Fluffy Maple Frosting

Fluffy Maple Frosting recipe

The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Cool Time: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 1 9-by 13-inch cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
155 Calories
5g Fat
27g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 24mg 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 real maple syrup, sometimes yielding an overpowering confection. Our creamy frosting uses authentic maple syrup, with the perfect hint of the flavor, ideal for cupcakes, cakes, and especially on top of fall-inspired creations like pumpkin or spice cake—and even on sugar cookies!

This recipe is a cooked frosting, meaning that the brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup need a few minutes over heat to mix and melt, before being whipped with the powdered sugar and creamed until fluffy. While it's an easy recipe, plan ahead to allow time for the maple syrup mixture to cool properly before using.

We recommend using the darkest high-grade maple syrup you can find for a robust maple flavor. For a more intense maple flavor, add a small amount of maple flavoring along with the vanilla extract, if you prefer. But remember that with extracts a little goes a long way, so make the frosting and taste it first before adding any additional ingredients. This is an excellent frosting to use on a 9x13x2-inch cake, or on 12 to 18 cupcakes—depending on the size.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Fluffy Maple Frosting ingredients

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

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

    butter, sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

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

    cooking butter, sugar and maple syrup together

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  4. Remove the syrup mixture from the heat and let stand until completely cooled. While it might be tempting to put the mixture in the fridge, you risk the butter solidifying; room temperature ensures a smooth final result.

    cool syrup in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

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

    pour syrup into bowl

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  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 powdered sugar or more cream or milk—as needed, a little at a time—until you've achieved a spreadable and creamy frosting.

    beat the maple frosting ingredients together

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  7. Use immediately to frost a cake or cupcakes.

    Fluffy Maple Frosting in a bowl

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  8. Enjoy!

How to Store Maple Frosting

Leftover frosting can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Press plastic wrap against the surface to avoid the formation of a skin, 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.

Recipe Variation

  • Instead of light cream, use an equal amount of half-and-half, milk, or evaporated milk.

How to Spice up Your Maple Syrup Frosting

Delicious on its own, use this frosting on any vanilla cake, or other fall-flavored confections that are spice-forward with cinnamon, nutmeg, or all-spice. To decorate, complement the flavor of maple with other ingredients that are as beautiful to look at as delicious:

  • Use whole pecans as petals in a flower to decorate your cake. Place a golden raisin in the center. Slivered almonds can also make pretty flowers.
  • Chopped cashews or pistachios are a great crunchy addition. Simply dust the nuts over the frosted cake and decorate with edible flowers.
  • Use halved dried apricots or apple rings to make a design on top of your frosted cake.
  • Make the frosting with salted butter to achieve a flavor similar to salted caramel. Decorate with pieces of salted caramel to enhance the flavor, and sprinkle with a few grains or coarse salt.