Buttercream Recipe

Whoa! Stop the presses!

Many of you many be wondering what has gotten into me?

A buttercream recipe that is NOT my world famous Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe!?!?!


Choosing the best buttercream recipe

Here at Gretchen’s Bakery I get so many requests for variations on recipes that I have already shared.

One common request is for a buttercream recipe that can hold up in high heat and humid conditions AND one that does not have eggs in it.

Now, as we all know the Swiss Meringue Buttercream is made with egg whites to achieve that stiff, glossy, strong base.  I recently shared a Vegan version of that same Swiss style recipe with the magical Aquafaba bean water and vegan shortening! Yes- I said Bean Water! LOL

But there was still a void in my repertoire for an American Buttercream Recipe, or more commonly known as decorators icing.

Wilton has always been the leader in decorators icing, and their recipe is still #1 in an online search, which means the majority of the people are using that icing. (Or so it seems)

I have come up with a slight variation on the Wilton buttercream recipe, which uses butter and shortening and confectioners sugar and some heavy cream to help give it some fluffy volume.

I do use Sweetex which I feel is superior in the Hi Ratio shortening department, but it is very hard to come by.

There is another brand by CK Products and another viewer commented that it is very good, waaaaay better than Crisco and it is available on Amazon or Cake Decorating Stores.

Some of you may want to eliminate the shortening altogether and that would be fine to use all butter; just be aware that it will be slightly less stable to the heat and humid conditions we are trying to battle; not to mention super buttery which oddly some people are against?

This recipe is probably closer to the buttercream that many of you were familiar with as kids.

It doesn’t crust as much as those other decorator buttercreams do, but it will get a slight “dry-ness” to it that I think is suitable for most decorating applications.

It is a perfect frosting for cupcakes and tastes more like the icing you get from the local bakery, since this is a close rendition of the buttercream that was used in my bakery many moons ago!

The key to this buttercream is to whip it and whip it and whip it and whip it.

This will not only give it the lightness and airy-ness that is “Oh so good!” But it will also get it ultra white, since that is something we all seem to be on a mission to find too!

That being said, if you are using a hand mixer, you will not be able to achieve that same level of volume that the balloon whip attachment of the stand mixer and it’s sheer power can deliver. So you will want to cut back on the amount of heavy cream in the recipe by half. Try to whip it is fast as possible while mimicking the global rotation of the stand mixer this will help to give the best volume as possible when using a hand beater.

This recipe is perfect for art cakes, and carved cakes, and buttercream transfers.  Cupcakes and layer cakes and basically everything you think of! I was perfectly happy eating it straight out of the bowl! Woops!

So it is up to you to decide which recipe you prefer, the slightly more “adult version” buttercream such as my Swiss Meringue Buttercream or this all purpose – all pleasing American Style Buttercream Recipe!

5.0 from 22 reviews
Buttercream Recipe
Prep time
Total time
You can use a hand beater for this recipe
Be sure to have your butter and shortening at room temperature before mixing (Heavy Cream can remain cold)
I specify Domino Confectioners Sugar here- you can use any brand really- I just feel that the Domino 10X is the best and will not give a grittiness to the Buttercream like some other confectioner sugars do. So if you cannot get Domino brand, just sift it a couple times before adding it to the recipe, AND by the way, confectioner sugars can go "off" so be sure it is fresh.
I also specify Sweetex HiRatio shortening here, and I know that is a difficult item to find as well. Crisco (and other solid vegetable shortenings) can tend to leave a greasy mouth feel. I have been told that this is another good brand
Serves: 6 cups
  • Unsalted Butter 1½ Cups (3 sticks) (336g)
  • Hi Ratio Solid Vegetable Shortening 1½ Cups (336g)
  • Confectioners Sugar (Domino Brand 10X Sugar) 6 cups 720g)
  • Heavy Cream 6 Tablespoons (90ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  • Butter Extract 1 teaspoon
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
  1. Combine the butter and shortening in the Kitchen Aid (or stand mixer) bowl with the paddle attachment
  2. Whip on medium to high speed for about 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it is evenly mixed and add the salt. Mix well.
  4. Stop mixer and add the sifted confectioners sugar all at once.
  5. Mix on low speed until incorporated , scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and then mix on high speed for 3 minutes.
  6. Scrape the bowl again and then while mixing on low speed slowly drizzle in the heavy cream.
  7. Increase speed to high and whip for another 5 minutes
  8. Add the flavor extracts and then you are done!
  9. The icing will gain volume almost to the top of a 6qt Kitchen Aid bowl and get very white. (*If you are using a hand beater, the volume will not get as high since the hand beaters cannot incorporate air as efficiently as the Kitchen Aid or stand mixers)
This recipe will store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days

Refrigerate for longer storage up to 4 weeks

Freeze for 6 months


5.0 from 22 reviews
Chocolate Buttercream Recipe
  1. Add melted COOLED chocolate to the buttercream recipe at the last stage of mixing
Adding chocolate to the buttercream will make it heavier, so it may be necessary to refrigerate whatever you are icing with chocolate buttercream not because it will go bad, but because it will have the tendency to droop

Refrigerate for up to 4 weeks

Freeze for 6 months
For more flavor variations click to see how to Create Your Own Buttercream Flavors

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    1. wow really? Hmm, well you can use any brand really- I just feel that the Domino 10X is the best and will not give a grittiness to the Buttercream like some other confectioner sugars do. So to avoid that just sift it a couple times before adding it to the recipes

      1. Yes, I’ve noticed that too. I’m a bargain shopper, so I always tend to buy store brands vs name brands. I just recently started double-sifting because of this.

        1. Hi Gretchen!
          I just tried this recipe but something is going wrong at my end.
          no matter what i try its not getting thick at all,i tried almost everything,can you please tell me why its not holding up?

      2. Gretchen this was the best darn buttercream I everrrr made and I have made ALOT!-I finally found out the secret-using hi ratio and butter emulsion flavoring. THank you THank you THank you!!

    2. Dear Gretchen does this buttercream stiff and also if do not have high ratio shorting then how much butter do i add

      1. you can replace the amount of shortening listed with butter
        the shortening helps make it stiff, so now that you will use all butter, you will compromise some of that stiffness

        1. Hi, I made the buttercream (did not have high ration shortening, but used Crisco) and everything else called for in the recipe. All went well until I added RED food coloring – it turned the buttercream so soft it was dripping off of my cupcakes. I was going for Red, White and Blue to celebrate a family member’s deployment. I ended up just swirling the three colors together on the cupcakes, epic fail. Any ideas? The white and blue seemed okay but I ran out of time before company arrived. I did make it the day before to save time. But I read that it was okay to do that. I also put way way too much in my piping bags, lesson learned on that front. Thanks for all you share!!!

          1. Red is a hard color to achieve since it takes so much color to get from pink to red. That is probably what caused your icing to be so soft (too much addition of color) I always try to color my red (and any dark color) the day before I use it so it will darken overnight, so it seems as if you did it correct!

    3. Easy Please
      1 hour ago
      I have a question about what kind of shortening you use in your buttercream? I made the coffee buttercream and had great success the first time…while having my mind blown at what aquafaba can do may I say. I made a chocolate buttercream after that by adding about 1/3 cup of cocoa to the icing sugar. The buttercream this time wasn’t very sturdy at all. Not like yours looks. I used the Earth Balance in the yellow tub. What am I doing wrong? Please! Throw me a life line!
      Thanks for your cutting edge videos. Your enthusiasm and attention to detail in teaching makes your vids a pleasure to watch. You obviously know what you’re doing!

  1. hi gretchen i love you one question can i use cisco shortening ?i cant find sweetex in my country and can i skip the butter falvour i cant find it either 🙁

    1. Hi! THANKS! You can use Crisco, however it tends to give a greasy mouth feel, so if you have no other alternative then I would suggest changing the ratio a bit- more butter and less crisco

  2. OMG….I’m trying this tomorrow!!!! You SMBC is the BEST recipe out there, but this time of year due to humidity issues I have to use an American bc. So I am EXCITED to give this a shot. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  3. I am so excited…I need an occasion to bake so I can try this buttercream. Eggs are wildly expensive right now so this might be the answer.

    1. As usual I tried to substitute …no sweetex so I used Crisco. My girls loved it but I could not get over the thought of eating a big slab of Crisco. I think I will stick to your Swiss Butter Cream or better yet…whipped cream..who doesn’t love whipped cream on everything? Lol.

  4. This sure sounds great! What about the taste? Is it as good as your swiss meringue butter cream? I absolutely love that one!!
    So used to seeing you in action- where’s the video? LOL!
    Thank you for this varied version! Kudos to you!!

  5. I love this buttercream, in the south, its best for cakes here.
    When I do mine, after beating butter and shortening, I add my liquid then whip. Then I add the sugar, seems to whip smoother for me 🙂
    Thank you for another great recipe

  6. Thanks for all you do!! Just love the new web site and recipes. I’ ve made your world famous SMBC before, and kept the leftovers in the freezer to get a spoonful from time to time. So good.

  7. Excited to try this recipe…hope it works on an edible image..question: on high ratio shortening does it have to be refrig… Thanks again for doing & posting these recipes for us 🙂 you’re the BOMB

  8. You posted this recipe just in time! I’m currently working on a baby shower cake and wanted to use traditional buttercream!!! My only concern is if you can taste the shortening too much in this recipe? And as always, thanks for sharing your knowledge to all of us!!

    1. Hi Great! I did not find the shortening to be offensive, however I DO use sweetex & that is a much less greasy shortening so if you can get that- then great! Other wise you can play with the ratio of butter to shortening to suit you

  9. Hi Gretchen!! will this taste grainy? and is it absolutely necessary to use the butter extract ? thanks a bunch! xx

    1. I use Domino Confectioners sugar to eliminate any chance of graininess, somce people have complained (in other recipes) that they taste a grittiness. I do not with the Domino brand, also the sifting and the whipping will really help too (butter extract is optional)

  10. I love your SMBC and make it often. I’m planning to take a 1/2 sheet cake to church on Sunday. Lunch afterwards will be outside. I live in GA where it’s hot/humid. I usually freeze my finished cake the night before then allow it to thaw for 2-3 hrs before cutting. Will this buttercream hold up to my hot GA weather or should I plan on serving my cake indoors?
    Thank you for your help.

    1. I would leave it inside for as long as possible, but I think this will be fine! (Its a great recipe -im actually eating it right now- uggggggh) haahaha

  11. Hi Gretchen, I am so glad I found your little section of the internet! I have a question about the high ration shortening. Are other brands similar in taste/feel? I can only find Sweetex in 50 lb+ sizes. Thanks!

    1. Im glad too! Im not familiar with other brands infortunately. Well, thats a lie. When I owned my bakery there were some other brands that I could have gotten for way cheaper, but when I used them in a comparison they COULD NOT COMPETE! SO needless to say I only use Sweetex. (I know about the 50lbs..they dont sell it for home bakers, so 50lbs in gone in like 10 minutes in a bakery thats why the pack size is so large)

      1. On Amazon you can get a brand called CK hi ratio shortening in 3# tubs. Has great mouth feel and no greasy aftertaste. Not quite as good as sweetex but a huge improvement over a Crisco-like product for any of the fabulous Gretchenator recipes!

        1. excellent! and yes I did see this the other day in my search for affordable sweetex for you guys! Thanks for the info! I was wondering how it compares!

    2. There is another brand called ALPINE Hi Ratio shortening. It is the brand that I use and it works well. It can be purchased online from different sites. Just Google it.

    3. Try shopbakersnook.com. I used to buy by the pound from them, but since Gretchen moved I ended up breaking down and buying the big 50lber. I am a jersey girl and every time I had to go to the shoprite I had to make a pit stop across the street to grab at least something from her bakery lol

  12. Well, I got on the blog to look up the SMBC and discovered this new version. WOW, just in time because had set my butter out early this morning to be ready and I was 🙂

    I’m going to be making your latest Yellow Butter Cake too. Gee, it’s gonna be difficult to know which cake I like best unless I have them side by side for comparison, however, that could be a dangerous thing because they are all so very good.

  13. Dear Gretchen,

    Can I use all butter? We do not have high quality solid oils here and Crisco is very expensive.

  14. Hi Grethen, hope all in well, I’m doing my first 1/2 sheet cake for a birthday party next week. I baked the cake, froze it, and finished frosting it today. But I have condensation on my frosting. Is it ruined?
    I used buttercream frosting.

    1. I do not typically freeze cakes that have been iced for longer than 10-15 minutes, since yes it will sweet as you are experiencing here
      It is not ruined (unless you used color and then, well color all over the place as it drips) but paper towel it off, ti will be fine

  15. I had this American buttercream on Gretchen’s fabulous cinnamon rolls this morning. It was SO good I ate two; never done that before. Thank you Gretchen!

  16. What is the difference between crusting buttercream and regular buttercream. What buttercream do you recommend for decorating a small wedding cake?

    1. I don’t use crusting buttercreams (and I cannot really explain why many people do?) Im not the greatest one to ask for decorating, since Im a better baker than I am decorator! But there must be a reason many people are looking for crusting buttercreams. Basically it is just that- it gets dry and forms a slight crust. I have had it, ate it seen it before, but I always stuck to my swiss recipe as I thought it was just better. All my wedding over the last 20years I have iced with swiss buttercream, I feel it is a more “adult” flavor – but either one will work for you- it is your preference if you want to use the American (which is a sort of cross betweeen the crusting style & my swiss)

  17. WOW. I just made this new Buttercream Icing with NO eggs. This new recipe made up beautifully but it is so sweet. I think I may be using it to enhance Pastry Cream rather than icing an entire cake with it unless you can tell me what I need to do to tone it down. For me, your famous Swiss Buttercream will continue to be my “go to”.

    I suppose I could make another batch which does not have all the sugar and then mix the two together. What are your suggestions?

      1. Hi Gretchen,I love your recipes and thanks for that….but I just want to ask you something about making the buttercream icing..can you give me an idea if there is a substitution of shortrening instead because I cant find in here in Ireland ( Europe) thanks for your time.

  18. Hi gretchen.since i watched ur video on how to make smbc.i never.use american buttercream anymore,coz i find it too sweet.is this version of ur american buttercream is not that sweet as wilton’s?

  19. Hey Gretchen when you say cobfectioner’s sugar…. here in australua we have pure icing sugar and icing sugar mixture…which has cirnstarch in it.which one do you use for the buttercreams please?

  20. why some buttercream frosting that has whipping cream or mik in them has to
    go in cooler and your buttrecream frosting can sit out for 5 days on counter?

    1. Thats a good question, I have not ever had any trouble with anything turning rancid after several days not refrigerated with this small amount of milk in them, but if you feel nervous about it- please refrigerate!

  21. Hi Gretchen! I have used the smbc for years on my cakes! I was wondering if you could mix half smbc and half buttercream to give stability and still have that delicious smbc flavor?

  22. Hello Gretchen,

    Please I want to know if I can replace the butter with margarine because butter is quite expensive in my country.

    1. I just tried it, … It did not work well. I needed more icing sugar than the recipe called for and it’s still runny. I’m waiting to see of it sets up a bit in the fridge.

      1. see the ingredients of the margarine, use the one without water. the common margarine with water is too runny for buttercream.
        i have always used half margarine (without water in ingredient list) half butter in every buttercream recipe and it works well. i’ve never tried full margarine though. let me know if you do!

  23. This recipe is FABULOUS!!! It has a VERY fluffy, whipped texture and not an overly sickening sweet flavor. I’ve already used two batches and will be making 2 more batches this week. It reminds me of your SMBC, but a little less work. I am in LOVE!!!! And it held up beautifully for piping on cupcakes. I don’t have high-ration shortening in my area, so I used shortening (not veg. shortening) from Wal-Mart and it worked well.

  24. I am anxious to try this as the original Wilton recipe I use when I have a lot of decorating to do uses way too much sugar and I sometimes have trouble with getting it the right consistency (smooth enough for piping). I never mix my buttercream so long…can you tell me if it is too filled with air after all the mixing to pipe flowers well? TIA

    1. Oh great you will LOVE this recipe then! I think the consistency is perfect for flowers – if you are wary though, you can then turn the mixer down to low and paddle it out from another minute or two

      1. I tried this recipe over the weekend to ice cupcakes for an open house and it is the most creamy, delicious buttercream I have ever made…and not overly sweet. It was a huge hit. If I wanted to make it a tad stiffer for certain decorations, would I add a little more sugar, a little less cream, or just chill it a little?

        Gretchen – Thank you sooo much for this amazing recipe. I want to try your Swiss BC but this one is definitely going to replace my “go to” buttercream.

  25. Hi Gretchen,
    I am confused for what to do. I have a 50th Anniversary cake to do this weekend, and I normally use regular buttercream or what I call a summertime frosting. It is 1 C. of shortening, 1 1/2 t. vanilla, 2 t. butter flavoring, 4 1/2 C. sifted powered sugar, 4 T. milk. I don’t know if I should use a crusting frosting or your new buttercream recipe. I would like to do a stencil on the sides. What would you recommend? Also when you make buttercream frosting do you use heavy cream instead of milk is that what makes is so creamy? Thank You Karen

    1. HI Karen, well, I hate to say try mine for an important event such as this 50th Anniversary. I think you should stick with what you have come to know, and know works for this one. But I hope you will try my recipe soon! It is not a crusting buttercream though. Yes to the heavy cream aiding in the nice fluffy whipped up volume!

      1. I use a recipe v similar to this w half butter and half hi ratio shortening ( bulk barn in canada) and add meringue powder and it crusts pretty well.

  26. Gretchen you are an amazing person!!!!!!!!! I love EVERY SINGLE ONE of your recipes ive been with you sence before you moved to Florida and before the other changes. 😉 You have taught me so much and for that i am thankful. EVERYTIME I decorate cakes i replay ever single video that ive ever seen of yours in my head and i say “ok this is how she did it and if came or great so i can do it too”..your tips and tricks are super helpful and you’ve made me a lover of blowtorches. Lol and as for this recipe….WOOOHOOO! A non crusting buttercream recipe that isn’t with egg whites. Lol I’ve tried your other buttercream recipes and messed up twice! Lol first the mix was too warm still..and it melted my butter..then the butter was to cold. I will keep trying with those until i get it right but im definetly trying this one for my daughter’s birthday on August 18th. Thanks again….for everything!!! Hope your life is filled with light and love always..
    Your very loyal but rambling student. ^_^ 😀

        1. Hi Gretchen
          Im planning on making lemon buttercream tomorrow by adding lemon curd to the buttercream. Can you suggest how much lemon curd I should add to this recipe?


  27. Hi Gretchen, can you please share your video showing how to make buttercream transfers again. I know you’re busy with all the requests for recipes, just whenever you get a chance.

    Many Thanks, keep baking, keep smiling…

  28. Hi Gretchen,
    Quick question: should we sift the 10x sugar first them measure it, or measure first them sift? I have the same question for flour for cakes too.
    Many thanks!

  29. For those who are looking for Sweetex in smaller amounts then 50lbs, GSA-Global Sugar Arts globalsugarart.com has it in 12lb quantities, however they may not ship during the summer season. I usually order around May to get me thru summer. Hope that helps. Thank you Gretchen for another great recipe, but I’m really hooked on your SMBC and so is everyone who tastes it. I will give it a try though just because you have such great recipes that never fail me.

    1. Nancy, thanks for the tip on Sweetex in 12 lb containers! Also, I agree with you. This buttercream recipe is good, but that Swiss Meringue Buttercream is the BOMB! Best in the business!!!

  30. Hey Gretchen, thanks for all you do. Could you tell me of this buttercream takes color better than the swbc? I really hate Wilton’ s buttercream recipe but so far, it’s been best for adding color. I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  31. Hi! First I want to say I stumbled upon your Amazing website on accident as I was looking for a new icing recipe and am soon to try your Swiss Buttercream recipe, but on to my point and question. I make a buttercream very similar to this one the only difference is I use milk instead of heavy cream. However my icing always develops a crust which I am not a fan of even though it works great for decorating, just wondering if your icing recipe also does this? and is there a way to still make this simple version and not get that crust?

    1. wow great! I love serendipity! 🙂
      This is a non crusting buttercream, (the ratio of butter to sugar here is less amount of sugar than the other crusting buttercreams- so many people ask me for a crusting BC, but I dont use one, and I have to be honest I dont really know why one would? I guess Im being closeminded, I need some enlightening there! LOL)
      Anyway- I like the heavy cream to milk since I think it helps with the volume- fluffiness (maybe its my own wishful thinking? haha)

      1. Hi Gretchen,
        Concerning the Crusting Buttercream, there is a process called the Viva Paper Towel Smoothing Process,; Using a fondant smoother over a Crusting Buttercream with a Viva Paper Towel to get a (looks just like a Fondant covered Cake) with out that horrible taste of Fondant. This and the Sugar Lace both are in High Demand right now in the Wedding Cake World. So, I am going to ask you right now if you will be developing something along these lines to sell through your website? We have Michaels Art Supplies down here in the South, However, They don’t carry the Sugar Lace kits either. The ones I’ve found ship from Australia which takes several weeks.

  32. Gretchen luv your site and recipes. I have a frustration about making buttercream. I made your American buttercream tasted awesome but had a little grit. It happens every time I make buttercream. I follow directions. Could it be not high enough on mixer.? Have good stand mixer. I’m a little a afraid of getting to much air into it for getting smooth finish

      1. I’m talking about American butter cream. I use domino powered sugar 10x But I don’t go to highest number on kitchen aid mixer for fear of putting to much air and creating bubbles. Is this wrong? I always mix the time recipe gives

  33. WOW! before I made it I thought, it’s gonna taste just like the other stuff everyone makes… it’s the same ingredients. NOPE!!! So much better. thanks again for all you do Gretchen!

  34. This is a fantastic recipe! Gretchen, thank you so much for sharing this with your fans!! I made it this morning for the first time for an event (nervous, but confident in the caliber and credibility of your brand!). I’d just told my mother a few days ago that I had yet to find a good “go to” american style buttercream – and I’ve been testing various ones for over three years! Well, I’ve officially found it! The taste is so creamy and amazing – nothing like I’ve made before. I’ve been a follower of yours since your CB days; and I have to say, this ranks in the top 3 of my favorite recipes. Bless you and thank you for everything you do!! 🙂

    1. awesome! thankyou! (love the part when you said – but confident in the caliber and credibility of your brand! YAY! That is my main goal to be trusted with my recipes since I am not sharing just any old thing! I make sure that everything is tested and true!
      Anyway- GREAT congrats on success!

  35. just tried this and used to fill and ice your buttermilk chocolate cake and some mini cupcakes I made out of left over batter. My wife took the cupcakes to her card making group and a few elderly ladies thought I had used “proper ” cream, so I think it was a success (I do live in the UK and I don’t think this type of buttercream is as widespread as in the US yet)

    I used a paddle beater blade throughout and wondered if I should be using the whisk attachment in the final whipping to incorporate more air?

    Love your site and recipes so keep them coming PLEASE


  36. Quick question, can i make your strawberry compote/puree recipe and put some into this or would it mess up the recipe and make it to watery? ? Thx! ^_^ ⛤

  37. Hi Gretchen!
    I wonder if I can use all butter for this recipe, cause I cannot find shorthening in my country (well not a good one, all seems more like lard)
    and also I would likw to know if I can substitute heavy cream for whiping cream?

  38. Hi der,
    I made a batch of dis yesterday. Didn’t like it yest coz of d sweetness but when I tasted it today it was completely different. Less sweet n gud to taste not like normal buttercream I get here but nothing can beat ua smbc..

  39. Hi Gretchen…love your SMBC and I would love to try this recipe. I know you said it can be used under fondant but I want to know how well it holds up in a hotter temp than room temp. I am from Jamaica(W.I.) so it gets very hot here and I’m looking for a good buttercream that won’t squeeze out from under fondant when it gets too hot.

      1. Yes inside. But what if i have one for an outdoor event? …will read the post. Thanks so much for sharing this info. It’s very helpful for those of us not formally trained lol

  40. Extracts are mentioned in both step 3 and 10…does it really matter when you add them? And the butter extract …is that the vanilla butter from Loriann?

  41. Hi Gretchen – I really enjoy your tutorials and appreciate your posting all those wonderful recipes. I have a question about the amount of butter/shortening in the American Buttercream Recipe you posted. You use three (3) cups total of “fat” (1-1/2 cups butter PLUS 1-1/2 cups Hi Ratio Vegetable Shortening)? My go-to buttercream recipe is one (1) cup total of butter/shortening for 4 cups powder sugar, so 3 cups of butter/shortening for 6 cups of powder sugar sounds like a lot to me. Just wanted to be sure the posted recipe was accurate before I expend the money on ingredients. Thanks!

    1. Hi Susan! yep it is accurate! I really think this is a good balance, not too sweet- many who have tried so far have agreed! I am not sure I had any negative comments? Hmm, maybe 1? If I did, it will be here in the comments!

  42. I made this butter cream for my grandson’s birthday cake this week-end. I love the flavor!! It taste’s much better than regular butter cream. The only problem I’m having is after I made it and put blue gel coloring in, it’s kind of looks like the color is pulling away. Almost a curdled look. I put it in the fridge, will that help? If not, what can I do?

    1. I have added pumpkin pack to it – just do it ¼ cup at a time to avoid over saturating it and breaking the mixture- you will have to refrigerate it though, since anything you add to buttercream makes it super soft

  43. Would it be ok to add some peanut butter to this recipe to make peanut butter frosting or would I have to go with another one of your frosting recipes? Thx in advance!!! 😉

  44. Hi Gretchen,

    I wanted to make this recipe with the high ratio vegetable shortening but I don’t want to use a product which is 25% trans fat. Do you know a brand which doesn’t have as much trans fats? I know crisco has none in it but it has a very bad taste and it is not high ratio.

  45. Hi Gretchens,

    I have come across your site via youtube searching for the best buttercream recipe. Your cakes recipes are just wonderful!
    I do have a quick question, is this recipe holds to make some roses? is it medium consistency? I never get the right consistency .
    what i want to have one great recipe that i can make and use it all the time, without thinking too much.

    Thanks a lot!

  46. Hi Gretchen,

    I made your American buttercream recipe and it came out perfectly! I wondered for the chocolate version if you added cocoa powder instead of actual chocolate, it’d be less droopy? If so, how much cocoa powder can I add and at what stage? Also, in the UK, cocoa powder is less expensive to use than actual chocolate.

    Thank you! You’re wonderful and I *love* your work!


    1. Great thanks! Yes to cocoa, but I prefer to add water to the cocoa to make it a paste, so then it is again like melted chocolate- but for $$ reasons, yes great sub! Do 6 Tbs cocoa and 2 tbs water – see how that works, if its too thick add more water

      1. Glad I’ve done a specific search from the edit button of my browser, as I was looking to substitute the melted chocolate for cocoa powder. Found your answer right here, and didn’t have to browse through over 430+ posts for this buttercream recipe. I’ll use the above traditional BC recipe to decorate the ends of the Yule Log, and then will incorporate the cocoa “paste” into the BC to spread all over the Yule Log. Thanks again Gretchen for all your time and generosity. Happy Holidays to you and your family. 🙂

  47. Hi Gretchen

    I have been reading through the comments and noticed in 1 answer you stated that confectioners sugar in US has corn starch in. The icing sugar I use in UK does not. Could this be why my buttercream never seems as thick as yours? Should I add cornstarch to my icing sugar to get a thicker buttercream and if so how much?

    Thanking you in advance as you are always seem to respond quickly to questions which is awesome


      1. Hi Gretchen

        I tried a quarter recipe using half a teaspoon of cornstarch but didn’t see much difference in stiffness.

        Earlier I had tried increasing the amount of cream (our double cream is 48% fat) and that seemed to make it stiffer.
        I kept to your recipe except for additional cornstarch for this experiment so I knew what I was changing. (Only one thing)

        Don’t get me wrong, the original recipe is great. I would just have liked something a bit stiffer for fillings at room temperature. Still we can’t always have what we would like!!!

        Take Care

  48. Hi Gretchen,
    I hv made d whole batch yest of dis n aquafaba l.ast time I made only half to c how it goes. the more I do, everytime it’s a learning period for me.
    I hv a qt on storage for all d buttercream recipes u hv shared though.
    I hv stored it in freezer. If I take it out to use in d cake, say after a mnth,how long is d shelf life for pre made buttercream?
    One more thing I noticed was I m unable to pipe blossoms Wid d abc, it’s not holding d shape. It was 32 degree Celsius n humidity was 89 percent. N it most of d time more thn dat since it’s monsoon. Is dat d reason.

    1. I would say the monsoon is the culprit for that buttercream giving you trouble! TOO MUCH MOISTURE In the air! I feel for you- my bakery was like a monsoon sometimes in the summer & it was TERRIBLE I had sweaty cakes all the time!!
      Shelf life for the buttercream after the freeze is same as it was when fresh, if you froze it immediatley upon baking

  49. Hi der,
    Forgot to mention in last comment. My shortening always gave me gritty ( feel Lil granules dat one cannot attempt to smash manually 🙁 )) texture when I made all ua buttercream recipes.I was troubleshooting dis by reading all d comments long bk.somebody Here said dat she prefers to whisk shortening first n den add it in d whipped aquafaba for dat recipe or as in dis one before combining with butter. I did d same n it mannnn it works…I got smooth buttercream..just thought of sharing, may b u can highlight dis for ppl like me.

  50. I wasn’t done writing. Hit post tab by mistake. I use hand beaters since I dun have kitchen aid or ne stand mixers. N just for fun Wat I did was I moved my beaters manually exactly how ua kitchen aid makes dem move n omg my buttercream (American buttercream) got niice volume. But I bet it really looks funny while doing dat giving painful arms hehe but I achieved d volume :p..n wanted to do it more since I needed bright white color but my arms were just tired. So gv up.but dis trick works ( weird though).

  51. Hi Gretchen! I am an avid fan of yours..I never used any buttercream frosting other than your swiss meringue buttercream but this american buttercream will save all the egg yolks that I have wasted cos there are no eggs in this recipe..I will try this today and I will let you know the result..actually I will make your mocha cake for our family day tomorrow.. Thanks for the recipes..please keep it coming..

  52. Hi Gretchen,

    I wanted to first say thank you for sharing you gift with us. You are a great teacher. I absolutely love your Swis Meringue Buttercreme recipe. It is my absolute favorite. I’m not a big fan of frosting due to how sweet it can be, however that recipe is perfect. And then there’s this one, lol. It is an awesome recipe too! Light, fluffy and not overly sweet. Another success. You Rock! Thanks again.

  53. I made this icing yesterday using a KitchenAid stand mixer and a beater blade. The last step where you turn the mixer to high and beat for five minutes . . . after three and a half minutes on setting 8 (not high) I noticed small streaks starting to form on the side of my bowl. I immediately turned off the mixer. A kind of waxy coating had formed on the sides of my bowl which fortunately did not come off with the rubber scraper so I was able to use the icing (which tasted delicious btw!). I’m wondering if my heavy cream was starting to turn to butter or something.

    Later I thought that maybe I could have warmed my bowl and incorporated whatever had formed on the side. The icing seemed to be on the soft side, so maybe I did sacrifice some structure by leaving the solid stuff on the side of the bowl.

    Do you actually beat it on high for five whole minutes after adding the cream? What do you think about the cream-to-butter theory? What is your expert opinion?

    1. Hmm thats odd, this has not happened to me! Yes I do beat for the entire 5 minutes – the volume of icing gets really fluffy- almost to the top of my 5qt bowl!

      I suppose its possible for that to have happened to your cream- I suspect that if you just scraped it all back together (although you mentioned you could not?) it would have mixed uniform, after all it was not a foreign substance, but part of the ingredients) this has not happened to me though, so its tough to say exactly

      1. Thank you Gretchen. I was able to scrape it with a metal spatula but since it was solid I chose not to while I was icing my cake. I do intend to make it again and conquer it.

  54. Hi Gretchen!
    Now that its getting colder, except for you Floridians of course… What is the best way to bring butter to room temperature? I’ve tried microwaving with limited success. Its hard to get it uniformly soft that way. Any advice? Moving to Florida doesn’t count!

    1. haha Well no matter where you live it is based on room temperature so naturally Florida (and honestly NJ in the summer was WICKED HOT!) so it would take under an hour! But depending on the conditions in your room it will vary. Sometimes it takes hours sometimes faster.
      I just let it sit until it is soft and pliable when I press with my finger, but not oily and melty.

  55. Hi Gretchen!

    First, welcome to Florida! I’m your new neighbor, just North in Jacksonville:). Soooo glad you’re back online and loving all your new recipes and website! Please let me know if you ever teach some classes, I’d love to take them! I have a technical question, I made the buttercream recipe, it was fabulous, whipped it well with the paddle attachment and applied it to the cake. The challenge I had was when icing the cake I had a lot of air bubbles as I was trying to smoothe the sides. Is there something I should have done differently to prevent this? Did I beat in too much air?

  56. Hi Gretchen, can I substitute heavy cream with milk? And what will happen if the butter is not at room temperature? Thanks in advance

  57. For a flavored buttercream to go in between the layers of a lemon cake, can I use pure lemon extract? I just want to flavor part of the buttercream only.

    Also, thank you so much for all of your wonderful information.

  58. Hi, thank you for wonderful recipes. I just have one question you have butter extract in this recipes I’m not sure what that is?
    Thank you again

  59. I’d like a little technical help Gretchen…. I’m making your oh so delicious white cake covered with this wonderful buttercream and will be adding some fondant strips, accents, bows to the smoothed BC (using a high end fondant). First, should I immediately add the accents to the iced cake or chill the iced cake and allow to firm up before adding them so they won’t slide? Second, have you found that cakes decorated with fondant refrigerate well overnight until clients pick up? Any suggestions from you incredible experience would be soooo appreciated!

    1. HI Tina, You can add the fondant decor anytime really. But if the buttercream is super soft (depending on the conditions in your room) you may do better to fridge it for a while.
      I always refrigerate fondant cakes yes! Thank you!!

  60. Hi Gretchen,

    I have a question on your Buttercream Recipe. The recipe says to add flavorings in line 3 and then again in line 8. I’m a bit confused as to when they should be added or does it really matter when?

  61. hello there,
    Quick question, What if i don’ have a paddle attachment at the moment?
    can I still achieve the same final product with just the reg whisk attachment?

    1. Hi Gretchen,

      It’s great to read and try out your recipes and thank you sooooo much for sharing.. Few people would. I live in Accra, Ghana and I always look forward to trying out your recipes. The SMB is my all time favourite but I’m going to try this American version and I’m hoping the heat here in Africa will not affect it. Wish me luck. Catch up later.

  62. Gretchen, I’m in need of your help! I use your Swiss meriange buttercream recipe all the time, my question is, why is it gumpaste flowers get sticky and loose their shape when used on a frosted cake? Is their a different type of buttercream I should be using when using gumpaste? I’m stressing over this. Please help a stressed girl in Saskatchewan Canada! Thanks in advance.

    1. Any moisture will cause gum paste to dissolve, so that is what is happening. You should probably make a small little platform (out of fondant) for the gumpaste flowers to sit on top of before placing it on the cake this way they have no contact with the moisture of the buttercream (refrigeration used to melt my flowers all the time! too humid!)

  63. Hi Gretchen!! I have thanked you many times…and again I am thanking you …..I made your Apple Caramel cake…DELICIOUS!!! everyone was amazed….I am going to make the ferrero rocher truffle cake..I have before and it was a great hit…I was wondering how the american butter cream would stand up with the nutella. And would the amount of nutella be the same…
    thx Susan

  64. Gretchen,
    I have made your Swiss and American style buttercream! Both a huge success to my home business bakery. Also I have done your stabilized whip cream.. My nieces love it.. I used it for cookies and cream cupcakes for her birthday.. they were gone in a flash.. lol.. thanks so much.
    YOU ROCK GIRL! wish I can send u a pic of them

  65. Hi Gretchen. New to your website, but have found terrific recipes and tips so far. My question regarding the American Buttercream is why does it have such a long room-temperature shelf life if heavy cream is used in the recipe? Most other advice I am finding suggests that anything with cream needs to be refrigerated beyond 2 hours.

    Also, I am trying to lighten up this recipe so that it will be more like a dessert dip instead of a heavier buttercream frosting, but my reason for starting with this as the foundation is to allow for longer life at room temperature and also a dip/frosting that will freeze easier than a typical cream cheese based fruit dip. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this with this recipe?

    My goal would be to have a dip that does not taste like a heavy-fat buttercream frosting, but more like the lighter taste of cream cheese dips, but doesn’t need the refrigeration. Not sure if this is possible.

    Look forward to your response/advice. Thanks in advance.

    1. HI Great! welcome and thanks!
      I have not had any trouble with this buttercream out for several days at room temperature, if you feel nervous about it you can refrigerate it absolutely

  66. Thank you so much for all of the knowledge of your experiences that you keep sharing with us I never miss one. Your videos are amazing and your explanations are so clear and joyful. It is easy to create master pieces because of you. I have one question please if I may, on Sunday coming I am going to present your chocolate cake in the form of a book the pan is wilton book so I think only I don’t need to double the recipe. but can I use your buttercream to make a frozen buttercream transfer or should I go with wilton I hope I can use yours it is yummy. but which is better?
    Thanks again for all your advice. Take care and Happy Baking

    1. Hi Thanks! and you are welcome too! I am not sure exactly the size of the pan but double sounds about right.
      I have made buttercream transfers with my buttercream no problems

      1. Hi Thanks for the quick answer I really appreciate it. I already made the cake and a simple
        recipe worked out great. I am really happy I can use your buttercream frosting for the transfer, Thank you again and lots of love from Canada
        Happy baking
        Danielle Thanks for all the tips and tricks… amazing

    1. Add coffee granules (instant) dissolved in hot water and add melted chocolate
      to 1 recipe Buttercream:

      1 Tablespoon Instant Coffee Granules
      4 – 8 ounces of melted Chocolate
      *adjust according to your desired “chocolate-y-ness!”
      8 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
      6 Tablespoons Hot Water


      Dissolve the coffee granules in the hot water
      Add the coffee paste and the melted cooled chocolate (or the cocoa paste) to the buttercream at the last stage of mixing

    1. it’s really your preference. I myself like semi sweet – bittersweet chocolate since the buttercream already has so much sugar, but you can use milk chocolate too if you like

  67. Just finished piping some cupcakes with the new American buttercream icing(yummy) one question – the icing was very loose and hardly kept the tip design – is this icing supposed to be real soft – did purchase sweetex and used heavy cream.

  68. Hi Gretchen I was thinking of using either coconut milk or eggnog for this recipe and I was wondering if I would have to change the quantity or anything like that? Also how do you think these two changes would change the consistency of the buttercream?

  69. Hi there… Will this icing crust over and set up? I have a request for a cake, but we will need to transport it about 150 miles ( don’t ask lol). I’m looking for something durable but can’t use Swiss meringue or royal due to the egg issue. I will be using hi-ratio shortening. Thanks.

    1. Ok I wont ask! LOL
      It is not a crusting buttercream in the sense of what you may be used to as a crusting bc, BUT it does get “firm” lets just say that!
      This is a great durable recipe you will love it!

  70. first I must thank you so much for your great website and your detailed reciepe with very helpful videos.
    I used to bake according to your fabulous recipes.
    I am living in Iran and there is no heavy cream here. there is just cream with 30% fat. is it ok for this recipe?
    and we have ready sweet cream for whipping. can I replace heavy cream with whipped cream?
    also there is other brands except sweetex for shortening , does it differ in butter cream quality?

  71. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! I tried the white cake last night and it was so yummy!!! However, I tried the buttercream and it just melts. I live in Philippines and it’s kind of humid in my area. Is there any way to do buttercream without melting?

  72. Hi Gretchen,
    Thank you for the recipe, I have learned so much from your blog. I have a question though, I have always whipped my buttercream in high speed to get that fluffiness, but in return, I always get a lot of air bubbles in the buttercream. It is impossible to ice cakes smoothly or to pipe well. How do I get fluffy and smooth buttercream to pipe flowers? Thank you so much 🙂

    1. HI Great! Im so happy you are liking it here! You can switch to the paddle attachment (if using a stand mixer) and blend it on low-medium speed for about 5 minutes to paddle out the air

    2. Hi Greychen, I’m getting ready to try out this buttercream. At what point do we switch to the paddle to remove air bubbles? Is it after step 7? So whip on high then change to paddle and mix on low? Thanks!

  73. Dear Gretchen,
    Again you haven’t disappointed me. Your buttercream is exactly what you said. It pipes perfectly and is delicious! Much, much better than Wilton’s. Although I prefer your swiss meringue, sometimes when decorating cakes I need this type of icing. Thanks again.

    1. It doesn’t crust as much as those other decorator buttercreams do, but it will get a slight “dry-ness” to it that I think is suitable for most decorating applications.

  74. If I was to refrigerate the buttercream – Do I have to whip the buttercream with a paddle or whisk? How long would you recommend whipping the buttercream for to have it ready to decorate a cake?

    1. If I refrigerate of freeze my buttercream, I take it out the day before I am going to need it, then I paddle it out on the mixer for about 5 minutes to get it back to consistnecy

  75. I am an intensely loyal fan of your Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but I have been using this recipe to frost my sugar cookies, and it’s just perfect for that! Thanks for always looking out for us!

  76. Hi Gretchen,

    Big fan of your work. I am going to try this Recipe but had a quick question before I do. The question relates to the term mix and whip in the steps. so if my understanding is correct then

    Step 1 : Paddle Attachment.
    Step 2: Baloon Whisk Attachment.
    Step 3 to Step 6: Paddle Attachment.
    Step 7 and 8: Baloon Whisk Attachment.

    Is that Correct?
    Thanks for the help and all the great recipes.

    1. HI Great thanks! You know, I was always more specific in my instructions with “paddle attachment” “whip attachment” “stand mixer” etc…but I felt I was alienating those with hand beaters – those who dont have the stand mixer…so I changed my instructions to be more generic to include everyone.
      So creaming and beating is always done with a paddle.
      Whipping or whisking = balloon whisk.
      That is just the general terminology for all recipes.

      But here- I use the paddle from start to finish, so I can certainly see where I made you confused since I did indeed say “whip it” even though I am using the paddle 🙁

      Thanks for bringing that to my attention! I will update this post!

    1. It is not crusting and it is smooth as long as you dissolve all the sugar into the eggs (strain the egg mixture through a sieve before whipping if you want to be sure)

    2. eggs? are there supposed to be eggs???

      And please gretchen, I tried to make it a couple of days ago, and it felts sandy to the touch, I did use fine sugar… and mixed and mixed and mixed, it didn’t seem to dissolve and it’s gritty now… was the sugar my fault? I tried to use a home mixer for the sugar and then sieved it because I didn’t find a place to buy ready confectioners sugar… 🙁

      Plus, is there any other recipe that I can use the buttercream for, now that it’s all gritty and messed up 🙁


  77. Hi Gretchen! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! I am a big fan of your SMBC but for some reason, I don’t feel it gets stiff enough for me to use on cupcakes so I was going to give this one a go.
    Can I use all high ratio shortening instead of some butter? Also, is there a non-dairy substitute for the heavy cream?


  78. Lady Gretchen. If we wanted this to be a crusting butter cream is there anything we can do? Or do you have a Recipe for that

    1. Crusting buttercreams are typically shortening and confectioners sugar that is why they crust. So I would say to just find a recipe that is specifically for crusting rather than try to tweak up this one

  79. Hi Ms. Gretchen, i would love to try this for my fondant.. May I ask? is there any other way to make it not too sweet? Thank you and more power.

  80. Hello Gretchen-

    I am a big fan of yours and love your recipes. Unfortunately, I have high cholesterol and would love to continue to make your delicious frosting but make them as close as I can get to cholesterol free. I was thinking that I could substitute margarine for the butter, but not sure how it would effect the texture. What are your thoughts?

  81. Hi Gretchen
    Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful recipes . I am a vegetarian which is I don’t eat eggs , I tried your vegan Swiss merguine buttercream and I loved it . Today I tried this recipe , I’m not sure what I missed it did not get stiff . Thinking I put less sugar I added more but it is still not stiff , also very grainy to taste . Please give some tips how can I fix it n use it . Can I use it on tiered cake also underfondant. If not this buttercream which one would you suggest would be a good buttercream for under fondant.
    Thank you so much again for the lovely yummy recipes .

  82. Can I use this BC under fondant or will it be too soft? I am afraid of bulging……Love all of your recipes. Thank you sooooo much for sharing

  83. Hi Gretchen, I made this buttercream using my Kitchen Aid mixer last Sunday for a special cake. It was DELICIOUS and everyone loved it! I had bought the hi-ratio online. One thing I did wrong–I didn’t use your fudge recipe for between the layers! (Forgot you had a fudge recipe and didn’t think to search since I had one handy.) Just watched your fudge recipe video (thanks!) and will be using it from now on……..

    Also want to thank you for your great gingerbread (vegan) recipe and your ‘dump cake’ recipe. Both are delicious and well liked by colleagues–non-vegans included!

  84. Hi Gretchen! Thank you SO much for sharing all of your recipes. Life changing ☺️ I wanted to know if there are instructions on how to properly thaw and get icing ready to use that has been frozen? And special considerations or steps?

  85. Hi Gretchen,

    How many cupcakes will this ice? Also, if I add color, using the gel paste could I also add edible glitter to have a glitter effect?


  86. HI Gretchen, I wanted to know if you have any suggestions as to a dairy free alternative to heavy cream? I am catering to a ‘pareve’ audience. Perhaps Rich’s Whip?

    Thanks for years of wonderful videos and tutorials!

  87. Hi Gretchen. Thanks for the fabulous recipes! I’m not sure what you mean by “butter extract” for the American buttercream. I just ordered the Russian tips, can’t wait to try them.

  88. Hi Gretchen, I’ve been a fan for the past 7 years and I’m very pleased with your recipes, tips and techniques, GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS, well I have one question for you can you pls. Tell me what sheap buttercream and cakes I can use to make my cakes, because my family and friends are asking me to make them cakes and with the Swiss buttercream I’m spending a lot and of course they love yours, but the American buttercream will it harden because if it does they won’t like it. I’m really sorry to bother but I have a lot more question but I can’t tell you right know because it would be like a book. I would love to be like you a professional baker I love love all your recipes I have tried almost all you recipes and everybody is so happy with my work thanks to you can you pls. Response back thank you very much.

  89. I have just made this buttercream. It is to die for. The best buttercream recipe yet. I have yet to pipe with it. Thank you so much for this recipe and the great instructions

  90. Hi Gretchen,
    You have become my “go-to” person for all things/recipes baking.
    I’m baking a cake and planning on using your American Buttercream recipe. I ran to the store this morning and as happens – far more than I should admit – I didn’t check the recipe and my supplies before I left. I’ve got everything except Heavy Cream. Would it be ok to use whole milk?
    Thank you for sharing your talent. Your videos are helpful and always make me smile. I love that you share not only your recipes, but your sense of humor !

  91. Hi Gretchen, I love your blog and all your recipes. I was wondering if I could use all butter with the same outcome. I don’t have any high ratio shortening on hand. Thank you

    1. HI! thanks! You can use all butter, but the outcome will be slightly different. The shortening is a good stabilizer, so it helps there..but all butter would not be a bad thing

  92. Gretchen, I loved your recipes and videos at your former site now I’m happy to have found you again. What percentage of cocoa do you suggest in the chocolate buttercream variation (6oz baking chocolate) for the buttercream recipe using high ration shortening.

    I usually use all butter but after bringing my cupcakes to a cakewalk in TN only to have them melt i realized I needed to find a more stable recipe for bake sale and cake walks.

    1. HI Thanks! Welcome back I’m so happy you came back! 🙂
      For each ounce of chocolate you want to make: 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 4 teaspoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter, shortening or vegetable oil (You can leave out the sugar since you are adding it to such a sweet recipe like buttercream)

  93. This is now my go-to American buttercream recipe! I’ve made it three times; the first I followed recipe exactly, the second I replaced the heavy cream with Bailey’s Irish Cream, and the third time I replaced the heavy cream with a tequila/lime juice combo (for margarita cupcakes). Success each and every time. Thank you so much!! Your videos and recipes are the best!!

  94. Wow, what a difference the hi ratio shortening makes! Like you said there’s no greasy coating left in the mouth. I’m fortunate that a store near my house carries it so I don’t have to pay for shipping.

    This buttercream recipe and your white cake recipe were the winning combination in my getting an order for a wedding cake and cupcakes this summer.
    Thanks again Gretchen for your heavenly recipes!

  95. What is butter extract, and if I can’t find it can I leave it our or substitute it with something? I currently live in Argentina so it can be a real scavenger hunt sometimes to find all the ingredients that I want!

    1. HI ! You can leave it out, it is butter flavor, some people like the added flavor when using a recipe that calls for shortening, but you will be fine to omit it

    2. Thanks Gretchen! Love your tutorials btw, been having a marathon since I had your site pointed out to me.

  96. First I have to tell you that I get many many compliments on your butter cream…ty second I have a question when I am decorating a cake by the time I am finished the buttercream gets too soft I hard to pipe it almost drops out of tip that’s how soft it gets. is there a way to prevent this? also one other questions I am not sure its buttercream related but when frosting my cake there are spots that don’t seem to get covered with the frosting I have to constantly go back and cover – then when smoothing out it happens again -what am I doing wrong? many many thanks for your talent and awesome recipes.

    1. HI Great thanks, it sounds like you have hot hands so I would recommend to wear gardening gloves to prevent the heat from your hands from melting what is in the pastry bag

  97. Have about 2 cups of white buttercream left from previous use – what can I add and how much do I add to make it a mild chocolate for a cake filling.

  98. To leave a cake at room temperature with rossetes for a party, what should I do? It’s kinda hot in Arizona, to avoid melting frosting, thanks in advance!

    1. Inside? Should be fine. Outside, not so much! (just be sure to refrigerate up until the event time) then it will be OK for several hours at room temp in an air conditioned room

  99. Hi gretchen, after reading all the wonderful comments i am going to make this recipe for my next cake. Although I would like to ask if this butter cream recipe will stay in hot and humid weather as i live in singapore where temperature goes upto 35 celsius. I would really really like to make this recipe using shortening instead of butter as butter tends to melt.
    Thankyou for sharing your recipe.

  100. Hey Gretchen. Long time no talk lol! Just wanted to ask you if this frosting works well underneath marshmallow fondant. If not I can always go with another of your DELICIOUS recipies! Thanks in advance!!!

  101. Hi gretchen
    Can i know if this buttercream tastes extremely sweet like the normal american style buttercream?? Or is it perfect like swiss meringue buttercream?

    1. “extremely sweet” is an opinion so it’s hard to say what you will think, I do not think it is “extremely sweet” however it is sweet (like most buttercream recipes are) that being said a lot of people think my Swiss Butter cream recipe is sweet whereas others say it is perfect and others say it needs more sugar! So again, it is all a personal opinion

  102. Will all butter work for this or will it cause it to be runny? I don’t have access to small quanities of Hi Ratio shortening and making my daughters cake tomorrow. I’ve also recently used Palm Oil in some icings rather than Crisco. I’m in love with your Swiss Meringue so if it’s not a good substitute I’ll just stick with that recipe instead. I am doing a buttercream transfer so thinking this will work better for that.

  103. Hi Gretchen
    I used your Swiss buttercream recipe for many years i love it ,i m happy now you that substitute the eggs white with more confection sugar (hopefully will not be to much sweet ).my question: can i use the Crisco if i cant find the high ratio one ???what is the difference .
    another question please if its to sweet can i reduce the sugar or increase the butter ??what you suggest ??
    many many thankssss for your help

    1. Hi Great thanks! Yes to crisco, since it is solid vegetable shortening, HOWEVER many people (me included) feel it leaves a heavy greasy mouth feel. You may prefer to use all butter, but the shortening is a stabilizing ingredient here and why this recipe is so much better to hold up for longer time and higher temperatures

  104. Hi Gretchen its very nice one, but i have a problem with vegetable shorting , is there any substitue for it .

  105. I love this buttercream but I have only made it and used it on the same day. Do you recommend rewhipping this icing before using if it has been made a day or two ahead? Thanks.

    1. yes definitely. I usually leave it in the mixer bowl (unless of course I need it for something else) that way when I go to re-whip it its already in the bowl and I didnt have to wash another one! LOL (#lazy)

  106. Hi Gretchen you forget part 2 of my question i will re posted :
    another question please if its to sweet can i reduce the sugar or increase the butter ??what you suggest ??
    many many thankssss for your help

    1. Coconut oil has a very low meltint point so I avoid it in things like buttercream where we need it to be stable and NOT MELT. So can it be used? yes, is is a good idea? No, not in my opinion

  107. Hi Gretchen I have tried the recipe several times is very good light and fluffy not too sweet and it holds very well on cakes even in high temperature .
    Thank so much for sharing your recipe.

    1. I’ve substituted different flavors in place of the heavy cream (i.e., Bailey’s Irish Cream, lemon juice, combination lime juice and tequila) with fantastic results!

  108. This is wonderful exactly what I’ve been looking for in an icing. Turned out perfect and so white. A mix between Butter cream and a Whipped cream icing. Thanks so much. ☺

  109. I tried this recipe for the first time last week, when I was decorating a cake for an anniversary. It was wonderful…so light and fluffy! What can be done to make this recipe stiffer for making roses? I really like the flavor…not so sickening sweet!

  110. Hi gretchen ..
    If i want to fill and cover a 3 layer cake 9″ this recipe will be fine or more or less than i need??


  111. Hi , tried to make a strawberry cream cheese buttercream today. Well I ended up throwing it out, turned out pretty bad. Could you please help me out . Didn’t see anything comparable, tried making a PBJ cookies. My cookies turned out great but I have nothing to fill them with. Even a basic fruit buttercream would do. Thanks for your amazing recipes.

  112. Hi Gretchen,

    I’m trying this buttercream recipe for a chocolate stout cake. I was wondering instead of the heavy cream do you think I can try adding Bailey’s Irish Coffee Creamer as a substitute?

  113. Does using ALL butter change anything? Instead of using 3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups) and 1 1/2cups of shortening, can you use 6 sticks of butter and still get the same consistency? ?

    1. Just changes the stability, softer, less stable at room temperature and at events (on display) and some say the taste (they claim it is “too buttery”)

  114. Hi gretchen. I’d love to try this recipe but the big problem i have is i don’t know what & where to find a high ratio shortening here in Italy. I already went to all the supermarkets here in the city whete i lived but didn’t find any. The only translation shortening had to italian is margarine.. please help me what to use.. thanks!


  115. Hi Gretchen, love your site and videos, they (and you) are fantastic. I am making a tiered birthday cake for my grandson and am using this buttercream to ice the cake, but I want to do a dulce de leche filling, and have a quick question if I should just make a buttercream dam and use the dulce de leche straight up as the filling as it is quite spreadable and even more so if whipped. Or do you suggest that I mix it with some buttercream and if so what ratio. I am just a bit wary about mixing the dulce de leche with the buttercream as it might just get too sweet. I will really appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

    1. Hi Great! thankyou so much!! I think it is really what you prefer since both options sounds great! (I personally love the filling straight up- save the buttercream for the icing) and you are correct not only will it make it sweeter, but softer too CLICK HERE FOR MORE

  116. Just used your buttercream recipe to decorate my cupcakes using my new Russian tip icing tubes. Amazing result with your recipe. Just the right consistency to make roses and tulips. Had to substitute Hi Ratio Solid Vegetable shortening for Copha as i cant find this product in Australia but it worked perfectly .

  117. I made the American Buttercream with the intention of using my new Russian tips. I always use your SMBC and have never had a problem. The ABC is very soft and seems to me will be very hard to work with. Does it get stiffer as it sits out? Should I add more confectioners sugar? I don’t want the flowers to be too sweet that nobody will want to eat them. I live in a humid area of the Midwest and am nervous to use the SMBC for flowers. Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance-

    1. Hmmm really? I find this icing to be ready to pipe as soon as I make it- I have used it both ways (make ahead and rewhip then pipe) and use right away, with same results.
      I wouldnt add more confectioners, so I think let it sit (perhaps put it in the fridge for several hours then bring back to temp and rewhip CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

  118. HI Gretchen, I have been reading about using palm oil shortening such as Spectrum’s in making buttercream. I have not used it, but was wondering if you’ve had any experience with it? I plan on making your American Buttercream today, but all I have in the way of shortening is Crisco. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  119. HI Gretchen! I have learned so much from your site this week, I volunteered to make a three tiered cake for my niece’s wedding shower. I’d not played with cake decorating for many, many years. Like Leslie, I had trouble with the ABC (which was delicious) as it softened so quickly that flowers and borders went limp. The room temp was 70 degrees. If I refrigerated the icing, it was too firm to come through the tip. Very frustrating! I managed finally to get it done but I would appreciate any tips you might have, in case I lose my mind and try this again (which is very likely). Thanks!

    1. Hey thanks Im happy to hear this! Although sorry to hear you are having trouble with the buttercream. I find this to be the most stable of all of them without going to far to a decorators icing (yuck) are you using the shortening in teh recipe? I use this buttercream all the time and in the summer here in FL my room has trouble getting below 79F
      Its best to decorate the cake and then get it to the refrigerator though, this will give it a chance to firm up which will give you more time at the event before it goes soft again

  120. Hi Gretchen,
    It’s so great to have a pro such as yourself willing to share your wonderful recipes and bountiful knowledge. I can’t tell you the number of things you’ve taught me over the last few years. I decorate cakes as a hobby for friends and relatives. It’s relaxing and helps the creative juices flow. Baking and cooking is a great outlet for me and you make it even more enjoyable with all the things you’ve shown all of us. Keep the creative ideas flowing! Always ready for a challenge!!!

    You’re the BEST!

  121. Hi Gretchen,

    Thanks so much for the recipe. I make fantastic tasting cakes, but I’m new to decorating and I really, truly suck at it! Your videos are very helpful. Can you please tell me what size cake this recipe will frost, and how much will be left for decorating? Thank you.

    1. awe! thanks! Im sure you can get better with practice! But I too leave that fancy over the top stuff for my fellow youtubers who are clearly artists first! You can fill and ice 1-8″ cake with this recipe

  122. How does this American Buttercream do under fondant? I generally only use SMBC as it hardens and is a nice base under the fondant. Thoughts?


  123. Hi Gretchen ,
    You did it again! I tried your American Buttercream for the first time . I used it with the Russians tips and was very happy with the taste and texture. I froze the left over buttercream. When I went to use it it was very soft. I added extra confectioners sugar. I only needed it to pipe a few flowers. So I didn’t care about extra sugar. But if I had to frost a whole cake it may be too sweet. Has anyone else had this problem. Or is it something I’m doing?
    Thanks again for all your recipes and tutorials.

  124. I need to make some Sesame Street cupcakes for my granddaughter’s birthday, so I will be making the character’s fur by using the tip I usually use for “grass” (Wilton’s #233). However, we will be in a forest preserve in July in Illinois, so it will be hot. I plan to keep them in a cooler until we’re ready to eat them, but will this recipe, as is, be firm enough to keep the “fur” on the cupcakes relatively stiff and not all melty? Thanks for your help. Can’t wait to try it.

  125. I made this recipe and it was great at first. But it became really gritty after I put it in the fridge. Do you know why this would happen?

  126. Gretchen you did it again girl! Just when I thought there was no recipe as good as your Swiss buttercream you drop this little nugget, THANK YOU so much!

    I made it today for a birthday cake and it came out great!

  127. Hey Gretchen,

    I have just scoured your site to find all kinds of helpful ingredients and hints! I am making a cake for the first time for my son’s birthday party and I will be doing a fondant icing on top. I am excited to try this buttercream icing to use under the fondant. I was just curious, could you substitute coconut oil for the shortening? Thank you so much for all the helpful tips and recipes!

    1. Hi Great! Coconut oil is not great because it has a very low melt point, which will mean your entire buttercream will also have a very low melt point

  128. Hi i love this american buttercream but i have always used 2/3 cup of shorting, 1.5 cups of salted butter 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 7 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, 2lbs of powered sugar and a little light corn syrup if the buttercream is to think for my liking

    I would just like to say thank you for all your great recipes Gretchen, and many many cupcake and cake ideals

  129. Ive replaced the shortening in this recipe before with more unsalted butter, didn’t have butter extract, so i replace that with equal amount vanilla extract. It tasted great. My question: if I’m using no shortening and all butter will it taste better to still add the butter extract? Thanks in advance Gretchen.

  130. Hi Gretchen, I recently bought some Russian tips and I got to use them today. I was watching some of your videos and realized that you did a vid with some of those tips as well. You recommend using this recipe for the Russian tips, so I did just that.

    This is my first time using this recipe also, I usually use the Wilton buttercream recipe. I know it’s my preference, but why would you recommend this recipe over the Wilton one? Some of the flowers came out ok, but again this was my first try. I noticed tho that the icing was a bit soft. I followed the recipe but substituted the heavy cream with evaporated milk (I think you said that was ok). It tasted great tho. Wish I could show you a pic of the cake.

    1. If you prefer the Wilton recipe that is fine, your preference. I like my recipe better that’s all.
      You can leave out the heavy cream if you feel it is too soft- for those not using a balloon whip of the stand mixer with the super heavy duty power of the stand mixer- you may experience a softer icing.

  131. Hello Gretchen! I’ve tried a couple of different buttercream recipe and they all came out really sickly sweet and too buttery for my liking. I’ve yet to try yours but reading through the comments, your recipe sounds promising!

    However, I’ve a slight problem as I wish to store my cake that’s already covered in buttercream in the fridge, but the buttercream will always harden and the texture is just meh (because it’s not soft and silky). I tried storing cupcakes with buttercream frosting in the fridge and the harden frosting doesn’t do my cupcakes any justice.

    I saw a lot of tips on not storing the buttercream covered cake in the fridge, however I live in a hot tropical country and that isn’t ideal to my situation. Would your buttercream recipe also harden in the fridge too? And if it’ll, what should I do? To take the cake out from the fridge and rest for a while before serving?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi thanks, yes unfortunately butter when cold is hard that is the nature of buttercream – so always bring the cakes and cupcakes to room temperature before serving

  132. Hey Gretchen! You mentioned that this recipe will come almost to the top of a 6 qt mixing bowl… I only have a 5 qt, so would the bowl be too small to make the whole recipe? Or would it be okay?

    1. It will be fine, I noticed that the other day when I made it again, I was like, “hmmm, I exaggerated a bit LOL”

  133. Hi Gretchen,

    Can i add some cream cheese (1/4th the amount of buttercream ) to make it smooth? because its always grainy and domino brand is not available. Would adding cream cheese make it unstable and cause it to droop at room temp after designs are piped?


  134. Hello Gretchen
    I have a question??
    i can’t find either shortning nor crisco
    can i just use butter in the place of the shortning
    Thnks in adv

  135. Just had to tell you-this is the best buttercream recipe I have ever used. So different from the standard stuff that it should have its own name. Defiantly not just “Buttercream”.

  136. Hi Gretchen, i used all butter as i couldn’t find high ratio shortening. I followed the method exactly wherein the buttercream needs to be whipped a lot. But finally the buttercream was soupy. I was working in an air conditioned room. Could it be that if all butter is used it should not be whipped as much.


    1. I have used both ways with no trouble. If it is extra hot in the room make sure the butter is cooler than normal,I show the way the butter should look HERE IN THIS VIDEO – but to answer your question, the machin whipping will cause friction = heat so yes it could break down the butter even more

  137. i made it and by mistake i used castor sugar. do nt have shortening. the icing was not firm. between layers it does’nt remain firm. actually it does’nt stand much. remains flat i use hand mixer. i make cake for home only. please tell

  138. Hi Gretchen , You are an amazing teacher to the novice bakers. I certainly learned from all your tutorials because you are very thorough explaining in great details. Thanks. I do have to ask you about getting my royal icing consistency for stenciling. I’ve tried this many times and was almost but not quite there yet .Just cannot get it to the right consistency just asking for your help.

  139. Gretchen – I have used your swiss meringue buttercream recipe with much success! However, my husband requested an american style buttercream as he finds the extreme butter flavor/feel off-putting in smb (nuts, I know). I tried a half batch (to make sure it was what I was looking for) of your abc today and it is extremely soft. I would never be able to keep it on a cake. I didn’t use high ratio shortening, but used a store brand with 2.5g of transfat. I did notice that when I mixed the shortening and butter together for 3 minutes, that it was VERY soft at that point. Once I mixed the sugar in, it was still a bit soft, but very nice and light. Where things really went down hill was the addition of the heavy cream. The more I mixed it, the softer it became and the end result was shiny and greasy looking and deflated. I am not a novice baker and followed (I thought), all your instructions as far as mix time, etc. My air conditioner is set at 72 in the house and it is only 76 outside today with low humidity (a midwest miracle). My question is whether you think it can be recovered and still be stable at room temp? I’m nervous that even if I rewhip, it won’t be stable at room temp. I need to have a buttercream to use for my husband’s, grandma’s 90th birthday tomorrow. I am doing cupcakes and a 6inch rosette cake. What would you do? Should I start over and omit the heavy cream? I hesitate to do that because it seems like that is what really made this recipe special! Would it be better if I lowered the butter and increased the shortening a bit and added a bit of heavy cream gradually? I really enjoyed the light, not too sweet flavor/texture before the cream, but maybe the store brand, transfat shortening, needs more sugar added? Help!

    1. Hi! First, there are some people who are opposed to the “butter” taste in BUTTERcream so your husband is not alone. Although those people are few and far between! LOL
      My first question is: Are you using a hand beater?
      If yes- this could be your only problems, as some others have told me similar results using a hand beater (the balloon whip of a stand mixer is just unmatched for some recipes- it is almost essential)
      However is you are using a stand mixer: let’s proceed:
      Im not sure which store brand you bought- but I have found that the ones with heavy palm oils…not good. They are super soft and almost like- what’s the point?? The point of a shortening in a buttercream recipe is for stability so the Hi Ratio is the best tasting AND the best as far as sturdiness. I know many people are against shortening altogether and some have even used all butter here, which quite honeslty could be better than using an inferior veg shortening.
      So again without reallllly knowing if your shortening is the culprit… let’s move onot the heavy cream.

      Again- the whip attachment of the stand mixer will really fluffy up and coagulate that cream(which is another benefit of the cream in this recipe- it acts as a fluffer and a stabilizer)
      hand beater…not so much- I have been told my those using the hand beater that the cream just made it a soft mess so YES to adjusting it by adding it very slowly or leaving it out (IF you have a hand beater)

      So all this being said…What should you do??
      If you have the ingredients and a stronger shortening (I know Im asking alot! Since if you HAD it in the first place you would have USED IT! I know, I get it)
      I would mix it again. Now that you know what YOU DONT want to happen you will be on the lookout for it though with your second attempt. I like your idea here: Would it be better if I lowered the butter and increased the shortening a bit and added a bit of heavy cream gradually? I really enjoyed the light, not too sweet flavor/texture before the cream,

  140. I love this recipe, It is my go to buttercream. Sadly, I started to have troubles. During the final mixing it starts to get really soft and will not hold its shape. The summer heat is turning my frosting to soup! Do you have any tips for making frosting in a hot kitchen?

  141. Hi again, Gretchen. I know some people are not fond of Wal-Mart, but I discovered that their store brand of Vegetable Shortening is basically high-ratio shortening. At least it works exactly like it. I use almost your exact recipe except I add 1 TBLS of meringue powder, especially for flowers and such. In Houston, I pretty much have to have a good crust and the meringue powder works wonders. I will have to try the CK HRS against the Wal-Mart brand and see if there is a difference. Thanks again for all the great tutorials!

  142. Gretchen, Hi, I’m new to your site, and I love it already! Oh, how I wish I had your skill.

    I’m a hobbyist when it comes to cake decorating. But I now have a client, and she’s asking for something I don’t believe will hold up. A bridal shower cake on which she wants many flowers, lace work, ribbon…and etc. However, she wants whipped cream frosting. The cake is due at the venue early on Thanksgiving day. Is there ANY frosting recipe out there that tastes more like whipped cream, is not too sweet, and is stable enough to make a 1-1/2 to 2 hr. ride if frozen the night before and taken from the freezer directly to the vehicle? Thanks so much for any advice you can give.

    1. Hi Thanks!! Well, it seems you know enough to know that this is not really an easy solution. Whipped Cream is whipped cream, buttercream is always going to be sweet. You can control the amount of sweetness though (especially in my SWISS BUTTERCREAM RECIPE by eliminating the confectioners sugar) and also here you can cut back on a cup or two of confectioners.
      No matter what icing you go with though I would not freeze it. It can produce sever condensation on the thaw and your decor may end up a drippy mess. Make the cake the night before and keep it overnight in the fridge.
      Whipped cream (if you decide to take that chance) should not be frozen ever anyway, but if you decide to go whipped cream, decorate the entire thing the morning of..and drive with blasting AC to the venue. (Whipped cream will be a nightmare)Try to talk her into a buttercream icing solely based on her decor choices, somethings just are not that feasible logistically

  143. Thank you Gretchen. I kinda knew that already and was horrified that she insisted…lol. However, I did not know I could change the recipe on the Swiss Meringue. I will experiment with it tonight. Thank you ever so much, your input is tremendously appreciated. -k

  144. Hi Gretchen – thank goodness for your patience and expertise. The speed of your responses and knowledge is so reassuring. I tried this today. It came out softer than i expected although i used it direct from mixer. A few other points.
    It was not as white as expected?
    It didnt increase volume as much as you suggested (although it was superbly light)
    In the U.K. we use Icing Sugar. Does the fact that this does not contain Corn Flour contribute to how soft it was.
    I found 680g way too sweet – would reducing this by half affect anything other than sweetness

    1. You can reduce the sugar yes. I have to say Im not sure if the UK icing sugar would make that difference since I have only used the variety WITH corn starch.

  145. I made this earlier today and it was delicious! Tonight when it was time to frost my cake, I took it out of the fridge and softened it in my mixer, and when I used it on my cake it was pretty soupy. My questions are:

    1. Do I need to whip it longer after I take it out of the fridge?

    2.Will it hold up as a wedding cake frosting, or will it become soupy or wilty after being at room temperature for a longer period of time?

    3. If I am making a 3 layer white almond sour cream cake, with 2 inch layers, will the cake be to heavy if I use this icing between the layers, or will it squish out?

    Thank you so much!!!

  146. I made this today and it came out perfect! I read a tip somewhere suggesting to fill the cups of powdered sugar with a spoon instead of scooping it out of the bag. Between that tip and this recipe I made the best batch of buttercream frosting ever. I will have to try your swiss version! Thank you!

  147. I am definitely an amateur at baking, but I tried this recipe when I made cupcakes for Halloween for the grandchildren. I piped the buttercream on in no time and they were so pretty if I do say so myself! Thank you for the great recipe and the step by step instructions!

  148. Hi Gretchen

    Can i do a 3/4 butter to 1/4 quarter shortening ratio? My country only sells crisco shortening so i thought of reducing the amount of shortening to butter ratio as i dont quite like the greasy feel Crisco gives. If i want to do a 3/4 to 1/4 ratio how many grams butter to shortening ratio should it be?
    Also how many cupcakes can this recipe fill?

    Thank you for sharing all your awesome baking recipes with novices like myself! Thank you once again

  149. Dear Gretchen,I love your blog,and your youtube chanel. It is so much different from the rest who are kind of focusing on the outside look of a cake mostly. And I must say,I was shocked when I saw you got the recipe for Sacher torte! Thats awesome! I have one maybe silly thing to say, I think it would be cool if you would try a buttercream that is getting popular in europe, we use ground cookies! It tastes awesome,it is not greasy, you can cover a cake in it before fondant. It is something totally different from the rest. I think the People would love it because you can use any cookie you want, oreo, or just simple butter cookie. Anyhow, love this recipe ,I am using it for piping on cakes, when I dont use vegetable oil based whipping cream (tasty and super stable). Sry for the long comment

  150. I’m making a birthday cake for my daughter. I wanted to used smoothed buttercream. I will be tinting it then decorating it with gumpaste/sugar flowers. I will be making the cake the day before, would it be better to use the american buttercream or the SMBC. I don’t want to flowers to get icky or wet before her party.

  151. Hello Gretchen! I’m about making this buttercream today, but can i use whip cream instead of heavy cream? Thanks, this recipe must be great ♥

  152. Hi Gretchen! I was asked to make cupcakes in the shape of a wedding dress and tuxedo for my mother in law and father in laws surprise anniversary. I’m quite honored that they have that much belief in me to do this. My question is, the a,Evian style butter cream posted on your website, will that hold its shape for the cupcakes I’m doing? I was a.so asked to make a mini cake for them to cut. I was thinking of doing a rosette cake. Will the buyer cream rosettes hold their shape as well? Also, if I added meringue powder would it change the taste of the buttercream? I’m hoping it will keep it stabilized. And finally, the butter cream recipe, how many cupcakes will that frost? I need to make 6 dozen and the mini cake. Thank you much! Sorry for so many questions! I’ve been following your YouTube for years!

    1. Hi Great! I know you can do it!
      I am assuming you meant Italian Style Buttercream? If so- then yes any of the buttercream here on my blog are fine for decorating
      Adding meringue powder may change the taste (I do not use it) but taste is also a unique experience to everyone so this is something you will have to test first.
      Additionally the amount of cupcakes the icing recipe will frost depends on how much using you are using on each one, but for a guide- it will ice approximately 24-30 cupcakes

  153. Recipe says 6 cups of powdered sugar. What is the best way to measure that? Like presifted or sift it over a measuring cup?

  154. Hi Gretchen, Love this recipe. I’m always misjudging the amount of butter cream needed for cakes. Do you have a rule of thumb for estimating amount of buttercream needed to fill and cover a cake?

    1. Great thanks! Not realllllly since in my bakery we have 100’s of lbs everyday! LOL
      But most cake recipes yield 2-8″ layers and this recipe will fill and ice that size cake with maybe a little extra (thats the beauty of buttercream, it can be refrigerated, frozen for later use CLICK HERE for more)

  155. I want to thank you so much! I really appreciate this recipe. I have been wanting a vegan frosting recipe that will stand up to humidity.
    To show my thanks, I just donated $5 via Paypal. I know its not much, but all I can really afford right now.
    Being a young Vegan with more than a few sweet teeth, I think I just found my one of my favorite web sites!

  156. Hi Gretchen I’m not so sure you’re going to get this message in time I’m in the process of doing this right now I’ve used both of your cake recipes for vanilla and chocolate and I’ve also use both your butter cream recipes for chocolate and vanilla my question is I have 36 cupcakes in the freezer like you say to do it’s 4 o’clock and I have to have them ready by tomorrow morning I will not be able to do this tomorrow morning so can I ice them now and put them out on the dining room table with the air-conditioner in the room on till tomorrow morning will they be fine for one person and the other person I need to bring at 3 o’clock tomorrow would it be OK to ice them now and leave them out or do I have to put them in the fridge ? thanks Gretchen I hope you get this I know it’s a holiday weekend happy Easter or Passover whatever your faith is Linda Vassallo – lindmarie76@optonline.net

    1. Hi Kinda sure you can ice them now, all depends on the conditions in the room so you are on the right track to have the AC on, just keep your eye on them

  157. I absolutely love this buttercream. So much it is now my staple! My aunt cannot have dairy so I omitted the butter and heavy cream for her cake. Instead, I used all Sweetex and 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk in the carton. We used coconut milk in all of our vegan baked goods at the last bakery I worked at. Needless to say it turned out wonderful! It filled, frosted, and decorated a 10″ layer cake. Thank you for sharing this and all of your recipes!
    I forgot to mention it was 2-10″ layers! I love how much I get out of it. I never have to worry about having to double the recipe or running out mid frost.

  158. Hi Gretchen:
    I am sorry if you answered this somewhere in this thread but after reading for an hour I did not find the answer.
    I live in Ecuador and I am always dealing with heat and humidity and need a frosting that will stand up to that. Yours looks like it will fit the bill.
    My question is, I can get regular shortening but I have yet to find the high ratio shortening. Would there need to be any changes to the amount of shortening I would use due to regular versus high ratio? Will the consistency change? Any differences in the recipe for regular shortening versus high ratio?
    Thanks very much for your help

    1. You can use regular shortening however it is not that great of a taste, some people complain it has a heavy greasy mouthfeel. No other changes

      1. Thanks Gretchen:
        Will this stand up to heat and humidity better than your Swiss Buttercream recipe or are they pretty similar? That is my biggest problem here as i do not have air conditioning so I cannot even cool off my kitchen other than the breeze. As well, most places that I would take my baking are not air conditioned either.
        Thanks again.

  159. Hi Gretchen, How are you..?
    I tried your American buttercream recepie..
    I used all butter because I couldn’t find shortening here.
    And I used CSR icing sugar because I couldn’t find the brand you have mentioned.
    Now the problem I faced is that when I eat it, I could feel the crunch of sugar.. it didn’t dissolve properly.. don’t know what have I done wrong… please guide

    Thank you ..

    1. Its possible its the brand of sugar you are using, sift it a few more times before addding to the recipe

  160. Here in Australia there are two types of sugar by CSR.. one is icing sugar and other is icing sugar mixture.. do you have an idea which one should be used..??

    And if you know any other brand which is better and is available in Australia..

    Thank you!!

  161. Hi Gretchen, thanks again for your superb website. I just have a few questions and if you have the time I would really appreciate your feedback.
    1. Will this be enough just to ice (and not fill) a 4 layer 10 inch cake. Should I reduce or increase the recipe?
    2. As the cake is for a toddlers party and as many people now avoid trans-fats, is there a trans-fat free shortening, that gives good results as I rather not use all butter as the taste is not as good? Or can I use a brick margarine for baking such as Stork a trans-fat free brand we have in the UK?
    3. I was thinking of making this into a white chocolate buttercream, but as white chocolate is very sweet I am not sure how to adapt your recipe so that I don’t end up with something that is sickly sweet. Should I see how much sugar is in the chocolate the subtract that amount or a proportion of it from the quantity of icing-sugar? Will the firmness from the chocolate when it cools help compensate the firmness you loose from the reduced amount of icing sugar?
    Thanks again, you website and videos are amazing.

    1. Hi Thanks and you are welcome too.
      Yes to just icing
      You can use Spectrum Non Hydrogenated Shortening or the margarine sure
      You can reduce the amount of confectioners yes, by a cup, will be fine and yes the chocolate will help to stabilize

      1. Thank you Gretchen for getting back to me, but just one quick question will the amount in your recipe be enough to ice(and not full) a 10 inch, 4 layer cake or do I need to make 1,5 times more or double it? Thanks again.

  162. Delicious recipe! Definitely the best buttercream I’ve tasted! I do have a question, though. Let’s pretend the person making this one day stupidly forgot to add the extracts (hypothetically, of course). And let’s say she/he didn’t realize it until the next day, long after she/he had put the icing in the fridge. Could this person (not me, I swear!) add the extracts while re-whipping it, after bringing it back to room temp?

    Thanks for any help you can give… just in case I ever meet anyone who did this.

  163. Im going to try this recipe. I wanted to know what other attachment would be good to use if I don’t have a paddle attachment? Also I love watching your videos on YouTube.

    1. Hi Thanks! Well, the paddle is the best since you really are not trying to whip air into the buttercream, but you can try the whip (if thats all you have)

  164. Gretchen, how much buttercream would I need for crumb coating one 6, 8, and 10 inch rounds? I am using other icing for filling in between layers, and I am trying to calculate my ingredient amounts. I see your recipe is for 6 cups, wondering if I need that much, more, or less. Thank you!

  165. Hi Gretchen,

    I am super excited to have found your American Buttercream. I have a few question though..I am a newbie in frosting and piping..but am super confident to do it that I’ve taken up the task to make 30 cupcakes with russian tip for my sister’s engagement ceremony in October…i know I need to practice. I would love to practice making your ABC but can I half all measurements ingredients for testing? Since i live in a tropical country and during that month is the raining season so will ABC be fine for it? Can increasing the shortening help to make ABC stiffer? My next question is, what’s the best ratio if I want more high shortening than butter for stiffer results..i will be using crisco since that’s the only brand in my country..and last but not least, what would be your advice for someone who is trying russian piping for the first time? I know i am too ambitious .never done piping before lol but somehow I know deep down I can do it. Kinda nervous but super excited too.. Thanks for reading my comment. Hope to hear from you soon.

  166. Hi Gretchen,
    I have a dilemma. I am making a cake for my niece. She does not like American buttercream or Swiss meringue buttercream. She likes the icing used on cakes from WalMart and other stores. I think it is Rich’s Bettercreme. I cannot get it in my area. Do you know of any homemade icing that is similar to it?

    1. Hey there, Hmm, No I really dont because that stuff is nothing but fake chemicals LOL!
      Its so weird how people like that so much!

  167. Hello, my name is Treg. I know this is a weird question but do you know how to make Walmarts buttercream? Its so good. I have been wondering how they make it. Sorry for the weird question.

  168. HI !
    I love this recipe so using it for filling in a cake..however I want to make it a raspberry buttercream flavor so i am adding raspberry emulsion to it….question is do I still use the butter and vanilla extracts in it? How would you do it? AND can I use this buttercream for the outside of a unicorn cake? It will be 80 degrees outside where the cake will be served…or is it better to use a “crusting” American buttercream to hold the cake firmer for piping decorations…I don’t want the mane on the side of the cake to get droopy…?

  169. I look forward to trying this as a slightly less sweet decorator frosting. I am a fan of crusting frostings to get a smooth look on layered cakes. it also makes removing piping mistakes very easy. However, I feel I should branch out a bit from the Wilton’s frosting, but i’m too chicken to try the swiss buttercream. I don’t need a crust for cupcakes. I also want to try your cream cheese frosting. i have tried various ones of those, but unfortunately when I decide to try again, I forget which ones on the internet have worked. It has been difficult for me to get a cream cheese frosting with the right consistency for decorating. The best one used so much cream cheese I would go broke trying to decorate a full sized cake! I’m also going to look into the high ratio shortening thing…..
    So many frostings to try, so little time. And then there are the cake recipes…. I just need basic yellow sponge but i admit, I stick with box mixes most of the time.

  170. Hi Gretchen! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. I am curious about your saying that this can be stored at room temperature for a few days since it has heavy cream in it.

  171. I love using Sweetex in my baking and icings, but am worried about the FDA ban on transfats coming in 2018. Are you going to recommend a substitute for Sweetex, or am I wrong in thinking that it won’t be available in the US come January 2018?

    1. I know, its definitely going to change things. I have a hard time getting sweetex too now that Im not in the bakery. All the other stuff is so unstable, too soft

  172. Hi Gretchen! I have been using a cooked frosting for years now. Loved it but found it a pain to do and quite expensive being I used regular sugar. Then I came across this buttercream. THE BEST BUTTERCREAM BY FAR!! Easy peasy, affordable, but most importantly, DELUCIOUS! Thank you for saving me the time and precious money lol!!!!! Oh. And it spreads like butta!!!

  173. Hello Gretchen. I am a big fan of you and I always watch you on youtube. I need help! Huhu. I made this buttercream earlier. I used high ratio shortening and I don’t like the waxy aftertaste it gives. So I decided to put more vanilla extract and also almond extract. But I didn’t notice that I am actually adding too much. At the end it tasted too almondy(like medicine). I made an unflavored 1/3 batch of it again and added it but the flavor is still too strong. What can I do to neutralize the flavor? Huhu.

    1. Hmm, sounds like you did everything I would have suggested, but almond extract sure can be overpowering.
      Best advice would be to add another batch same as you did, you will have lots of buttercream though! Good thing it freezes!

  174. Hi Gretchen,
    Can I use this buttercream or even Swiss Meringue Buttercream to pipe details on top of fondant? Would this buttercream work and not leach grease marks or colour onto a white fondant base? I need to make a white unicorn cake and the client wants strawberry SMBC. To get a white cake I was thinking I would have to cover the cake in fondant and then go from there. Can you suggest a better way of doing this? Also, how does this buttercream stand up in hot weather? Thanks Gretchen!

  175. Hi Gretchen
    I am going to make a cupcake bouquet for a friend and done of the cupcakes will be slanted alittle do you think the icing will slide off ? Thank you

  176. Hi Gretchen, When using Sweetex, do you use the regular or Sweetex Z (without trans fats). I am trying to duplicate a recipe for glazed sugar cookies from a local bakery, and I am sure there is no butter in their cookie or glaze recipes. Also when measuring Sweetex (as a substitute for Crisco or butter in a recipe), do you measure cup for cup or use less Sweetex? Thanks for you help! Debbie

    1. Hey there, I have not gotten my hands on any of the no trans fat one, but I heard it has been a disaster with pro bakers!
      Ive been using Spectrum brand which is probably similar to the non trans sweetex (and it is very soft and less stable thats for sure 🙁
      You can measure cup for cup

  177. I saw a recipe for American Buttercream frosting with a tablespoon of meringue powder in it. I want to use it to frost rolled sugar cookies. I want a firmer, not soft frosting. Do you think this will work?

    1. No I dont have a true crusting buttercream, thats usually a recipe that has a higher amount of confectioners sugar with shortening (I know this would look that way) but it doesnt crust

  178. Just made the buttercream and it is so fluffy and not grainy at all!! Almost has a subtle marshmallowy taste and texture. Everyone is sampling it and loves it!! I usually make IMBC but this is amazing and so much faster. Perfect recipe 🙂 Thanks Gretchen!!

  179. Hi gretchen – I used this icing for my daughters wedding cake and it was delicious. I am using it again for a cake, but was wondering if you can put 50/50 fondant/gumpaste figures on top of it? I have read that the fondant/gumpaste will bleed into the cake because of the buttercream.

    1. Hi Mary thanks, I have never had any trouble using fondant on buttercream, and the only time I had trouble with gumpaste was when the cake went into the fridge

  180. After trying out hundreds of Buttercreams, this is by far the BEST recipe I have yet tried. It’s easy and holds well. I tried it with CK Shortening and my BC came out Delicious! I just purchased Sweetex Shortening, I will be trying it with that brand this weekend. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  181. OMG !!! This is the frosting recipe that I have been searching for. It is soooo good that I just stood there eating it by the spoonful. People you have to try this. I made just half a batch for fear that it would be the same ol’ sickening sweet frosting as all the others. So not true. This frosting is sweet but not sickening sweet, OH so light and fluffy and white. The butter emulsion gives it that little extra that is so welcomed. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  182. I have tried this recipe several times. It is too thin for me to pipe. I followed exactly. What am I doing wrong?

  183. Hi, this may be a silly Question but in the chocolate variation it you called for 6oz of baking chocolate. what makes up for the other 2oz that makes it 1 cup? Is it butter to keep it in a liquid form to cool?

  184. Hey Gretchen,

    I have been following your blog for a very long time and just love the way you present all the recipes. Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing buttercream recipe, this is like indeed for me.

  185. Amazing! I made this lovely buttecream icing and it has such a lovely texture and flavor. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom.

  186. This recipe was excellent! I used it for a birthday cake and my family all thought it was the best icing they’ve ever had. They said it was not too sweet and just right. I used Spectrum vegetable shortening and it worked well, no greasy mouth feel.

    Thanks for the great recipe and all the tutorials!

  187. I just made this for the first time on Saturday. I was frosting the cake with smbc, but wanted a stronger buttercream for the dam and filling, since the cake had pineapple curd in the middle. It worked like a charm! This is a really good tasting buttercream, and will now be my go-to.

    Thank you for another great recipe.

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