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How to Make Buttercream Frosting for Cake Decorating

Updated on March 17, 2016

Joined: 4 years agoFollowers: 368Articles: 52
3.3 stars from 286 ratings of Buttercream Icing
Roses made from stiff consistency buttercream
Roses made from stiff consistency buttercream

Buttercream Frosting is an essential recipe to master if you plan on making and decorating cakes. You can decorate a cake entirely with just buttercream from crumb coat to flowers and even script! Even a fondant covered cake requires a layer of buttercream first. The recipe itself is also quite versatile, it can and needs to be adjusted based on the purpose it’s intended for. How much milk you add will determine consistency, what extract will determine flavor, and the type of fat you use will determine color and flavor.

Equipment

  • Powered hand mixer, or stand mixer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Measuring tablespoon
  • Sifter or fine meshed strainer

Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (2 cubes) butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • food coloring, optional

Looking for an easy way to decorate a cake? Simply frost your cake with buttercream, try using edible flowers such as fuchsia, violets, day lilies, carnations and marigolds... just to name a few! Fresh fruit always looks and tastes great as well. Then use this buttercream frosting to make accents such as borders and simple piping.

Instructions

  1. Fist make sure your sugar is sifted. This will ensure a smooth, fluffy icing. If you don’t have a sifting tool you can use a fine meshed strainer. Just measure out 4 cups of powdered sugar into your strainer and run a spoon back and forth against the bottom until all the sugar falls through into your medium mixing bowl. Leave the sugar in the medium bowl for now.
  2. Put the butter into the large mixing bowl and beat on low just until smooth. Now add your extract, 2T milk and 1 cup of the powdered sugar to the butter. Beat on low until combined. Its important to beat on low so you don’t get a sugar cloud in your face. Continue to add sugar one cup at a time and beating until smooth.
  3. Now is where you can decide what consistency you want. If you want your icing stiff, mostly used for making flowers, do not add anymore milk. If you want a medium consistency icing add one more tablespoon. Medium is great for border work, crumb coat and final frosting. Now if you need a thin consistency for vines, lines or script add 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat any added milk until combined.
  4. Now that you have all your ingredients it is time to work on getting that soft fluffy texture. Beat your icing on med-high for 6-10 minutes of until its light and fluffy and lighter in color. Even if you used all butter it should be white if whipped enough. Your icing is now ready to use! Congratulations!
  5. To add color simply stir in food coloring a few drops at a time until desired brightness. Be careful not to add too much, buttercream takes color very well.

Comments

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    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      Oh my god ! send me some cupcakes pppwwweeeasssee?..lol .The lady is a cooker !

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      lol, I'm not sure they'd last all the way to Borderlands ^_^ Thanks for the comment, always good to hear from you.

    • moonlake 4 years ago

      Did you make the beautiful flower on the cupcakes. They are just perfect. Voted Up.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Moonlake, Thank you for stopping by and voting! Yes I did make those, they were for Valentine's Day ^_^

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      These are gorgeous!! I have no cake decorating skills. This is something I would LOVE to learn. Fabulous easy to follow instructions and great photos. Sharing and pinning!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well this one snuck right by me. The decorations are wonderful and this sounds so delicious! Great job Sasha!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Great hub and I love the fact that you made your own video.

      The photo drew me in as those cupcake roses looked so real and beautiful.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting and rated 5 stars.

      Thanks for sharing this and for all the tips.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Tammy!! Thank you so much!!! I have loved my experience learning to decorate cakes, I'm sure you'd do fabulous at it! It's right up your alley ^_^

      Billy, lol no sneaking involved this was one of the very first hubs I posted well before we became hub-friends ^_^ Thank you for the nice comment!! ^_^

      Happyboomernurse, Thank you!! I am so paranoid about what I can and can't use on the internet I only use my own pictures and videos. I did a few early on... but I'm so nervous in front of a camera I tend to avoid them ^_^ That being said I have some crochet stitch videos coming out this month. Your comment and votes are greatly appreciated!!!

    • ideasinked profile image

      ideasinked 4 years ago from Mumbai, India.

      Great Hub! ...I would loveee to try these at home! \m/

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Prachi! Thank you! It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Go for it!! ^_^ It's a fantastic hobby... oh and the benefits of being delicious doesn't hurt.

    • ideasinked profile image

      ideasinked 4 years ago from Mumbai, India.

      wow! A real deal here! =) will surely try...i'm inspired ;)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you again Prachi ^_^

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      I am fond of cupcakes! Your instructions are clearly explained. I will show this engaging hub of yours to my cousin-sister as she is a baking-enthusiast. A well-written hub! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you Ishwaryaa! Your comment is very generous and I greatly appreciate it ^_^ I hope you and your cousin-sister have fun making beautiful cupcakes of your own.

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      This is an awesome hub Mama Kim. Looks delicious and I enjoy the creativity of creating the edible flowers. Voting up and rating useful, awesome, and interesting :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you James! Your continued support is greatly appreciated! My husband thinks I'm crazy spending so much time turning something that's going to be eaten into art... but I just can't help myself ^_^ I love it!

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      MamaKim , Oh please make me some buttercream ...please please PLEASE!.......:-}

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      ahorseback, lol... It would most certainly melt by the time it got to you ^_^ guess you're just going to have to slap an apron on and make it yourself! Thanks for stopping in!

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      Mama , anyone that knows me knows Im a catastpophy in waiting .......apron , what's that !

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      lol well then you're going to have to sweet talk a local lady into making it for you ^_^ You should give her some of your sinfully romantic poetry to her!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      These flowers are beautiful and I'm sure would taste equally delicious. The video is perfect and the instructions clear cut. Wonderful hub Sasha.

      Love your videos.

      Voted up/useful/awesome. Shared and pinned. Rated 5 stars.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Wow, they are beautiful. Since I don't really like to bake cakes, let alone decorate them--I have great respect for you. Rated up.

    • tattuwurn 4 years ago

      These cupcakes look almost like real flowers -- they're too beautiful to eat. Good thing we have cameras to photograph these lovely cupcakes before our stomach grumbles. Thanks also for sharing your recipe. :)

      Voted up, awesome/beautiful/useful and shared. :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you so much Rajan ^_^ I always appreciate all your kind and generous support ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you so much Anglnwu!! After seeing all your beautiful flower arrangements and center pieces I'm equally envious of your artistic talent ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Tattuwurn, Thank you so much ^_^ Oh yes... I always have to snap a quick picture, lol. Thank you for all your wonderful support ^_^

    • elle64 profile image

      elle64 3 years ago from Scandinavia

      Absolutly a delight to look at ,i hope they taste as good as they look.

    • viewfinders profile image

      viewfinders 3 years ago from God's own country(kerala)

      very beautiful and interesting

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Thank you Elle ^_^ They do! that's why they were all gone within a day... mostly by my husband!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Thank you Viewfinders ^_^

    • adity5 profile image

      adity5 3 years ago

      perfect cupcakes...looks gorgeous. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Yummy! The cupcakes are awesome. Thanks for sharing;-)Shared.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi mama K,

      How did I miss this?? What gorgeous frosting you did with buttercream in rose shapes! It looks so yummy! Thanks too for the link you shared to my work, very much appreciate it thank you kindly! Awesome, step by step and easy to follow, just what I love! Congrats on another gem from Mama k - votes, shares and pinned!! :-)

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      I absolutely love buttercream frosting. And the artwork that you can create with it such as flowers is beautiful. Thank you soo much!

    • followthestray profile image

      Samantha Harris 3 years ago from New York

      Those cupcakes are so awesome! I'm going to beg my sister to make them for me with this icing for my birthday haha...if she refuses I might even have to get my hands dirty in the kitchen. Great recipe, thank you!

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 3 years ago from USA

      This is awesome , thank you for sharing..voting up and across

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love buttercream frosting on cakes, cupcakes and sugar cookies! Your frosting roses are beautiful. I'd love to learn to do them. Voted up and shared!

    • KellyG05030 profile image

      Kelly 3 years ago from New England

      Great article - I'm a big fan of buttercream... I love to try adding new things to it for a bit of a difference. Have you ever tried using some liquid coffee creamers beat into the frosting? Love the hazelnut!!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Thank you Adity ^_^ With just a little practice and well made frosting they're actually surprisingly easy!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Thank you Thelma! ^_^ I so appreciate your wonderful support!!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Suzie!! I'm so happy you like it and I greatly appreciate all the wonderful support ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Torrilynn, You have good taste in frosting and it just so happens to be the perfect medium for making flowers ^_^ I hope you have fun making some of your own! Thank you for your great comment

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Followthestray, These are so fun to make I hope you try yourself, you might be surprised with your own talents ^_^ I do hope you enjoy and Happy Birthday... whenever it might be.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Thank you for the kind support Faythef ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Knowing you Vespa it would take you only once to learn these roses and then you'll do them perfect every time ^_^ There's lots of tutorials on youtube... hmm... maybe I'll put that on my to do list, a buttercream rose tutorial ^_^ Thank you so much for your great comment and support!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 3 years ago

      Kelly, No I've never tried the creamers in my buttercream but I do like to put different extract flavors in. I too like to make it Hazelnut flavored... only with extracts instead of coffee creamer ^_^ There is a white chocolate macadamia creamer I love and might just have to try in my frosting. Thanks.

    • Beth37 3 years ago

      So pretty! :)

    • theryanpride profile image

      Sonya 3 years ago from Indiana

      can't wait to try this recipe for buttercream thank you for sharing

    • Juanna 3 years ago

      I am going to try this recipe out today. :)

    • Angela 3 years ago

      Thanks!

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 3 years ago from Indiana

      great job.

    • Marie 2 years ago

      How long can this frosting be left at room temp?

    • juliet 2 years ago

      O i like it.thanks

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 2 years ago

      Marie, as with any dairy product it's a good idea to not leave it out more than 4 hours at room temperature.

    • Trudy 2 years ago

      Arectlis like this make life so much simpler.

    • Waseem 2 years ago

      oh man, could THIS be the icing I've been searching for since I was a ltltie kid? and I LOVE how you made the recipes as images! GENIUS! and AWESOME! so easy to download and print! yummmmmmmyyyy.... I'm off to do doggy cookies, (for a show lol), but I'm getting the cream of tartar and trying this for a special thank you for my chapel! YUM! thank you! www.ladybughugs.ca

    • 2 months ago

      hello I loved making this frosting. its my first time making roses with buttercream frosting, and it was stiff enough to keep it alive. Thanks!

    • Heather 35 hours ago

      I hope someone can help me. Usually I buy the tub of frosting from walmart. I'm wanting to make my own. I'm doing a 2 layer 9in square cake for crumb coat and final coat how much of this frosting would i need roughly?

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