• 1 cup (8 ounces; 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 cups (28 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Serves: 9 1/2 cups (enough to frost 24 cupcakes generously)


Copyright 2008, reprinted with permission by Little, Brown and Company.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.

Turn the mixer to low speed and add 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl thoroughly.

In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Add to the butter-sugar mixture. Set the mixer to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy.

Gradually add the remaining confectioners' sugar, adding as much as you need to achieve a smooth and stiff consistency.

Use immediately, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or refrigerate for up to 10 days.