This easy pink frosting is a creamy vanilla-flavoured American buttercream and can be made in any cute shade of pink! Made using pink food colouring, it’s only 5 ingredients and ready in less than 15mins.
✏️ Recipe creation
I wanted to make an easy homemade pink buttercream frosting that could be used on any sweet treat, from frosting cupcakes and cakes to filling macarons and cookies.
This pink buttercream icing is based on my basic vanilla frosting and is great for piping and making cute buttercream flowers too!
It’s a simple and fluffy American-style buttercream, and you can choose any pink shade by altering how much pink food colouring you add.
I love using this simple pink butter icing on birthday cakes and celebration cakes – like on this spooky pink cake. It’s one of the best buttercreams for cupcakes, and I use it on these easy Disney Maleficent cupcakes and chocolate pink cupcakes!
It’s a great frosting to use to turn any dessert into a pink dream for Valentine’s Day, girl baby showers and kids' parties.
This homemade pink frosting recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter: room temperature for a softened butter that’s easier to beat.
- Powdered icing sugar: sieve your confectioners’ sugar for a smooth frosting.
- Vanilla extract: use extract or paste for best taste.
- Milk: use full fat or semi-skimmed milk.
- Salt (optional)
- Pink food colouring: use a gel or paste to prevent adding too much moisture.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Top tip: For accuracy, it’s best to weigh your ingredients rather than using cups.
♻️ Substitutions / Variations
For a creamier pink icing, swap the milk for heavy cream (e.g. double cream).
You can swap pink food colouring for a small amount of red food colouring.
💗 How to get specific shades of pink frosting
You can buy your pink food colouring in specific shades of pink, e.g. baby pink food gel or hot pink food gel. I recommend the pink collection by Color Mill, they're amazing!
Alternatively, check out the tips below for getting the perfect pink for your buttercream.
Tip: your colouring develops stronger over time so stop just a little before you get the intensity you want.
Baby pink buttercream
To make a baby pink (i.e. pastel pink) frosting, add the pink food colouring to your frosting one drop at a time. For the pale pink shade, you only need a very small amount.
If you add too much pink, you can lighten the colour with a drop or two of white food colouring.
Hot pink buttercream
To make hot pink (also called bright barbie pink) coloured frosting, you can add your pink food colouring several drops at a time as this is a strong colour.
Dusty pink buttercream
To make dusty pink (also called dusty rose pink) coloured frosting, add a few drops of pink food colouring and a single drop of purple food colouring to tint it to a dusky pink hue.
Dark pink buttercream
To make dark pink coloured frosting, add several drops of pink food colouring and a single drop of black food colouring.
Step 1: Beat the butter (either by hand, using an electric mixer or stand mixer) until pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes.
Steps 2 - 3: Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter and beat until combined.
Step 4: Repeat this with the remaining half of the icing sugar.
Steps 5 - 6: Add in the vanilla extract, milk and salt (if using) mixing until only just smooth.
Steps 7 - 8: Stir in a few drops of pink food colouring at a time until you reach the desired shade and enjoy!
🎥 Recipe video
Check out the recipe video below for how to make the best pink frosting!
💭 Top tips
- For creamy pink frosting, beat your butter until it’s pale, light and fluffy first. This could take several minutes with an electric mixer.
- This recipe makes enough pink vanilla buttercream to frost 12-15 cupcakes or a single layer 8-inch round cake. Scale up by ½ to frost a 2 layer 8-inch round cake.
- Food colouring develops stronger over time, so stop adding colouring a few shades before you get the intensity you want.
❔ Recipe FAQs
Your pink buttercream should last for up 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yes! You can freeze your pink buttercream in an airtight container. Defrost and re-beat before use.
If your pink frosting is too thin, you can try chilling it in the fridge for 10-20mins before use. Alternatively, you can beat in a few more tablespoons of butter to thicken it.
If your pink frosting is too thick to spread easily, then stir in some more milk or cream (½ tablespoon at a time) to thin the consistency.
🧁 Other goodies
Looking for some tasty desserts to frost with your easy pink buttercream? Why not give these baked goods a try:
- Funfetti sprinkles cupcakes - great for kids' parties!
- Lemon raspberry loaf cake
- Victoria sponge cake
You might also like these other tasty buttercream ideas:
- Pink raspberry buttercream - a naturally pink frosting!
- Simple vanilla american buttercream
- Orange buttercream
- Lemon buttercream
For more tasty frostings, check out my full collection of the best frosting recipes.
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- Hand mixer optional
- Beat the butter (either by hand, using an electric mixer or stand mixer) until pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes.
- Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter and beat until combined, then repeat this with the remaining half of icing sugar.
- Add in the vanilla extract, milk and salt (if using) mixing until only just smooth.
- Stir in a few drops of pink food colouring at a time until you reach the desired shade.
- This recipe makes enough frosting for roughly 12-15 cupcakes, or to frost a single-layer 8-inch cake.
- Scale up the recipe by ½ to fill and frost a 2-layer, 8-inch cake generously.
- Use softened room temperature butter for ease of mixing.
- For creamy frosting, beat your butter until it’s pale, light and fluffy first. This could take several minutes with an electric mixer.
- Stop adding colouring a shade less intense than you'd like. Food colouring develops stronger over time.
- You can swap the milk for any type, including dairy-free alternatives, or heavy cream.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.