Buttercream icing

(286 ratings)
  • Makes: 12 cupcakes or 1 cake

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

This classic buttercream icing recipe is the perfect way to top cakes and cupcakes. Once you've mastered this basic recipe you'll be able to experiment with various flavours and colours. This easy to make cupcake or cake topping takes only 5 mins to prepare. This buttercream recipe makes enough to decorate one 20-23cm round cake or 12 cupcakes. Any leftover buttercream can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Make sure you mix thoroughly before re-piping onto cupcakes or cake. Add a few drops of food colouring to dye your buttercream or a few drops of water to loosen when re-using. If you make lots of cakes then you can bulk batch make this and freeze it, ahead of when you need it. Buttercream defrosts well overnight - just remember to let it come to room temperature before you need it so that it's easy to ice with.


  • 110g butter, room temperature
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml milk

For tips on how to ice your cupcakes with buttercream check out our cupcake icing videos


  1. Add butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl, then beat for about 5 minutes with an electric whisk until smooth.
  2. Pour the milk gradually if you need to loosen the mixture.

Looking for a basic cupcake recipe to go with this buttercream icing recipe? We've got it here!

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  • 3
(286 ratings)

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Thanks for the apology Penny. It had been an argument and an half but everything worked out in the end. But I have a slight problem on my hands, or should of I say, my whole family assets including my dog. You see, your unrelated 'comments' on the 'goodtoknow' website had confused my already knuckleheaded brain and 'accidentally' placed my buttercream icing into my mums new Bosch oven at 200C for 20 minutes. Although, my eyes were so complexed and draw-in by mum's exciting new German built oven, I had smoulded the family home... ("Oi son, stop carrying on... Ask this penny women about the simmer icing you burnt, I'm in need of a slither of cake with this horrible earl grey you gave me in a dog bowl") ("Thats not earl grey mum) *Mum investigating the lumpy tea* (Knickers Knotted*)


Sorry if I've started a family argument there Mike. Hope your mums knickers are out of their twist now!


Thanks Penny for the effort, I'm sure your mother is in a state of mind where you just leave it her alone. You learn this difficult interpretation of someone, more importantly your mother, in the latter years of life. Just one sec Penny... ("Oi mum, what do you call you it when your pissed off?") ("Mike, I have told you once today and not going to tell you again, my bloody knickers are in a knot. Now make me a tea, your reminding to much of your father")


I total agree, we tried it and it took us like, let's see.. ("Mum how long did it take us? Mike from goodtolnow wants to know") ("I'm busy love, bugger off")

Wendy Ann Gibson

no you cant use ordinary sugar you can only use icing sugar and if you don't have any then go and buy some then you will have some


yeah you can use normal sugar....are you taking the mick?????


what if i dont have icing sugar can i use something else?

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