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