Old Fashioned Buttercream Frosting Recipe

by M Caroline
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This old fashioned buttercream icing was likely made exactly the same way in my grandma’s kitchen 50 years ago.

It’s such a simple recipe, with only four wholesome ingredients: butter, confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla.

old fashioned buttercream icing for chocolate cupcakes

This is old school icing. As in, all the way back to your grandma’s time old school. There’s nothing in it but butter, vanilla, sugar and milk. And it is insanely good.

I really love that it this is buttercream made without vegetable shortening. I’ve never cared for the taste of vegetable shortening in icing (sorry, Crisco folks). I think that making this the old-fashioned way, just with butter, makes it creamier and tastier, too.

This old fashioned butter icing is delicious served, as shown, on our tasty chocolate one bowl cupcakes or fresh mint chocolate cupcakes, or birthday cupcakes in a can, but it’s versatile enough for most cakes or cupcake recipes.

old fashioned buttercream icing on chocolate cupcake

We like to put just a little dollop of buttercream on top of our cupcakes, but feel free to add a lot more. It’s delicious!

Old Fashioned Buttercream Frosting

Prep time 10 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (it’s also called icing sugar or powdered sugar, depending on where you live)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons milk

How to make old fashioned buttercream

  1. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and vanilla together.
  2. Blend in the sugar, a half cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons milk and mix. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mixing after each addition, until light and fluffy.
  4. Cover until ready to use.
old fashioned buttercream icing with vanilla flavor on a chocolate cupcake

How to fix runny buttercream

If your buttercream is too runny, mix in more confectioner’s sugar, one half cup at a time, until it’s the right consistency.

Adding liquid food coloring to the icing can turn it a bit too runny. If you add food coloring, make sure your icing is a little bit on the dry side before adding.

Is your buttercream too gritty?

Try adding the sugar a little more slowly, and keeping the milk at room temperature.

Buttercream decorator sets

There are some fantastic cupcake decorating ideas over on Life as a Strawberry here.

We love the Wilton 415-0906 Dessert Decorator Plus icing decorator set. It’s easy to use, pretty affordable, and comes with a few tips.

See it on Amazon here.

Yield: 12

Old Fashioned Buttercream Frosting

old fashioned buttercream icing

This old fashioned buttercream icing was likely made exactly the same way in my grandma’s kitchen 50 years ago.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and vanilla together.
  2. Blend in the sugar, a half cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons milk and mix. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mixing after each addition, until light and fluffy.
  4. Cover until ready to use.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 0g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline.

easy vanilla old fashioned buttercream frosting recipe on a chocolate cupcake
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2 comments

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2 comments

cat March 8, 2014 - 7:43 am

I am definitely going to make these!

Reply
Chasity Boatman March 8, 2014 - 6:20 pm

Oh, I’m going to have to make this.

Reply

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