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After failing to find the perfect recipe for buttercream frosting, I found one that worked for me and then added my own two cents.

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Your cakes, cupcakes, and cookies deserve the very best buttercream. That's why you should skip the store-bought stuff and make your own buttercream at home. This top-rated recipe, which has more than 1,500 rave reviews from the Allrecipes community, is as good as it gets. Here's everything you need to know about making, storing, freezing, and perfecting the best buttercream of your life: 

What Is Buttercream? 

Buttercream is a sweet and fluffy frosting made by creaming butter and sugar. Other common ingredients include milk (to create the perfect texture) and vanilla (for simple, crowd-pleasing flavor). 

Though vanilla is the most popular buttercream flavor, it's also commonly found in chocolate or fruit-flavored varieties. Food coloring is also added for aesthetic purposes. 

Use buttercream as a frosting, decoration, or filling. Spread buttercream over cake layers, dollop it onto cupcakes, or create decorative patterns with a piping bag. 

Does Buttercream Need to Be Refrigerated?

You can keep buttercream frosting on the counter for about three days. Though it contains perishable ingredients, the high sugar content keeps it from going bad immediately. After about 72 hours, you'll need to refrigerate it. 

How to Store Buttercream

Store buttercream in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days – just make sure to keep it in a cool, dark place. Keep the airtight container in the fridge if you don't plan to use the buttercream within three days. In the refrigerator, it will last for about a week. 

The buttercream will likely harden in the fridge, so you might need to whip it with a whisk or hand mixer to return it to its original fluffy glory. 

Can You Freeze Buttercream? 

Yes! You can freeze buttercream frosting in a freezer bag or another airtight container for about three months. The day before you plan to use it, transfer it to the fridge. It should thaw overnight. 

Why Is My Buttercream Grainy? 

If your buttercream frosting is grainy, it's likely because you're using the wrong type of confectioners' sugar. Make sure to choose a variety that's made from cane sugar, as it melts faster than beet sugar. You also might have forgotten to sift the sugar before mixing it with the butter. 

How to Fix Grainy Buttercream

To fix grainy buttercream, try mixing it for a bit longer to smooth things out a bit. If that doesn't work, add a little more liquid or let the buttercream sit overnight (if time permits) to give the sugar crystals time to melt. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This is so much better than store-bought icing," according to SizzleCakes. "Just be sure to use real butter; it makes all the difference."

"I wish I could give this 10 stars," raves GCJMMOM. "Like some other reviewers, I have always used canned icing, just because making it myself intimidated me. This was quick and easy, and so delicious!!

"One thing I did that pushed this icing over the edge was I added a splash of cold French vanilla coffee from this morning," says love2cook. "Wow!! SO delicious!"

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.

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  • Add milk and beat for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add food coloring and beat for thirty seconds until smooth or until desired color is reached.

Tips

Use our guide to the best hand mixers to upgrade your old hand mixer and make cooking your favorite recipes easy.

Nutrition Facts

228 calories; protein 0.3g; carbohydrates 31.5g; fat 11.6g; cholesterol 30.8mg; sodium 3.5mg. Full Nutrition
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