No-Fail Buttercream Frosting

No-Fail Buttercream Frosting: thick and fluffy frosting that works perfectly every time!

Buttercream frosting has to be my all-time favorite frosting. It’s simple, it’s sweet, and it’s easy. It tastes good with any cake flavor, and it’s consistency is perfect for piping beautiful cakes and cupcakes.

Buttercream frosting recipes are a dime a dozen, but this buttercream frosting has a magic ingredient: bakery emulsion. For years a friend who is an expert baker who told me to use bakery emulsion in my frosting instead of typical vanilla extract. When I finally did it, I couldn’t believe what a difference it made. Something about it took the flavor of my frosting from great to outstanding, and I’ve never gone back to vanilla extract.


If you’re not familiar with bakery emulsion, it’s basically a different type of flavor extract. While typical flavor extracts are flavoring dissolved in alcohol, emulsion is based in water with an emulsifier. Water is a more neutral carrier than alcohol (so it’s great for buttercream frosting-or any frosting), and no alcohol also means that the flavor doesn’t burn off at high heats (so it’s great in baked goods).  I buy it at my local gourmet kitchen supply store, and a few people have told me they’ve seen select flavors at their local grocery store. Of course every flavor is available on Amazon.

Using bakery emulsions instead of flavor extracts doesn’t reduce your flavor options either; there are still many different flavors to choose from. My go-to flavor is Butter Vanilla, but there are many possibilities. Princess Cake and Cookie, Raspberry, and Lemon are a few of my other favorites. Butter Vanilla costs a little over $5 for a 4 ounce bottle, and it’s absolutely worth it. 

home made frosting

All that being said, yes you can use vanilla extract in this recipe and, let’s get real – it’s butter, sugar, cream and vanilla. It’s going to taste good.


No-Fail Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Butter Vanilla Bakery Emulsion (or vanilla extract)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  1. In the bowl for an electric mixer, add butter. Beat butter on medium speed with the whisk attachment for about 1 minute, until butter is smooth.
  2. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, and beat until combined. Repeat with 1 more cup.
  3. Add bakery emulsion and heavy whipping cream and beat until combined.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
  5. Beat for about one additional minute, until frosting is smooth, thick, and fluffy.
No-Fail Buttercream Frosting: thick and fluffy frosting that works perfectly every time!
Tags: ,


  1. Leave a Reply

    May 10, 2016

    Hi! I wanted to know how much frosting this makes. To know if i should just make half 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Marsha Maxwell
      May 11, 2016

      Thanks for asking, Adriana! It makes about 2 1/4 cups. If you want to spread icing on cupcakes with a knife, it will frost 24 cupcakes. If you are going to pipe the frosting for a bakery style cupcake, you can frost 12 cupcakes with this recipe.

  2. Leave a Reply

    October 10, 2016

    Hello! Using this recipe for a wedding and it’s amazing! Do you know how far in advance I can make this?

    • Leave a Reply

      Marsha Maxwell
      October 10, 2016

      It stays fresh for 2 weeks in the refrigerator, or 2 days at room temperature. So if you need to make it a few days in advance that shouldn’t be a problem.

  3. Leave a Reply

    October 13, 2016

    What tip was used for the picture?

    • Leave a Reply

      Allison McGee
      October 18, 2016

      It’s a jumbo round pastry tip. Sadly, the exact set I have is no longer available, but searching for “jumbo round pastry tip” should get you what you need.

  4. Leave a Reply

    October 28, 2016

    Can you add cocoa powder to this for chocolate buttercream too?

    • Leave a Reply

      Allison McGee
      October 31, 2016

      Yes! I’d add 3/4 cup of cocoa powder.

  5. Leave a Reply

    March 21, 2017

    How well will this hold up outdoors on a warm day? Its butter so I’m wondering.

    • Leave a Reply

      Allison McGee
      March 22, 2017

      I’m trying to recall if I’ve ever served this frosting at an outdoor function and I don’t think that I have. If I had to guess I would say that it should hold up pretty well outdoors under mild to moderate temperatures, but if it gets to be 85 or 90 degrees and the frosting is under direct sunlight it could start to melt.

  6. Leave a Reply

    March 29, 2017

    I need to make enough for a small 2 tier cake, so I doubled the recipe and used regular vanilla and it does taste yummy! Do you think doubling it will be enough?

    • Leave a Reply

      Allison McGee
      April 10, 2017

      I’m a little cautious to say for sure because “small” can mean different things to different people, but I’m guessing that doubling it would be plenty!

  7. Leave a Reply

    April 7, 2017

    can you put food colouring in the butter cream in ?

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>