The best buttercream icing for cupcakes and cakes. Includes both vanilla and chocolate frosting recipes. You only need 4 ingredients: butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk. Recipe will frost 24 cupcakes or a 9×13 cake.
Buttercream Icing for Cupcakes
This is our absolute favorite cupcake icing for all our birthday cupcakes and cakes. The result is a very fluffy, sweet frosting, perfect for spreading or piping on cupcakes.
My decorating skills aren’t the best, but this buttercream icing makes everything always look better. Top with your favorite sprinkles or crushed cookies and you have gorgeous looking cupcakes!
In this post I’ll show you how to make vanilla buttercream frosting using 4 ingredients, but I’ll also give you instructions on how to make chocolate icing and colored icing (any color you want!). This recipe makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes or a 9×13 cake (or a dinosaur birthday cake!), but can easily be adjusted to make more if you need it.
How to Make Buttercream Frosting
You will need butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and milk for this recipe. Let’s talk about 2 quick things.
Butter: I prefer salted butter as it balances out the sweetness, but you can use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. Both will result in delicious frosting. You want softened butter for this recipe, not melted. I pretty much never have room tempeature softened butter, so I throw it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it up.
Vanilla Extract: If you want pure white frosting, make sure to use clear vanilla.
In a large bowl mix butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and milk until very fluffy. This takes a few minutes, so be patient while it becomes light and fluffy. I personally use my electric hand mixer, but you can use a stand mixer if you have one too.
How to Make Chocolate Icing
Want to make buttercream chocolate icing? Add 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the bowl when mixing to make chocolate frosting.
How to Make Colored Icing
To make colored icing add 3-6 drops of food coloring to the icing when you mix it. If you’re going for pastel, start with 3 drops. If you’re going for more bold and bright colors, 5-6 will be how many drops you want.
For this pink frosting I used 4 drops of this pink food coloring, topped with star sprinkles.
If you love this buttercream icing make sure to check out my brownie frosting too!
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Buttercream Icing for Cupcakes (Vanilla and Chocolate)Print
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 4 cups confectioners powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract use clear vanilla if you want pure white icing
- 2 tablespoon milk
- Add butter into a large bowl and cream with electric hand mixer for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar into the bowl, one cup at a time, and mix until fully combined. Add vanilla and milk and continue to mix until very fluffy, about 2-3 more minutes.
- Spread (or pipe) on cupcakes, cake or sugar cookies. Enjoy!
Want to make it colored frosting? Add 3-6 drops (depending on vibrancy) of food coloring when you add in the milk.