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Brown Sugar Buttercream

Shake-up your cake frosting options with this rich and buttery homemade Brown Sugar Buttercream. Use it for frosting special occasion cakes, cupcakes and muffins.

Brown Sugar Buttercream

Easy Brown Sugar Buttercream Recipe

To make  this frosting, light brown sugar is combined with heavy cream then simmered together until it becomes velvety smooth. Using a mixer, whip this with softened butter, pure vanilla and powdered sugar and voila, it’s ready to spread on top of cupcakes, or your favorite flavor layer cake. It’s spectacular when used to frost your favorite muffins or sweet breads giving them a smooth caramel-like decadent finish. The rich finish it gives is reminiscent of those spicy flavors we associate with fall so, add this buttercream to your fall baking plans. Think, sweet potato, pumpkin, French vanilla, cinnamon and beyond.


Brown Sugar Buttercream

How to Make the Best Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Homemade frosting makes the cake. No matter what the accompanying cake flavor may be whether it’s vanilla, chocolate or caramel it’s worth the minimal effort it takes to whip-up the icing from scratch. The frosting is the first thing you notice on baked goods, and they naturally provide the complementary smooth finish to cookies, cakes, muffins and sweet breads. When you take the time to make the frosting from scratch it really shows the love don’t you think?  They’re tasty to the very last crumb and then you get to lick the spoon.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Brown Sugar Buttercream: Light brown sugar, heavy cream, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A stand mixer or a hand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, a 2 quart saucepan and a spoon for stirring.
  • After melting together the brown sugar and heavy cream allow it to cool but not long enough to set or the frosting won’t come together as smoothly.
  • You can make Brown Sugar Buttercream up to one day in advance and chill it in the refrigerator. You’ll need to whip it again with a mixer before using it to frost the cake, adding heavy cream to smooth the consistency. It’s an important step when making it in advance.
  • Any cake frosted with this buttercream should be kept chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Brown Sugar Buttercream

More Homemade Icing and Buttercream Recipes to Make 

Regardless of the cake flavor you’re planning to make, I’ve got you covered with icing recipes. More flavoprs you may also like to make:

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Recipe Brown Sugar Buttercream
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5 from 1 vote

Brown Sugar Buttercream

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Dessert, Frosting
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown-sugar-buttercream, brown-sugar-frosting, buttercream-recipes
Servings: 7 cups
Calories: 934kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream plus additional as needed to thin
  • 1 1/4 cup salted butter (2 1/2 sticks) softened
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups powdered sugar sifted


  • In a medium-size heavy bottomed saucepan bring the brown sugar and heavy cream to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool enough to still be pourable, but not set.
  • In a medium-size mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, whip the butter and vanilla with the brown sugar and cream mixture. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl periodically.
  • Lower the speed, of the mixer and gradually add the powdered sugar. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl between additions.
  • Add additional heavy cream 1 Tbsp at a time to thin to spreading consistency, as needed.
  • After the powdered sugar is added, raise speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Store chilled in an airtight container until ready to use. Beat again before using.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers.


This recipe makes enough to frost: 24 cupcakes, 1 9-inch (2) layer cake, 1 8-inch (3) layer cake or (1) 9 x 13-inch sheet cake


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 934kcal | Carbohydrates: 150g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 90mg | Sugar: 147g | Vitamin A: 1263IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. 5 stars
    Melissa, I had to let you know how much we love this. I’ve used it for banana cake, chocolate cake, pecan cake, spice cake, pumpkin cake I mean you get the idea. It’s really yummy and the brown sugar flavor is so decadent. Thank you!

  2. So, can you provide an estimate of the time needed to let the brown sugar cream cool down? Thank you

    1. From the recipe: “Set aside to cool enough to still be pourable but, not set.” It depends on the pan used, how it holds holds heat and how long it cooks, this could vary. Follow the recipe, and you’ll be good to go.

  3. This is
    My go to buttercream! Everyone raves about it and it’s a true crowd pleaser! Only issue I have is with the consistency. I let the brown sugar cream cool down just when it’s no longer pourable in order to keep it from melting the butter too much and it still is too runny. It’s kind of hard to work with when piping since I have to keep freezing it since my hand melts it so quickly. I’ve tried cornstarch and flour and nothing works so it takes me twice as long to finish decorating cakes. Any tips on this?

    1. Hi Kay, I typically use this buttercream to frost, rather than pipe onto cakes. That being said, you can always add more powdered sugar to give it a more stiff texture for piping.

    1. Occasionally, a video is added to my video library in advance and in anticipation of the recipe release. That recipe hasn’t been released but, will be soon.

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