Canned frosting may be what you grew up on, but you’ll be ready to make a switch when you see how easy it is to make your own homemade buttercream frosting.
If you’re a cake fan, then you know that the frosting is what makes it amazing. Creamy, buttery, and sweet, buttercream is just that – the icing on the cake.
While it’s pretty standard to pick up a few tubs of commercial icing in the grocery store baking aisle, you’ll find that homemade buttercream is pretty amazing.
I’m amazed at how much better my cakes taste with homemade frosting. My husband and teenage son, who previously shunned white frosting because “it tasted bad”, now love it.
And if you’re looking for chocolate? Well, this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is the bomb.
Homemade Buttercream Frosting
This homemade frosting is delicious on cupcakes as well as any birthday cake your kid might dream up. You get to control the quality of the ingredients without spending a fortune and the taste is really worth the extra effort.
What ingredients do I need to make my own homemade buttercream frosting?
Making your own takes just a few simple ingredients. Here is the simple list below:
- 1 cup butter – you want this softened so it can be easily mixed together with the other ingredients
- powdered sugar
- milk (or you can use half and half for more richness)
- vanilla extract
How to make your own homemade icing:
Does buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?
Although this homemade icing does contain a bit of milk, it is still safe to stay out for a few days.
That said, if it’s a hot day or you prefer cold frosting, be sure to refrigerate the cake once it’s frosted.
How much frosting does this recipe make?
This buttercream icing makes the perfect amount for about 18 cupcakes – give or take depending on how much frosting you like to pile on your cupcakes.
How much does it cost to make homemade frosting?
Homemade buttercream frosting calls for basic baking ingredients that when bought at regular prices break down as follows:
- butter – $1.84 ($3.69/lb)
- powdered sugar – $1.48 ($2.99/2lb.)
- milk – $0.02 ($3.09/gal)
- vanilla extract – $0.67 ($7.99/2 oz.)
Total cost for a batch of homemade buttercream at non-sale prices = $4.01
If you shop the Good Cheap Eats way, that is shopping the best store, the sales, and clearance, you can easily get that price much, much lower.
A ten-ounce tub of frosting from the store runs from $1.50 to $6, depending on the brand and if it’s organic or not. You’d need two tubs to match this homemade batch.
So you can settle for $3 for the bargain frosting or take your cake over the top with homemade.
Homemade Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter softened
- 3-4 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk or half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add three cups sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla extract.
- Beat until combined and fluffy.
- Adjust with more sugar or milk, depending on what consistency you're looking for.
This post was originally published July 12, 2010. It has been updated for content and clarity.