Published 7/21/14. Updated with new photos and hints on 5/8/18.
Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting recipe is a light brown sugar whipped frosting that's made without powdered sugar!
I love the whipped buttercream frostings because they are so light and creamy without being heavy or greasy.
They're also pretty fantastic because you make the frosting without powdered sugar, so they're perfect for those times when you don't have any on-hand.
I've been thinking about making a brown sugar version for a while because some cakes pair so well with the caramel-y tones in brown sugar, and I have a cake recipe to go with this frosting that I'll be posting on Thursday.
Anyway, this whipped brown sugar buttercream frosting doesn't disappoint. It is incredibly light and super creamy.
It isn't overpoweringly sweet either, so it pairs well with sweeter cakes. It's especially good with fall-flavored cakes (i.e. pumpkin, apple, spice).
If you've never tried a whipped buttercream, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how good they are. This recipe makes enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes or a 9-inch 2 layer cake.
Tips for making whipped brown sugar buttercream frosting
There are a few places where things could go wrong in this recipe.
- First, not cooking the milk mixture long enough. The mixture should be a thick paste. If it's too wet, the frosting will be too loose.
- Second, the cooked milk mixture needs to cool completely. If it's too warm, it will melt the butter, and you'll end up with loose frosting that doesn't come together.
- Third, using butter that's too warm. The butter should be at cool room temperature. It should dent if pushed, but it shouldn't be too warm and certainly not beginning to melt.
- Fourth, using old brown sugar. Brown sugar that is hard and lumpy won't mix well with the butter. It's best to use soft, fresh brown sugar.
- Fifth, not whipped the frosting long enough. The frosting needs to be whipped to get the right light and airy texture. Cutting the time short could leave you with a grainy frosting or a frosting that separates.
More whipped buttercream frosting recipes!
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Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream
- 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups salted butter at cool room temperature1
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar packed
- Pinch of salt
- In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It will be the consistency of a thick paste.
- Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Stir in vanilla.
- While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy on medium high, about 3 minutes.
- Then add the completely cooled milk mixture.
- Beat it for about 5 minutes on medium-high to high until it looks like whipped cream. If you can still taste the sugar granules, keep beating it until you can’t.
- So, what is "cool room temperature"? A lot of people think that room temperature butter means that the butter is on the verge of melted or is partially melted. That's too warm. Cool room temperature butter means that if you press it with your finger, your finger will leave an indentation in the butter, but the butter should still hold its shape and should still feel cool to the touch.
- Check out the tips and tricks section above the recipe for more helpful hints.
- Nutrition facts have been estimated.