22 Homemade Buttercream Frosting Recipes To Step Up Your Cake Game

Italian Meringue Buttercream
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Sure, you could play it safe by adding your go-to chocolate or vanilla icing to finish off your cake, but we think that your dessert deserves better. We've gathered our best buttercream frostings for you to try instead. Buttercream frosting is a delicious way to add indulgent flavor to your favorite cakes and cupcakes. It's easy to whip up, and even easier to get carried away slathering it onto your baked goods with a heavy hand once you taste how good it is. Choose a flavored buttercream that pairs deliciously with your cake. Try our Browned Buttercream Frosting to make chocolate cupcakes even more decadent or smear Peach Buttercream Frosting onto bright, fruity cake to enhance its vibrance. It's impossible to go wrong with our classic Vanilla Buttercream, while our Bourbon Buttercream is a sure-fire crowd favorite. Enjoy the richness of this wonderful way to finish your cake with these frostings and even more creative buttercream recipes. These frosting recipes will have you making an extra batch so you can spread it on as thick as you'd like.

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Vanilla Buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream

Recipe: Vanilla Buttercream

This creamy buttercream recipe is the perfect amount of sweetness and will wrap any cake in a clean, elegant and fluffy layer. If you love lots of frosting, double the recipe.

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Lemon-Orange Buttercream

Lemon-Orange Buttercream Frosting
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Lemon-Orange Buttercream Frosting

Serve a cake with this bright, decadent frosting at your next get together. This recipe goes with Lemon-Orange Chiffon Cake.

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Key Lime Buttercream

Key Lime Cupcakes
Photographer and props: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Key Lime Cupcakes

This key lime frosting is refreshing and easy. We love it on top of our key lime cupcakes but pair it with any other flavor to give your favorite cake a zingy pop.

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Raspberry Buttercream

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
Jennifer Causey

Recipe: Lemon Cupcakes With Raspberry Buttercream

Add fresh raspberries to a classic buttercream frosting, like in step 4, and brighten both the flavor and the color of your favorite layer cake or cupcake recipes. Pair this bright buttercream with a fruity cake like we did, or try chocolate for a decadent twist.

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Orange Buttercream

White Cake with Cranberry Filling and Orange Buttercream
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: White Cake With Cranberry Filling And Orange Buttercream

Sweet citrus flavor is packed into each bite of this buttercream-wrapped cake. Try this recipe with other sweet and tart Christmas flavors like cranberry.

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Bourbon Buttercream

White Cake with Bourbon Buttercream and Seven-Minute Frosting
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: White Cake With Bourbon Buttercream And Seven-Minute Frosting

Fill and frost a layer cake with a rich buttercream frosting accented with bourbon. Try this recipe with vanilla cake to let it shine, or a rich, chocolate for an irresistible result.

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Strawberry Buttercream

Chocolate Strawberry Cake
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Recipe: Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Including berries in classic buttercream is an easy way to add intrigue. When paired with chocolate cake, a bite with this fluffy buttercream (made in step 5) tastes like chocolate-covered strawberries.

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Peanut Butter Buttercream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This smooth buttercream complements chocolate cake deliciously. Follow step 3, then layer it generously between layers or on top of your cake or cupcakes for extra nutty depth.

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Rum Buttercream

Bananas Foster Cake
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey, Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hilegas

Recipe: Bananas Foster Cake With Rum Buttercream

Like bourbon, a smidge (or more) of rum has the potential to elevate dessert by leaps and bounds. We love this frosting with our Bananas Foster Cake but if just the buttercream is catching your eye, skip to step 5.

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Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake With Caramel Buttercream

Top your caramel cake with a buttercream (steps 5-6) rather than an average frosting and everyone at the potluck will be asking for your recipe. Or, try this recipe like we did, paired with Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake and Chocolate Ganache.

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Vanilla-Mascarpone Buttercream

Buttermilk-Lime Mini Cakes with Vanilla-Mascarpone Buttercream
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Buttermilk-Lime Mini Cakes With Vanilla-Mascarpone Buttercream

Softened mascarpone cheese is the secret ingredient that even our favorite vanilla frostings have been missing. Try this cheesy version made in step 5 and you may never go back to basic buttercreams.

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Stout Buttercream

Gingerbread Cake With Stout Buttercream
William Dickey

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake With Stout Buttercream

This boozy buttercream recipe is easy as can be. Just skip to step 3 and you'll have a topping impressive enough to compensate for a basic box cake underneath.

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Browned Buttercream

Bourbon-Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop styling: Lydia Pursell

Recipe: Browned Buttercream Frosting

Browning your butter adds nutty, deep flavors to the pantry staple. Doing the same for our buttercream frosting? Now that's genius, if we do say so ourselves.

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Berry-Swiss Meringue Buttercream

White Cake with Berry-Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Recipe: White Cake With Berry-Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

This frosting transforms a basic white box cake into something to rave-worthy. Follow steps 3-5 for sweet and tangy cake topping as vibrant as it is tasty.

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Peach Buttercream

Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Peach Buttercream Frosting

For this recipe, we use high quality browned butter to make sure that our buttercream base has earned its spot alongside delicious, Southern peaches. Light and airy Peach Buttercream tastes divine with rich, deep flavors like in our Brown Sugar Layer Cake With Peach Buttercream.

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Malted Chocolate Buttercream

Yellow Cake with Malted Chocolate Buttercream
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Recipe: Yellow Cake With Malted Chocolate Buttercream

No need to experiment with any other chocolate buttercream; This one's the best there is. Malted milk powder adds a warmth that takes silky smooth frosting to new heights. Just follow steps 3-4 to see for yourself.

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Strawberry-Sour Cream Buttercream

Cream Soda Confetti Sheet Cake with Strawberry-Sour Cream Buttercream
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Cream Soda Confetti Sheet Cake With Strawberry-Sour Cream Buttercream

The name might be a mouthful, but you'll love a mouth full of Strawberry-Sour Cream Buttercream frosting. Bright pink in color and with just the right of tang mixed into the sweet mixture, step 4 of this recipe guarantees a fun cake.

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Eggnog Buttercream

Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Eggnog Spice Cake With Bourbon Custard Filling And Eggnog Buttercream

Skip to step 4 for your new favorite holiday frosting. Add nutmeg to your ingredient list if you please and serve up your guests' new favorite way to enjoy holiday eggnog.

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Coconut Buttercream

Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Coconut-Carrot Cake With Coconut Buttercream

Coconut extract and canned unsweetened coconut milk add tropical flavor to this frosting with the power to lighten up a dense spice cake. We think Coconut Buttercream and Carrot Cake are a winning combination, but if you prefer to keep your fruits and veggies separate, skip to step 7.

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Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Eggnog Layer Cake with Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Eggnog Layer Cake With Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Simple, white frosting has never had so much character. Making vanilla frosting straight from the bean pod, as opposed to pre-made extract, adds a rich decadence with a spirited swig of bourbon to the frosting made in step 5.

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Cream Cheese Buttercream

Snowy Vanilla Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Snowy Vanilla Cake With Cream Cheese Buttercream

Can't decide between a cream cheese frosting or a buttercream? We've got you covered. Using both butter and cream cheese as a frosting foundation, like shown in step 4, leads to the smoothest topping for your cake that's the best of both worlds.

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Italian Meringue Buttercream

Italian Meringue Buttercream
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Italian Meringue Buttercream

Save this page in your recipe box for safe keeping because this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket. The perfect cake-topper for special occasions, this recipe is also easy to flavor with additional extracts.

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