Buttercream Cupcake Frosting Recipes

butter cream cupcakes recipes howtocookthat

Basic butter cream or American buttercream is an easy cupcake frosting to make, today we will look at the basic recipe and some of my favourite variations.

UPDATE: see seven different frosting recipes in a taste test and in the Aussie sun for a heat test on this more recent post 7 best frosting recipes taste tested. 

To completely cover and fill two 20cm (7.87 inches) round cakes layered on top of each other you will need to double this recipe.

Basic Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes Recipe

how to pipe butter cream roses using only a ziplock bag

1/2 cup or 120g (4.23 ounces) butter
2  1/2 cups or 330g (11.64 ounces) icing sugar (icing mixture is fine it does not have to be pure icing sugar)
1-4 tablespoons of milk or cream

Leave the butter to soften at room temperature then beat together with the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk or cream until smooth and light in colour. Add extra spoons of milk one at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes Recipe

Follow the basic buttercream recipe above and add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract with your first tablespoon of milk.

My Very Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

300ml cream
2 tsp vanilla
2  1/2 cups or 330g (11.64 ounces) icing sugar

Whip the cream and then continue to whip until it turns to butter.  Pour off the liquid, mix slowly for 30 more seconds, pour off any extra liquid – repeat until most of the liquid is gone.  Add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes Recipe

Swap the milk in the above basic buttercream recipe for freshly squeezed lemon juice. Yum! The tartness of the lemon helps offset the sweetness of the buttercream.

Coffee Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes Recipe

Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of instant coffee in 1/4 teaspoon of boiling water. Add it in with you first tablespoon of milk in the basic buttercream recipe above.

Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes Recipe

1/2 cup frozen raspberries
50ml freshly squeezed orange juice
Combine in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the raspberries soften and fall apart. Strain through a fine metal seive – you will need to push the pulp through so that you are left with mainly seeds.
Return the raspberry puree to the pan and heat until it reduces in volume down to two tablespoons. Cool completely – to speed up the cooling process you may wish to spread on a plate and place in fridge.
Swap the milk in the basic buttercream recipe for the raspberry puree.

Top cupcakes with a swirl of raspberry buttercream and a fresh raspberry.

Smooth Coconut Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes Recipe

coconut buttercream recipe for cupcakes

240g (8.47 ounces) butter
1 cup shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups or 330g (11.64 ounces) icing sugar
1-4 tablespoons milk or cream

Heat butter and coconut in a pan and bring to the boil. Strain through a fine metal sieve – push on the coconut until you have 120g (4.23 ounces) of butter. Allow to cool.
Whip the now flavoured butter, icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of cream until smooth. Add remaining cream one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Top cup cakes with coconut butter cream and sprinkle with shredded coconut.

Fresh Stem Ginger Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes

Fresh ginger is such a unique flavour, here is my recipe (shhh it’s a secret) for infusing that flavour into butter cream.

300ml cream
10g (0.35 ounces) (2 tsp) peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 1/2 cups or 330g (11.64 ounces) icing sugar

Place the cream and ginger in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave to cool completely, this allows the ginger flavour to infuse into the cream.
Strain using a fine wire sieve – pushing on the ginger will give a more intense flavour. Discard the ginger.
Using a stand mixer beat the cream for approximately 10 minutes – it will thicken and whip and then separate into butter and a milky liquid. Drain off the liquid and beat for another 30 seconds. Repeat this last step until most of the liquid is gone.
Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Popping Sugar Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes

This one is always popular at kids parties and when the boys take cakes in for cake day at school.

Make the basic vanilla butter cream recipe (or any of the flavours you like) and mix in 2 tablespoons of popping sugar. When the kids, or adults take a bite the popping sugar pops on their tongue.

Banana Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes Recipe

banana buttercream recipe for cupcakes

180g (6.35 ounces) butter
2 really over ripe bananas mashed
2 1/2 cups or 330g (11.64 ounces) icing sugar
1-4 tablespoons of cream
Melt the butter in a pan, add bananas and stir and cook for a minute. Leave for 10 minutes to cool slightly but not set.
Strain through a fine metal sieve – do not push the banana through you just want the butter. Leave the butter to cool completely and set.
Measure 120g (4.23 ounces) of the banana butter and beat with the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of cream. Add more cream as needed to reach desired consistency.

Pipe onto cupcakes and top with candied fresh banana – for help making candy see sugar decorations post

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting for Cupcakes

120g (4.23 ounces) butter
1 1/3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1-2 tsp milk

Leave the butter to soften at room temperature then beat together with the icing sugar and cocoa powder and1 tsp of milk. Beat until smooth adding extra tsp of milk if needed. Note for a more intense choc flavour frosting beat this in equal quantities with dark chocolate gnache.

Smooth Buttercream Base Colour for Piping Designs or Flowers

how to pipe easy buttercream flowers

125 icing sugar
25 butter

Melt the butter, add the icing sugar and mix well. It may be a little runny at first, simply allow to cool a little and then place on cupcakes.

Alternatively if you have already made you butter cream you can heat some spoonfuls of it in the microwave and add extra icing sugar to make the desired consistency. Covering the cupcake in the warmed buttercream gives a smooth glossy finish.

N.B Two quantities of this buttercream will cover the top and sides and one inside layer of a cake 20.5cm (8.07 inches) in diameter and 9cm (3.54 inches) tall

Also check out these gourmet cupcakes - lemon meringue cupcake recipe, chocolate orange cupcake with gnache frosting,  choc mint cupcake recipe,

Don’t forget to subscribe below or leave a comment…

. Share this post on:FacebookPinterestGoogle+TwitterEmail

More by Ann Reardon:


About Ann

Hi I'm Ann, food scientist, dietitian, wife, mum to 3 boys. Join me each week for desserts, chocolate and cakes.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Cup Cakes, Macarons & Snacks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

215 Responses to Buttercream Cupcake Frosting Recipes

  1. Pingback: 3D Minecraft Fondant Birthday Cake | HowToCookThat : Cakes, Dessert & ChocolateHowToCookThat : Cakes, Dessert & Chocolate

  2. Pingback: Frozen Elsa Cake | HowToCookThat : Cakes, Dessert & ChocolateHowToCookThat : Cakes, Dessert & Chocolate

  3. Emily Wichmann says:

    Hey ann
    My brothers b day is coming up and he likes call of duty can you please help me out.

  4. shilpa khandelwal says:

    I liked this recipe, its very simple n taste good.

    My Very Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

    300ml cream
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 1/2 cups or 330g (11.64 ounces) icing sugar

    Yesterday I have put stall in my society, I have made cupcakes, pop cakes ………, I have used this recipe, its gr8, but it became dry.

    How long can I keep this frosting outside. Can I use this forsting on cupcakes and take it out for 2days. How long will it stay without refrigerator.

    300ml cream u told, so I used 300ml whipping cream.

    Here is the picture plz find which I have done yesterday.

    Please reply me as soon as possible.


  5. Xinyi Liang says:

    Hi, thank you for the recipes. I wonder what exactly the “cream” you mean in your recipe? Can I use cream cheese instead?

  6. noora nabeel says:

    hi My brothers birthday is near by is going to be 18 so i need ur help to make a nice cake that will be nice

  7. Pingback: Popping Candy Cupcakes | FeedWhipFeedWhip

  8. Kanika says:

    Hi, I tried making the basic butter cream with the exact amounts given here. While making the icing, initially it was having good texture but as and when I was putting more icing sugar, it became lumpy at first and then I added some milk, but so it became too runny. It was already too sweet so I did not add more icing Sugar. I really want to know if we necessarily have to incorporate all the sugar as in the recipe or we can reduce the amounts when we see a nice texture and a good taste. I did beat the butter initially for 5 mins , so it was nice and pale but later it just got spoiled.


  9. Rob says:

    Hi Ann,

    I was searching how to make a princess cake (fondant or buttercream, not sure which one i’ll try to make for my daughter)
    just made my first cake with buttercream (make with fresh strawberry’s) just to try, tonight we’ll see how the taste will be and if everyone likes it.

    one question, could i make the princess cake a view days before i need it and than put in in the refrigerator?

    Thank you for sharing your recipes, HowToCookThat will be in my fav. list from now on.

    kind regreds from the Netherlands


  10. Pingback: Giant Gummy Bear Kit Kat and m&m cake | HowToCookThat : Cakes, Dessert & ChocolateHowToCookThat : Cakes, Dessert & Chocolate

  11. Latifa says:

    I tried to make the butterfrosting, but it still have
    The suger dots. Please help me to make it smooth.
    Thank you in
    advance :)

  12. Gary says:

    Hi There

    Please can you tell me which cream did you use in the icing? There’s a lot variety of cream in market.I am planning to make it for an birthday party, so after icing do i need to keep the cake in fridge.

    Please can you tell me the exact measurement of icing to make this doll cake.

    I am inspired by your cake it is amazing….

    Many thanks…

  13. Ella says:

    I tried making the chocolate buttercream , and it was great ! Thanks Ann !

  14. Nefer says:

    Thank you for your superb frosting recipes. PLease can you tells which nozzles you have used to make the basic butter cream ( white rose) & the coconut butter cream ( yellow rose)
    Thank you again

  15. Sherry says:

    My daughter is allergic to the casen in dairy. What can I use in place of the butter and milk. Would Almond Breeze and coconut butter or Earth Balance work or do you have a brand that would be better?

  16. Mark says:

    Can you PLEEAASSEE make strawberry cupcakes? PPLLEEAASSEE

  17. melanie shaul says:

    hey , can i use margarine instead of butter ?

  18. HaiQah says:

    Can i use for macarons too?

  19. hafsa says:

    miss ur recipes & decorations r simply awesome & superb! i wish u to do more in future!!..

  20. Gary says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am new in the baking world but I love this website has everything. Thank you for this website and for all your help.
    I have a question for these buttercream cupcake recipes, am planing to bake a cake for my 3 years old boy so can I use any of the recipes as a filling and as a crumbs coat? And then cover my cake with fondant how long do you think can I keep the cake once is done in the fridge. I really want to make it in advance just in case something happens.

    Happy New Year!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>