Make basic buttercream frosting in less than 10 minutes using butter, powdered sugar, vanilla or vanilla extract and milk. To make chocolate buttercream frosting, adjust the ingredient amounts slightly, and add baking cocoa to the recipe. In both recipes, soften the butter to room temperature or melt it.
To make basic vanilla buttercream frosting, add 3 cups of powdered sugar to 1/3 cup of softened butter. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla or vanilla extract and 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. Add the milk until the frosting is smooth with a spreadable consistency.
To make chocolate buttercream frosting, melt 1/3 cup of butter in a small saucepan, and add 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa. Mix until smooth, and remove the mixture from the heat. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly before adding it to a mixing bowl. Add 2 2/3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla or vanilla extract and 1/3 cup of milk to the chocolate mixture, and beat it until the mixture reaches spreading consistency.
Adding more or less cocoa powder changes the intensity of the frosting. Add less cocoa powder for a light chocolate flavor, or add more powder for a dark chocolate flavor.