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Quick, easy and oh-so-delicious buttercream frosting recipe

Easy-to-make buttercream frosting so scrumptious everyone will think you got it from a bakery!

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Oh. My. Gosh! I am still flabbergasted about this buttercream frosting recipe. I’ve tried various recipes for buttercream frosting and didn’t love any of them. I don’t want my icing to taste too buttery. But, I don’t want it to be so sweet that it makes my teeth ache.

Finally after tweaking with recipes, I’ve done it. I’ve created the best buttercream frosting! Even better is that it really is easy enough for anyone to make. This is completely doable for anyone with some basic ingredients and a mixer (handheld or stand).

I’m an icing lover. LOVER! I love cake and cupcakes, especially if they are moist and delicious. I told you a couple of days ago about the four tweaks I use to make cupcakes (and cakes) better than the bakery. But all that yummy cake needs something special on top of it. I have eaten icing from so many bakeries and so many different types. Some are so super sugary. Some are greasy. This one is just right.

Now I’m going to guess you’re thinking that of course I love it because I love icing. And that’s true to an extent (I have tasted some mediocre icing, to say the least!), I have even more proof: My husband loves this buttercream frosting! I have never, ever, ever made an icing that my husband likes or encountered one from a bakery that he likes in the 20-some years I’ve been baking for the guy.

I am beside myself with joy! My husband is a nice guy and doesn’t say things to be mean, but he is also honest and will tell me if I make something he doesn’t care for. The fact that he not only told me the icing was the best he’s ever had but then proceeded to eat a few cupcakes with it on top has made me swoon!

So, of course, I’ve got to share the recipe with you. You already know how to make yummy sponge (as they say on all the baking shows!) thanks to the tweaks I’ve shared. Now you can make yummy icing for the top with just a few ingredients. While you can top your cupcakes with the buttercream frosting by smearing it on with a butter knife or spatula, I use a pastry bag and star tip. It used to intimidate me, but it looks pretty and it really does take less time to frost cupcakes. I have no cake decorating skills and I can make them looked swirled OK. You can do it, too!

While I whip up this icing using my beloved Kitchenaid stand mixer, you can also make it with a handheld mixer. The recipe below makes plenty of icing for one cake or 24 cupcakes. (And if you have a bit extra and want to lick it from the bowl, I won’t judge you because I totally did the same thing!)

Making the frosting

Listen, I know that shortening isn’t so healthy. Of course, neither is butter, but you really do need both for this recipe. I buy baking sticks and then store them in the fridge. Honestly, this is the only recipe I use them for, but it’s so worth it!

Put the butter and shortening into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer and cream them together. Basically, beat them together until they are smooth and fluffy.

The butter and shortening creamed together in the stand mixer until they are smooth and fluffy

Next, gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar until it’s fully incorporated into the butter/shortening.

The confectioner's sugar incorporated into the butter mixture

Once the confectioner’s sugar is incorporated, then add the vanilla and stir it in. Next, add in the milk on low speed (otherwise it will splash out and hit you). Once the milk is stirred in, then beat the buttercream icing on medium to medium-high speed for three to four minutes until it’s nice and fluffy.

The finished, fluffy buttercream icing in the bowl

Use the butter cream to frost completely cooled cakes or cupcakes. You can add food coloring if you’d like. One batch makes enough icing for one 9×13-inch cake, two 9-inch round cakes (with icing between the layers) or 24 cupcakes.

Inline Image
Just look at this creamy, yummy deliciousness!


Quick and easy buttercream frosting Pinterest image

Quick and easy buttercream

This quick, easy and oh-so-delicious buttercream frosting recipe is so scrumptious that everyone will think you bought it from a bakery!
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening trust me on this!
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Food coloring if desired


  • Cream the butter and shortening together with your hand mixer or paddle attachment on your stand mixture. Beat it up it is smooth and fluffy.
  • Gradually add in the confectioner's sugar until it's fully incorporated.
  • Beat in the vanilla.
  • Add the milk and once it's incorporated a bit, beat on medium to medium-high for 3 to 4 more minutes.
  • If you're adding food coloring, drop it in and mix until the color is even and smooth.
Keyword 4 ingredient dessert, Birthday cake, buttercream, buttercream frosting, buttercream icing, cakes, cupcakes, frosting, icing

Be sure to also check out my 4 easy tweaks to make cake mix cupcakes taste better than bakery ones!

4 easy tweaks to make cake mix cupcakes taste better than bakery ones!

Affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

My son loves cake and icing as much as I do. I’m thankful for that since my daughter and husband don’t share that love! So, I am happy to make cupcakes for his birthday parties. He likes to have both vanilla and chocolate. I can whip them up for a fraction of a cost from the bakery and thanks to some tips I’ve gotten from others and learned on my own, they usually are fresher and taste better than a bakery!

Even better, none of my tips require you to be a professional, highly-skilled baker. I certainly am not. They also don’t require lots of kitchen equipment or weird ingredients. With just a few tweaks, you can turn a boxed caked mix into scrumptious cupcakes!

Doctor up a cake mix.
A few years ago, my baker friend, Kayla, shared with me her tip for making delicious cakes and cupcakes. I told you about her with her pillowy soft yeast rolls that make me swoon. This cupcake recipe has been in my life even long and I swear by it! You can use it for cakes or cupcakes. I’ve done both and had excellent results with both.

Instead of baking from scratch, start with a cake mix. It actually saves money and makes your life easier. (Another tip from Kayla!) Dump out a regular cake mix into your mixing bowl. (I use my beloved stand mixer, who I’ve named!) Add in 4 eggs, 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and one small pudding mix that matches the cake. Stir until combined and then stir vigorously by hand or on medium with your mixer for 2 minutes.

Reduce the bake time. My great-aunt shared a tip years ago to never bake a cake or brownies as long as the directions say to. She definitely knew her stuff! Of course you don’t want raw batter, but taking your cupcakes or cake out 2-5 minutes earlier than the box says is usually perfect. Check on your cupcakes to see if they are done enough and if not leave them in for 2 more minutes then check again. I check mine by using inserting a toothpick into the middle of a couple of them. If the toothpick comes back clean or with crumbs, the cupcakes are finished. If it comes back with wet batter, they are not finished.

Fill all tins the same. In order for all 12 of your cupcakes to need the same bake time, they need to be the same size. I usually fill my cupcake tins about 3/4 full, which is a little more than the box mixes say because I usually get 22-23 cupcakes from a box mix instead of 24. No matter how much you fill them, though, make sure they are all pretty equal. You could totally measure the batter for even better accuracy, but I totally just do it by eye.

You can see the moist deliciousness of these chocolate cupcakes!

I bake out my cupcakes my Rachael Ray muffin tin because it really is so awesome. I have realized that it’s time for me to invest in a second muffin tin for making so many cupcakes because it would make my life a bit easier. If I’m making a cake, I reach for my Rachael Ray 9×13 cake pan, which nothing sticks to!

Use cupcake liners. You can totally bake cupcakes without liners, but I like them for a couple of reasons. The first is they are easier to handle for decorating. The liners also make them easier to distribute when it’s time to serve. And the second reason leads us to the next tip…

Remove the cupcakes from the pans immediately. If you use liners, then you can remove cupcakes from the pans immediately. Then the hot pan doesn’t keep cooking them. (It is also good if you are baking more cupcakes because you can move on quicker to the next batch!) I use a butter knife to gently pop the cupcake up and transport it to a cooling rack or wax paper to start cooling. Sometimes I use a couple of fingers to hold it steady on the knife, and sometimes I wear an oven mitt to do so. I’ve found my fingers are easiest and I really don’t get burnt, but do whatever you’re comfortable with.

Store them well. Because of time constraints, most often I bake cupcakes the day before the party when we need them. As long as they are stored out of the air they are just as moist and fresh the next day — if not more so! My current favorite solution is the large, disposable roasting pans. They fit 24 cupcakes each and usually come with plastic lids. I love these also for easy transport to the party.

Looking for an icing recipe? Be sure to check out my recipe for quick, easy and oh-so-delicious buttercream. With just a few basic ingredients and a mixer (handheld or stand), you can whip up this delectable icing in just minutes!

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