How to make the classic American buttercream frosting recipe. It's everyone's favorite frosting for smoothing out cakes or piping cupcakes. The easiest recipe with a perfectly smooth, fluffy and creamy consistency and only 2 ingredients to make it.
American Buttercream recipe
This is the best and favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe, the most used in the U.S. and in the world by all cake decorators and bloggers.
This delicious buttercream frosting recipe is very often used for topping cupcakes, as a filling, as an outside frosting, and for piping decorations. In short, it is used everywhere in American and English pastries.
Unlike other buttercreams, such as French buttercream or meringue buttercreams like Swiss buttercream or Italian meringue buttercream, which use somewhat technical methods and a rather long preparation time.
This one is made of only 2 main ingredients, soft butter and powdered sugar, it can easily be flavored with fruit puree, jam, melted chocolate or natural flavors.
We like its smooth and creamy texture and it has a perfect hold at room temperature. This makes it perfect for frosting layer cakes, chocolate cake, birthday cake and vanilla cupcakes.
>> See all the recipes for frostings and fillings on the blog
Why we love this fluffy frosting
Here's why this whipped buttercream frosting is such a popular recipe around the world and why we love it so much:
- The easiest, fastest, and most foolproof frosting!
- It is stable at room temperature! perfect for birthday cakes and wedding cakes that stay out of the fridge for a long time. No risk of food intoxication with this icing.
- Keeps its shape for a long time! For decorating cakes, cookies, cupcake toppings, and other decorations.
- Smooth texture! Great icing to perfectly smooth a layered cake.
- Perfect for piping cakes and cupcakes and sugar cookies.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter with at least 80% fat and softened at room temperature, for a lightly salted version use semi-salted butter.
- Sugar: Use extra fin sugar like powdered sugar, icing sugar, or confectioners sugar. Don't use granulated sugar, as it may result in a grainy buttercream with a not-at-all-smooth texture.
- Heavy cream: You can use heavy cream or milk, it allows to relax the cream and adds humidity as it tends to crumble in ambient air.
- Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds, essential for leaving a delicious vanilla flavor.
- Salt: a small pinch always to raise the taste of the buttercream.
Option to flavor the buttercream
- Nut butter: Easily add nut butter like peanut butter, almond butter or others.
- Fresh fruits: Purées rather than fruit coulis so as not to alter the texture, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.
- Cookie Crumbs: chocolate chip cookie crumbs, biscoff, oreo cookies, and more.
- Natural flavors: lemon juice, orange juice and other citrus fruits
- Spreads: Nutella, butter cookies.
- Chocolate flavor: Cocoa powder or melted chocolate for a chocolate frosting.
- Food coloring: To color the buttercream use gel food coloring, the purple neutralizes the yellow and gives a whiter cream.
Useful tools: Use preferably a stand mixer, for the power of the mixer or even an electric mixer perfect for small quantities.
You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make homemade Vanilla buttercream icing
1 - Beat butter
- Place softened butter cut into pieces in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer or in a stand mixer with the paddle or the whisk attachment.
- And whip on medium speed until butter turns white, it increases in volume and is very creamy with a fluffy consistency.
Tip: Beat the softened butter for at least 5 minutes. The more you beat the butter, the whiter the cream will be.
2 - Add powdered sugar
- Add the sifted powdered sugar to the creamy butter in batches while leaving the mixer running at medium speed and until the desired consistency is reached.
- While leaving the mixer running on high speed, add cream or milk, vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing on high speed until you have frosting thicker and smooth texture.
Tip: Finish by mixing with the paddle attachment of the mixer or a rubber spatula to remove any air bubbles incorporated during the buttercream mixing process.
Storage and Freeze
At room temperature :
The good news is that buttercream frosting recipes can be stored for a long time at room temperature as it does not contain eggs. Put it in airtight container or covered with a plastic wrapand store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
After a time in the fridge the butter cream hardens and this is normal as it is mainly composed of butter. You will have to let it slowly come back out of the fridge and whip it again or you can warm it up a bit in a water bath or in the microwave to go faster.
How to freeze buttercream frosting
Yes, it is possible to keep it up to 3 months in the freezer, placed in a storage box or wrapped in plastic wrap.
To thaw, take it out of the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
5 secrets Tips for a successful buttercream
- Take the butter out of the fridge 30 minutes before! The texture of the butter is important, it must not be cold otherwise the cream will not be homogeneous or melted otherwise the cream will be runny.
- Beat the butter for at least 3 minutes! The butter should be whipped until it increases in volume and has lighter color.
- Sift the sugar! For a better blend of all ingredients.
- Beat on high speed for at least 5 minutes! When sugar is well incorporated add another 5 minutes of mixing to whiten the buttercream.
- Finish with the paddle attachment! After so much mixing at high speed, a lot of air has been incorporated into the buttercream and to get a smooth texture it should be mixed gently for at least 2 minutes.
Question about Buttercream frosting
We differentiate the two by their composition in ingredients, one is made of sugar mixed with cream cheese or heavy whipping cream, while buttercream is a mixture of sugar and butter.
Both frostings are quite similar in texture, but the buttercream has a firmer texture that is more convenient to use for topping and decorating cakes.
There is American buttercream made with sugar and butter, meringue buttercream made with butter and meringue, and ermine frosting called flour buttercream.
More buttercream recipes
- Russian buttercream
- German buttercream
- Cream cheese buttercream
- White chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
More frosting recipes
- Whipped chocolate ganache
- Easy chocolate ganache
- Vanilla diplomat cream
- Mascarpone frosting
- Chocolate mascarpone frosting
- Whipped white chocolate ganache frosting
- Milk chocolate ganache
- Coconut frosting
- Italian meringue
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Vanilla buttercream frosting
- Total Time: 20 minutes
Easy Vanilla buttercream frosting recipe for your cakes! For smoothing the outside of a cake 6 inch / 15 cm in diameter or decorating 6 cupcakes.
- 170 g (1 ½ stick) Butter - unsalted and softened
- 340 g (2 ¾ cups) Powdered sugar - sifted icing sugar
- 1 - 2 tbsp heavy cream - or milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Place the softened butter cut into pieces in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment and whisk at high speed for about 3 minutes until you obtain a smooth and creamy mixture.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and add half of the sifted powdered sugar, the vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream.
- Then return the mixture to medium-high and mix for about 5 minutes until you have a thick, white cream.
- Add the other half of the sugar gradually while letting the mixer running at medium speed until you get the desired consistency.
- Let the mixer run for an additional 2-3 minutes on low speed to smooth it out and reduce the incorporated air.
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Conservation: 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Category: frosting, icing,
- Cuisine: american
- Calories: 101
- Sugar: 23
- Sodium: 15
- Fat: 1
- Saturated Fat: 1
- Carbohydrates: 23
- Cholesterol: 3
Keywords: vanilla buttercream, american buttercream, easy buttercream, buttercream frosting
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