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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  • Kristin wrote:

    Turned out great! I was in a pinch for the cream and substituted vanilla silk (soy milk) and it worked fine

  • Candice Byrd wrote:

    My son was getting married and neither he nor the bride had much money so I volunteered to do the cake – which turned into 150 cupcakes. They loved them! (So did i.) This is now my go-to cupcake recipe. The buttercream even lasted through the hot, humid southern spring!

  • Karen Stilts wrote:

    These cupcakes and buttercream frosting are the BEST! I had several in the family try them as we are planning a wedding shower, turned out beautiful and best of all delicious! Easy to make and much better than paying $3 or more per cupcake. I think they are better than what I have bought from cupcake specialty places.

  • Vicky wrote:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Before I do, can you tell me if is there a particular brand of salted butter you use for this recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’ve tried it with all brands, and they’re all good 🙂

  • Gwendolyn wrote:

    Do you have a go to cream cheese buttercream that is good for decorating?

  • Robbie Mueller wrote:

    Can this buttercream icing be use to make a rustic look on a cake?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not really familiar with what a “rustic look” is like… so I’m afraid I can’t help!

  • Kathy Hart wrote:

    I want to frost but not fill a 9” 2 layer cake. How many recipes of frosting will I need to make?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can give your 2-layer cake a thin, base layer of frosting with one batch of this recipe. If you want to do any decor on the cake, you should double the recipe.

  • Charity Andersen wrote:

    Can I add a preserve to create a fruit flavored frosting? What will it do to the consistency?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried it!

  • Amy wrote:

    This was a good, easy recipe, however I found the frosting to be a bit too sweet. Adding extra vanilla tones the sweetness down. I initially put about 1.5 tsp of vanilla and it was too sweet, I added more vanilla (sorry, didn’t measure, just poured straight from the bottle) and that helped.

  • Diana Duran wrote:

    Please How much butter use in grams?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Google tells me that 1 cup of butter is 227 grams.

  • Danielle wrote:

    Can this icing be done sugar free?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried making it sugar free.

  • Julie Martin wrote:

    Do you use salted or unslted butter ?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I like to use salted.

  • Linda Tsang wrote:

    Looks very beautiful and great tips.

  • Melissa Sperka wrote:

    Seriously one of my favorite Recipe Girl recipes, love it!

  • Toni | Boulder Locavore wrote:

    These are really pretty!!

  • Joanne wrote:

    Love how easy this buttercream is to make, and so delicious too!

  • Trish – Mom On Timeout wrote:

    This buttercream is unreal! So gorgeous for any cupcakes!

  • Jennifer Farley wrote:

    I love this buttercream recipe! I’m using it for the cupcakes I’m baking tonight.

  • lc wrote:

    love these! so pretty!

  • Jennifer Mango wrote:

    How much frosting does one batch of this recipe make?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Enough to frost 12 cupcakes.