forget to leave out the butter beforehand to soften, just put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it. Or soften it in the oven on warm.
  • Slowly mix in the powdered sugar until all combined. The result will be a very thick frosting.
  • Thin the frosting out by adding a little bit of milk at a time until you get your desired thickness. Now your frosting will be ready and you can use it in a piping bag or just use a spatula to put it on your cakes or cupcakes. Enjoy!


How to Make Buttercream Frosting | Classic Buttercream Frosting Recipe


The recipe easily makes enough buttercream frosting for 24 to 36 cupcakes depending on how much you pipe on. Or 1 to 2 layered cakes. 
Store remaining frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks.
Nutritional facts for buttercream frosting
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!


Calories: 76kcal

Do you like this best buttercream frosting recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.


  1. My daughters have watched your Barbie cake video 1,000 times! I am making it for my daughters birthday this week. You have by far THE best how to video. I’m so grateful! Quick question- how many servings of the buttercream frosting do you make for the Barbie cake? Thank you again!

    • Thank you, Athena and you are very welcome! You need around 100 oz of frosting for the cake. Which will allow you to coat the cake as well as make different colors and designs. 2 to 3 times this buttercream frosting should be enough.

  2. 5 stars
    AmazIng flavor, and super easy! It was a hit frosting our Easter cupcakes! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this and your strawberry cupcakes for my son’s birthday and it turned out sooooo good!! Book marking this and checking out what else you have. Well done!!

  4. Can you use margarine buttercream instead of buttercream in a cakesicle?

  5. Wow! You literally make everything look and sound easy to make!

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