A sweet spin on the viral butter board trend, this Snowman Buttercream Board is as scrumptious as it is festive! Sweet vanilla buttercream is piped into a snowman shape, and served with all kinds of tasty cookie dippers.
Why Stop with Butter, When You Can Have Buttercream?
If you haven’t seen the butter board trend on Pinterest and other social media platforms, it’s a version of a charcuterie board that stars – you guessed it – butter. Softened butter is spread over a charcuterie board, and then sprinkled with all kinds of toppings, from roasted garlic to bacon to chives to honey. Guests can spread this flavored butter on crusty bread or other dippers. Love it or hate it, this idea took the Internet by storm!
But for my part, I’m pretty excited about this spinoff idea: the buttercream board. For all of us frosting fanatics, this cute dessert is a fun, easy party dish with lots of flair. My Christmas version of a buttercream board features a friendly snowman piped in classic white, and an assortment of tempting cookies to dip into the frosting. Yum!
What You’ll Need
With the basis of this board being a hefty serving of homemade buttercream frosting, the ingredients list is short and sweet. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy recipe.
- Powdered Sugar: Sift the powdered sugar to remove any lumps.
- Butter: Unsalted butter, at room temperature.
- Cream: Just a bit of heavy cream thins the buttercream to the right consistency. Have the heavy cream at room temperature before using it.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract is my go-to, but you could use regular vanilla flavoring, or scrape a vanilla bean.
- Food Coloring: Red, black, and orange gel food coloring, for the buttons, nose, etc.
- Cookies: Assorted cookies are the dippers for this easy just board. Make your own, or use your favorite store-bought cookies!
How to Make a Snowman Buttercream Board
To make a snowman buttercream board, you’ll need a mixer for beating the ingredients, and a few piping bags or zip-top bags for piping the snowman and his accessories. Here’s how to do it:
- Beat All of the Frosting Ingredients Except Sugar. Using a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer on low speed (you can also do this in a stand mixer), beat the butter, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt.
- Add the Powdered Sugar. Once those ingredients are fully combined, add the powdered sugar to the bowl. Mix on low speed to blend the powdered sugar into the liquid ingredients, and then increase the speed to high. Mix until light and fluffy.
- Get the Consistency Right. Check the texture of the frosting. You may find that you need to add an extra teaspoon or two of heavy cream if the mixture is too thick, or a teaspoon or two of powdered sugar if it’s too thin.
- Divide, Tint, and Place in Piping Bags. Divide the frosting into four groups, and add food coloring: half a cup each of black, a quarter cup of red, and a teaspoon of orange. The rest will be white for the snowman’s body and head. Fill your piping bags (or zip-top bags).
- Pipe the Snowman on the Board. Grab your charcuterie board or tray of choice, along with the white frosting. Pipe circles of white to outline the body, and fill them in. Next, use the black frosting to make the eyes, nose, hat, and buttons. Finish up by adding a festive red scarf.
- Add Cookies. Last, arrange your assorted cookies all around the snowman.
Recipe Notes and Variations
There are a million ways to make a board like this, so feel free to use my version as inspo and make this your own. Here are some helpful tips and variation ideas to use along the way.
- Food Coloring Caution: Take care when adding the food coloring to the icing – too much food coloring can make the icing bitter.
- Seal the Board: Make sure your charcuterie board is sealed, as the darker food coloring could stain the board.
- Sifting Is a Must: Be sure to sift your powdered sugar at least once. If it still has lumps after the first sift, feel free to do it twice!
- Unsalted Butter: We choose unsalted butter to manage this recipe’s sodium content and salt flavor. Be sure to set out the butter 30 minutes before you intend to use it. You can cut the butter into smaller chunks to speed up the process.
- Safety First: Steer clear of boards that you have used to prepare raw meat! Those can harbor bacteria, and shouldn’t be used to serve prepared food like this. If you need to, you can make this whole recipe on a pretty serving tray or a big platter, instead of a board.
- Shortcut: You may use store-bought buttercream icing to simplify this Snowman buttercream board!
- Extracts: If you like, you can flavor the icing with a different extract, like mint. Maybe each circle of the snowman could be a different flavor!
- More Flavor: White chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and sprinkles are a great way to decorate the snowman! I recommend white, silver, or a mix of white and very pale blue sprinkles, for a “snowy” look.
Any cookies you like will make great dippers! Here are some homemade suggestions, but store bought cookies work too!
- Gingerbread Man Cookies
- Almond Meltaway Cookies
- Danish Butter Cookies
- Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- Buttery Spritz Cookies
- Old Fashioned Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- Best Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Can I Make This Ahead?
It’s possible to make the buttercream snowman ahead – just make that part of the board a day in advance, wrap it carefully with foil, and leave it on the counter to serve the next day. Add the cookies and dippers just before serving.
What About Leftovers?
This recipe is best enjoyed in one sitting. Leftovers should be discarded afterward, for food safety purposes. If you are concerned that you might have to waste too much food that way, you can try halving the recipe and making a small board that serves 3 or 4.
Snowman Buttercream Board
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Red, black, and orange gel food coloring
- Assorted cookies
- To make the buttercream icing: Use a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer on low speed, beat butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt.
- Once combined, add powdered sugar. Once the mixer combines the ingredients, increase the speed to high and continue to mix until light and fluffy. (You may need to add an additional 1 teaspoon of heavy cream until you achieve your desired fluffiness. If the icing is too thin, gradually add 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar until you have reached your desired thickness.)
- Divide the icing, reserving ½ cup for black, ¼ cup for red, and 1 teaspoon for orange. The remainder will be white for the snowman—Color the icing appropriately. Fill piping bags and grab your charcuterie board or tray of choice.
- Next, take the white icing and design your snowman in the middle of the board. Pipe the black icing to make the eyes, nose, hat, and buttons. Finish by using the red to create a festive scarf for your snowman.
- Finally, add assorted cookies of your choice and dip them into this yummy buttercream board!
- Take care when adding the food coloring for the icing. Adding too much color can make the icing bitter.
- Make sure your charcuterie board is sealed, as the darker food coloring could stain the board.
- Be sure to sift powdered sugar at least once. If your powdered sugar still has lumps after the first sift, feel free to do it twice!
- We choose unsalted butter to manage this recipe's sodium content and salt flavor. Be sure to set out the butter 30 minutes before you intend to use it. You can cut the butter into smaller chunks to speed up the process.
- You may use store-bought buttercream icing to simplify this Snowman buttercream board!
- This recipe is best consumed in its entirety in one sitting. You can make this ahead, store it on the board, with no cookies, with a covering (like foil or saran wrap) in the fridge.
More Sweet Holiday Treats
- Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies
- Eggnog Cheesecake
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Butterscotch Haystacks
- Grinch Pancakes
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- The Best Christmas Crack
- 101 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes
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