What Is Buttercream?

Buttercream is a simple frosting that can be used for cakes and cupcakes. Like all buttercreams it can melt or get runny in humid weather.


One way to avoid this is by using room temperature ingredients. Another is by beating the butter and powdered sugar separately. It also helps to have the butter at a soft texture that will easily incorporate air while being whipped.


Buttercream is the most common type of frosting used to cover cakes and is often flavored. It is also one of the most versatile and easy to pipe or create shapes with. It is very stable so it can hold many types of decorations like flowers, candy or even more intricate patterns. It also works great for filling or coating cupcakes and loaf cakes.

The main ingredients are butter and sugar and can be varied in different ways to suit the needs of the baker. It is usually flavored with vanilla but it can be tinted or flavored with anything from chocolate to coffee to fruit. It can also be whipped to create various textures from dense and heavy to light and fluffy.

If the buttercream turns out grainy it is usually due to the sugar not dissolving properly. The easiest way to fix this is to simply re-whip it, either by hand or in a stand mixer, on medium speed until it becomes smoother.

Another reason the buttercream may turn out grainy is due to the type of powdered sugar being used. Some brands are made from beet sugar and others are made from cane sugar which affects how the icing dissolves. It is best to use powdered sugar that has an anti-caking agent in it which helps it to dissolve faster.


Buttercream is made from real butter, which gives it a richer flavor and prevents it from being too sweet. It also helps make it lush and creamy, and makes it easy to spread and pipe. You can also make it dairy-free by using margarine, vegetable shortening, or even whipped ganache (though this is more of an icing than a frosting).

Butter gives the frosting its stability and creaminess. It also holds color well and can be flavored with everything from cocoa powder to smooth peanut butter. You can even add a thinned-out fruit compote to the buttercream for a pop of color and flavor.

While there are many buttercream recipes, each one has its own distinct texture and flavor. American buttercream is the classic, combining the simple combination of sugar and butter with milk or cream to create a frosting with a very fluffy consistency. Swiss and Italian buttercreams use a meringue method, drizzling hot sugar syrup into whipped egg whites. The result is a buttercream with a slightly lighter texture and a delicious vanilla flavor.

Ermine buttercream uses a custard-type base of butter, milk, and pastry cream that’s a bit more dense than meringue-based buttercreams but still light and airy. It’s a favorite of professional bakers for its luxurious, velvety texture and ability to hold up to a wide range of decorations.

Milk or Cream

Buttercream is very versatile and can be used for fillings, crumb coating, frosting cakes, and even decorating cupcakes. This recipe is medium consistency and works well for filling and frosting, though it can also be thinned out with milk (to make a light buttercream) or confectioner’s sugar (to thicken). It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

In this buttercream, milk and powdered sugar are mixed until smooth, with vanilla extract and optional food coloring. It’s the most common, classic buttercream that’s easy for beginner bakers to work with.

The addition of salt helps balance the sweetness and creates a more well-rounded flavor. Salt is also a preservative, drawing moisture out of food and preventing food-spoiling microbes from growing on it.

This is a quick and easy buttercream that is perfect for frosting cupcakes or decorating cakes. It’s a great base for a variety of flavors, such as Cookies and Cream, Peanut Butter, Mocha or Salted Caramel. It’s also easy to add other ingredients, such as melted chocolate or jam for flavor. You can also use it as a filling between layers of a cake or as a dip for fruit. For a richer chocolate version, try adding cocoa powder. If you don’t want to go as chocolatey, swirl in a bit of cooled, melted white chocolate instead!


Buttercream is a creamy frosting that can be used for filling, coating and decorating cakes. Its main ingredients are butter and sugar, but it can be flavored and colored in many different ways to suit your occasion and taste.

The main flavoring in most buttercream is vanilla. It can be added to infuse the frosting with a delicious vanilla flavor or even to make it match your cake color. It can also be flavored with spices, chocolate, fruit (like raspberries or blueberries), coffee or anything else you can think of.

To create a delicious and fluffy vanilla buttercream start with a good quality unsalted butter. It should be softened to room temperature and if you press your finger into it, it should leave an indention but not go all the way through. For a smooth and even frosting, sift the powdered sugar before adding it to the mixer. This will help to avoid lumps and clumps.

Then add your milk or cream. Finally, beat in the vanilla. You can use a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or even a teaspoon of the seeds from a fresh vanilla bean for a true homemade flavor. If you want to add a little color to your frosting, I recommend using gel food coloring, which will give you a bright and rich result without thining the buttercream too much.