Made with fresh orange juice and vibrant zest, this orange buttercream is sweet and creamy. Think orange creamsicle, but in frosting form that you can lick off a spoon!
With hints of vanilla and real orange flavor, you will love this orange buttercream. Swirl it on cupcakes, use between cake layers, or top sweet rolls for a zesty orange taste on all of your favorite treats.
My favorite part about this orange frosting? You can make it in like 5 minutes. No seriously!
Homemade orange buttercream frosting that has tons of flavor and fluffed to perfection in just a few minutes - yes please!
Infusing different flavors into my favorite whipped buttercream frosting has turned into some delicious recipes. Like this blueberry buttercream and simple coffee buttercream, orange turned out to be another great match.
Pair it with these orange cupcakes for a perfect match!
Nothing complicated here - this orange buttercream frosting comes together with just a few ingredients.
- Unsalted butter - it needs to be softened, so make sure to remove from the refrigerator 20 to 90 minutes before mixing.
- Powder sugar - sifted, as needed
- Orange zest - this is where most of the flavor comes from!
- Fresh orange juice
- Milk or cream
- Orange blossom water - optional for extra flavor with zesty, floral notes
- Vanilla extract - to give it that creamsicle vibe
Tools and Equipment
Either an electric hand or stand mixer will work here, but you will need one of the two to lighten the frosting. Mixing by hand will leave it too dense, not fluffy.
You will also need a microplane or citrus zester - the orange zest is key!
This buttercream comes together super easily - no need to prep any other ingredients or parts of the recipe.
Mix the softened butter until smooth and creamy.
Begin adding in the remaining ingredients and mix on low to combine.
Mix until all of the ingredients combine and the frosting is creamy.
Whip on high speed to aerate the buttercream until fluffy.
Hint: start mixing on low speed until everything is smooth and combined, then bump the speed up to high to make the buttercream fluffy.
Non-diary - a plant-based butter or margarine would work as a substitute for unsalted butter. Use non-dairy milk or more orange juice in place of the milk.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting - replace ½ of the butter with cream cheese.
Citrus Buttercream - any other citrus zest and juice can stand in for the orange. Try lime, lemon, or tangerine!
Orange-y Orange Buttercream - tint it with orange food coloring to reflect the flavor. Use gel food coloring.
Chocolate Orange - check out the frosting on this Chocolate Orange Cake.
Serving and Storage
Spread or pipe buttercream on your favorite baked treats.
This orange buttercream frosting can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for one week or freezer for up to three months.
If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to use, allow the frosting to come to room temperature (10 to 20 minutes), then stir until spreadable.
Orange Buttercream Recipe FAQs
Before you start adding too much powdered sugar, try putting soft buttercream in the refrigerator. The butter might have been too warm and chilling in the refrigerator may help it firm up.
Make sure to sift powdered sugar to remove any lumps before mixing. Allow enough time for the butter and sugar to whip together to help the sugar dissolve into the buttercream frosting.
Nope! It is not essential to use it. But if you have orange blossom water at home already, then it adds a floral, citrus flavor to the buttercream.
What to Pair with Orange Buttercream
I originally planned to make orange cupcakes to go with this orange buttercream, but really there are so many options.
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Sweet and Creamy Orange Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted as needed
- 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream as needed
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 1 tea vanilla extract
- ½ tea orange blossom water optional
- Using a stand (or hand) mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer off and add the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest vanilla, and orange blossom water (if using). Begin mixing on low speed until the ingredients come together - scraping the bowl occasionally.
- Turn up the speed and mix at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until the buttercream is light and fluffy. If needed, add the milk until desired consistency is achieved. The buttercream should spread smoothly without tearing the crumb of the cake but thick enough that it holds shape when piped and spread between the layers.
- If using to ice a smooth cake, vigorously stir with a wooden spoon or stiff spatula to knock out some of the air bubbles.