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Lemon Sweetened Condensed Milk Buttercream

Thanks for sharing!

Lemon condensed milk frosting is the perfect combination of rich, fluffy and bright. It has a lovely lemon flavor without being too much and the sweetened condensed milk adds that little something special you can’t quite put your finger on!

fluffy pile of lemon sweetened condensed milk frosting

The bright flavor of lemon mixed with the rich goodness of sweetened condensed milk.  This frosting is one for the history books.  It is super simple to put together and oh so delicious. 

It is perfect on lemon velvet cake, white cakes, butter cakes, graham crackers, sugar cookies and more! Whip some up today and tell me what your favorite thing to spread it on is.

I’m sorry. I really am. I made this frosting and then held out on sharing the recipe until today. I was tempted to run to the computer and share it with you the moment I took the first lick of the spatula.

Mixer bowl of fluffy yellow sweetened condensed milk frosting ready to use.

    No, I’m not 10.

    Yes, I still lick the spatula.

    Well, I at least try to sneak a taste before Little Dude dives in to finish it off!

I’m also a little sorry (not sorry!) for being a bit of a broken record and sharing so many sweetened condensed milk frosting recipes. Maybe it’s a summer fling and I’ll move on once school is back in session, but don’t count on it!

While the cooked versions I have been sharing this summer have been delicious, I wanted something fluffier for my lemon frosting. After all, it was my longing for lemon frosting that drove me to make the lemon velvet cake, so the frosting had to be just right.

Beater full of fluffy yellow lemon condensed milk buttercream, ready to use.

So I went back to my first attempt at sweetened condensed milk frosting and tweaked the sweetened condensed milk buttercream. I knew it would give me that perfect balance of fluffy and rich and the lemon was so great in it. It was definitely love at first lick!

Don’t worry if you’ve been loving the cooked versions though. I already have big plans using the creamy caramel sweetened condensed milk frosting this fall and the fudgy sweetened condensed milk icing is so easy that it is sure to reappear next time the chocolate cravings hit!

Or try lemon cream cheese frosting if you want something citrusy and soft. It is perfect for a 9×13-inch cake and only takes 3 ingredients to make.

 In the meantime, let’s soak up these last little bits of summer and enjoy this fresh citrus pop of flavor. There will be plenty of time to drool over chocolate and caramel later

slice of layered lemon velvet cake with creamy lemon buttercream on outside.

Tips, Tricks and FAQs

Does this buttercream set well or form a crust?

The powdered sugar in this recipe helps the frosting to form a light crust. To set it faster or harder, chill it for a bit.

Is this frosting yellow?

The recipe on it’s own will be a very pale yellow from the butter and lemon zest. For a more vibrant lemony yellow, add a drop or two of yellow food coloring gel. Start slow and add until you get just enough. The color will deepen slightly as it sits.

swirl of piped lemon buttercream on slate background.

What should I do with the rest of the sweetened condensed milk?

They now have squeeze bottles of sweetened condensed milk, making it easier to use just a bit. If you have to open and can and you’re not sure how to use the rest, the leftovers make an out of this world coffee creamer. Otherwise you can always make more frosting!

Can I make this frosting less sweet?

If you normally find buttercream too sweet, you can play with adding a bit more lemon juice to tame it a bit. Add about a teaspoon more lemon juice and reduce the sweetened condensed milk but a Tablespoon. Adjust until you get your desired flavor and consistency.

How do I store buttercream frosting?

You can store leftover buttercream in the refrigerator for a week or two. Or put it in the freezer for up to three months. Just bring it back to room temperature and mix well before using.

If you were looking for a lemon frosting recipe that uses sweetened condensed milk, but no powdered sugar, you are in luck! My lemonade Russian buttercream is just the thing for you.

If you are a frosting fanatic like me, check out my Frosting 101. It goes through the different types of frosting and links to all sorts of delicious recipes!

fluffy pile of lemon sweetened condensed milk frosting

Lemon Sweetened Condensed Milk Buttercream

This frosting is the perfect combination of rich, fluffy and bright. It has a lovely lemon flavor without being too much and the sweetened condensed milk adds that little something special you can't quite put your finger on!
4.59 from 163 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Servings
Calories 154 kcal


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • finely grated zest of a lemon optional


  • Beat butter until light and creamy.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon extract until combined.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Adjust with a bit more sweetened condensed milk or powdered sugar until you have your desired thickness.
  • Stir in fresh lemon zest and frost cooled cake.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 21gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 66mgSugar: 20g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!
This frosting is the perfect combination of rich, fluffy and bright. It has a lovely lemon flavor without being too much and the sweetened condensed milk adds that little something special you can't quite put your finger on!

Thanks for sharing!

Recipe Rating


Saturday 2nd of September 2023

Am making cupcakes for baby shower. Could I frost the day before and then refrigerate until next day. Will the frosting weep? Thanks-1


Sunday 3rd of September 2023

You can definitely refrigerate them overnight, or even keep them at room temperature as long as your house is cool. This frosting is pretty sturdy and will form a light crust as it sits out. The frosting won't weep. However, if they go straight from the fridge to a humid location they may get condensation.

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Friday 28th of April 2023

I seriously need to make this. I've never tried frosting with that liquid gold!


Friday 28th of April 2023

A little liquid gold makes everything better!


Thursday 30th of March 2023

Did I miss how much this yields / what size cake does this frost? I'm a lover of sweetened condensed milk... so this caught my eye right away.


Friday 31st of March 2023

I need to make it again and measure it out in cups. I always get in too big of a hurry to do that. It is enough to frost a standard 8 or 9-inch two layer cake or 24 cupcakes.

Rose Mary Alvarez

Sunday 10th of July 2022

Lemon frosting is so delicious I would love to say Thank you for putting down your recipe maybe next time you can do a video on it, But one thing you forgot to write down is how much Lemon Zest to add in the mixes. Thanks🎂🍰❤💯


Sunday 10th of July 2022

You can add as much or little zest as you would like, depending on how strong you like the lemon flavor.

Jill (Gillian)

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Hi, please could you tell me, is the powdered sugar the same as what we in England call Icing Sugar? I think it probably is but I've seen some US frosting recipes that use a different kind of sugar or ingredient but I'm not sure. It's been some time so my memory is a bit hazy but I think that the other sugar/ingredient gives the frosting a bit of a crust. I'm wondering if that kind might make the frosting better for piping things like flowers, etc.


Thursday 26th of May 2022

Yes, powdered sugar and icing sugar are the same thing. There is just a bit of cornstarch in it to keep it from caking and it also helps it to form a light crust. It makes it perfect for piping flowers because you can easily adjust the consistency and it holds its shape well.