Different Varieties of Buttercream

Adapted from Handle the Heat

Flavor Ideas:

You may need to adjust the powdered sugar ratio depending on your flavor preferences and adjust the cream ratio depending on your texture preferences.


Add 1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder


Add 1/3 cup seedless strawberry preserves and a few drops of red food coloring


Add 1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves and a few drops of red food coloring


Add 1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Use 3/4 light brown sugar in place of all powdered sugar, add 1 1/4 cups flour, and garnish with mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Malt

Add 1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup malted milk powder, and use 1/4 cup milk, plus more if needed

Peanut Butter

Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and reduce the powdered sugar to 2 1/2 cups

Irish Cream Buttercream

Use Bailey’s Irish Cream instead of cream


Add in 1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 cup Kahlua in place of the cream


Add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and a few drops of green food coloring


Add in 2/3 cup Nutella and reduce powdered sugar to 2 cups

Lemon (or any other citrus)

Add in 2 tablespoons lemon zest and 3 tablespoons lemon juice and increase powdered sugar to 3 1/2 cups


Add in 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract


Add 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


Add in 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, remove cream

Salted Caramel

Add in 1/3 cup caramel topping and increase salt to 1 teaspoon, remove cream

How To

Yield: 3 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

This makes enough buttercream to frost about 12 to 15 cupcakes. Double this recipe to frost a 8 or 9-inch two layer cake.

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
8 ounces (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla, and cream and beat on medium for 1 minute, adding more cream if needed.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let come to room temperature and re-whip in the stand mixer until light and fluffy again. Add a tablespoon or 2 of powdered sugar if it needs to thicken.


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