Cupcake Frosting

The collection of cupcake frosting recipes below are tried and true. Some frostings perform well, but far short in the taste category. Most cupcake decorators know that both criteria are very important when designing cupcakes. See which one is your favorite.

Basic Vanilla Frosting

This vanilla cupcake frosting recipe uses a butter and shortening blend. Great for practicing cupcake decorations or when warmer room temperatures may be an issue.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 6 cups powdered or confectioner's sugar
  • 2 Tbsps water
  • 1 - 2 Tbsps clear vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Step 1: Beat butter and shortening together in a large bowl of a mixer.

Step 2: Gradually add powdered sugar moistening with water as needed.

Step 3: Add vanilla and mix until frosting is fluffy but holds it's shape well.

Makes approximately 5 cups of frosting.

Classic Chocolate Frosting


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered or confectioner's sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Step 1: In a microwave safe measuring cup, melt the butter. Gradually mix in the cocoa powder.

Step 2: Pour chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl, beat in powdered sugar gradually adding milk as needed.

Step 3: Add vanilla. Continue to mix in all powered sugar. Add milk as needed to achieve consistency.

Makes approximately 2 cups of frosting.

Frosting Tip: If you are using a butter enriched frosting after it’s been stored in the refrigerator, be sure to give it enough time to soften before using it. Butter hardens in the fridge and your frosting will be too difficult to spread or use in a pastry bag for decorations if it’s too cold.

More Cupcake Frosting Recipes

Looking for something beyond basic vanilla and chocolate? Check out these recipes:

Fluffy and Light Cream Cheese Frosting 

1 8-oz pkg of Neufchâtel cream cheese (light cream cheese)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 …

White Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting 
Try this white chocolate butter cream icing on your next batch of homemade cupcakes. The creamy texture will go well with vanilla, chocolate, red velvet …

Sugar-Free Chocolate Frosting 
The coffee in this recipe compliments the chocolate very well. And, while the ingredients for this recipe are very simple, you'll find that the flavors …

Cream Cheese Cupcake Frosting 

4 oz cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsps butter, softened

1 1/2 tsps fresh lemon juice

1/2 grated lemon rind

1 cup sifted …

Sugarless Cupcake Frosting 
This frosting is great if you are making cupcakes for someone on a special diet. It tastes great even if you aren't counting calories or carbohydrates! …

Lemon Butter Cream  
It's not just juice that gives this lemon frosting it's zing, but the zest. For best results, use a good lemon zester to keep the zest pieces small. …

Green Tea "Matcha" Cupcake Frosting  
Looking for something truly exotic to serve for dessert? Try topping your cupcakes with this green tea frosting. The creamy flavor from the butter and …

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