A comprehensive dessert for two guide about Small Batch Frosting Recipes to use for small 6 inch cakes or half a dozen cupcakes.
Frosting recipes. Usually they’re paired with a cake recipe and become the unsung hero of the dessert world.
However, I wanted to bring my small batch frostings front and center for you to mix and match with your favorite small 6 inch cakes.
That’s why I made this dessert for two guide all about Small Batch Frosting Recipes! All of my tried and true frosting recipes rounded up in one place.
What makes my small batch frosting recipes special? You make only what you need.
How many times have you made buttercream frosting, only to have a ton leftover?
Unless you have plans to make another cake, you end up throwing out said extra frosting. All that butter and powdered sugar wasted.
That’s why I set out to make a quick small batch of frosting. Just the right amount for most small 6 inch cakes and cupcakes without having to throw it away.
This guide will be updated as I post more recipes for small batch frosting. Bookmark this page or pin it to your Pinterest board and check back often!
What’s the difference between icing and frosting?
Although the words icing and frosting are used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference.
Icing is thinner and used as a glaze more than a frosting. Usually it’s powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla whisked together.
Frosting is thicker, fluffier and used to cover a cake. Usually it’s butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla beaten together with a mixer.
How to make a small batch of frosting
I highly recommend using an electric mixer to beat together the ingredients rather than beating by hand. Using a mixer makes it super smooth and adds air, which is key for making a fluffy frosting.
I personally use a 5 quart stand mixer. However, you can also use a hand mixer.
First, you want to start with room temperature ingredients, especially your fat such as butter and cream cheese.
If you beat them while too cold, the frosting won’t be as smooth and may result in a lumpy frosting. If you beat them while too warm, the frosting will become too soft to set up.
Since I always use unsalted butter, I often add a pinch of salt to my frostings. It helps amplify the other flavors.
Next, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, roughly 1-2 minutes depending on how powerful your mixer is. You may also want to scrape down the bowl if needed.
I like to sift my powdered sugar before beating so it’s not all clumpy. That also helps with making a smooth frosting.
After the frosting is light and fluffy, you then add your flavorings, depending on which flavor you’re making.
How do you fix runny frosting?
At this point, you need to decide if your frosting is to your liking. If you’re making a cake, you want the frosting to be spreadable.
However, if you’re piping cupcakes, you want the frosting more on the firm side so it doesn’t fall over while piping.
If your frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add a few drops of milk.
Sometimes if your frosting is the right thickness but too warm to pipe, the refrigerator is your friend! My kitchen gets super warm when the oven is on, even in the winter.
What I do is chill the frosting in 15 minute increments until firm enough to pipe.
How much frosting does a small batch make?
The yield for this frosting recipe will vary depending on what you’re making:
- If you’re piping cupcakes, you can frost between 6-8 cupcakes, depending on how tall you make the swirls.
- If you’re frosting cupcakes with an offset spatula, you can frost 1 dozen cupcakes because you typically don’t use as much as you would piping.
- If you’re frosting a 6 inch cake, you can frost the top and edges with about a spoonful or two left over, depending on how thick you like it.
- If you’re frosting an 8 inch cake, you can still frost the top and edges. Depending on how thick you like your frosting, you may or may not have some leftover.
- If you’re frosting a small two layer cake, you can frost the middle and top. Frosting the edges will depend on how much you’ve used so far. You can always leave it as a naked cake with the edges showing.
Cake Recipes For Your Small Batch Frosting
As much fun as it is to eat frosting with a spoon, chances are you need a cake recipe too. That’s why I wrote my 6 Inch Cake Recipes For Two People guide. Mix and match your favorite flavors!
If you’re looking for small batch cupcake recipes, you can bake up the following:
- Small Batch Strawberry Cupcakes – made from scratch with fresh strawberries and no Jell-o.
- Small Batch Angel Food Cupcakes – Heavenly bites of cake. Pair the cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting for an extra berry treat.
- Small Batch Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes – Perfect for Christmas! Pair them with a tangy cream cheese frosting.