This amazing Birthday Cake Icing Recipe is easy to make and delicious! My favorite go-to vanilla buttercream that pairs perfectly with cakes and cupcakes.
Birthday Cake Icing Recipe
If it were for me, I would only eat bread and cake. I wish the bread and cake diet would exist! It would be something easy that I can stick with. Unfortunately, good things are only allowed in moderation (in a sort of sarcastic tone).
This delicious Birthday Cake Icing Recipe is super easy to make and gives you perfect results every time. You can even make a double batch and freeze it to save for the next birthday.
I used it to frost a yellow cake, but you can certainly use chocolate, carrot, and even cupcakes. It soft enough to coat the cake and firm enough for piping beautiful peaks.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert cake decorator, I am certainly not and personally, I think a streak here or there gives the cake a homemade look.
Here in Miami, people get their birthday cakes from the local chain Supermarket. The cakes look beautiful and the kids love it, but I don’t care for their artificial taste, color, and stiffer texture.
That’s why I like to make them myself. They may not look like Mickey or Dora, but they sure do taste good, and at the end of the day it’s all that matters.
Last December, my oldest daughter requested a Piano cake and wanted to include Schroeder from the Charlie Brown movie. I made a beautiful cake using this Birthday Cake Icing Recipe and attempted to cover it all with white fondant.
I won’t show you the picture because my cake turned out super ugly! I’ve never used fondant before and I had a hard time smoothing it out and cutting out the bottom edge. At least it was delicious. Next year I won’t use fondant, just pure icing, and some festive sprinkles. Just like this one!
I hope you can try this delicious Birthday Cake Icing Recipe at home. If you do, please upload a pic on Instagram and tag me @Livingsweetmoments or use the hashtag #LivingSweet. I promise to repost it.
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- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature, 4 sticks
- 7 cups Powdered Sugar
- 4 Teaspoons Vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
Sift the powdered sugar
Using a mixer on medium to high speed, cream the butter until soft and airy, About 2-3 minutes
Run the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all the butter is mixed
Reduce the mixer to low, and slowly add the powdered sugar in batches
Run the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all the butter is mixed
Pour in the vanilla, milk and sour cream
Mix until combined
This icing can be frozen for up to 3 months or placed in the fridge when not in use
This recipe makes enough for a 2-3 and 4 story 9-inch cake and about 48 cupcakes. If you're doing a smaller cake or less cupcakes, reduce the recipe in half.
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Peggy Hernandez says
Thanks for the recipe.
can’t wait to try it out!
let me know how it comes out Peggy!
I like the fact that you took time to share your experience with cake decorating. I believe that the ugly Cake with Fondant has nothing to do with your skills, it’s just the fact that to cover a cake with fobdant you can’t use buttercream to cake crumb, you need to use a frosting with shortening base. Butter turns fondant soogy and gummy.
Try using fondant over frosting that doesn’t use butter as main ingredient. Try Wilton Snow white Frosting.
Thanks so much for you tips Maribel.. I will definitely try the shortening frosting next time! Have a great one!
Wow I wish I would have read this before I did my daughters triple staked,four tier wedding cake.
Wow! Four tiered cake! Maybe for her anniversary! ?
Best icing I’ve ever made! And I’ve made. Lot lol
I am so glad you liked it Stephanie! Thanks for your feedback!
This looks like a great recipe for my cake this weekend. Do you have a recipe for the cake? It looks yummy as well!
I honestly used a boxed mix Delores! (embarrasing)
There is no shame in using a boxed cake mix I do it all the time. I substitute the water with whole milk, the oil with melted butter (cooled) and if making a white cake I use only the egg whites and save the yolks for something else but be sure to add a little extra butter to the mix to make up for the fat in the egg yolks. Your cake will taste homemade and no one will ever know…
Thanks so much for the tips Michael! I would’ve never thought on using just the whites for the cake mix. Will definitely try it!
Made with no changes. Easy to spread and looked nice but had an odd flavor. Added cocoa to salvage with little success. Sorry -would not make again.
Hi Janet, I am so sorry you did not enjoy the frosting. I am wondering about the “odd flavor” – Did you check the expiration date of your vanilla? Also, did you use vanilla flavor or vanilla extract?
I love the recipe, but hate that so many posts on Pinterest now include pages and pages of bogging.
Thanks for the feedback Linda!
What tip dis you use to pipe your border? It looks great!
Thank you Tina! I used the big star tip.
Hello! What kind of Vanilla do i use? What do you mean by sift the powdered sugar? Thanks!
Hi March, I use pure vanilla extract. For the sifting, it’s to avoid any lumps in the powdered sugar and achieving a smooth frosting.
Hi, I plan to try this recipe for my nephew’s 1st birthday in 2 weeks. I was a little confused by what you meant when talking about how much this recipe yields. I’ll be making about 50-60 cupcakes and a little smash cake about 4-5″ in diameter. Thanks!
The icing worked for a 9″ cake. I would triple the recipe for 60 cupcakes
Shoot, sorry I have another question. Is the creamy yellow color in the photo the actual color? I’m assuming it is because of the butter. I need frosting that I can dye blue, aqua and some needs to be white so maybe this recipe won’t work for me after all?
Mary, if you need the icing to be whiter, use clear vanilla extract (found at michaels or amazon) hope that helps
I am making a 2 tiered 8′ cake. Will one batch of this recipe be enough?
Yes Claire! It’s perfect for that size
Can food coloring be used to change the colors ?
Of course Kayla!
I left the icing out for 3 1/2 hours before refrigerating. Am I going to make people sick?
That’s how much time I leave them out during parties. I wouldn’t worry too much! It should be fine
Lara Chiarizia says
I’m looking for a chocolate frosting. Could this recipe be adapted to do that and how would you go about doing that?
Hi Lara! of course, add about 1/2 cup of cocoa powder!
Making this tomorrow,looks so good. What cake recipe did you use?
I used a simple white cake. Here are the ingredients:
3 cups cake flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder,2 cups sugar, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup butter (softened), 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla, pinch salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, Grease 2 cake pans.
In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add in the vanilla. In another bowl combine dry ingredients. Alternate dry ingredients with the sour cream into the batter. Starting and ending with the flour mixture
Pour into pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before unmolding. Cool completely before frosting
I made this frosting today, and it came out so good! Delicious taste and good texture for piping on cupcakes Thanks for the recipe! Will make again for sure!
Thanks for the feedback Pat!! Glad you liked it! Happy Holidays
Hi, i want to try your recipe and i have a question. Is the frosting better put on the cake when fresh or when refrigerated?
Both options work. Although fresh cake can sometimes be hard to frost since tend to release a lot of crumbs. Just make sure your cake is completely cooled when frosting.
Thanks for the reply. I meant the buttercream, is it best when freshly made or i regrigerate it first?
It’s better when it’s freshly made… easier to spread
It tastes good, but for some reason it’s really runny. Not like an icing or frosting at all. I’m bummed!
oh no Brittany! Maybe your butter was too soft when you whipped it? If that happens simply put the icing in the freezer to firm up
This is my new go-to buttercream frosting. Found this recipe last year and now use it all the time. Not only is it easy but it tastes delicious and turns out perfect every time!
Thanks for your feedback Brandy! Glad you liked the frosting! it took me a few tries to come out with this version. Have a great day 🙂
Am I able to do this buttercream by hand? Or with a hand mixer?
I recommend by mixer since it will become creamy and fluffy
Can I freeze any leftover icing or should I half the recipe am making a 9 inch double cake
You certainly can freeze and the recipe is enought for a 9 inch double cake. No need to half the recipe
I’m going to try this next week for my son’s cake.
I hope it comes out good. Thanks for the recipe.
You’re welcome Ashton! Please let me know how it came out. Happy Birthday to your son
I did this icing and I loved it so much. I did it for my birthday and that of my daughter and I am happy she loved it . It was so nice. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.
Thanks for your feedback Pinky! Glad you liked it!
Violet Numfor says
Beautiful. Anxiously going to try it.Thank you.
Let me know how it comes out Violet!
SHARON METZ says
My grandson who is getting married this summer wants me to make their Bride and Groom cake.
Is this white cake a good recipe to use?
Also the white frosting will that be a good choice?
The cake will be a simple layer cake. Not sure how many layers or how big. How big is a Bride and Groom cake?
Thanks so much. Please email me an answer.
Hi Sharon! Use this cake: https://livingsweetmoments.com/super-moist-vanilla-cake/ with that frosting!
I cut the recipe in half (24 cupcake amount) and it was the perfect amount for my 9×13 chocolate cake and the taste is delicious…creamy, nice vanilla flavor and not too sweet!!
Glad you liked it Emily! Thanks for your feedback! Good to know about the 9×13 size
I just made this frosting and I love it. However, is it supposed to have a grainy like texture? It has a very smooth texture but it has the powder sugar grainy feel.
It shouldn’t be grainy Kristie. Did you sift your confectioners sugar?
Where is the recipe?! I don’t see it
I apologize, I am fixing the glitch asap
Hi, the problem has been resolved. Sorry for the inconvenience. You should be able to the recipe now.
i’ve made this recipe of yours before and it was sooooooooooooo good. was wanting to make it again but the recipe is not on the page. 🙁 are you able to email it to me??
there’s a glitch in the recipe software. I am trying to get it fixed asap. Sorry for the incovenience
The glitch has been fixed you can see the recipe now. Sorry again for the inconvenience
My frosting came out a bit runny. How can I fix this.
put it in the fridge for 20 minutes
Joann M Gilmore says
will this icing work with the Russian tips ?
sounds like a super delicious thing!!
but i have some doubts .. what do you mean by sour cream aunty?
also, i would like to make a colourful icing with different coloured designs .. actually i am a beginning, dont know how exactly to give colours to it .. could u tell me what to use for colours? and where can i buy it from?
and what are those super colourful stars in you cake aunty?!!
they look sooooo beautiful on the white icing !! also wanna know where u bought them aunty ..
thanks for the recipe ..
Sour cream is a creamy dairy product if you can’t find it you may substitute for heavy cream
To color your icing use food coloring, I like using gels such as these ones: https://amzn.to/3b32Yy4
The sprinkle stars from the cake are these ones: https://amzn.to/32wo1F3
I’d give this icing recipe more than five stars if possible, it’s so good! The big plus is how easy it is, fast. I’ve been making this about a year now almost. Thanks for this delish recipe.
Hi Sherri! thanks for your feedback! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Can I reduce the sugar? Maybe to about half? Will it affect the texture? Hope to hear from you soon.
I wouldn’t reduce half because it will affect not only texture, taste, color but moisture as well.