So many desserts are made better with the addition of frosting. Thick and luscious cream cheese frosting recipes and buttercream frostings or thinner icings and glazes all have their ideal uses as a topping for your desserts. If you need cake frosting, cinnamon roll frosting, or frosting ideas for cookies and bars, use this collection of our best frosting recipes to complete your dessert.
1. Cream Cheese Frosting
A good cream cheese frosting recipe (like this one) is smooth and creamy with a heavier mouthfeel than whipped or purchased tubs of classic frosting, so the taste experience lingers on your taste buds longer. It’s the classic frosting recipe choice for many red velvet and carrot cakes, but we love it as a cupcake frosting recipe too, using any cake flavor.
2. Buttercream Frosting
Buttercream frosting recipes are a classic choice for virtually any kind of cake. With the word “butter” in the name, you know the resulting frosting will be rich and luscious. Our recipe yields about 3½ cups of frosting total, which should be enough to cover the tops and sides of a two-layer cake (using 8- or 9-inch cake pans).
3. Coconut-Pecan Frosting
While we named it after the primary flavor components, you may also know this dessert topper as the German chocolate cake frosting recipe. Of course, that’s a great use for this frosting, but that shouldn’t stop you from using it on brownies and other cake flavors.
4. Creamy White Frosting
This bright white frosting is almost the same as a buttercream frosting, with one exception: it uses shortening instead of butter. The yellow tint you’d get from butter is replaced with pure white shortening. To ensure you keep the bright color use clear vanilla extract in the mix not traditional vanilla extract, which is brown.
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5. Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting
Give your homemade frosting recipe just a subtle tangy note with the addition of luscious sour cream. This easy frosting recipe uses an 8-ounce carton of the dairy product and only three additional ingredients, so it comes together in about 20 minutes. Try it on pumpkin or chocolate cakes.
6. Meringue Frosting
Just like a meringue you’d make for pie, the key ingredients in this frosting recipe are egg whites and cream of tartar. Those ingredients beaten with an electric mixer over a double boiler create a much fluffier frosting than frosting recipes that rely more on fat from butter, shortening, or oil. Try meringue frosting on a spice cake or berry-filled pound cake.
7. Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Is there any cake out there that isn’t improved by a cream cheese frosting recipe spread all over it? If there is, we have yet to taste it. This chocolate version includes 5 ounces of melted chocolate for deep chocolate flavor.
8. Browned Butter Frosting
By giving butter just a little time in a saucepan to brown, you’ll transform an expected buttercream frosting into a browned butter frosting. Browning the butter adds just a bit of nutty flavor to the frosting for dimension. Try it on an applesauce cake, a cake with nutty flavor in the batter, or other desired cake recipe.
9. Powdered Sugar Icing
A powdered sugar frosting recipe (aka icing) with its thinner consistency is perfect for drizzling on cookies, quick breads like a lemon poppy seed bread, or cakes that don’t need much more sweetness added. This icing idea can take on all kinds of flavor twists if you swap in another liquid for the milk called for. Use orange juice (or any juice, really), bourbon, chocolate milk, eggnog, wine, or any flavor that pairs well with the dessert about to be drizzled.
10. No-Cook Fudge Frosting
A full cup of cocoa powder and a full stick of butter go into this chocolate frosting recipe, so you know it’s going to taste amazing on any dessert you pipe (or spread) it on. We love it on a yellow cake, spread on graham crackers and brownies, or as a decadent cookie frosting.
11. Chocolate Ganache
Silky smooth and indulgent, dripping down the sides of a torte, cake, brownie, or virtually any other dessert, this chocolate ganache recipe is irresistible. Requiring only two ingredients, it just may be the easy frosting recipe your desserts have been missing.
12. Easy Marshmallow Frosting
Our simplified marshmallow frosting recipe uses purchased marshmallow crème so there’s no need for a double boiler to create the marshmallow fluff frosting that’s ideal atop a s’mores-inspired cake or cupcakes. The marshmallow crème is whipped with powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract for a light and fluffy frosting that captures the essence of marshmallows.
13. Lemon Glaze
When life gives you lemons, make lemon glaze! This tangy and sweet glaze is perfect for drizzling over pound cakes, lemon bars, or even scones. Made with fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar, it adds a burst of citrus flavor to any dessert.
14. Peanut Butter Frosting
Calling all peanut butter lovers! This creamy and rich peanut butter frosting is a dream come true. Made with creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract, it’s perfect for spreading on chocolate cakes, brownies, or even cookies.
15. Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Take your cream cheese frosting to the next level with the addition of maple syrup. This delicious frosting pairs perfectly with autumn-inspired treats like pumpkin bread, apple cake, or spice cupcakes. The combination of cream cheese and maple syrup creates a sweet and tangy frosting with a hint of warmth.
Whether you’re looking for a classic buttercream frosting, a tangy cream cheese frosting, or a unique flavor like maple or peanut butter, these homemade frosting recipes are sure to elevate your desserts. From cakes to cookies and everything in between, these frostings will take your treats to the next level of deliciousness. Enjoy experimenting with these recipes and finding your favorite frosting combinations!