Whether you’re creating an intricate cake design, filling and frosting a cake of a specific size, or decorating a multitude of cupcakes, it can be overwhelming to estimate just how much buttercream frosting you’ll need for the task. Each of my buttercream recipes yield about 3 Cups of frosting, but exactly how far will you get with that amount? The answer depends on so many factors – the size of your cake or amount of cupcakes, the style of frosting finish you’re going for, whether you’re planning on using buttercream as filling between cake layers, and whether you’ll be piping decorations with it (to name just a few).

To make things a little easier, I whipped up some handy charts below to give you a good estimate of how much frosting to make for your bakes.

## Will This Chart Work with Any Kind of Frosting?

I wrote this chart with American Buttercream in mind (which is my go-to frosting). If you’re going by volume (not by weight), this chart will work with any kind of frosting – swiss meringue buttercream, italian meringue buttercream, whipped cream frosting, etc. Most frosting recipes will state how much they yield in Cups (aka by volume), so you can base your estimations and scaling off of the chart below regardless of your preferred frosting.

## Tips for Scaling Frosting Recipes

Let’s say you need 4.5 Cups of frosting based on the chart below, and you notice that one batch of the buttercream recipe you’re using yields only 3 Cups. How should you proceed?

Working backwards, you’d divide 4.5 Cups by 3 Cups to get your answer: 4.5/3 = **1.5**. In other words, you’ll need 1.5 batches of your buttercream recipe to have enough for your project. That means you’ll multiply each ingredient in your buttercream recipe by 1.5 to scale the recipe properly.

If you don’t want to do all that math by hand, I recommend using a recipe scale calculator like this one where you can simply copy/paste your ingredients list and choose the scale amount (in this case, scale by one and one half) to get the correct amount of each ingredient.

I will say that it’s always better to have a little more buttercream than you expected than to not have enough. To prevent that scenario, I recommend rounding up when estimating.

***A Note on Gram Measurements:** I didn’t put gram measurements on this chart because different kinds of frosting vary by weight per cup. If you’re using American Buttercream (like most of my recipes), then you can go with the gram measurement of** 1 Cup = 215g** and scale the recipe from there.

Round Cakes | ||||

Size of Cake | Number of Layers | Filling + Crumb Coat | Frosting | Total |

4-In | 2 | ½ Cup | ½ Cup | 1 Cup |

4-In | 3 | 1 Cup | 1 Cup | 2 Cups |

6-In | 2 | 1 ½ Cups | 1 ½ Cups | 3 Cups |

6-In | 3 | 2 ½ Cups | 2 ½ Cups | 5 Cups |

7-In | 2 | 1 ¾ Cups | 1 ¾ Cups | 3 ½ Cups |

7-In | 3 | 2 ¾ Cups | 2 ¾ Cups | 5 ½ Cups |

8-In | 2 | 2 Cups | 2 ½ Cups | 4 ½ Cups |

8-In | 3 | 3 Cups | 3 Cups | 6 Cups |

9-In | 2 | 2 ½ Cups | 2 ½ Cups | 5 Cups |

9-In | 3 | 3 ½ Cups | 3 Cups | 6 ½ Cups |

10-In | 2 | 3 Cups | 2 ½ Cups | 5 ½ Cups |

10-In | 3 | 4 Cups | 3 Cups | 7 Cups |

12-In | 2 | 4 ½ Cups | 3 ½ Cups | 8 Cups |

12-In | 3 | 5 Cups | 4 ½ Cups | 9 ½ Cups |

14-In | 2 | 5 ½ Cups | 6 Cups | 11 ½ Cups |

14-In | 3 | 7 Cups | 6 ½ Cups | 13 ½ Cups |

Other Cake Sizes | ||||

Square Cakes | Add 1 Cup to the grand total above (or ½ Cup to the filling/crumb coating amount and ½ Cup to the frosting amount) | |||

9×13-In | 3 Cups |

Buttercream Borders (for 6 or 8 inch cakes) | |

Type | Total Amount |

Star Border | 1 Cup |

Swirl Border | 1 ½ Cups |

Braided Border | 1 ½ Cups |

Rope Border | 2 Cups |

Cupcakes (Per Dozen) | |

Style of Frosting | Total |

Iced with a spatula | 1 ½ Cups |

Piped into a tall swirl | 2 ½ Cups |

Piped as a rosette | 2 Cups |

I hope that you find this chart and info helpful for your cake planning! Let me know in the comments if you do and feel free to tag @sugarandsparrowco on Instagram to show me what you make! I always love to see what you create.

Natalie says

This is such a HUGE help!!! Tysm!!

Whitney says

Yay, Natalie! I’m so happy to help!

Donna says

Whitney, Your calculated measurements are terrific! Appreciate you so much.

Whitney says

So happy to help, Donna!

Cree says

How much buttercream do I use for #100 cupcakes? How do I make this much up..

Whitney says

Hi there! According to the chart in this post, you’ll need to make about 7x any of my buttercream recipes for 100 cupcakes. In other words, you’ll need to multiply each ingredient by 7. Hope that helps!

Terri says

Thank you! I’m using your guide to fill and frost a wedding cake . Does this chart account for the filling as well as the outside of the cake ? Sorry if I missed that part.

Whitney says

Hi Terri! Yes, the “total” column of the chart includes filling and crumb coat + final coat of frosting. Hope it helps!

Tambi Sweet says

The boarder chart is for what size cake?

Whitney says

Hi Tambi! It’s based on a 6 to 8 inch cake. I’ll add that to the chart!

Charlie Woodside says

Love your site, so much info that others lack. One question, can I use any basic cake recipe for cupcakes. I’m interested in the Black cake and buttercream ones?

Whitney says

Hi Charlie! Yes, you can use any of my cake recipes for cupcakes (buttercream as well!). Here’s how to make my cake recipes as cupcakes: https://sugarandsparrow.com/convert-cake-recipes-to-cupcakes/

Denise says

I’m making a 7” base Barbie dress cake (for the first time) with a 2 layer 10” cake under it. I want to completely cover both with rosettes. Dress is one color, base another color.

How many batches of your vanilla buttercream will I need?

Whitney says

Hi Denise! I’ve never made a Barbie cake before (sounds fun!) so I’m not entirely sure but if I had to estimate I would say that two batches of vanilla buttercream should be enough to cover both the 7″ dress portion and the 10″ cake portion. If you’re filling the cakes with the buttercream as well, you’ll need one more additional batch. Hope that helps!

Sue says

I’m making individual cupcakes for a birthday party and was wondering what size/ shape nozzle would you recommend for piping a large swirl on top?

Whitney says

Hi Sue! I love using Wilton Tip 4B, 1M, 2D, or 6B for swirls on cupcakes!

Nancy says

I need a good butter cream icing recipe enough for 2 9 inch cakes…thanks in advance

Whitney says

Hi Nancy! What flavor do you want? Here are all my buttercream recipes, you’ll double each one to get enough to fill and frost a 2-layer 9-inch cake: https://sugarandsparrow.com/category/recipes/frosting/