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Peppermint buttercream frosting recipe

This fluffy peppermint buttercream frosting is perfectly sweet and minty. Use it for topping holiday cupcakes or cakes, or as a filling for sandwich cookies.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes recipe. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my icing and frosting recipes in one place.

peppermint buttercream

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Why you should make this recipe

  • Fast and easy – This simple peppermint buttercream frosting only takes a few minutes to make.
  • Versatile – This frosting can be used on cakes, cupcakes, or filling for sandwich cookies.
  • Make ahead – You can make buttercream ahead of time and refrigerate until needed.

Peppermint buttercream frosting

This seasonal flavor is perfect for all of your holiday treats. It is minty without being overpowering and perfectly sweet.

Red velvet sandwich cookie with peppermint buttercream filling.

Mix up a batch of this frosting and use it for cupcakes, cakes or the filling for sandwich cookies. The buttercream can be made ahead, which is a bonus during this busy time of the year.

Ingredients

To make this simple American buttercream frosting, you’ll need a few pantry basics.

Ingredients for peppermint buttercream frosting.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt. The salt content varies by brand, so the only way to know for sure how much salt is in your butter is to choose unsalted.
  • Peppermint extract – Not to be confused with “mint extract”, which is a combination of peppermint and spearmint.
  • Powdered sugar – Also called confectioners sugar or icing sugar.
  • Sea salt – Just a pinch will balance out the sweetness in the frosting.
  • Milk or cream – A tablespoon or two is all you’ll need to adjust the consistency to your preferences.

How to make

Making this easy peppermint buttercream recipe will take you about 10 minutes, from start to finish.

Step by step photos showing how to make buttercream frosting.
  1. First, beat the room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Add the peppermint extract and beat for a minute or two to fully incorporate it.
  2. Next, add half of the powdered (icing) sugar and beat until combined. Add remaining sugar and sea salt, then whip until buttercream is light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and the wire whisk. Beat the buttercream again to make sure all of the butter and sugar are fully incorporated.
  4. Use a plastic bench scraper or firm rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and remove the buttercream.

How to fill a piping bag without a mess

Trying to hold the pastry bag in one hand and fill it with the other can be difficult and messy. Here’s an easy trick to filling the piping bag with buttercream – without the mess!

Piping bag in glass jar.

Stand the bag up in a tall jar or container. Fold the bag down to form a collar, and keep pulling the bag down until the tip hovers just above the bottom of the jar.

Use a rubber spatula to fill the bag with peppermint buttercream frosting, pressing to frosting down into the tip of the bag as you are filling it.

buttercream frosting in piping bag.

Then, lift the folded part of the piping bag up and twist to push the frosting down. Use the plastic bench scraper to scrape the outside of the bag to push the frosting down as the bag empties.

Peppermint buttercream frosting Q&A

Can I make this ahead?

Yes! Buttercream can be made ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to use it.

Can I freeze buttercream?

Yes. You can freeze buttercream for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature, then re-whip before using.

Does buttercream need to be refrigerated?

Yes. This peppermint buttercream frosting recipe contains dairy, so it should be stored in the fridge.

How long does buttercream last?

In the refrigerator, it will last a week in an airtight container. Wrap it very well and store away from foods with strong odors, like fish and garlic.

Variations and substitutions

  • Swap the peppermint extract for vanilla extract to make vanilla buttercream frosting.
  • Add bits of crushed candy cane to give it extra peppermint flavor and a crunchy texture.
  • Add a few drops of gel food color to tint the frosting red, green or pink.
Peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

How to use this peppermint buttercream

Top my devil’s food cupcakes with this peppermint buttercream for a delicious holiday treat. You can use this frosting to top a batch of cupcakes, or a layer cake. It also makes an excellent filling for holiday sandwich cookies.

Helpful tools and equipment

A stand mixer is great for this recipe because the frosting does need to whip for a few minutes. You can turn the mixer on and walk away.

A handheld electric mixer will also get the job done. However, you do have to stand there and hold it. Not a hardship, but less convenient.

You’ll also need a sturdy rubber spatula or a flexible bench scraper for the bowl.

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Yield: 4 cups

Peppermint buttercream frosting recipe

Peppermint buttercream frosting recipe

This easy peppermint buttercream frosting recipe is perfect for all of your holiday bakes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp. // 2 sticks // 227 g
  • 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. peppermint extract *SEE NOTE
  • 1 lb. powdered (confectioners/icing) sugar // 4 cups // 453 g
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp. whole milk or half and half

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment (or in a medium sized mixing bowl with an electric mixer), beat butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3 - 4 minutes.
  2. Add peppermint extract and beat for another 2 - 3 minutes to incorporate well. Scrape down bowl.
  3. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl, then add remaining powdered sugar and salt.
  4. Whip on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3 - 4 minutes.
  5. Adjust to desired consistency with 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp. of milk.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

* Start with 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract. Taste the buttercream. If it is minty enough, do not add more. If you would like a stronger mint flavor, add an additional 1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract.

If not using immediately, refrigerate or freeze. Bring to room temperature and re-whip before using for best results.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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