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The World’s Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This is the world’s best buttercream frosting! There.  I said it.  I have no data to back up this claim except years of people asking me for the recipe. So I am going to go ahead and go out on a limb and just claim it as the best vanilla buttercream out there.

Easy Buttercream Frosting- Click Here for Recipe!

It is sweet but not too sweet.  It is rich. It is creamy. It is classic. It is the perfect compliment to cake (especially chocolate cake!)

If you are a connoisseur of frosting as I am, I think you will love this recipe too!

It is really a simple recipe which was passed to me from my mom who got it from hers.  Although, I think my mom calls it Buttercream Icing, tomato, to-mah-to, icing or frosting, it is amazing and so easy and I am thrilled to share it with you today.

You start with softened margarine.  Yes… I use margarine.  You can absolutely use real butter instead but the reason I choose to use margarine is that we live in Las Vegas.  It is HOT!  Margarine has a higher melting point than butter so the frosting tends to hold up and hold its shape better when I use margarine.  A true decorator would use shortening both to keep the melting point even higher, as well as to keep the color a pure white.

I happen to care about taste… a lot.

I have found that using margarine is the perfect compromise getting a buttercream that is a bit more sturdy and still maintaining a really fabulous taste.

So you start with 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened margarine.  I put this in my Kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment.  I mix it on low with 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp salt.

Then you will add your powdered sugar (1 bag) and milk (1/4- 1/2 cup) alternately until it reaches the desired consistency.

The milk is really variable.  If you are decorating you will use less so the frosting will be stiffer.  If you are just frosting the cake with a knife you will probably want a bit more for a consistency that is easily spreadable.  You can even add more milk than the recipe calls for to really thin it out for an out of this world glaze.

I really hope that you love this recipe as much as we have.  It is an heirloom and treasured recipe that I hope my daughter and hers will use too someday.

The World’s Best Buttercream Frosting


  • 1/2 Cup Margarine, softened
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Bag Powdered Sugar (32 ounces)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Cup Milk


  1. Cream softened margarine with a mixer.
  2. Add salt and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately mixing between each addition until the desired consistency is reached.

For more yummy desserts check out these!

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    • says

      Leah, I know! I grew up on “sick butter” ie margarine and since have switched over to real butter for pretty much everything except this frosting. My friends will verify that my love of butter is pretty much second to none haha! However, margarine really does work better for me (and tastes delicious!) in this recipe so the recipe has stayed the same!

  1. Nancy says

    We are planning an event at my grand children’s school…going to decorate cookies…can this be made up ahead and stored in frig to use throughout the week?

  2. Angela says

    I’m so glad that you linked back to this recipe today, I used it to make the frosting for Catelyn’s cake! Now I just have to hope that I have enough for the elaborate decorations I’m planning…

  3. Aleisha says

    Thank GOODNESS! I am lactose intolerant and every buttercream frosting/icing recipe I come across tells me not to substitute the butter with margarine, however in Australia we don’t have a lactose free butter and do have a lactose free margarine. So excited to try this recipe and actually be able to taste it myself :)

  4. says

    If I were to convert this recipe to a chocolate buttercream, would I substitute so much cocoa for so much of the powdered sugar? Or add some cocoa in addition?

  5. Stephanie says

    Does this icing stiffen at all and is there a certain name brand of margarine that you use?????


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