How to Make Frosting

How to Make Frosting

By Casey Barber

Who needs Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines for a vat of sweet, creamy frosting? Learning how to make frosting is easy! The simplest vanilla buttercream blends butter with powdered sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar) for a creamy, spreadable cupcake or layer cake frosting.

Adding cream cheese to basic buttercream makes a more stable frosting with a slightly tangy flavor that makes a perfect topper for carrot cakes or classic red velvet cake. Want a chocolate version? Add in cocoa powder or melted chocolate to satisfy all the chocoholics in the family.


8 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. whole milk, as needed
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar


1. Beat the butter, 2 tbsp milk, and the vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioner's sugar, beating until the frosting is spreadable. If the frosting is too stiff, add the remaining milk.

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