I love buttercream frosting swirled onto cakes and cupcakes, and today I’m going to give you a recipe for the BEST Oreo buttercream!
This recipe is SO easy– and if you love Oreos like I do, it’s going to become one of your favorites. Oreo frosting tastes so good with chocolate cakes and cupcakes– or if you want to go a little less chocolatey, try spreading it over your favorite white cupcakes (you can even stir some Oreo crumbs into the batter).
Making buttercream frosting from scratch is so much better than any frosting that you can buy at the store. As with most buttercream frostings, (at least American buttercream frostings), the basic recipe is made up of just butter, milk, flavoring, confectioners sugar, and of course, Oreos!
How to make Easy Oreo Buttercream
First, cream the butter until nice and smooth. Then add your vanilla and a little salt.
Put the mixer on medium speed and add half of the confectioners sugar and most of the milk. (I like to use whole milk or at least 2%-it makes it creamier and it also develops less of a crust than if we used fat free milk–see below for details on crusting buttercream)
Next, add the rest of the milk and powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. For the last minute or so, you can turn down the speed to slow (#2 on a KitchenAid mixer). This step helps to eliminate air pockets in the frosting. It will become very smooth.
Next, Oreo time! Crush your Oreos very finely- I like to put them into a food processor so that the frosting can easily be piped through a piping tip without getting stuck– and it also makes it so much easier to spread onto a cake (when there are no big crumbs mixed in).
That’s it! If it’s too thick, you can add a little more milk– If it’s too thin, add a little more confectioners sugar.
What is a Crusting Buttercream Frosting?
This Oreo Buttercream is a crusting buttercream recipe. Crusting buttercream frostings develop a very light crust after they’ve been sitting out for a few minutes. It’s not gritty, and it’s something that isn’t even noticeable unless you’re looking for it- but the surface of your frosted cakes and cupcakes will set up just enough that you can lightly touch it and frosting won’t come off onto your finger.
There’s a method of smoothing that is popular with cake decorators called the Viva Paper Towel method of smoothing– this is where you can frost a cake or cupcakes, let it set up for a 3-5 minutes or so until crusted, and then smooth over it with a piece of Viva Paper Towel. (The brand is only important because it doesn’t have any quilting and so it makes the frosting super smooth.)
Another great way to smooth your buttercream frostings is to chill it after applying the frosting and then go back over it with a hot spatula or bench scraper. The frosting melts and becomes really smooth. If you have any stubborn places that you can’t get smooth enough, you can add a little fresh frosting to those places and then go back over with a hot knife.
Best Piping Tips for Swirling Cupcakes
I have a few favorite ways to frost cupcakes–but it always involves using a piping bag. It is so, so much easier to pipe on your frosting through a bag rather than trying to spread it on with a spatula.
Even if you only make a few batches of cupcakes a year– just go ahead and buy a small box of disposable piping bags- you will be glad that you did! I can never make the frosting on my cupcakes neat with a spatula only. With a piping bag, you can make them look really professional so easily, and you can frost the cupcakes in half the time.
If you want sort of a ridged, swirled look, go with a 2D piping tip or a 1M. These are both large star tips, and you can just make a circle on the outside of the cupcake and then spiral in, and then make a slightly smaller spiral on top of that. You can also just pipe stars all over the top with your star tips! Or, you can make just a single spiral starting in the center of the cupcake and spiraling out until the cupcake is covered– you’ll get a pretty rosette this way.
Another even easier way to frost cupcakes is to skip the piping tips altogether and load your frosting into a disposable piping bag. Snip away the end to make a medium to large opening, and pipe a spiral of frosting onto the cupcakes- two times around and you’re done!
- 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened but cool to the touch and holding it's shape
- 6-7 cups (690-805 grams) powdered sugar (depending on desired consistency. More sugar=more crusting). If you prefer a frosting that crusts less, see our note at the bottom of the recipe.
- 2 tsp. vanilla (8 grams), use clear imitation vanilla if you like a whiter frosting
- 1/4 c. (60g) whole milk or more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (3g) to cut the sweetness (preferably fine grain or popcorn salt). Adjust to taste.
- Oreos- We used about 10 crushed Oreos for this recipe but use however many you'd like!
- Cream the (slightly softened) butter until smooth. Blend in the vanilla.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and most of the milk. Beat at medium speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated.
- Add remaining powdered sugar and milk and mix at medium speed another 3 to 4 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. I slow down the mixer to very slow. (#2 on the Kitchenaid) for 1 to 2 minutes. This will help eliminate air pockets in the buttercream. The texture will become very smooth.
- Crush the Oreos. We used a food processor for a finer crumb so that the frosting would spread more easily. You can also place them in a Ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Fold Oreos into your buttercream.
- This recipe can be doubled or halved.
- Yields approximately 4 1/2 cups of frosting. Enough to frost a two layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
- Can be frozen in air tight container for at least three months . Thaw on countertop.
- If your buttercream is too thin, add more sugar. If the consistency is too thick, add a bit more milk.
- **For a Softer Buttercream with a much lighter crust, I cut the amount of sugar from 6 cups to 4 cups, and cut the milk from 1/4 cup to 3 tablespoons, and cut the salt to 1/4 teaspoon. This lighter consistency of buttercream works great with cupcakes or cakes that don't require the Viva method of smoothing.