THE BEST Frostings & Fillings (for cakes, cupcakes, brownies, pies and more!)

Here are some of my go-to recipes that can be used as a filling or frosting for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more! They are incredibly versatile, with a variety of flavor variations and mix-in suggestions to create a gourmet twist.


Classic Vanilla American Buttercream
Smooth and fluffy classic party cake frosting with a sweet, buttery flavor. Control the consistency by adding more liquid or more powdered sugar to make your icing thinner for spreading or thicker for piping decorations. Easily substitute half of the butter for shortening for a more stable frosting. Used for icing smooth cakes, borders, writing, and most decorations with a stiffer consistency, or add a little more cream for a great cupcakes, brownie or dessert frosting. A perfect base for over a dozen flavors.


Classic Chocolate American Buttercream
Light, fluffy and creamy chocolate frosting perfect for anything from cupcakes to cakes, brownies, cookies and more. A little less sweet than the vanilla buttercream, and oh so rich. You will not be able to keep your fingers out of the bowl. This is one of my personal favorites.


Cream Cheese Frosting
Smooth, creamy, dreamy vanilla cream cheese frosting that doubles as a luscious, sweet yet tangy filling for lemon cakes, red velvet cupcakes, pastries and more!


Light and Silky Flour Buttercream Frosting

Yield: About 2 cups (enough to frost 12-14 cupcakes or a single layer 6"-9" cake*)
*double recipe for a 8-9" two-layer cake

  • ¼ cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and softened 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
For Chocolate Frosting: add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the flour, optional

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar and milk in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook mixture at a boil for 1 minute, until thick and smooth (it will be the consistency of pudding). Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a shallow heatproof bowl or plate. Cover, and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and pale in color, about 2-3 minutes. On low speed, beat in vanilla and salt. Add the completely cooled milk mixture, in two batches, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy. Use immediately.

Whipped Cream Frosting
A quick and simple alternative to the whip cream in a can, and even more light, luscious and creamy! 

  • 1 cup (8oz.) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons powdered (confectioners') sugar
Flavor Variations
  • Chocolate: Add 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder until desired flavor is reached.
  • Espresso: Add 2-3 teaspoons espresso powder (add cocoa above to make a mocha whipped cream)
  • Maple/Honey: Add 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
  • Spiked: Add 1-2 tablespoons liquor OR 1/2 teaspoon flavoring extract
  • Spice: Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or spice of choice

Chill metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Using an electric hand mixer, or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip all of the ingredients together, starting on low and increasing to high speed, until fluffy, peaks form. Typically, about 2-4 minutes, depending on how soft or stiff you want your whipped cream to be. 


Pastry Cream

This rich, thick, creamy custard makes the perfect filling for cakes, pies, fruit tarts, cream puffs and pastries. It pairs perfectly with fresh juicy fruit, crisp buttery pastry shells or layers of fluffy tender cake. 



Chocolate Ganache
Rich, deep, silk combo of cream and chocolate that can be poured on top of desserts as a glaze, spread as filling, chilled and whipped into a pipeable consistency or rolled into truffles. Flavorings can be added. So simple and pure decadence!

Yield: About 2-2 1/2 cups

  • Thinner, pourable/spreadable glaze/fondue consistency ganache has a chocolate:cream weight ratio of 1:1 

8oz chocolate (1 1/3 cups chocolate chips)
8oz (1 cup) heavy whipping cream

  • Slightly thicker, rich, creamy frosting consistency ganache that can be spread, piped or chilled and whipped has a chocolate:cream weight ratio of 1.5:1 
12oz chocolate (2 cups chocolate chips)
8oz (1 cup) heavy whipping cream

  • Thick consistency ganache good for piping sturdy decorations onto a cake or rolling into truffles has a chocolate:cream weight ratio of 2:1 
16oz/1lb chocolate (2 2/3 cups chocolate chips)
8oz (1 cup) heavy whipping cream

Flavor Additions
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for rich flavor and shine, optional
    • 2 tablespoon corny syrup for a pretty shine and perfect drip, optional
    • 1-2 tablespoons liqueur of choice, optional 
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavoring of your choice, optional

Heat cream in the microwave or stovetop, just until it starts to simmer and little bubbles start forming. Place chocolate (chopped, disks or chocolate chips) in a small bowl and immediately pour hot cream on top. Let sit for about 2-3 minutes and then gently stir until smooth (add in butter, liquor and/or extracts after slightly cooled if desired).

Pour thinner ganache over cake/brownies/desserts, or let it cool in the refrigerator and then whip it up into a whipped pipeable/spreadable consistency. Thick ganache can be refrigerated until firm, rolled into balls to form truffles and then rolled in cocoa powder, powdered sugar or chopped nuts for a simple gourmet treat.

  • 1 cup chocolate chips = about 6oz

Meringue Topping
Soft, light, fluffy marshmallow like, frosting. Also known as the "7 minute frosting".

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Before you start, make sure your mixing bowl and whisk/beaters are completely grease free, and when separating your eggs, make sure there is not a speck of yolk in your eggs whites.

Combine egg whites, sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt in a stainless steel or glass bowl placed over a pot with 1" of simmering water. With a wisk or hand mixer, constantly beat for 5 more minutes, until frosting is glossy and stiff peaks form. (mixture should reach 160 degrees.) Remove bowl from heat. Add vanilla and beat another 2 minutes, until frosting has slightly cooled. Use immediately. Serve within 24 hours.


Basic Glaze 
Sweet powdered sugar glaze to drizzle over sweet breads, donuts, pop tarts or cookies. Drys firm. 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 tablespoons cream, half & half or milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, very soft (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
    • To make a cocoa glaze add 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, depending on level of chocolate desired (more liquid will be necessary to reach a pourable consistency).

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl, adding liquid very slowly until desired consistency is reached. If glaze starts to thicken you can microwave it for a few seconds to thin it out again.


Chocolate Fudge Glaze
Simple chocolate glaze, a little richer than the cocoa confectioners' glaze and a little lighter andquicker than a chocolate ganache.

  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream, half & half or milk, to thin (optional) 

In a bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt chocolate, butter and corn syrup until smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and cream. Pour on top of your baked goods. (You can also use the microwave by heating chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl/cup on 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add liquid if needed until desired consistency is reached.)


Fruit Filling
Homemade fruit filling, great for filling baked cupcakes, cakes, or spreading on cookies. Used in my Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes.

  • 12 ounce bag of frozen fruit (You can also use canned fruit like pineapple, or fresh fruit) 
  • water
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 2 tablespoons fruit flavored liquor (optional)

Thaw and strain juice from fruit into a measuring cup. Add enough water to the juice to get 3/4 cup of liquid (If using canned fruit, use juice from the can. If using fresh fruit, add 3/4 cup water). If you are using berries, and want a seedless mixture, use a spoon to press the thawed berries through a fine mesh strainer, into a bowl. You should get between 1/3 - 1/2 cup of pulp.

In a small saucepan, combine fruit juice/water mixture, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture has reached a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Stir fruit (and liquor if desired) into cooled mixture. Refrigerate a few hours to thicken.


Lemon Curd
Thick, smooth lemon filling with a sweet yet tart, rich lemon custard flavor. Can be used as a spread on scones, a filling for tarts pies and cupcakes or a topping on desserts. Used in my lemon meringue pie dip (shown) and my mini lemon meringue pies

Yield: 1 1/4 cup

  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/4 cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 large lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (outer skin of the lemon, avoiding bitter white layer), about 1 lemon

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and milk until smooth. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until mixture comes to a boil and becomes a thick translucent/white gel, 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook 1 minute more, stirring continuously (no longer or the cornstarch will loose its thickening power). Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Gently whisk about 1/2 cup of the gel into the egg yolks until combined. Then pour the yolk/gel mixture back into the pot of gel and gently whisk to combine. Over medium-low heat, gently stir the filling until it begins to boil and the mixture thickens and starts to clump, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until melted. Gently whisk in the lemon juice and zest. (You can alternatively cook in the microwave, by combining all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and taking it out to stir in 1 minute intervals, until thickened.)

Cool slightly and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd so a skin doesn't form. Refrigerate until completely cool and set, at least 2 hours. Store covered in the refrigerator for 2-5 days.


Royal Icing
Sweet flavor. Smooth, hard drying icing, great for cookie decorating and making decorations that last for months. Thin-to-stiff consistency depending on the amount of liquid added.

Yield: about 3/4-1 cup icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-5 teaspoons water or milk, depending on desired consistency (use less for a stiff icing for outlines, add more for a thin/runny icing for filling in cookies)
  • 2 teaspoons meringue powder OR light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (or flavor of your choice) 
  • gel food coloring/icing color, optional

Mix all ingredients, except food coloring, together in a small bowl until smooth. Divide icing into separate bowls and add food coloring, using a toothpick, until you have reached your desired color. Pipe, pour, spread or paint onto cookies. Let dry and set completely (a few hours) before stacking, storing or packaging. Store in an airtight container.


For more tips and tricks for using my frosting and filling, be sure to check out my other videos, by clicking the links below!