Making Buttercream Frosting with Photo Instructions

  • 01 of 07

    Making Buttercream Frosting

    Vanilla-almond cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream
    Melissa Wang/Flickr

    Want to decorate your cake and eat it too? Buttercream frosting is perfect for piping delicious borders on cakes, and it's soft and easily spreadable too.

    Here are detailed instructions and step-by-step photos for making buttercream frosting.

    Get the ​Buttercream recipe

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Step One - Making Buttercream Icing - Sift Powdered Sugar

    2009 Sifting Sugar Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
    Sifting Sugar. 2009 Sifting Sugar Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Whether the recipe says to or not, it's always a good idea to sift the powdered (confectioners) sugar. If it's not sifted, there's a strong possibility that the frosting will be lumpy.
     

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Step Two - Making Buttercream Icing - Cream the Butter

    2009 Creaming Butter Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
    Creaming Butter. 2009 Creaming Butter Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Begin with room temperature butter. Cream the butter until light and fluffy.

     

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Step Three - Making Buttercream Icing - Add the Sugar

    2009 Add the Sugar Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
    Add the Sugar. 2009 Add the Sugar Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Add the powdered sugar 1/4 or 1/3 cup at a time.
     

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Step Four - Making Buttercream Icing - Scrape the Bowl

    2009 Scrape Bowl and Beater Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
    Scrape Bowl and Beater. 2009 Scrape Bowl and Beater Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    At least once while adding the sugar, scrape the bowl and beater to make sure all of the added sugar is incorporated. Also, be sure to scrape just before adding the milk.

    Please note: I feel like I get to cheat a little on the scraping. The reason is that I use the BeaterBlade+. It scrapes the bowl while mixing.
     

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Step Five - Making Buttercream Icing - Add More Sugar

    2009 Adding Sugar Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
    Adding Sugar. 2009 Adding Sugar Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Continue to add the sugar until it's all used. Scrape one more time before the next step.
     

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Step Six - Making Buttercream Icing - Add Milk

    2009 Add Milk Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
    Add Milk. 2009 Add Milk Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

    Add only enough milk to get the desired spreading consistency.

    Use the Buttercream Icing immediately or store in the refrigerator for a couple of days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

    Get the ​Buttercream recipe