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 Cupcake Buttercream on cupcakes

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 Cupcake Buttercream on cupcakes

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!

Wedding Cupcake Buttercream on Cupcakes

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.

Tray full of Wedding Cupcakes with White Wedding Cupcake Buttercream

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.


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4.96 from 25 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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  • MARTHA FINNEY wrote:

    can heavy whipping cteam be frozen for future use

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t think so.

  • Irene wrote:

    Delicious Thank you for sharing,

  • Martha wrote:

    I want to add almond extract to mine. How much should I use?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      1 teaspoon should be fine.

  • Tina D wrote:

    I have made these cupcakes and the butter cream frosting before and love both! It is sweet, but isn’t that was wedding cake/cupcakes are for? I will make again and again and may even experiment!

  • Maggie wrote:

    Have to agree with Cyndi… Way too sweet, & simply doesn’t pair well with any cake or cupcake. Icing &/ or frosting is supposed to ‘compliment’ the cake, not ruin it! Very regretfully, this particular recipe wasted my time,efforts & cupcakes!!! Flavorless except for the overkill of toothache sweet.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Unfortunate that it wasn’t for you. Lots of positive reviews on this one just goes to show you that not everyone has the same preferences. This has always been my go-to frosting recipe for cakes and cupcakes!

  • Donna Bagshaw wrote:

    I made the white wedding cake cupcakes w/the buttercream icing and they were delicious! I made 24 cupcakes and the icing worked perfectly for them. My hubby, who normally doesn’t like much icing didn’t believe I’d made the icing from scratch! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Cathy wrote:

    I couldn’t find the video. Do you make up the packet cake mix first? I just used the powder part of cake mix. The layers were very flat.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You should be able to see the video now… this recipe is for the buttercream frosting. You need to make the cupcakes separately.

  • Taylor wrote:

    One of my favorite frosting recipes!!

  • Michelle wrote:

    I made this tonight and the recipe is DELICIOUS! I also used the wedding cake recipe and same! I love this and it’s so easy! I did have to add about 6 tablespoons of cream to get my frosting the right consistency but it’s raining here and weather affects recipes. I also used 1/8 t of almond extract and it was perfection.

  • Kristy N wrote:

    Made this for thanksgiving and it was the best frosting I’ve ever had. Need to make it again and I just realized I only have half & half, not heavy cream 🙁 Will that make a big difference??

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      i think that will be okay!

  • Cyndi wrote:

    Icing tastes like pure sugar. No real flavor. The wedding cupcake is fairly decent though.

  • NRS wrote:

    Lori, if i’m using unsalted butter, how much salt should i add? Also, do you dip and sweep or spoon and level when measuring the confectioner’s sugar? Thanks so much!

  • Penny GillanderDame wrote:

    These recipes are trustworthy and awesome! Thank you so much!

  • Kathleen wrote:

    LOVE this icing! I am making the cupcakes for my daughter’s baby shower and stumbled across it on Pinterest. I made the first round of cupcakes last night and brought some in to work for feedback. They were a total HIT. Thank you so much for sharing! This will be my Go-To icing from now on!!

  • Tiffany Rabey wrote:

    Love this recipe, how many batches did u need to do up the 125 cupcakes?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      a lot!

  • Karen W Stilts wrote:

    Wow! This frosting is the best! Made the cupcakes from your recipe and this icing and they turned out beautiful AND delicious! Hit of the bridal shower!

  • Cynthia wrote:

    Your nutritional label does not give a serving size…what is serving size for those statistics please ?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Cynthia, I don’t have an exact serving size, but if you divide the frosting between 12 cupcakes, the serving size is the frosting on one of those cupcakes.

  • Sheri wrote:

    Awesome Buttercream frosting! Worked great to pipe onto some cupcakes and taste yummy ? too! Thanks!

  • Traci wrote:

    Going to make your cupcakes with this frosting. I think the only thing I’m going to do it add freeze dried strawberries crushed into a fine powder to add to the frosting to make that POW strawberry flavor.

  • Candice wrote:

    Can you add white chocolate to this recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I have not tried it.