Quick Buttercream Frosting

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Quick Buttercream Frosting

star rating (33) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

You may use all butter in this quick buttercream, but using vegetable shortening makes a frosting that will be a little firmer in warmer temperatures. Also, using the optional meringue powder, while not necessary, will help your frosting holds its shape. This amount of frosting is fine to frost the top of a 9" x 13" cake. If you're frosting a layer cake, double the recipe to have enough frosting to pipe decorations.

1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter or non-transfat vegetable shortening (we used 1/4 cup of each)
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon meringue powder, optional, for "holding power"
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 to 3 cups (10 to 12 ounces) confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons (1 to 2 ounces) milk

Cream the butter and/or shortening until fluffy. Beat in the salt, meringue powder, and the vanilla. Add the confectioners' or glazing sugar, 2 tablespoons of the milk, and beat well.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Adjust the consistency of the frosting as needed by adding more confectioners' sugar or milk. If you're not going to use the frosting right away, keep it at room temperature, covered, to prevent it from developing a dry crust. Yield: 2 1/2 cups.


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  • star rating 04/11/2015
  • member-tapdogs2 from KAF Community
  • Oh my gosh this was so easy and yummy!! I was looking for a dairy free frosting and this worked great! I used butter flavor Palm oil shortening and coconut milk. I also added some almond flavoring. I didn't have any meringue powder and it still worked fine. This will be my go to frosting! I'm glad I gave it a try!
  • star rating 03/13/2015
  • Lisa Pilaitis from Pa
  • I would like to know how do I make this chocolate butter cream?

    You can melt some chocolate and whisk a small portion of the buttercream in, so the chocolate does not seize, then stir that back into the rest of the plain buttercream. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 02/08/2015
  • mrmoran from KAF Community
  • Couldn't be simpler. With the combination of shortening and meringue powder, the frosting holds its shape beautifully, even for a cake decorating-challenged baker like me!
  • star rating 02/06/2015
  • Kygran7 from KAF Community
  • This frosting is easy to make. It spreads well and generously frosts 2 dozen cupcakes. My granddaughter requested strawberry frosting, so before adding the vanilla, I divided it and added vanilla to half and homemade strawberry jam to the other half. The result was a pretty pink with visible bits of strawberries. Both flavors were delicious.
  • 11/26/2014
  • Florice from Patchogue
  • I am trying to get the recipe right now for the first time
  • star rating 10/30/2014
  • Carol from Harrison, ME
  • The easiest and very tasty. I lighten the frosting by mixing in a "blob" (maybe 1/2 Cup) of Marshmallow Fluff after all the other ingredients have been mixed together. Easy orange frosting by substituting oj for milk.
  • star rating 10/22/2014
  • Rachel from UK
  • I love this recipe but I need to know how long it will keep for. How long can I keep it at room temperature under a fondant covered cake?
    Buttercream should be fine for 4 - 7 days - your frosted/fondant cake is likely closer to 3 -4 days. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 10/16/2014
  • from
  • star rating 07/13/2014
  • tracyvision from KAF Community
  • This is my go-to frosting recipe. Perfect every time. I use fiori di sicilia extract instead of vanilla. Super yummy. I use about 2/3 of the sugar recommended and it's sweet enough (it is frosting, after all) without being too sweet.
  • star rating 10/11/2013
  • Ashley from UP, Michigan
  • I made a double recipe and it frosted 2 dozen cupcakes no problem with a lot left over to write on a layer cake. Used all butter but it is definitely stiff enough with the meringue. A bit too sweet for my personal taste but tastes like the usual sugar frosting so can't complain.
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