The Best Buttercream Frosting

I hate, loathe and despise store bought frosting.  I understand that it is super convenient,  but I think it ruins what could otherwise be a delicious dessert.    I am proud to say I have never used a can of frosting.  Does that me a frosting snob?  Probably.  I have been using this recipe forever.  It is easy and makes whatever you are putting it on better.  I promise!!

How to Make The Best Buttercream Frosting

  1. First step is to measure the powdered sugar.  I use my food scale.  (If you don’t have a food scale the equivalent would be 4 cups.) You can sift the powdered sugar if it is really lumpy.  I do not always do this.  Instead I will mix the powdered sugar on low for 30 seconds to break up any large lumps.
  2. Add 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter.  I only ever use real butter, but you can use whatever you have on hand.  Although I think margarine changes the taste, your buttercream frosting made with margarine will still better than canned frosting.
  3. Add 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla.  My family loves vanilla so I am a little heavy handed with it.  I’ll start with 2 teaspoons and then add more at the end.
  4. Mix the butter and the vanilla on low.
  5. Add the powdered sugar to the mixer.  Start your mixer (or beaters) on the lowest setting.  I usually put a clean dishtowel around my mixer to keep the sugar from flying out.  Keep on low until the butter and sugar are incorporated and then kick your mixer up to medium high.
  6. Once fully incorporated at the milk and continue mixing.
  7. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS taste your frosting.   My husband is the best frosting taster.  He will always tell me if the consistency is wrong, if it needs more vanilla or more milk.  If you are adding food coloring now is the time to do it.  Make sure the food coloring gets fully incorporated.  (Most of the time I do this part by hand.)
  8. How much frosting will you need?  That always depends on how thick or thin you apply the frosting or how much decorating you do but here are a couple of guidelines. Our recipe should make enough Best Buttercream Frosting to cover a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake or a two-layer 8″ cake.  If you are making cupcakes, you should be able to frost 24 cupcakes if you apply the frosting with a knife.  If you swirl on the frosting with a pastry bag like we have done here, you should be able to frost 15-18 cupcakes depending on the size of the swirl.
  9. Frost and enjoy.


This is THE Best Buttercream Frosting recipe and the only one we use. It is easy to make and anything you put it on will taste better. We promise!!


  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar (or 1 pound)
  • 1 cup Butter (Softened Salted Sweet Cream)
  • 2-3 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons Milk
  • Decorating Bags
  • Wilton 2D Decorating Tip
  • Mixer


  1. Add softened butter and vanilla to the mixing bowl and mix until completely combined.
  2. Add Powdered Sugar and beat on low until it is incorporated. Then move mixer up to medium-high speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When completely mixed the frosting may appear dry.
  3. Add milk a little bit at a time until frosting is the proper consistency.

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