Buttercream, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting Recipes

Base Vanilla Buttercream Recipe


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Just a pinch of salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low speed at first, then increase to medium speed and continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts to come together.
  • Add in the heavy cream (start with 2 tablespoons and add a little more if needed), vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing on medium-high speed for another minute or until everything is well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Turn it into Chocolate Frosting

Measure out 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, sift it, then mix into the frosting until well combined.  Add in 1-2 extra tablespoons of heavy cream if needed for a smoother, creamier frosting.  If you prefer your frosting sweeter, mix in an additional 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Turn it into Peanut Butter Frosting

During step one of making buttercream in the instructions above, add 1 cup of creamy peanut butter and cream with butter. The other ingredients and steps remain the same.

How to Add Color to Buttercream Frosting:

A white vanilla buttercream base is perfect for adding color because it doesn’t compete with other colors. If you plan to color the buttercream, start with a thicker frosting (add little or no cream at the end since the color can thin the frosting slightly).

  1. Set aside the amount of frosting you want to color in a separate dish.
  2. Add 1-2 drops at a time depending on frosting quantity then stir and add more as needed.

Gel coloring is the best because it is thicker.  This let’s you add color without thinning out your icing.