When it comes to fall baking, frosting with brown sugar pairs perfectly with your favorite seasonal treats.
Smooth and creamy, this frosting adds warm brown sugar flavor to oven-baked goodies. It pairs wonderfully with recipes infused with vanilla, pumpkin, or cozy spices!
Brown Sugar Frosting Ingredients
This simple frosting recipe is made with butter (room temperature), confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and of course, light brown sugar! A splash of heavy whipping cream makes it extra light and fluffy.
How To Make Brown Sugar Frosting
- Cream together the butter and light brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
2. Mix in half of the powdered sugar until smooth, then add in the other half and mix just until combined. The frosting will be stiff.
3. Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla until smooth and the frosting is a pipeable consistency. See recipe notes for adjustments.
4. Prepare the frosting for piping by placing a pastry bag in a cup with the ends folded over and use a rubber spatula to transfer the frosting to the bag.
You can also use a frosting spatula to spread the frosting directly onto cakes and cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the difference between buttercream frosting and icing?
As you may have guessed, the base of buttercream is butter, along with a splash of cream. Icing is a sugar mixture made with powdered sugar and a bit of liquid (usually milk).
Can you substitute brown sugar for white sugar in frosting?
Even if you’re not making brown sugar frosting, you can usually use brown sugar in place of white sugar. Just keep in mind it’ll lend a bit of a molasses taste and make the color a bit darker.
Can you make frosting without powdered sugar?
Yes, but the process will be a bit different and involves boiling the ingredients so they meld together.
Can you buy powdered brown sugar?
As a matter of fact, you can, but it’s difficult to find (you may have to order it online). You can also make your own by putting brown sugar in a food processor until it changes consistency.
More Frosting Recipes:
- Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – A peanut butter cheesecake lover’s dream!
- Coconut Pecan Frosting – The ideal topping for German Chocolate Cake.
- Cinnamon Frosting – You’ll want to keep this recipe handy for holiday treats!
- Whipped Strawberry Frosting – One of my favorites to use in spring and summer!
- Chocolate Frosting – A classic that tastes delicious with just about anything.
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Brown Sugar Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream or more if needed – see notes
- In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add in 2 cups of the powdered sugar and continue mixing until light and creamy. Add in the remaining powdered sugar and mix again; stopping when the frosting is thick and well combined.
- Add in the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of the heavy cream; mixing until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is still too thick to be piped, then add an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of heavy cream and continue mixing until the desired consistency has been reached. If the frosting is too thin, then add a tiny bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency has been reached.
- This frosting can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature if it will be used within a few days. If the frosting won’t be used within a few days, cover and store in the refrigerator; set the frosting out at room temperature for 15 minutes before using.
- Brown sugar can have a grainy consistency when used in frosting, the key is to cream the butter and brown sugar until the sugar no longer has any lumps and it’s mixed in well.
- Milk can be used as a substitute for heavy cream.
- This will make enough frosting to pipe tall frosting on 12 cupcakes (as seen in the photos) or enough for a single layer of frosting piped onto 24 cupcakes.