There's regular buttercream, and then there is cinnamon buttercream frosting! This recipe will take your baked goods to another level, especially if you're a fan of cinnamon!
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
There are many types of buttercream based on the ingredients and the method used. Some are more labor-intensive and complicated than others. This cinnamon buttercream frosting uses the American Buttercream style, one of the most popular styles due to its simplicity. It requires whipping butter and powdered sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting - Ingredients
- 8 oz | 225g unsalted butter - You can't make buttercream without butter! Butter is what makes your cinnamon buttercream frosting taste rich and flavorful. Ensure that your butter is at room temperature.
- 4 ½ cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar) - Sift your confectioners' sugar after measuring it to get the best result. Sifted sugar will ensure no lumps when mixing it with the butter.
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream - Heavy cream helps to achieve smoothness in the final consistency of your cinnamon buttercream. Depending on your ingredients, you might need less or more than what's specified in the recipe. Milk will also work if you don't have heavy cream on hand.
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract - Although this is a cinnamon buttercream frosting recipe, adding vanilla to any buttercream recipe will help it have a more rounded flavor. Trust me; you will miss it if it's not there.
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, optional - I like a bit of saltiness to cut through the sweetness, especially if you're using unsalted butter. Omit the salt if you use salted butter.
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon - Bear in mind that in addition to aroma and flavor, cinnamon will also add color. Depending on what you are going to frost with this cinnamon buttercream frosting, you might want less or more than 2 teaspoons. Taste and adjust accordingly!
How to Make Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting - Instructions
Knowing how to make cinnamon frosting is super easy. It is essentially just beating all the ingredients into a fluffy, creamy, and smooth consistency. Follow these steps, and you'll have the best buttercream you've ever made in no time!
- BEAT BUTTER - Place the room-temperature butter in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held or self-standing mixer for two minutes or until creamy.
- ADD SUGAR, CREAM & VANILLA - Add the confectioner's sugar, cream, and vanilla extract. Mix on the lowest setting for about 30 seconds until some of the sugar is incorporated. This mixing will stop the sugar from flying out of the bowl. Then, increase the speed to medium-high for 2 minutes.
- ADD SALT & CINNAMON - Add the salt and cinnamon and combine.
- ADJUST - Once the buttercream is your desired consistency, spread or pipe it onto your baked goods.
What Should I do if my Buttercream is too Thick?
If your cinnamon buttercream frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream or milk, one tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until the desired consistency is achieved.
What Should I do if my Buttercream is too Thin?
If your cinnamon buttercream frosting is too thin, you can thicken it by adding powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Use softened butter - Make sure that the butter is at room temperature, which means it should be soft but not melting and still slightly cool to the touch. This softened texture will ensure your butter mixes nicely with the sugar.
- To prevent a mess - Mix the sugar and butter on low speed for 30 seconds. The low speed will prevent powdered sugar from flying uncontrollably all over the kitchen counter!
- Sift the sugar - This will ensure you get no lumps and the cinnamon buttercream frosting mixture is fluffy and light in texture.
- Will buttercream frosting melt? - Buttercream can melt just like butter does. If you serve your cinnamon frosting in a warm climate, use up to 50:50 butter and shortening ratio to prevent it from melting. If you're not a fan of shortening, try to work quickly and, if needed, put the cinnamon buttercream frosting in the fridge throughout the making process.
- Will buttercream frosting harden? - This cinnamon frosting will harden as it gets cold. So if you put the buttercream in the refrigerator, it will harden. To serve a cake that has been in the fridge, let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow the buttercream to become soft.
- Beat using a mixer - The mixer is your friend here; it makes the whipping of butter much easier.
- Unsalted butter - Use unsalted butter to control how much salt you add.
- Adjust, adjust, adjust! - Add more sugar if the frosting is too thin and add more cream if the frosting is too thick.
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting - Substitutes
- Butter substitute - You can replace dairy-based butter with your favorite plant-based butter.
- Heavy cream substitute - Heavy cream can be substituted with half and half, milk, plant-based milk, or coconut cream in this cinnamon frosting recipe.
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting - Add-ins
Can you add flavor to buttercream frosting? Yes! You can add both flavor and texture!
- Spiced biscuit - Biscuits like gingerbread or, my favorite, speculaas are a match made in heaven with cinnamon desserts. Crush 1 cup of your biscuits or cookies of choice, and mix it with your buttercream in the last stage. This will add flavor and a nice crunch to your cinnamon buttercream frosting.
- Cookie butter - This is another way of adding the popular spiced cookie speculaas flavor into your cinnamon buttercream frosting. To make, add ¼ cup of Biscoff or another brand of cookie butter into the butter creaming stage before adding the powdered sugar, and continue with the rest of the recipe.
- Other spices - A great way to 'spice up' this cinnamon icing is to add other spices with a complimentary flavor profile to cinnamon, such as nutmeg, allspice, or cardamom. Add up to ½ teaspoon or a combination of ¼ teaspoon of each spice.
- Butterscotch - I don't think there's anything you can't make better with butterscotch sauce; that includes this cinnamon buttercream frosting! Add a quarter cup of store-bought or homemade butterscotch sauce in the last step of beating your buttercream.
What is the Most Delicious Buttercream?
What are the Three Most Popular Styles of Buttercream?
- American Buttercream - I prefer this style as it is simple and easy to make every time! Plus, I always have the basic ingredients in the kitchen. Simply beat the butter until creamy, and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, cream, and your flavorings of choice.
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream - Because it is not as sweet as the American-style buttercream recipe, the Swiss meringue-style frosting is a popular recipe. To make this buttercream, whip egg whites and baker's sugar over a water bath before adding cubed butter and beating until light and fluffy.
- Italian Meringue Buttercream - This meringue buttercream is buttery and rich in flavor but also light and airy because of the sugar syrup drizzled into the whipped egg whites.
Other Types of Buttercreams
- Cream cheese cinnamon buttercream frosting - Cream cheese adds tanginess, thickness, and richness to a classic buttercream frosting. Ideal for a banana cake or carrot cake frosting!
- German-style cinnamon buttercream frosting - German buttercream is a type of buttercream with pastry cream mixed into it. To make, whip cooled pastry cream with a mixer until light and fluffy. Proceed with making the buttercream, adding the whipped pastry cream at the final stage.
- High humidity cinnamon buttercream frosting - If you live in a hot or humid climate, you might want to use up to half of a cup of vegetable shortening with the butter. Note: using more than a 50:50 butter-to-shortening ratio can alter the flavor of your cinnamon buttercream.
Ways to Use Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
What's NOT to serve with this cinnamon buttercream frosting?! I honestly think it goes great with any baked goods!
- Cupcakes - Obviously! Buttercream is what makes cupcakes worth making! This cinnamon buttercream frosting is delicious frosted over cinnamon spice cupcakes, banana muffins, or even plain ol' vanilla cupcakes.
- Whoopie pies - If you've never made whoopie pies before, here is your chance! Whoopie pies are a cross between a cake and a cookie, shaped into two mounds sandwiched together with your choice of frosting. This cinnamon frosting is perfect for filling apple spiced or gingerbread whoopie pies.
- Cookie sandwich - Use this cinnamon buttercream frosting to fill chocolate chip cookies or oat cookies to make the best-ever cookie sandwich.
- Spice frosting cake recipes - This is my childhood favorite; spread cinnamon frosting on my chocolate cake recipe. Chocolate + Cinnamon = Delicious!
- Best frosting for spice cake - The best icing for spice cakes, including brown sugar banana bread, is this cinnamon buttercream frosting!
- Cinnamon roll buttercream frosting
- What is the best frosting for cinnamon rolls? Frosting for cinnamon rolls is traditionally made from powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. I like to reinforce the cinnamon flavor in the rolls by using this cinnamon buttercream frosting recipe.
- When to put frosting on cinnamon rolls? Transfer the cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes. Your rolls will be warm but not hot, allowing you to spread the cinnamon icing on top easily. Let the icing set in place before serving.
Storing Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
Basic buttercream such as this cinnamon buttercream frosting can last at room temperature for up to a day. Make sure you store it in a clean, airtight, and dry container, away from heat sources or direct sunlight. Note; if the temperature gets too warm the buttercream will start to melt.
Does Buttercream Need to Be Refrigerated?
If you're not going to use your cinnamon buttercream frosting for more than 1 day it is best to store it in the refrigerator, where it can last up to a week. To use, take it out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature.
Can you Freeze Buttercream?
For more extended storage, you can store your cinnamon buttercream frosting in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Tip: you can re-whip the frosting after it has been in the fridge or freezer to make it smooth and fluffy again.
Decorating with Cinnamon Icing Recipe
Once you have learned how to make cinnamon icing, you can then decorate a range of baked goods:
- Cover a cake - If you don't have a piping bag use a spatula, knife, or even spoon to cover your whole cake in spiced buttercream frosting.
- Layer cake - Use a piping bag, spatula, or knife to put a layer of this cinnamon icing recipe on top of a cake layer. Spread evenly, place the next cake layer on top, and repeat the process.
- Stars and flowers - Use a piping bag and tips to pipe on a star or flower design.
- Rosette - Create a simple border or fill-in for the top of your cake with rosettes.
- Cupcake swirl - Use any size or style of piping tips to create frosting swirls on the top of cupcakes.
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting FAQs
What Frosting Goes With Spice Cake?
What icing goes on spice cake? A spice cake usually contains spices such as ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and often fruit and vegetables such as apple, pumpkin, and banana. The best spiced frosting recipe for a spiced cake is something sweet and complimentary like this cinnamon buttercream frosting or a tangy frosting such as my cream cheese frosting recipe.
How do I Fix Grainy Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting?
If your cinnamon buttercream frosting is grainy, it is most likely because the sugar has yet to dissolve. To make it smooth, add some more liquid like heavy cream or milk, or let it rest for a few hours and beat it for a few more minutes to give the sugar time to dissolve.
How Long Should I Beat Buttercream?
Every mixer is different, meaning that the time will vary. But as a rule of thumb, mix the buttercream until it is light and fluffy, usually about 2 to 3 minutes from after you add the confectioner's sugar.
Can you Overbeat Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting?
Yes, you definitely can. Cinnamon buttercream frosting, also known as a cinnamon icing recipe, that has been over-mixed will have plenty of air bubbles. Although the taste will be perfectly fine, this will be a problem if you're trying to pipe or ice a cake with a smooth look.
How to Rid Cinnamon Buttercream of Air Bubbles?
Air bubbles in buttercream are simply from too much air being whipped into the buttercream.
Mild Air Bubbles
- To rid the buttercream of mild air bubbles, firstly, let the buttercream sit for a few minutes. Then, using a spatula, press the buttercream against the side of the bowl to remove the air bubbles. Do this technique for the whole amount of buttercream in the bowl.
- If using a piping bag, massage the buttercream in the piping bag in your hands to help break up any tiny air bubbles.
Lots of Air Bubbles
- For buttercream with a lot of air bubbles, you can put it in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds.
To Prevent Air Bubbles
- If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and not the whisk attachment. The whisk attachment adds air and is ideal for when you want to aerate ingredients such as whipped cream.
Why Does Buttercream Frosting Melt?
Buttercream frosting can melt if the temperature is too warm. This is because one of the main ingredients of buttercream is butter, and when butter gets too warm, it will melt. If the buttercream starts to melt, pop it in the refrigerator to firm.
Why does Buttercream Frosting Get Hard?
Will buttercream frosting get hard? Your buttercream frosting will harden when it gets cold. So if it is very cold or if you put the buttercream in the refrigerator, you will notice that it hardens.
To serve a cake covered with buttercream that has been stored in the fridge, leave it out for 30 minutes to allow the buttercream to come up to room temperature before serving.
Will Buttercream Frosting Last Overnight?
Yes, your buttercream frosting can last overnight. I always put any pre-made buttercream or left-over buttercream frosted cake into the refrigerator overnight. If storing just the buttercream, store it in air-tight container. Take it out 30 minutes before using it so that it can reach room temperature. Pipe or spread onto your baked goods and serve!
Which Cinnamon is Best for Baking?
There are hundreds of types of cinnamon, but 4 varieties that are used for commercial baking - Ceylon, Cassia, Saigon, and Korintje. Most grocers and health food stores will sell either quills of cinnamon that you can ground yourself or already ground cinnamon, labeled 'ground cinnamon.' This is the type of cinnamon I always have in my spice drawer in the kitchen pantry and is what I use for this easy cinnamon icing recipe.
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting - Conclusion
If you're a fan of anything cinnamon, then this cinnamon buttercream frosting should be your go-to buttercream recipe to spread on literally anything! Enjoy!
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
- 8 oz (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4½ cups confectioners’ sugar powdered sugar/icing sugar
- 3 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt optional
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar, cream, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds so that some of the sugar is incorporated, and then increase speed to medium-high for 2 minutes.
- Add the salt and cinnamon and beat until combined.
- Adjust – add more sugar if the frosting mixture is too thin or more cream if it is too thick.