This almond buttercream frosting is a smooth, sweet American buttercream flavored with almond extract and a little vanilla. It's foolproof, taking less than 10 minutes to make and with a fluffy texture ideal for frosting cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more.
I'm an almond lover, always have been! Almond spritz cookies, almond brownies, and almond cupcakes are a few of my favorite recipes on my website because of their delicious flavor from almond extract. The almond cupcakes are frosted with this delicious almond buttercream frosting, which I'm sharing today!
This is a homemade American buttercream flavored with almond extract that's perfect swirled on any kind of cake or cupcake. Its flavor is nutty, reminiscent of wedding cake, and is amazing swirled on chocolate cupcakes or a small vanilla cake!
Like all of my frosting recipes, this recipe couldn't be easier to make. It only requires 5 ingredients you might already have in your pantry. It also takes less than 10 minutes to whip up with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Pipe it on your favorite baked goods to immediately elevate them!
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- This makes up the creamy base and gives frosting a rich buttery flavor. Make sure to pull your butter out of the refrigerator about an hour before you start so it can reach room temperature. Room temperature butter is much easier to mix!
- Almond extract- This is the main flavoring agent, so make sure to use high quality almond extract! You can find it in the baking aisle at most grocery stores next to the vanilla extract.
- Vanilla extract- Adds a little warm vanilla flavor to add depth to the flavor profile.
- Salt- Adding finely ground salt keeps the frosting from being cloyingly sweet.
- Powdered sugar- Also known as confections sugar or icing sugar, this fine sugar blends in easily with the rest of the ingredients and makes the frosting thick and smooth. You don't need to sift it unless it's super lumpy.
- Almond extract: If you aren't an almond fan, you can reduce the amount of almond extract for a more subtle flavor. You can also swap it for vanilla extract to make vanilla buttercream or any other extract you prefer, like peppermint, banana, orange, or maple!
Helpful Equipment and Tools
The instructions and process photos below are for a stand mixer, but they work with a hand mixer too!
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make the frosting! Before you start, pull out your ingredients and a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or flat beater).
STEP 1: First, add softened butter, almond and vanilla extracts, and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer. Cream the butter on low speed for about 1 minute and increase to medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until the butter has lightened and gotten fluffy.
STEP 2: Mix in half of the powdered sugar on low speed for about 2 minutes. You can cover the mixer with a kitchen towel to keep the sugar from flying everywhere! Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
STEP 3: Next, mix in the second half of the powdered sugar on low speed for about 2 minutes. Once the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and mix until the frosting is smooth and fluffy with little to no grain.
If you're making this for a cake, mix on low speed for a couple minutes before using to remove air bubbles.
STEP 4: Use your buttercream to frost cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and more immediately. Add it to a piping bag prepared with a tip or use a knife or the back of a spoon to frost. The frosting will harden (or crust) on top as it sets, leaving a creamy texture underneath.
Tips for Success
- Make sure to use unsalted butter so your buttercream doesn't end up too salty.
- If your frosting is too thick, add a little heavy cream. I personally found it to be the perfect consistency for piping cupcakes, but feel free to thin it out with cream to make an icing or glaze for rolls and bars.
- If your frosting is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Make sure that your cakes and cupcakes are fully cooled before frosting. This ensures that the buttercream won't melt and slide off from the heat.
Ways to Enjoy
- Use it to frost the top of these olive oil brownies or chocolate ganache cake.
- Slather some on a skillet cookie.
- Swirl it on these vanilla cupcakes for an almond-y twist.
Additions and Variations
Here are some different ingredients you can add to the buttercream. This recipe hasn't been tested with any additions, so let me know how it turns out in the comments if you try!
- Lemon zest: A touch of lemon zest provides a subtle citrus flavor that beautifully complements the almond. You can also use lime, orange, or grapefruit zest.
- Amaretto: For a boozy version, try adding a dash of amaretto liqueur to enhance the flavor.
- Cocoa powder: If you're a chocolate fan, try blending in some cocoa powder. This'll thicken the buttercream, so you may need to add some heavy cream to get the right consistency.
- Raspberry puree: Almond and raspberry together scream wedding! Try adding a few dollops of raspberry jam or puree to the buttercream for a fruity flavor. This will probably make the frosting thinner, so you might have to add more powdered sugar for the right thickness.
Storage and Freezing
Store leftover almond buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface immediately or it'll crust! Let it come to room temperature and give it a good mix before using again.
Freeze the frosting in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Give it a stir once it thaws to make it smooth again.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe makes enough frosting for 12-16 cupcakes. If you use a piping bag, there will be enough for 12, but if you use a knife, there will be enough for 16. For a cake, this is enough buttercream to frost a 6-inch cake with 2 layers.
When piped on baked goods, it'll be ok at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Frosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day. Make sure to keep your frosted treats out of the sun so the buttercream doesn't melt. To keep leftover frosting fresh for the longest amount of time, it needs to be refrigerated.
Don't panic! This is a super easy fix. Broken buttercream has a curdled appearance caused by the butter being too cold. If yours looks broken, all you have to do is scoop out ¼ cup and microwave it for 30 seconds or until it's melted. Mix it back into the bowl on low and voilà! Your buttercream is fixed.
More Frostings & Fillings to Try
Almond Buttercream Frosting
- 1 5-quart stand mixer with the paddle attachment
- Add softened butter, almond and vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until it's lightened in color and become fluffy.
- Beat in half of the powdered sugar on low for 2 minutes until creamy and well combined.
- Mix in the second half of powdered sugar on low, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy.
- Once the buttercream is done, frost on cakes and cupcakes. Enjoy!