How to Flavor Buttercream

Light and airy, buttercream can be piped on or applied with a spatula.
Light and airy, buttercream can be piped on or applied with a spatula. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Buttercream is sweet and smooth but without added flavoring it tastes like sugary butter. Adding flavor to this creamed combination gives your confection a satisfying, big flavor. You can flavor a homemade buttercream or enhance a plain frosting that you've purchased. Some recipes even call for a combination of ingredients to make a delicious icing. Jazz up a plain buttercream recipe by adding extracts that will bring loads of mouth-watering flavor to your dessert.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup of butter
  • Standing mixer or large glass bowl
  • Hand mixer
  • 8 cups of confectioner's sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of milk

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Take 1 cup of butter out of the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature about 30 minutes before using.

Pour 1 cup of butter into a standing mixer or large bowl. Turn on the mixer and 1 cup of confectioner's sugar. If using a hand mixer, dump the cup of sugar in, then hold the bowl with one hand while mixing with the other.

Continue to pour in cups of confectioner's sugar until 8 cups total have been creamed with the butter. Pour in 2 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Alternatively, you can add amaretto, caramel or pecan extract instead.

Mix in 1/4 cup of milk. Once this amount is mixed well into the icing, add the remaining 1/4 cup. Continue to mix until the icing is smooth but slightly stiff.

Tips & Warnings

  • Scoop pre-made buttercream frosting into a large mixer. Add 2 teaspoons of the desired extract into the mixer. Mix well for three to five minutes.
  • Do not use butter substitutes like margarine when making buttercream.


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