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American Buttercream Frosting

by Nick Makrides
American Buttercream Frosting

Butter and sugar. Two magic ingredients in the baking world, which, when combined, form a perfectly smooth and pipeable magic substance called frosting that you can pile on top of your cupcakes and cakes, or pipe into your macarons. Don’t skimp on the vanilla guys – the more the better!

American Buttercream Frosting

American Buttercream Frosting

Serves 20

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Course: Dessert, American
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cups icing sugar confectioners
  • 2-4 tsp vanilla extract vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp whole milk (at room temperature) (optional, but recommended)


Instructions

Frosting

  • Before you begin, it’s really important to make sure the butter is soft enough. Some people keep their butter out of the fridge, others chill it. Even if you keep it out, it may not be soft enough. You want your butter to be soft enough so that when you stick your finger in it, it glides in, but not without a little bit of resistance. The best way to get it too that softness is to place your butter on a microwave safe plate, microwave for 10 seconds at a time, testing the softness each time. If it needs longer than 10 seconds, turn the butter over and repeat until it’s ready.
  • Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use an electric hand mixer for this recipe, but if you do use a hand mixer, just make sure your bowl is large. Mix the butter on low speed to begin with, then switch to the highest speed and mix for 5 minutes until the butter is fluffy and turns pale in colour.
  • Stop your mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl using a spatula. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and mix again on low speed. LOW SPEED PEOPLE! The last thing you need is to end up in a sugar dust storm! (I’m speaking from experience…)
  • Once all the sugar has been incorporated, it’s safe to turn your mixer up to high speed. Continue beating on high speed for about 5–6 minutes, or until the butter turns pale in colour and becomes fluffy again. If you want to soften your buttercream and make it a little smoother, add the milk and continue mixing for another couple of minutes on medium speed. At this stage, you can also add any food flavourings or food-gel colourings.

Notes

For chocolate-flavoured buttercream, just add 80 g (¾ cup) sifted unsweetened cocoa powder with the icing sugar.
My cake recipes sometimes call for more than one batch of frosting. Depending on the size of your mixing bowl, you may need to split the frosting into two batches when flavouring and colouring it.
Frosting can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
To freshen up this frosting simple thaw at room temperature for 1 hour and re-whip using a stand mixer and paddle attachment

Nutrition

Serving: 20g
Calories : 258kcal
Carbonhydrates: 24g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 18g
Saturated Fat: 12g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 0.1g
Trans Fat : 0.1g
Cholesterol: 49mg
Sodium: 4mg
Potassium : 7mg
Fiber: 0.1g
Sugar : 24g
Vitamin A: 567IU
Vitamin C: 0.1mg
Calcium: 7mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure

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6 comments

Imogen April 29, 2021 - 10:42 am

5 stars
My go to recipe for buttercream… it’s amazing!
Thank you!

Reply
Nick Makrides April 30, 2021 - 11:39 am

Yay! So glad to hear that! 💜

Reply
Judith Forrester May 11, 2021 - 1:59 pm

Hi Nick if I wanted a strawberry flavoured buttercream would I leave out the vanilla extract and add strawberry instead or both or half and half and also if I was doing a strawberry batter mix would I leave out the vanilla and add strawberry extract instead thank you judy

Reply
Nick Makrides May 12, 2021 - 7:40 am

Hi Judy! You can use both or just strawberry flavouring in both the batter and buttercream 🙂 Hope that helps!

N x

Reply
CK McLean June 10, 2021 - 4:27 pm

5 stars
Been looking high and low for years for a buttercream recipe with no avail, either too grainy, too sweet, too buttery, too bland, or too runny. Till I found this, I could go on about it forever, it’s smooth, tasty, holds its shape well and so damn easy. Thank you, Nick thank you thank you from the bottom of my daughter’s heart since I used it for her Bday cake :D. This is a gem and definitely a keeper. Sending you a big virtual hug all the way from Egypt.

P.S. I also tried your tzatziki recipe and it was so easy and really really tasty, so thank you for that as well 😀

Reply
Nick Makrides June 15, 2021 - 10:53 am

Awwww! This comment has made me so happy! First of all, I’m so glad you liked this recipe! And I’m so happy you commented to let me know! Isn’t that tzatziki recipe just so yum? I love it. N x

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