Butter Frostings

“A nice basic recipe with variations to suit numerous needs.” – Calla Ferre

Butter Frostings

Course: Frostings & Fillings


  • 1/3 Cup Butter or Margarine
  • 4 Cups (1 Pound) Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla


  • In a large bowl, cream margarine. Add remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.
  • If necessary, thin with additional milk or thicken with additional powdered sugar. Frosts 13×9-inch loaf cake or 2 layer cake.


  • Brown Butter Frosting: Brown margarine in large saucepan over medium heat until light golden brown. Blend in remaining ingredients, beat until smooth.
  • Chocolate Butter Frosting: Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 2 envelopes premelted unsweetened baking chocolate flavor, or 2 1-ounce squares melted unsweetened baking chocolate into creamed margarine.
  • Chocolate-Cherry Butter Frosting: Blend 3 tablespoons drained, chopped maraschino cherries into Chocolate Butter Frosting.
  • Coffee Butter Frosting: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee with the sugar. The coffee may be dissolved in the milk for a smooth, no fleck appearance.
  • Mocha Butter Frosting: Blend in 3 tablespoons cocoa and 1 teaspoon instant coffee into creamed margarine.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Substitute a 3-ounce package of cream cheese for margarine.
  • Nut Butter Frosting: Blend in 1/4 cup chopped nuts to frosting.
  • Orange or Lemon Butter Frosting: Substitute 1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon rind for vanilla and 2 or 3 tablespoons orange or lemon juice for the milk.
  • Peanut Butter Frosting: Cream 3 tablespoons peanut butter with the margarine.

Recipe – Calla Ferre – From Pillsbury Kitchen’s Family Cookbook, 1979