Easy Buttercream Frosting

I love a good frosting.  And what better excuse to whip some up than a few family birthdays!  And I seriously can’t help myself from adding things to traditional recipes and coming up with something totally different.

And different is determined by what I have available to me.  Sometimes it’s a success…and sometimes it’s a fail.  I’m going to have to say these two versions of buttercream frosting were a deliciously wonderful success.

And, and, and, and, and, and, and…

What did I have on-hand to tweak these recipes with?  Fresh strawberries, a semi-sweet chocolate chocolate bar and a salted caramel chip milk chocolate bar.  Sounds intense!  Well, I’m actually making two kinds of frosting: 1) strawberry buttercream and 2) triple chocolate chip buttercream.

Of course because I was planning to devote myself to frosting for the afternoon, I cheated and used boxed cake mix.  No shame in that, friends.  Besides, the homemade frosting will be such a hit, no one will care that the cupcakes were cheated!  Bake these first and set aside to cool completely.

Then, to work on your frosting.  Start with the basic buttercream tag-team, super-duo of softened butter & powdered sugar.

You can call it a day here by adding a teaspoon of vanilla, a few tablespoons of milk and food coloring (or just sticking to this creamy white color).  This is perfectly acceptable.  But you all know me.  I’m not stopping here!

First up: strawberry buttercream.

Whip these together until light and fluffy.  Stick your finger in the whipped stuff to give it a quick taste-test.  …Uh, turn the blender off first (consider that my public service announcement-good deed warning for the day).

Throw a handful of fresh strawberries into the food processor.

Turn those beautifully gorgeous red berries into a puree.  You only need about 4-6 tablespoons.

Add the puree to the powdered sugar/butter mixture and blend well.

This is where a texture and preference test is important.  You need the frosting firm enough to hold it’s own on top of a cupcake, but you don’t want it to be too stiff.  If it’s too soft, or you added too much puree, add more powdered sugar.  If it’s too stiff, add more puree.  In this case, we used the puree as the liquid and milk isn’t necessary.

Next up, triple chocolate chip buttercream.

Ok, so I lied, I did have to pick up the semi-sweet bar because all I found in the pantry was the salted caramel chip milk chocolate bar.

Don’t fret; both will be put to good use.  Start by chopping each up separately.

Your base is the same duo of softened butter and powdered sugar.  Whip these babies up to light and fluffy.

Melt the semi-sweet bar (you can use dark chocolate if you prefer as well) in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir, repeat if necessary in 10 second intervals.

Be careful not to burn your chocolate.  That’s just a sad day if that happens.

Add the melted and cooled chocolate to the whipped butter and blend to combine.

Drop in a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to give the frosting a richer chocolate flavor and start with 1 tablespoon of milk.

Give it the consistency test again.  If you want your frosting to stand up high, stop there.  If you want it to give a little and have a lighter feel and taste, add another tablespoon of milk.

Lastly, fold in the salted caramel milk chocolate chips and find a spoon.

I promise it will pass your quality assurance tests.  Stop after a taste or there will be none left for the cupcakes!

Speaking of cupcakes…

Since Margo traditionally gets a raspberry filled cake on her birthday, I hollowed out the centers of the dark chocolate cupcakes in her honor.

Use a knife to cut a square in the center of the cake and pull out the excess cake (save for cake pops!).

Drop a tablespoon (or more) of raspberry filling into the center.  You can use jam or filling (found in the baking isle), either is fine.

Top every single cupcake with buttercream.  No cake left behind!

I decided the vanilla cupcakes would be topped with strawberry buttercream to make a mock strawberry shortcake and the triple chocolate chip buttercream would top the raspberry filled dark chocolate.

Don’t forget to garnish!  (Thanks, Karen for helping make your own birthday cupcakes!)

And yes, Karen and I did lick the bowls clean!

Happy Birthday, M, Karen & Kristina!!

With buttercream love,


5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Buttercream Frosting
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Easy basic buttercream frosting recipe! Use it to top cupcakes, a layered cake, sugar cookies or whoopie pies. ...or eat with a spoon!
: Dessert
  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk is fine, too)
  1. Beat butter & vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat until well combined
  3. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency (this will depend on what you're using the frosting for). If frosting is too thick after 1 tablespoon, add another!
Add food coloring, if desired Add jam or fruit puree 1 tablespoon at a time (in place of milk) for fruit flavored icing. Add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder + 8 oz melted and cooled semi-sweet or dark chocolate and chopped up chocolate of your choice for chocolate chip buttercream.