This classic gluten free frosting recipe is easy to make and perfect for all of your favorite cakes, cupcakes or even cookies. This buttercream recipe requires just a few simple ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to whip up.
Vanilla buttercream is truly one of my favorite things in the world. Well, vanilla anything is my favorite. But vanilla gluten free frosting really takes the cake. Literally, lol.
This is my go to recipe that yields a silky, smooth, rich buttercream for all of your favorite cakes, cupcakes and more.
All you need for this recipe is butter, powdered sugar, a little milk, vanilla and salt. The salt might seem like a strange addition, but I promise, the smallest pinch really helps round out the flavors.
The most important thing to consider when making buttercream is the temperature of your butter. You want room temperature butter, and I find the fastest way to bring it to room temperature is to just stick it in my bra for a few minutes.
Seems odd, but it works! You can also add hot water to a bowl and add a second, smaller bowl with the butter to soften it.
BUTTER. Buttercream frosting of course has a base of butter! You need 1 1/2 cups, or three sticks of room temperature butter.
POWDERED SUGAR. This is what will sweeten the frosting and when combined with the butter will make it nice and fluffy.
VANILLA. A bit of vanilla and salt really round out the flavors here.
MILK. This is needed to thin the frosting if it gets too thick but also helps make it creamier. You can use dairy or non-dairy here. For a really rich flavor and consistency, you can use heavy cream.
How to make gluten free buttercream frosting
Add the room temperature butter to a bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. I highly recommend a stand mixer if you have one because it can get tiring holding the hand mixer for too long! A hand mixer will work if that’s all you have.
Beat for about 5 full minutes.
Beat in the powdered sugar two cups at a time while the mixer is on low. Let run for an additional 5 minutes.
Beat in the milk and vanilla until completely creamy and well combined. If it seems too thin, add in another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
Pipe onto cupcakes or add to cakes. Store any extra in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Make it chocolate frosting!
Simply add in 1/2 cup of cocoa powder right after you beat in the sugar and decrease the amount of powdered sugar to about 4-5 cups to account for the extra dry ingredients.
You can start with less cocoa if you prefer a more mild flavor/color, or add more for extra richness.
If you notice it’s too thick, just add a bit of milk to thin it out.
Do you need to sift the powdered sugar?
I used to always sift powdered sugar for buttercream, but have come to realize you don’t really have to. If you notice your sugar is particularly clumpy, then it might help to, but you absolutely don’t have to.
When you mix the frosting for long enough, any clumps should smooth out, so sifting is just an extra step.
How do you thicken frosting?
More powdered sugar! If you add too much milk or the frosting simply isn’t thick enough, just beat in an extra 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until it reaches a thicker consistency.
Can you make frosting without butter?
Unfortunately, butter is a key ingredient in buttercream! There are other types of gluten free frosting or icings that don’t require butter, but American buttercream requires quite a bit of butter.
A simple glaze with about 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of milk and a splash of vanilla is delicious drizzled over certain recipes!
However, for layer cakes and cupcakes, I recommend sticking with buttercream.
Make it vegan!
To make this frosting vegan, just swap the butter for dairy free butter. I suggest the Earth Balance vegan butter sticks. Follow all of the same recipes steps as usual.
Enjoy with these recipes!
- Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- Almond Four Vanilla Cake
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Gluten Free Buttercream Frosting
by: claire cary
- 3 sticks room temperature butter 3 sticks = 1 1/2 cups
- 5-6 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk I used almond
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract I like clear vanilla
- pinch of salt about 1/8 teaspoon
- Add the room temperature butter to a bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. I recommend a stand mixer but a hand mixer will work if that's all you have.
- Beat for about 5 minutes, until fully whipped.
- Beat in the salt and powdered sugar two cups at a time while the mixer is running on low speed. Let run for about 5 minutes.
- Beat in the milk and vanilla (I like clear vanilla for this) until completely creamy and well combined.
- Pipe onto cupcakes or add to cakes. Store any extra in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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