Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Silky smooth icing is nice, but Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe has crunchy little crystals of brown sugar throughout it making it reminiscent of snickerdoodle cookies. Use Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Buttercream Frosting Recipe on my now-classic Snickerdoodle Cake, white cake, or carrot cake for an indulgent touch!

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream isn't your average frosting! Flecked with crunchy little crystals of brown sugar, it's reminiscent of Snickerdoodle Cookies!

What is it about a cake that makes you go back for more? If you’re like most people, it’s the frosting. My husband is one of the only people I know who actually scrapes frosting OFF of cakes and eats the cake only. Mostly.

I say mostly because the frosting (or icing, depending on your geography) you see in that picture above is one of the only ones he eats with enthusiasm. We’re talking about Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe, folks. You’re looking at something that is quite possibly the most indulgent frosting that can possibly be made. It makes a seriously abundant amount: enough to frost a large layer cake QUITE generously or a double batch of cupcakes or a bunch of cookies and still have a couple of spoons full left for snitching to boot.

This isn’t your average buttercream, and it makes me wonder if that’s why my husband loves it so. Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe is flecked with crunchy little bits of brown sugar and is fragrant with sweet cinnamon making it a stand-out in the frosting/icing/what-have-you field. It absolutely belongs on my now-classic Snickerdoodle Cake, but it’s also beyond perfect on white cake and makes a unique and welcome change from the norm when used to frost a carrot cake.  Maybe ‘crunchy sugar bits’ and ‘frosting’ aren’t normally something that would be thought of as a great pairing, but once you’ve tried it, I think you’ll agree; it’s just so darned good.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream is flecked with crunchy bits of brown sugar and tastes reminiscent of a snickerdoodle cookie.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Admittedly, this makes an ENORMOUS amount of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe. If you’re planning on making my Snickerdoodle Cake, you’re not going to want to reduce the recipe, but if you’re making cupcakes or cookies or a single layer cake, you may find that halving the recipe will still give you plenty. Honest-to-Pete, though, the worst case scenario is having extra buttercream on hand. I don’t know about you, but I am almost always glad to have buttercream around.
  • There is a range given in the recipe for the confectioner’s sugar. This is because not everyone likes their buttercream the same thickness. If you prefer a more easily spreadable frosting, you’ll probably want to go closer to the 8 cup mark. Want it thicker and more architectural? Add closer to 9 cups.
  • While here in the US, half and half is abundant, I understand that it isn’t as widely available internationally. If you’re wondering what to substitute because half and half isn’t available in your market, mix together light cream and whole milk in equal parts. Tada!
5 from 1 reviews
Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting Recipe
  • 4 and ½ sticks butter (or 1 pound, 2 ounces by weight), softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8-9 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of half and half, plus more if needed
To Make the Buttercream:
  1. Beat together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until fluffy and pale in colour.
  2. Add 6 cups of the confectioner's sugar and the vanilla extract and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until it is fully incorporated.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and add the half and half. Beat to incorporate again.
  4. Add another 2 cups of the confectioner's sugar and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until fully incorporated. Check the consistency of the buttercream. If it needs to be thicker, add the remaining confectioner's sugar. If it is too thick, add more half and half a teaspoon at a time, beating after each addition, until it reaches the consistency you like. Store unused portions of the buttercream in the refrigerator for up to a week.


  1. says

    I can honestly say I’ve never scraped frosting off my cake! I love the crunchy bits in this frosting. It really sounds lovely!

  2. says

    My husband tends to cut off most of the icing from the cake/cupcake he’s about to eat and he ends up giving it to me. So I’m torn here, do I introduce him to this icing so he can stop doing that clearly wrong behavior, even though I will then get less icing?

  3. crystal says

    is there a substiture for half and half- do we have to use it? i live in the UK so there arent many half and half products…

  4. Annie says

    Looking forward to making this buttercream, it sounds amazing! When you say “more architectural” do you mean for decorating purposes? I’m ideally hoping for an icing with a little bit of a “crust” to it for a design I’m doing on a cake and I want to make sure I’m as close to that as possible!

    • says

      I would say this gets a bit of a crust to it! Of course, if this is going on a cake for a special occasion or an event, I HIGHLY ADVISE giving it a trial run ahead of time. You could frost a batch of cookies, just to be sure. I’d never suggest trying a recipe you’ve never tried before for an event!

  5. Charisse says

    I’m planning to make the snicker doodle cake for my daughter’s first birthday. But I live in hot and humid tropical Singapore. Do you think the buttercream will hold up or melt away in the heat?
    If I modify it and do it the Swiss meringue style, Issit advisable to still add the half and half?

    • says

      Hmmmmmmm. I think the buttercream would suffer a bit in super heat and humidity. As for modifying it Swiss meringue style, I haven’t tested it so anything I’d suggest would be guessing! I’d love to know how you end up doing it, though! Please check in after the party and let me now how it went!

  6. frances says

    i made the snickerdoodle cake as a dozen cupcakes and a hefty 8 inch round, so halved the frosting and still had plenty. probably could have done 1/3, if i felt like doing that math. i also subbed cream cheese for half the butter to help both cut the sweetness and keep the shape of the final product when piped. it didn’t taste very cinnamon-y to me, so i ended up using 3 teaspoons (yes in a half batch, so 1 tsp more than the full calls for). my husband said he could really taste it then, but it wasn’t overloaded, which worked as i was presenting these as cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes. lovely and easy.


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