Fluffy Maple Frosting

Close up of Fluffy Maple Frosting

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Cool: 30 mins
  • Servings: 18 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
162 Calories
6g Fat
28g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 14mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Maple syrup and brown sugar team up to flavor this fluffy maple frosting. Many maple-flavored desserts use maple extract instead of the real thing, but this creamy frosting recipe includes authentic maple syrup. It's delicious atop any kind of cake, from yellow to chocolate, and is especially suited for fall flavors like pumpkin and spice cake.

This recipe is a cooked frosting, with the brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup cooking together on the stove. The mixture is cooled completely before being whipped with the powdered sugar and cream until fluffy. While it's an easy recipe, plan ahead a bit to allow time for the mixture to cool properly.

Use the darkest high-grade maple syrup you can find for a robust maple flavor. For even more intense maple flavor, add a small amount of maple flavoring along with the vanilla extract. This is an excellent frosting for a two-layer cake, a 9-by-13-by-2-inch cake, or cupcakes.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces, 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark, packed)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light cream (or half-and-half, milk, or evaporated milk; more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. 

  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the brown sugar has dissolved.

  4. Remove the syrup mixture from the heat and let stand until completely cooled.

  5. Pour the cooled syrup mixture into a mixing bowl.

  6. Gradually beat in 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and the cream or milk. Add the vanilla and maple flavoring (if using) and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add more confectioners' sugar or more cream or milk as needed to make a spreadable frosting.

  7. Use immediately to frost a cake or cupcakes.

Recipe Variation

  • For a salted maple flavor, similar to salted caramel, use salted butter for this recipe.


  • Leftover frosting can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Press plastic wrap against the surface and store in an airtight container. When ready to use, let the frosting come to room temperature and give it a quick whip before spreading on cake or cupcakes.
  • While it might be tempting to cool down the maple, sugar, and butter mixture in the fridge, you risk the butter becoming solidified in some places and liquid in others. It's best to be patient and let the mixture cool at room temperature to ensure a smooth and creamy frosting.