Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting

Have you ever tasted sugar cookie buttercream frosting that is so good that you just have to get your hands on the recipe? If you haven’t, then you NEED to try this frosting. It might be simple to make, but it is nothing short of the best buttercream frosting you will ever taste.

buttercream frosting cookies

What is Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting?

Sugar cookie buttercream frosting is composed of unsalted butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla(or other flavoring), and milk or heavy cream.

What makes this particular buttercream frosting so good is the addition of just two ounces of cream cheese. It doesn’t taste like cream cheese frosting at all, but instead it gives this frosting that “Je ne said quoi” factor we are always looking for at Baker Street Society.

This homemade buttercream frosting recipe is super smooth and creamy too. Never use shortening unless you want a greasy or waxy feel! It has the perfect consistency that is easy to pipe and spread on these amazing cut out sugar cookies.

white buttercream frosting on cookies

The Secret to Making Unbelievably Good Sugar Cookie Frosting

The secret involves two things. First, the addition of cream cheese gives the frosting a boost in flavor without making it taste like cream cheese. People can never put their finger on what makes this frosting so good, which is exactly what we want. It’s partly that mystery that makes people so intrigued and fascinated by really good food.

The other secret is that we mix the frosting on medium high speed to incorporate a lot of air, making it light and fluffy.

heart and circle buttercream cookies

Stand Mixer Vs. Hand Mixer

You can definitely use a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer. If you want your icing to be light and fluffy, a stand mixer is going to be the winner.

If you don’t mind your icing being a bit denser, then a hand mixer works just fine too. You will need to beat the icing longer to get it fluffy though, so make sure you have a strong hand mixer that can handle the job!

cream cheese buttercream frosting cookie with a bite taken

How to Make the Best Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting

Let’s make this homemade buttercream frosting like nobody’s business! Are you ready?

  1. Add softened butter and cream cheese to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream on medium-low speed until smooth.
  2. Mix in vanilla just until combined.
  3. Then add salt and half of sifted powdered sugar. Begin mixing on low so that the mixer doesn’t cause a mushroom cloud of sugar to form.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of milk(or heavy cream for richer frosting), and mix.
  5. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix on medium-low until mixed in. Pour in a tablespoon or two more of milk if icing is really stiff. Add food coloring(preferably gel for optimal color), and turn the mixer up to medium-high. Mix for 3-5 minutes and voila!
  6. Add more milk if the icing is still stiff. We want slightly stiffer frosting for piping but softer frosting for spreading.
frosted cookies

Essential Baking Tools

Use this homemade buttercream frosting for:


Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting

buttercream frosting cookies

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: frosting


Units Scale

For the Sugar Cookie Frosting


  1. Cream butter on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. It will take longer because the butter is cold. Add the cream cheese and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and other flavorings if using, and mix. Add half of powdered sugar and mix on a low speed to start. Increase speed to medium as powdered sugar absorbs into the butter.
  3. Add remaining powdered sugar and **heavy cream (you can also use 2-3 Tbs of milk if you don’t have cream). Mix on low, and then increase the speed to medium for 3 minutes. Turn the speed down to low (about speed 2), and mix for 2 more minutes to get rid of extra air and bubbles.
  4. As a note, the amount of cream you need depends on how stiff or soft you want the frosting. If you want a thinner buttercream, add 1-2 tablespoons more.
  5. Add food coloring if desired, and use immediately or store in an airtight container. ***Buttercream frosting does not need to be refrigerated if you are frosting a cake or cookies right away. Refrigerate if not using the same day. Remove from fridge an hour before using, and rewhip for a minute if needed.
  6. Can be stored in the fridge for a week or the freezer for two months.


***This frosting contains heavy cream, so you can refrigerate it if you are worried about the cream. This is a personal preference, but I have never had a problem with the icing going bad once it is on cookies, cakes, or cupcakes because very little cream is used in comparison to the other ingredients. 

Add 42 ml of heavy cream, and then more if the icing is too stiff.


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