CakeSpy's Favorite Buttercream Frosting

Cupcakes by Mama Cakespy

Dear SpyReaders,

A gift, from me to you. This is a very basic American style buttercream. It's simple--I won't say it's impossible to mess up, but you'd really have to try hard to do so with this recipe. I know this recipe has been posted as part of several cake recipes, but really, I'd like to keep it as a separate recipe so it can be easily referred to and shared as a basic building block of deliciousness. 

Keep this one on hand, and use whenever necessary. 

Love, CakeSpy

CakeSpy's Favorite Buttercream Frosting (Printable version here)

For use on birthday cakes, cakes for any other day of the year, sugar cookies, or quite tasty by the spoonful, too. This will frost about 24 cupcakes or one 2-layer 8 or 9-inch cake. Technically, you can tint it any color (or not tint it at all), but I firmly believe that pink tastes best. This frosting will also take well to different flavorings--peppermint extract or almond extract, for instance, could be substituted for the vanilla.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • several drops of food coloring (I favor red, for pink frosting)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until light, about 3 minutes on medium speed. 
  2. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. 
  3. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the frosting is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not add all of the sugar.
  5. Add a few drops of red food coloring and mix thoroughly til it's a desired shade of pink. Keep at room temperature til you frost, ok? It will set if you chill it.