Frostings 101: Quick Buttercream

Frostings 101: Quick Buttercream

Quick buttercream is the easiest and the most versatile of all the types of frostings and icings. With just two main ingredients, butter and icing sugar, it’s extremely simple and takes very little time to whip up. It’s easy to change up the flavour with extracts, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and even peanut butter. The key to a great tasting quick buttercream is the time you spend whipping it – the more you whip the butter, the more air you incorporate, making it lighter and creamier in taste and texture.


Makes about 2 cups.


15 minutes


  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 - 4 cups (360 - 480 g) Redpath Icing Sugar
  • 1 - 2 tbsp (15 - 30 ml) whipping cream
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

Flavour Variations:

  • Chocolate: Sift in 1/2 cup of cocoa in step 2 with the icing sugar.
  • Mocha: Sift in 1/2 cup of cocoa in step 2 with the icing sugar, and replace the cream with espresso or instant coffee.
  • Peanut Butter: Beat in 1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural or old-fashioned) with the butter in step 1 until smooth and lightened in colour.


How to prepare:

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using electric beaters, whip the butter until fluffy and lightened in colour, about 3 - 5 minutes.

QuickButtercream (2 of 12)

2. Begin adding the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing in slowly at first then increasing to high, beating until smooth and you achieve your desired consistency.

QuickButtercream (5 of 12)

3. Beat in 1 tablespoon of cream, and if the buttercream is still not as soft as you want it, add the second tablespoon. Beat in the vanilla. Use immediately or store in the fridge, covered, until ready to use. Just be sure to let the icing come to room temperature before using.

QuickButtercream (8 of 12)


For more great frosting recipes, be sure to check out the rest of our Frostings 101 recipes:

Swiss Buttercream

French Buttercream

Cream Cheese Frosting

7 Minute Frosting

Vegan Frosting