Buttercream Frosting

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Buttercream frosting is a simple and classic recipe-and the perfect finishing touch for any cake or dessert.

My standard recipe makes enough bright white frosting to crumb-coat and decorate a six inch layer cake.  You can easily tint this frosting with gel food coloring as desired.

Buttercream frosting piping bags

What you need:

Buttercream frosting ingredients

Butter – Unsalted, room temperature butter.  I use European style butter because it has a high fat content, important for this recipe.  To get a really white frosting-the butter is whipped for at least 5 minutes in a stand mixer.  This incorporated a lot of air and lightens the butter for a silky frosting!

Powdered Sugar – Be sure to sift the powdered sugar so it is as light as possible before mixing into the butter/cream cheese mixture.

Heavy Cream – A small amount of milk is used to thin out the icing, as necessary, for the perfect consistency.

Vanilla Bean Paste – A tablespoon gives the perfect hint of flavor here and I love seeing the little specks from the seeds.  If you need a perfectly white frosting, swap this ingredient with vanilla extract.

How to make the frosting:

Before you begin, make sure the butter is at room temperature.  I let it sit on the counter overnight, so it is just right the next morning.

Pro Tip:

The butter is ready when you can press your finger into it and easily leave an indentation.  If the butter feels oily, it may be too soft.  In that case, pop it back in the refrigerator for five minutes before checking.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high for five minutes.  You will see a dramatic change-it will go from yellow to bright white and fluffy.

Buttercream frosting butter mixer

Sift the powdered sugar and add half to the mixer.  Slowly increase the speed back up to medium-high and mix for five minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining powdered sugar.  Slowly increase the speed again and mix for another five minutes.

buttercream frosting mixing

Add the vanilla bean paste, 2 tablespoons of cream and mix to combine.  At this point, check the consistency of the frosting.  If you prefer to use a spatula to decorate the cake, you may want to add an additional 2 tablespoons of cream for a looser, more spreadable consistency. 

Buttercream frosting mixing vanilla bean paste heavy cream

I like to transfer the frosting into two piping bags: one fitted with a large round tip (for the layers of the cake) and one with a large flat tip (for the sides and top of the cake).  For best results, use the frosting immediately.

Pro Tip:

If you need to save the icing for later use, place in an air-tight container or piping bag and either refrigerate for one week or freeze for one month.  When you are ready to use the frosting, bring it to room temperature, then whip it in the stand mixer with a paddle attachment until it reaches the perfect consistency.

Buttercream frosting mixing bowl perfect texture bright white fluffy

Use it to frost and decorate a white or yellow cake, or as a filling for perfect macarons-either way, it’s delicious!

Buttercream frosting recipe

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream frosting is simple and classic recipe-perfect on so many cakes and desserts. This recipe makes enough to crumb coat and decorate a six inch layer cake.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: frosting
Author: Corey Grimsley

Ingredients

  • 452 grams butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 960 grams powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  • Before you begin, make sure the butter is at room temperature.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the room temperature butter on medium-high speed for five minutes.  You will see a dramatic change-it will go from yellow to bright white and fluffy.
  • Sift the powdered sugar and add half to the mixer.  Slowly increase the speed back up to medium-high and mix for five minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining powdered sugar.  Slowly increase the speed again and mix for another five minutes.
  • Add the vanilla bean paste, 2 tablespoons of cream and mix to combine.  At this point, check the consistency of the frosting.  If you prefer to use a spatula to decorate the cake, you may want to add an additional 2 tablespoons of cream for a looser, more spreadable consistency.  
  • Transfer the frosting to piping bags or decorate right from the bowl with a spatula. For best results, use immediately.

Notes

  • If you need to save the icing for later use, place in an air-tight container or piping bag and either refrigerate for one week or freeze for one month.  When you are ready to use the frosting, bring it to room temperature, then whip it in the stand mixer with a paddle attachment until it reaches the perfect consistency.
  • Tint the frosting as desired with gel food coloring.  
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

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