Olive Magazine
Three bowls of different buttercream frosting, two vanilla and one chocolate flavoured

Buttercream icing

Published: June 19, 2022 at 11:12 am
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Makes enough to ice 12 cupcakes or fill and ice a 20cm cake

Whether eaten straight from the bowl with a spoon, or licked off the top of a cupcake, we all love buttercream. Here's how to master this basic frosting


Learn how to make a basic buttercream, then check out our recipes for cream cheese frosting, chocolate buttercream and Russian buttercream.

Follow our expert tips on how to make buttercream:


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1½ tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • STEP 1

    Beat the softened butter using either a hand mixer or free-standing electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar in 3 separate additions and beat fully between each. Add the vanilla and milk and beat to fully combine. On full speed beat the buttercream for at least 5 minutes until fluffy, smooth and lighten in colour.

  • STEP 2

    Spread and fill a 20cm cake or fill a large pipping bag and pipe over cupcakes.

More buttercream ideas below:

Chocolate buttercream

Silky, delicious buttercream gets a chocolate makeover. This simple frosting recipe is perfect for decorating cupcakes or filling sponge cakes.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Cream cheese frosting

Where would carrot cake be without a smooth cream cheese frosting? Get it right every time with our simple recipe.

Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Russian buttercream

Try this simple, lesser-known buttercream made with condensed milk – it's great on coffee cake, but is a great frosting option for any kind of bake.

Russian buttercream being spread on a loaf cake

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