The Best Homemade Buttercream Icing Recipe

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This homemade Buttercream Icing Recipe is the perfect easy solution for all your cake and cupcake decorating needs! It’s so easy to make and it tastes absolutely delicious. With its creamy texture and rich flavor, this buttercream icing will take your cakes, cupcakes, and cookies to a whole new level of yumminess. Plus, you’ll love how easy it is to make this buttercream icing recipe. So go ahead and try it out today – you won’t be disappointed!

Nothing says “homemade with love” like Buttercream Icing Recipes. Buttercream icings have been beloved for centuries and have transformed ordinary cakes into extraordinary creations. With just a few simple ingredients like butter, sugar, and other flavorings you can whip up an amazing Buttercream icing to make any cake taste delicious. Whether you’re new to Buttercream icings or an experienced baker, there are Buttercream icing recipes for everyone!

buttercream icing recipe

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe

Here’s what you need to make this delicious icing!

  • Solid ShorteningSolid Shortening is great for many baking recipes, but it’s especially beneficial when making a buttercream icing recipe. Solid Shortening has a higher melting point than regular butter, so it keeps the consistency of the frosting thicker and less likely to break down or melt. This makes Solid Shortening especially useful in hot climates where traditional butter would not hold up as well in the heat.
  • ButterButter is a key ingredient in buttercream icing recipes for a number of reasons. As butter contains lower levels of water, it helps keep the icing together and prevents separation when the icing is being whipped. In addition, butter imparts a delicious richness to buttercream icings, making them both delightfully creamy and decadently buttery-tasting.
  • VanillaVanilla is a key ingredient in many Buttercream icing recipes because it adds an unmistakably rich and creamy flavor that complements all types of cake, cookies, and other desserts. Without vanilla, this traditional icing recipe would not have the same delightful sweet-tart balance.
  • Confectioners SugarConfectioners sugar, also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, is an essential ingredient when making buttercream frosting. Confectioners sugar has a much finer consistency than regular sugar, which makes it the perfect choice for creating a smooth texture in baked goods. Confectioners sugar dissolves easily when added to recipes that contain liquid ingredients, ensuring a deliciously soft, creamy and lump-free buttercream frosting.
  • MilkMilk is a key ingredient in any buttercream icing recipe. Milk brings out the sweetness and adds more flavor and richness to the icing, which gives it its creamy consistency. Milk proteins also help stabilize the structure of the frosting, making it less prone to melting or separating. Milk also helps make the buttercream fluffier and smoother, creating a rich texture that’s perfect for cakes or cupcakes.
buttercream icing recipe ingredients list

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What is the Difference Between Buttercream Frosting and Buttercream Icing?

Buttercream frosting and buttercream icing are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they can actually refer to very different things. Buttercream frosting typically refers to a smooth, spreadable mixture of butter, sugar and milk that is used to cover cakes or cupcakes. Buttercream icing is slightly different in that it’s made with shortening instead of butter as the fat content and also includes an egg during mixing – this recipe creates a thicker and more stable product which is used for elaborate decorations like flowers.

So while technically you could use either one for both purposes, some recipes might require you to use one versus the other in order to get the desired look or taste.

buttercream icing recipe in process

Does Buttercream Need to be Refrigerated?

Buttercream, a combination of butter, powdered sugar and other flavorings, can be a great way to top off cakes and cupcakes. Buttercream may not require refrigeration depending on the recipe used. Generally speaking, buttercream made with just butter and powdered sugar won’t need refrigeration as long as it is consumed soon after baking. On the other hand, a more traditional buttercream icing recipe which includes ingredients like eggs or cream cheese should be kept in the fridge until serving time.

In most cases, if room temperature is between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit and the cake has only been left out for a few hours then you should be fine to serve it without refrigerating it first.

buttercream-icing-recipe in mixer

Can You Overbeat Buttercream?

Buttercream is a popular and delicious choice for frosting cakes and cupcakes, but did you know that you can actually overbeat it? Buttercream is just a combination of butter, sugar and sometimes milk or cream, so overbeating will see its texture change from rich and creamy to gritty when too much air is incorporated. That’s why it’s important to refer to your buttercream icing recipe or instructions carefully; never rush the process or you’ll be licking your fingers … with disappointment!

buttercream icing recipe on whisk

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More Amazing Buttercream Icing Recipes

buttercream icing recipe closeup

Homemade Cake Recipes You’ll Love!

buttercream icing recipe

Homemade Buttercream Icing

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This buttercream icing recipe is so easy to make and it tastes delicious! You'll love the creamy, rich flavor of this frosting. It's perfect for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Solid Shortening
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, room temperature
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
  • (1) 32 Ounce Bag Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Milk (or heavy whipping cream)

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and shortening with an electric mixer until well blended. A stand-alone mixer works best.
  2. Add the vanilla and mix until blended.
  3. Gradually add sugar one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Stop in between each cup to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. The icing will start to get dry, you can gradually add your milk or heavy whipping cream. Keep mixing until everything is fluffy and smooth. If you would like to color the icing, this is the stage you would do that. Just add the gel coloring and mix on medium speed until well blended.
  5. You can now place the icing in a bag for piping your cupcakes or ice your cake.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 598Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 0gSugar: 74gProtein: 0g
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98 Comments

    1. Thanks Allison for the reminder… I linked up.

      Love your site by the way. πŸ™‚

  1. i agree this is the best buttercream recipe and the one i use too!!!

    1. Michelle-

      Have you ever tried with the heavy whipping cream instead of milk…. I did it for the first time the other day and OMG! Awesome!

  2. yummy. I love buttercream icing.

    p.s. very pretty blog header.

    megan
    craftycpa.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks so much Megan!

      (Header was designed by Sharon over at Good, True and Beautiful. Love her work!)

  3. I have been wondering how to make this kind of icing FOREVER. Love how it isn’t as sweet. Thank-you! Bookmarking this one! πŸ™‚

    Donna

    1. You’re gonna love it. So yum!

      Best of luck and thanks for commenting. Love your site, by the way. πŸ™‚

  4. Mmmmm… excited to add another recipe to my collection!

    1. Awesome, Lei.
      Making your own icing is so fun and so much easier than people think.
      Best of luck!

      1. Is the stick of butter salted or unsalted?

  5. Your icing looks great! I love homemade icing better than store bought!

  6. I am pretty sure that buttercream should be outlawed…but until it is I plan to make me a bathtub full and eat my way out of it!!

    This is PERFECT for my new weekly linky party – Foodie Friday! If you got a sec, please link up!

    Found you on Blue Cricket Design!

  7. I love the taste of homemade frosting! It is so much better than the stuff you buy at the store!

  8. Impressive. Today is my first day here, so glad to have found you! So, is the last pic yours? I can’t wait to try this and I really hope the end result will look as fluffy and creamy as yours πŸ™‚

      1. Peter Gutierrez says:

        Hi Crystal,

        Do you think this would work well in Whoopie-pies? On a trip to Maine I fell in love with them, and have managed to make a good cake for the pie, but just can’t seem to get a satisfactory buttercream. This definitely looks like it’s worth a try. My wife sent it to me, knowing of my quest for the ultimate buttercream…and it’s cheaper than a trip to Maine. Thanks!

        1. It is certainly worth a try! I bet it would be fantastic!

        2. Mary Ellen Brown says:

          Hi, the best frosting for Whoopi’s pies is the one that you cook milk and flour, cool it and add it to the creamed ingredients. That is the recipe the Amish use. You might google it. It is not as sweet as buttercream. It is also my son’s favorite on chocolate cake. I have used it for 50 years. My aunt gave it to me when I was first married.

  9. I have been searching for great buttercream recipes. I think I’ll try this the next time around. Thanks for sharing!

  10. That looks so yummy. If you get a chance I would love you to link your icing recipe up to More the Merrier Monday. It lasts through Wednesday so you have plenty of time to stop by. See you there. http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/

  11. How many cupcakes will this ice using piping similar to your picture?

    1. About 12-15 cupcakes. When I am doing cupcakes for a b-day party I do 24 cupcakes and 2 batches of the icing and have a little icing leftover.

      Hope that helps.

      1. That’s when you use leftover icing and spread between graham crackers….YUM….:)

  12. Does this icing do well on a cake “sealing” in the crumbs and setting so that it can be frosted again? My daughter wants a Tinker bell cake for her birthday and its a smooth frosted cake.

    1. Yes, April. When I make cakes, I do a dirty icing layer and it works great.

  13. When u make the buttercream icing and use the heavy whipping cream do u need to refrigerate the cake/cupcakes?

    1. If I am not serving the cake or cupcakes immediately, I do refrigerate them until I serve them.

      Hope that helps.

  14. I am making 100 cupcakes for my parents anniversary. I was wondering how many cupcakes this recipe will ice?

    1. Oops! I just read where it makes 10-12 cupcakes! Thank you for the recipe πŸ™‚

  15. Stephanie says:

    Just use 2 cups of butter and no shortening.

    1. I have never tried it that way, but it sounds yummy. This is the way I have made it for year with the shortening.

    2. that’s yummy as well, but it isn’t as stable in humidity. for those areas or times fo year that are humid or hot, you may need to cut in shortening (i use Sweetex rather than Crisco), butter alone may not maintain its shape well enough particularly if you are piping a border or much detail.

      1. Maybe the humidity is worse where you live there where I live (we are in North Texas) but to prevent melting I like to let it refrigerate for a while. Not sure if that will help where you live or not…

        I like your modifications too!

  16. I am super new to baking. So, I hope this isn’t a stupid question, but can you refrigerate or freeze the frosting? Or does it all need to be used when it’s made? Thanks!

  17. Does this have to be refrigerated if I make the cupcakes the night before? Or, can I leave the cupcakes on the counter and take to the party the next day?

    1. Yes, I always refrigerate the cupcakes once they are iced.

  18. Do you know how far in advance this icing can be made (and used)? I know cupcakes are great, even when made several days ahead, but am wondering how the icing fares? I feel like I’ve been turned into party central! I have a party Friday night and one Monday night, and getting everything done is turning into quite a challenge!

    1. You can absolutely make it days ahead and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.

  19. Rachael Vigar says:

    Hi!

    I’m needing pink and purple icing for baby shower cake. What do you use to color your icing?

  20. Hi there, so glad you posted this recipe. I’m making my little cousins birthday cake tomorrow, and this is the recipe I will be using. I think I’m going to need to make a lot though. Haha. question, do you use real butter, or margarine?

  21. I used this recipe recently and loved it! This is my go-to recipe for buttercream frosting! All other recipes I’ve always found to taste like pure powdered sugar! But one question I do have is can you add cocoa powder to it to make a good chocolate frosting? And if so how much? Thanks!

  22. There’s nothing like a good buttercream icing. Yours looks so pretty and so delicious too. Sharing! Thank you for bringing this recipe to the Hearth and Soul hop.

  23. It sounds really good but it also sounds sweet, is there anyway you can use less confectioners sugar and more butter?

  24. I am looking for a yummy frosting for my Melting Moments cookies. Do you think this would be a delicious addition? I would add almond extract. Also, how long do you think I can leave the frosted cookies at room temperature? Thank you!

    1. I am not familiar with melting moments cookies, but they sound yummy. This frosting will not harden, if that is what you’re looking for.

  25. I am in my 70’s and have been baking since I was 14 yrs. old. I have always made frosting this way!! Sometimes with only Crisco, but most times with the butter-Crisco ingredients. You have nothing new!!

    1. Isn’t this a lovely recipe? It really is the best I’ve ever tried. I love finding others who enjoy the same recipes we do! Thank you so much for stopping by.

      1. Crystal, what a lovely person you must be to respond to such an ugly post (from someone who is old enough to know better) with such class and kindness.

    2. There are a lot of people that don’t have this recipe and are thankful she posted it. Additionally she never claimed it to be “her” original recipe, she said it was her favorite go to recipe. Get your facts straight or keep your rude comments to youself. shame on you.

  26. This is a very cruel post of which I will have to try RIGHT AWAY πŸ˜€ And then what a treat to see my Minion pops!

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

    1. Jennifer- you gotta try it. Amazing! And aren’t those Minion pops adorable? πŸ˜‰

  27. Lori Idol says:

    I know this is a recipe for buttercream icing. I would like to know if you have one for whipped icing.

  28. I love this frosting. I added lemon zest on a white cake. Fabulous! Perhaps orange next time. Will use this recipe, often!

  29. Excellent frosting! Thanks for sharing, love the flavor.

  30. Mary Beth says:

    Can you use Crisco butter sticks, for the regular Crisco? If so should I still use the butter with it?

    1. You can use them, but you will still need the butter sticks too.

  31. Pingback: Cupcake Baking With Emotion -
  32. Would this recipe still taste as good if you cut the ingredients in half? I only need a small amount of icing for my cake and wanted to try it before making a big batch. πŸ™‚

    1. Following the same ingredient list and process and cutting it in half will not change the taste.

  33. I have always made my icing using water instead of milk or cream. I do this mainly because of storage. Since crisco changed its ingredients, it’s become very greasy. If I use the Walmart all vegetable shortening I’m having problems with the darker colors streaking. Can’t find an answer for this problem. I use either Wilton or Ameri Colors!

  34. Hey, I was wondering if it worked with butter flavored Crisco as well. I used to have a buttercream recipe memorized, with all the do’s and don’ts, but I can’t seem to remember any of it.

  35. Claire Bergeron says:

    How long can this icing be stored?Should it be refrigerated?

  36. I want to do a spice cupcake and use the buttercream frosting. I was thinking of adding cinnamon to the frosting. Has anyone tried this and if so how much cinnamon should I use??

  37. Can you use less shortening and more butter? Seems like so much is just shortening..

  38. erika Flores says:

    How long will the icing keep in fridge ? (^_^) Ty !

  39. Carol Carratt says:

    Can you substitute the crisco with coconut oil?

  40. If the frosting comes out a little to much in the sweet side, what can you add to balance it out??

  41. Is this icing real sweet? I am looking for an icing that isn’t super sweet for my cupcakes. Id like to be able to eat the whole cupcake instead of just a few bites! haha

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