The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe for Cookies

With the holidays around the corner, sugar cookies are a go-to classic treat to make for neighbors and friends to celebrate any occasion. Make sure you have the best cookies on the block with the Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe for Cookies and my favorite sugar cookie recipe.

The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe for Cookies

Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe for Cookies

Growing up, frosting sugar cookies was a tradition for all the major holidays at my house, especially Halloween and Christmas. My mom usually did all the baking and then had everything ready for us kids to come in and decorate (you know, the fun part!). I have loved carrying on this tradition with my kids.

The best sugar cookies, in my opinion, are soft and chewy. So bake up my Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe and then follow these next steps to make the best buttercream frosting recipe.

The best buttercream frosting recipe

Ingredients for Vanilla Buttercream

  • Powdered sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt


To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting, follow these easy steps:

Sift your powdered sugar: First thing’s first – sift your powdered sugar! I know it adds a little time to the process, but it’s worth every extra second. It really is so crucial to making sure your buttercream is silky smooth. You’ll first measure your powdered sugar and then whisk it through a mesh strainer to get a super fine granule. I think this is the fastest, easiest way to sift powdered sugar.

Use slightly cold butter and mix on its own for 2 to 3 minutes: I wish I could shout this one out to the world! Using semi-cold butter is key to ensuring your buttercream actually holds well and pipes with a nice shape. I recommend taking the butter out of your fridge about 30 minutes prior to making your buttercream. The butter should still be cold to the touch, but you’ll be able to make a slight imprint with your finger.

If the butter still feels too cold, just cut it into cubes and add to your mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.

We’re going to let the mixer soften the butter for us, without the butter getting too warm. It’s when the butter is too warm that it creates major problems for our buttercream.

Run the mixer at medium speed for about two minutes to beat the butter. You’ll notice it gets lighter in color and looks fluffy and smooth. This is perfect. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl and mix again for another 30 to 60 seconds.

Use heavy whipping cream: The heavy whipping cream is the star of the show here! I use it in all of my buttercream recipes and it’s such a game-changer. A few tablespoons will do unless otherwise stated in my recipes.

Beat for 5 minutes: With your heavy whipping cream added, it’s time for another critical step to making the best buttercream. Turn your mixer to medium-high speed and beat the buttercream for five minutes.

Stir by hand: The final step to making the best buttercream is actually mixing your frosting by hand. Grab a spatula or big wooden spoon and stir the frosting for a few minutes. You’re trying to push out the air that the electric mixer created. Doing this will help so that you don’t have all the air pockets (holes) in your frosting.

The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe for Cookies

The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe for Cookies

A light and fluffy vanilla buttercream
5 from 15 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Buttercream


For the Buttercream

  • 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 3-4 tbsp (57.75g) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp (8.4g) vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.


To prepare

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 to 3 minutes. This will soften the butter without it having to be warm.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing a little in between each addition.
  • With mixer on medium speed, add whipping cream, vanilla and salt.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. The frosting will become lighter in color and texture.
  • Before spreading on your cake, spend a couple minutes mixing the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets.
Keyword buttercream frosting, buttercream frosting for cookies, easy buttercream recipe, frosting, how to make buttercream frosting, Vanilla Buttercream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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