Whipped Buttercream Frosting is a light and fluffy version of the traditional buttercream you know and love. This sweet, whipped buttercream is the perfect frosting for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies.
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to love this recipe for whipped buttercream frosting. I love frosting, but sometimes it can be too rich and dense.
I decided to modify my Classic American Buttercream Frosting recipe and make a lighter, whipped version. This frosting has the same sweet buttercream flavor, but is lighter and fluffier than the traditional version.
I think you’ll be pleased with the results. This frosting, with the addition of more heavy whipping cream and extra whipping time, turns out light, fluffy, and perfectly sweetened.
Buttercream frosting is a fantastic frosting because it’s incredibly easy to make and only requires four ingredients. There’s no cooking involved, no fancy ingredients, and it’s ready in minutes.
If you’re looking for a chocolate frosting recipe, look no further! I have one right here: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Room Temperature Butter
First, you’ll want to start with room temperature butter. Cold butter or melted butter will not work for this recipe. You’ll be whipping your butter and other ingredients together. This requires room temperature butter to get that creamy, smooth consistency.
To speed up the process of warming cold butter, Slice your butter into smaller pieces and set out on the kitchen counter. Sliced butter will warm up faster than a whole stick of butter.
For something like buttercream frosting, I don’t recommend heating your butter in the microwave. You want your butter to be the same temperature throughout, and microwaving often results in a partially melted, still-cold-in-the-middle stick of butter. This may work for some recipes, but not buttercream.
How To Make Whipped Buttercream Frosting
First, add your room temperature butter to your mixing bowl. Beat until smooth and creamy, about a minute.
Then, add your confectioner’s sugar, half at a time, and mix until incorporated. Use a low mixing speed to avoid making a mess of your kitchen!
Once your confectioner’s sugar is incorporated, slowly increase your mixing speed and whip until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
See above, some confectioner’s sugar is sitting in the bottom of the bowl. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl every time you stop.
Then add your vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream.
Slowly increase your mixing speed to high and whip for another 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add more heavy cream as desired to achieve your ideal consistency. Adding more heavy cream will create a thinner frosting, which may not be pipeable.
Now your frosting is ready to use. Spread with a knife onto cakes, cupcakes, brownies, or cookies. Or, spoon into a piping bag for a fancy presentation.
How To Keep Frosted Baked Goods
Baked goods can be frosted the day before an event, and left at room temperature in a sealed container. If you have a fully decorated cake, or cupcakes with a fruit filling, I’d recommend refrigerating them overnight so they stay fresh longer.
Here’s a fun fact: butter melts around 90 to 95 degrees.
If your location is nearing this temperature, I’d recommend refrigerating your baked goods until an hour before you’re ready to serve them. Refrigerating your frosted baked goods will not hurt them, but you will want to give them some time to come to room temperature before serving.
Buttercream generally does not do well in direct sunlight or in high heat. If you plan to serve a cake or cupcakes outdoors, and the temperature outside is around 90 degrees or more, I would not recommend leaving your desserts in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
Instead, set up your desserts indoors, and bring them outside when it’s time to enjoy them. Or, try to set up your desserts in the shade, or set them up freshly out of the refrigerator. There’s nothing worse than melted frosting on a beautiful cake.
Here’s a fantastic article about how frosting holds up to heat: The Best Cake Frosting For Hot Weather
Almond Extract in Frosting
So I have a little secret when making my vanilla buttercream frosting. If I want to make a ‘fancy’ version, maybe for a party or wedding, I add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract. It adds just a hint of almond flavor, and gives your frosting a slightly elevated flavor.
If you’re not a fan of almond extract or almond flavors, I totally understand. To an extent, I am you. Almond flavored cookies or other baked goods are not my favorite. I’d much rather use vanilla extract any day.
However. Trust me on this. Adding a tiny bit of almond extract alongside your vanilla is a serious game changer in this recipe. Plus, I’m pretty sure if I didn’t tell anyone it was in there, they wouldn’t notice. It just tastes like an amazing, professionally made buttercream frosting.
If you are afraid of an overwhelming almond flavor, begin by adding half as much almond extract as called for. Mix it in and see how you feel. You can always add more.
I do not want you to ruin a batch of buttercream because your hate almond extract, but you added it because I said it would be amazing. Trust your instincts. If you give it a try, add a little at a time until you find the perfect flavor for you.
Or, skip this step! Because the recipe makes a wonderful vanilla buttercream on its own.
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar sifted to remove lumps
- 1/3 cup heavy cream cold
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract * optional, see note below
- In a large bowl, add room temperature butter, beat until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add confectioner's sugar and slowly mix until ingredients are fully combined. Then, whip at high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Add heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract (and optional almond extract) and whip for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add additional heavy cream as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.
- *Almond extract is optional. It adds just a hint of almond flavor, and gives your frosting a slightly elevated flavor, which I like to call 'fancy buttercream.' Great for wedding cakes and cupcakes.
- Recipe will make enough to frost about 16 cupcakes with high, dramatic piped frosting, or 24 cupcakes spread with a knife, a 9x13 sheet cake, or an 8-9 inch two layer cake.
- Cold butter or melted butter will not work for this recipe. You'll be whipping your butter and other ingredients together. This requires room temperature butter to get that creamy, smooth consistency.
- Baked goods can be frosted the day before an event, and left at room temperature in a sealed container. If you have a fully decorated cake, or cupcakes with a fruit filling, I'd recommend refrigerating them overnight so they stay fresh longer.
- Butter melts around 90 to 95 degrees, and so will your frosting. If your location is nearing this temperature, I'd recommend refrigerating your baked goods until an hour before you're ready to serve them. Refrigerating your frosted baked goods will not hurt them, but you will want to give them some time to come to room temperature before serving.