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Best Ever Cupcake Icing

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Today we are covering one very important topic – cupcake icing. Specifically, the best ever cupcake icing.

Cupcakes are an amazing dessert. It’s so easy to make them look cute, and they’re great for serving to a crowd, even better than a cake! They are easy to hold in the hand, so they’re perfect for any kind of part or get-together.

Their beauty is in their appearance and simplicity, and the fact that they have every feature of a quality cake – a rich and moist cake base with a creamy and soft icing. 

The best cupcake icing is the icing that will stay in place atop your cupcake, and is soft and creamy, yet firm, all at the same time. Plus, it has to be delicious, of course.

And if you’re new to baking or making your own icing, believe me when we say it really does have to be firm enough to hold shape on your treats. We have had a few tragedies where the icing just melted or slid from a cupcake. What a bummer.

However, we’ve finally mastered the perfect cupcake icing!

This best ever cupcake icing is amazing – it melts in your mouth, it is whippy, swirly and most importantly, it’s totally cupcake worthy. Plus, we opted for a classic vanilla so it goes with almost anything.

So read on to learn all about how to make the best ever cupcake icing!

What Makes the Best Ever Cupcake Icing?

You only need four ingredients for this cupcake icing: salted butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and milk.

It sounds simple, but believe me, this icing is just heaven for vanilla lovers. Even if you’re neutral on vanilla, I am certain you will enjoy this icing. It has a very subtle flavor, like the angels are dancing on your taste buds. 

And frankly, sometimes you just need vanilla to contrast with other flavors, like a deep, rich cocoa in your cupcake. Give this icing a chance and I’m sure you won’t be sorry!

Ingredients for the Best Cupcake Icing

There are four basic ingredients for the best cupcake icing. Once you get these the best results are always possible:

  • Salted butter: A good quality butter is a must. Choose genuine butter and don’t go with low-price options that are cut with other ingredients.
  • Vanilla extract: Good old fashioned vanilla extract is all you need to elevate the flavor of this icing.
  • Icing sugar: Do not experiment with the granulated sugar as you will not get the same texture. Use icing sugar or powdered sugar as it is the best for this type of icing.
  • Milk: Do not use skim milk. Go for milk with at least 18% fat. For this, you can use heavy cream or half cream. 

As butter is the main ingredient, choose it wisely. Salted and organic butter is the best butter you can use. It is the salt that really makes this the best buttercream icing ever.

It is a myth that salted butter is inferior. The truth is it is as good as any unsalted butter and with the same quality. 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Always use genuine butter. Do not use margarine or any type of fake butter. You will not have the same results.
  • Make sure you whip the butter correctly. It is ideal if you have a paddle/flat beater. If you do not own one, the plain mixer hooks will also do the trick. Make sure you beat the butter well before adding any icing sugar.
  • Choose fresh icing sugar. Yep, sugar can go stale and you can actually taste it. Plus, sugar lumps can form if your sugar is not stored properly. To avoid any mistakes, open up a fresh bag of icing sugar. Your icing will be all the better for it!
  • If your mixture is too thick and curdles it may be because your butter is cold. Leave the butter out at room temperature before you beat it.
  • If the icing is thin and soupy it may be because your butter was way too soft. In that case, place the mixture inside the fridge for 20-30 minutes or until the edges of the buttercream icing become firm again.

How to Make the Icing Stiffer

You can use less of the milk or leave the milk out completely. This will result in quite a firm icing that will hold its shape for ages. Well, not quite ages, but for a very long time. 

Do I Have to Refrigerate the Icing?

If you are not planning to use the icing immediately, you can refrigerate it. It should be okay if left out of the fridge for a couple of hours thanks to the sugar, but since it still has milk, you probably shouldn’t push it.

It is safest to refrigerate your icing if you don’t use it soon.

Leaving your icing at room temperature may also make it soft, so don’t be surprised if your icing is a little less firm.

How To Make The Best Ever Cupcake Icing

Step 1

Gather your ingredients.

Beat the butter until it is light and creamy.

Gradually start adding the icing sugar.

Step 2

Beat until all the sugar is incorporated.

Add in the vanilla and milk. Beat until fluffy.

Spoon the icing into piping bag and frost your cupcakes.

Serve and enjoy.

The Best Ever Cupcake Icing

The Best Ever Cupcake Icing

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This creamy vanilla icing is so good you'll want to eat it with a spoon.


  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp full-fat milk


  1. Beat the butter until it is light and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla and gradually start adding the icing sugar.
  3. Beat until all the sugar is incorporated.
  4. Add in the milk and beat until fluffy.
  5. Spoon the icing into a piping bag and frost over your cupcakes.
  6. Serve and enjoy.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 cupcake top
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 94mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 27gProtein: 0g

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