Wedding Cupcake Buttercream

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This Wedding Cupcake Buttercream recipe has been featured in an extensive how-to post on The Recipe Girl blog: How to Make Wedding Cupcakes.

wedding cupcakes with white buttercream and pink pearls on a white cake platter

This Wedding Cupcake Buttercream recipe was first featured here on RecipeGirl many years ago when I baked cupcakes for my son’s kindergarten teacher’s wedding.  She wanted cupcakes and had heard that I might be able to do them for her.  I worked for a catering company in college, but this was a little outside my comfort zone and expertise!  She loved my blog, and she begged me to help.  How could I resist?

I ended up taking on the project, and it was so much fun.  Her wedding wasn’t terribly big, but I was tasked with making about 125 cupcakes. My kitchen was covered in cupcakes! It was a lot of work, but it was terribly satisfying to know that I was helping out this sweet teacher.

The wedding cupcakes were a huge hit at her wedding, and everyone specifically noted how much they loved the frosting.  This is the frosting recipe!  It’s so delicious, and it’s now a big-time favorite for a lot of people.

wedding cupcakes with white frosting displayed on a white cake platter

If you have questions about this icing and wedding cupcakes… it may be helpful to read through the comments/questions/answers below the recipe- many of your questions may be answered there!  Also visit this post:  How to Make Wedding Cupcakes for all of the details on when to make the cupcakes and how to store and transport them to the wedding.

This Wedding Cupcake Buttercream is my go-to recipe for icing basic cupcakes and wedding cake. Every time I share the recipe on Facebook, I hear from other people who say it’s their go-to recipe too. It turns out perfect every time. It’s so easy to make, and it works through a piping bag well.  The recipe will frost 12 cupcakes with a generous swirl.  Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe to frost more cupcakes!

Note that this recipe also works wonderfully for layer cakes.  It spreads on smoothly, and you can pipe on decorations too.  I use it for everything.  It has been my go-to frosting recipe for so many years!

overhead shot of white frosted cupcakes on a white cake platter

A simple swirl on cupcakes creates a beautiful dessert for weddings with little candy pearls sprinkled on top.

This Wedding Cupcake Buttercream is a very popular buttercream recipe- made by thousands who sing this recipe’s praises.  I have used this very recipe for all of my cupcakes for so many years now.  It’s a keeper recipe!

It does work beautifully for weddings, but it’s not limited to just weddings!  This buttercream is a nice one to use for all sorts of occasions.  I call it Wedding Cupcake Buttercream because of my original story in using for the first time for the wedding.

wedding cupcakes in assorted colors on a baking sheet

There are a few questions that people tend to ask related to this recipe, so I’ll go ahead and address them here.

Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

I like to use salted butter for just about everything, but I definitely use salted butter for this recipe.  The salt will tend to cut down on the sweetness a bit.  That’s a good thing!

How far in advance should I frost the cupcakes?  And should I refrigerate them?

When I make these, I like to frost them the same day if at all possible.  If you’d like to frost them the night before, that’s ok too.  After adding the frosting, I like to put them in cupcake boxes and refrigerate them until they are ready to serve (overnight is fine).  Once you put them out on display, they will defrost nicely and taste just as good as if you’ve made them the same day.

What should I do with leftover Wedding Cupcakes?

Keep leftover cupcakes in a covered container in your refrigerator for a few days.  I’ve also frozen them in a covered container and they thaw nicely and taste pretty good that way too!

If you’re looking for more frosting recipes you might also enjoy my Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting or Cookies and Cream Frosting. My Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is another favorite for topping wedding cupcakes. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a beauty as well.

wedding cupcakes with white buttercream and pink pearls on a white cake platter
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4.89 from 27 votes

Wedding Cupcake Buttercream

This is my go-to frosting recipe for all cakes and cupcakes.  It turns out perfect every time!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 257kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword buttercream, frosting, wedding, wedding cupcake buttercream


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use clear extract, if you really want it white)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy or regular whipping cream


  • In a large bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more.  Add more cream if needed for desired spreading/piping consistency.  
  • Scoop into a piping bag and pipe decoratively onto cupcakes, or spread onto cupcakes as desired.



  • *This recipe doubles or triples well.
  • *There is no need to sift the powdered sugar, unless you're worried that your sugar is quite lumpy.
  • *Do not try to replace the butter with margarine or shortening- it won't work out well.
  • *Add in color, if desired. I like to use colored gel paste instead of liquid food coloring- then you're not messing with adding additional liquid to the perfect consistency of the frosting. Gel paste is sold at craft stores and baking supply shops.
For the cupcakes in the photograph above, I used a 1G Tip by Bakery Crafts to pipe the frosting. The Wilton 1M tip works perfectly for these too.


Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0mg
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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • Sheila HuckinsRiley wrote:

    Your go-to buttercream frosting recipe sounds delicious. I’m trying it out on the family this weekend. Stay tuned for the “family review.”

  • Shelia wrote:

    Can I use whole milk instead of cream?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      The consistency won’t be quite as creamy, but yes.

  • Kathy wrote:

    I’m going to make these for my sons wedding. Can I make the buttercream frosting a few days before hand?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I have not tried doing that myself, but I think others have. I would definitely experiment with making it ahead and refrigerating and see if it works for you. Better to be safe than sorry since it’s for a special occasion!

  • Beth wrote:

    It was far too buttery for our taste – but perfect with an extra teaspoon of vanilla!

  • Sally wrote:

    This was perfect! I added 1/8 teaspoon of pure lime extract and couldn’t have asked for a more yummy frosting!

  • Heather wrote:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I decorated a wedding cake with fresh fruit and this frosting complimented it all so wonderfully. I love how sturdy it was too! Everyone was happy!