The Best Frosting Recipes

One of the most popular methods of baking a cake is making it with a boxed cake mix, and the best frosting recipes are often the simplest. However, if you want an even simpler way to transform a boring cake, you can try making your frosting from scratch. This recipe will allow you to create rich, decadent icing while baking your cake, and you can also experiment with different flavors to create your unique frosting.

Frosting Recipes

Every bite of the best frosting recipes delivers a luscious texture, increased flavor, and a flash of delight.
Icing coats various cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and desserts. It can be used to give flavor and texture to a range of pastries and baked goods, as well as allowing a cook to adorn her creation so that it is pleasing to both the eyes and the palate. The seven fundamental icing varieties are buttercream, flat, foam, fondant, fudge, royal, and glazes.

What is the Frosting?

Icing, often known as frosting, is a sweet, frequently creamy coating produced by combining sugar with a liquid, such as water or milk, and supplemented with butter, egg whites, cream cheese, or flavorings. Baked items, such as cakes, are coated or decorated with it, and it’s called a filling when it’s put in between layers of cake.

A pastry bag can be used to mold icing into shapes such as flowers and leaves. On birthday and wedding cakes, such decorations are common. To achieve the desired hue, edible dyes can be added to icing recipes. On top of the icing, sprinkles, edible inks, and other embellishments are frequently utilized.

A glacé is a basic frosting made with powdered sugar (icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar) and water. For example, this can be flavored and colored any way you choose by substituting lemon juice for the water.

The Best Frosting Recipes

Here are some of the best frosting recipes:

Buttercream Frosting

This uncooked, powdered sugar-sweetened variant of buttercream is perhaps the most basic of all frostings, and it’s the kind of frosting you’ll see on many old-fashioned birthday cakes. Stella Parks, a pastry chef and cookbook author discovered that powdered sugar cut with tapioca starch rather than cornstarch works better for this frosting style. (The good news is that tapioca is likely to be listed among the ingredients on any organic powdered sugar product.) The tapioca starch dissolves more quickly, thickening the frosting and improving its texture. However, any powdered sugar can work in a pinch.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Making European-style buttercream is a little more difficult than making American-style buttercream because it usually involves some cooking, you’re dealing with hot sugar, and timing is important. However, the procedure is forgiving, and the results are unmistakable (create a killer frosting, and you’ve just established your Serious Baker credentials).

Swiss buttercream is produced by boiling egg whites and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved over a hot water bath. After then, the mixture is taken off the heat and whisked until firm peaks form. Once the mixture has cooled, add the butter in small increments until it creates a smooth frosting. The result is a silky buttercream that spreads well on cakes and is preferred by many experienced bakers for piping on decorations. It’s also the only meringue-based frosting fully cooked to FDA standards.

Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Egg whites are also used in Italian buttercream, but the process is slightly different. While the egg whites are being beaten, a hot sugar syrup is carefully poured into them. After the butter has cooled, it is added in the same manner as in the Swiss buttercream. While the Italian buttercream is nearly indistinguishable from Swiss buttercream, it is slightly lighter.

French Buttercream Frosting

French buttercream is made in the same way as Italian buttercream, except that instead of whipping egg whites, only the yolks are whipped. French buttercream also has a higher butter content than the frostings listed above. Because of the eggs and Big Butter, French buttercream is a rich and flavorful frosting.

German Buttercream

Pastry cream or custard—a mixture of boiled egg yolks, milk, sugar, cornstarch, or flour—is used to make this buttercream variation. After the pastry cream has cooled, it is beaten with melted butter to make a light frosting commonly used for cake fillings but may also be used to cover any cake. This frosting is extremely sturdy due to its baked nature, so it’s a wonderful choice for a cake that will be served on a hot and sunny day.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Classic cream cheese frosting is similar to American buttercream, but with the addition of sour cream cheese in place of some of the butter. Cream cheese and butter are beaten together with powdered sugar and a flavor like vanilla extract. Although the tanginess of the cream cheese cuts the sugar a little, this style of creamy frosting is fairly sweet. It’s a go-to combination for American oil-based sweets like red velvet and carrot cake.

Seven-Minute Frosting

Dark, rich devil’s food cake has long been paired with bright white seven-minute frosting. This is the pair to go for if you want the most color contrast. It’s made in the same way as Swiss meringue (not Swiss meringue buttercream, because it doesn’t contain any butter), with one exception: with Swiss meringue, the mixture is heated only until the sugar dissolves and then whipped off the heat. The batter is beaten for seven minutes over a double boiler with seven-minute frosting (hence the name). Because of the extra cooking time, the marshmallow-like icing creates a crust as it cools, which will crack if you wait until the next day to cut into it.

Ermine Frosting

Although cream cheese frosting is commonly used on red velvet cakes, the original match was ermine icing. Ermine frosting is similar to German buttercream in that it begins with a baked flour mixture; however, ermine frosting does not contain eggs. It’s light and airy, and it’ll take a variety of flavors nicely because they won’t have to compete for attention with the eggs.

Old-School Bakery Frosting

Look to American buttercream for the sugar rush that only this classic frosting can provide—the one closest to the icing you’ll find in shelf-stable cans and supermarket pastry cases—but omit the butter and replace it with vegetable shortening instead. This is a terrific alternative for vegan birthdays because it doesn’t contain butter or eggs and can be customized with tasty extracts or vivid food coloring.

Whipped Cream Frosting

A layered cake filled with whipped cream frosting is a classic, whether delicately flavored with sour cream or chocolate or left as is in all its fluffy deliciousness. Whipped cream pairs well with strong-flavored cakes like devil’s food or spice cakes because it’s a little bland on its own, and it’s also wonderful with lighter cakes like genoise when paired with different fillings like fruit. Whipped cream can also be piped into soft decorations and used to adorn the outside of a cake, although it’s best reserved for cakes that will be eaten immediately away.

What Types of Frosting?

Here are the different types of frosting:


Buttercream frosting is one of the simplest varieties. A sugary sweet flavor generally only uses three ingredients: powdered sugar, butter, and a liquid. Additional ingredients, such as lemon zest or vanilla extract, can be mixed in to provide more depth and flavor.


One of the most moldable options for creating intricate decorations, fondant is more of a paste than a true frosting. Fondant recipes allow you to create a few varieties, from pourable options to fondant thick enough to roll out in sheets. Colors and flavors can be added according to your preferences.

Cream Cheese

A favorite for people who prefer a slightly less sweet option, cream cheese frosting is a sophisticated and easy-to-prepare choice. Recipies for this frosting should be similar to those for buttercream, except that cream cheese will be used in place of butter. With a tangy, creamy flavor, cream cheese frosting provides enough structure to be used for decorating. When working with this frosting, desserts should be kept in the refrigerator to avoid melting and spoilage.

Other Options

The three frosting varieties discussed above are just a few of the many options out there. You can also consider trying these delicious favorites:

Frosting vs. Icing What is Different?

Although the terms icing and frosting are frequently used interchangeably to describe various types of frosting, there are significant differences between the two. Consider the type of dessert you’re cooking when picking which recipe to utilize, and then apply the recommendations below to determine whether frosting or icing would work best.


The frosting has a flavor similar to icing, but the primary difference is its thickness. Frosting, unlike icing, employs fats like butter as a major element to give it greater structure. Frosting, like icing, can be used as a topping, but it’s also widely used as a filling. Because of its consistency, it’s ideal for piping and other forms of decorating, like those seen on cakes and cupcakes. You can use food coloring or other substances to get vivid, colorful colors that cover whatever is underneath the frosting layer.


Icing is typically a thinner topping. In the making of icing, more liquid is utilized, giving it a different consistency than frosting. It’s sparingly on desserts and has a nicer, smoother appearance than icing. Flavors can be added to make icing that goes well with various desserts. While the icing is thin, it is not as thin as a glaze and should still be stiff enough to adhere to food and impart color to sweets. After being applied to food, the icing should progressively harden, resulting in a shell-like finished product, depending on the type of icing.


While glazes are a little thinner than icing, they can be used for the same things. A glaze recipe is similar to a frosting recipe, except it requires more liquid. They can be poured over completed pastries to create a dripping look and to add sweetness.

Why is My Frosting not Fluffy?

Frosting Recipes

If you’re making a whipped cream frosting, there are a few methods to make it fluffy. Some are similar to preparing fluffy buttercream, while others may differ.

Take a peek and prepare for some fluffy, silky frosting!

Use Cold Ingredients

The whipped cream icing will aerate the best when the ingredients are cold. When the cream is cooled, the fat inside it can whip and hold more air, making the frosting fluffier. Start your recipe with cold cream to ensure a light and fluffy icing.

Use Powdered Sugar

Every whipped cream frosting recipe will be unique. Some use granulated sugar, whereas others use powdered sugar. Powdered sugar produces a fluffier result. Powdered sugar melts faster and more evenly in the milk. The whipped cream icing has a wonderful, silky feel as a result. Because granulated sugar does not dissolve entirely, your frosting may be grainy. If you want your frosting to be smooth and fluffy, look for a recipe for powdered sugar.

Add a Stabilizer

After your whipped cream frosting has been whipped to perfection, you may be startled to find that it begins to fall flat after a few minutes of sitting.
Whipped cream can only stay fluffy for so long before collapsing and reverting to a liquid condition. You can include a stabilizer in the whipped cream to keep the icing frothy.
Gelatin works great and has no flavor, so your whipped cream will not taste different. Adding gelatin to the frosting will keep it bubbly and aerated, which is exactly what you want!

Do Not Over Mix

While buttercream frosting gets fluffier and more buoyant the longer it’s mixed, whipped cream frosting doesn’t always do so.

While you want to whisk the whipped cream frosting to firm peaks and include a lot of air into the mixture, you don’t want to do so for too long.

When whipped cream is overwhipped for an extended period, it becomes stiff and eventually transforms into butter. You don’t want to ice your cake with firm butter!

Keep an eye on the whipped cream frosting in the last few minutes of mixing, and switch the mixer off once stiff peaks have formed.

Making fluffy frosting is simple with the correct tactics in your back pocket. If you follow these simple instructions, you’ll have perfect, fluffy frosting for your cakes and cupcakes.

Everyone enjoys a good fluffy frosting, and now you can make the perfect one! Good luck with your baking!


Icing is a sweet, thin liquid that hardens when it cools. Icing is typically used to garnish donuts and cinnamon rolls, but it is also used to decorate pound cakes such as Lemon Pound Cake.
When preparing to ice, the main component is sugar, which is combined with water, milk, or cream according to the recipe. Vanilla or lemon juice can be used to flavor the icing, which is then drizzled over warm baked items.
As everything cools down and the sugar crystals form, the icing becomes more opaque and white. The icing can be prepared in various viscosities depending on the use, but it will never keep its shape as well as the frosting.