How To Make Buttercream Frosting For Cake

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For the decorating, I wanted to try something new and a rosette cake. Ive seen this done before and it looked amazing, so I wanted to give it a try.

I had done rosettes before, but usually just as decoration on top of the cakes or on cupcakes, not something that would cover the whole cake. I could have winged it, but Im glad I checked out a couple of video tutorials first. I wouldnt have thought to offset each row of roses to fill in the gaps.

I stacked and iced the cakes and did a crumb coat layer on the outside thicker than just a crumb coat, but not too thick, as the rosettes would add a lot of icing already.

For this rosette cake, I started at the bottom and worked my way around, then the next layer, then the top.

All in all, the rosette part was really easy and probably took less than 10mins. Im surprised at how easy it was, really. Its a simple way to decorate your cakes and make them look stunning!

This particular vanilla buttercream is a bit less sweet than most youll find. I dont like mine super-sweet, so I just added less powdered sugar. You can adjust this to your liking though just use more/less if you prefer, but be sure to adjust the cream as needed!

If youre looking for an easy and delicious vanilla buttercream recipe, this one is for you!

How Long Does It Take For Buttercream To Crust

The amount of time it takes for the buttercream to crust depends on a couple factors, especially the temperature and humidity inside your kitchen.

Generally, it will take your buttercream anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to develop a crust. If its a particularly warm and humid day, it may take longer. You will know its ready when you can very lightly touch the surface of the buttercream and it does not leave a mark.

The Key To This Recipe

For this recipe, I use a one-bowl method . To make it you just throw all the ingredients into the bowl and mix until creamy. For my food processor, it takes a minute. After the first 30 seconds, I scrape the bowl and run it for 30 seconds more. Thats it!

To use a mixer, you start low and once the sugar starts to look mixed into the butter, you finish with a higher speed. Either method is super quick and easy!

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Is Buttercream Better With Butter Or Shortening

Actually, its best with both! Our buttercream uses a combination of the two fats. The butter gives the frosting flavor while the shortening provides structure.

If youd rather not use shortening, you can replace it with all butter. However, it will take longer for your frosting to crust.

For a super white frosting that will hold its shape well , you can also replace the butter with all shortening.

In the end it all comes down to personal preference and how youre planning to use your buttercream.

Why Is My Buttercream Not Firm

How To Make Buttercream Frosting

If your buttercream is too soft or is drooping after you pipe it, try adding more confectioners sugar. Weather plays a big part in making buttercream. If theres a lot of moisture in the air, you may need to add more sugar than usual.

If your frosting is too dry, you can thin it out with milk or water. Be sure to start small, though. Even a teaspoon goes a long way!

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Can Buttercream Be Made In Advance

This recipe can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container or in the fridge for two days before serving. Any longer than that and I would recommend freezing it.

Prior to using, youll need to allow it to soften to room temperature for a couple of hours and you may even want to rewhip it. If youre planning to freeze it, youll need to do the same thing.

Your frosting is best for piping when its fresh. The longer it sits, the frosting will lose some of the air that you whipped into it. Therefore, it will be stiffer and harder to work with, which is is why I recommend you always rewhip it for a few minutes prior to use.

What Mixer Attachment Should I Use For Buttercream

Ive found that using a stand mixer is best for making buttercream. I like the paddle attachment to make the fluffiest buttercream. If you need to use a hand mixer, just beat, beat and beat until you have a fluffy frosting!

I also like using a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. When Im mixing at high speed, some of that classic vanilla buttercream gets thrown up on the sides and a spatula is the easiest way to get it back down into the bowl.

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Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Dessert 10 mins

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of my quick, classic go-to frosting recipes that I turn to time and again.

My family absolutely adores it, it is so very simple to make, and you just cant beat that classic vanilla buttercream for all sorts of celebratory and everyday type of desserts. It is perfect for my white cake recipe for birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations and works as a delicious, yet stark visual contrast on chocolate cake, too. It is great sandwiched between a couple of butter cookies or spread on top of a cookie cake, as well. You just cant beat the versatility of good ole vanilla buttercream frosting. It just works.

I am consistently receiving emails asking about my vanilla buttercream frosting, so I thought Id repost the recipe by itself instead of it being included along with my chocolate cupcake recipe where it is scaled down for just 12 cupcakes.

I also thought Id answer a few of your questions as well.

How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so white?

There are a few tricks to getting my vanilla buttercream frosting as white as I do. First, after each cup of confectioners sugar that I add, I turn my stand mixer on the highest speed that it will go. This not only makes the frosting extremely fluffy, it also lightens the coloring of the frosting as air is incorporated.

How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so fluffy?

Ingredients For Buttercream Frosting:

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Butter: keep about 2 hours at room temperature or until butter is 65F to 67F on an instant-read thermometer, or until you can indent the butter with your finger. Choose a lighter-colored butter which is typically the cheaper butter. Avoid yellow-colored butter.

Vanilla Extract: Use the best quality vanilla extract.

Heavy Cream or milk: add it to desired consistency. Without it, the frosting will look dry and wont pipe as smoothly. If its too thick, it can also get stuck in the piping tip. Start with adding 1 Tbsp of cream or milk at a time and add it to your desired consistency, mixing between each addition.

Powdered Sugar: sift to eliminate lumps so they dont get stuck in your piping tips.

Can I add less sugar? You can add powdered sugar to taste but using more will make the frosting thicker and using less with make the frosting looser and taste more buttery. If using less sugar, you will likely need to add less cream or milk at the end.

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How To Make American Buttercream

This American buttercream consists of four simple ingredients butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream. Im convinced that there are a few key things you can do to make sure your buttercream is nice and smooth with as little grit as possible.

  • The first step is to really whip the butter, on its own, before adding any powdered sugar.
  • Sift your powdered sugar! This is a bit of a pain, but really helps to break out those clumps
  • Add your powdered sugar slowly 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time to the buttercream and whip well in between additions.
  • Once all the sugar is added, give it a good whip for at least 3 mins, more if needed.
  • Add only as much cream as needed to reach the consistency that you want and whip some more until completely smooth.
  • Now, Im not convinced this is the exact same vanilla buttercream that was on our cake , but it was delicious. I am super happy with the end result and will definitely be making this buttercream again!

    What Is American Buttercream Frosting

    Ive actually had a hard time nailing down a good, simple vanilla buttercream recipe what some would call American Buttercream that uses mainly butter and powdered sugar.

    I usually make Swiss meringue buttercream, which I love but takes a bit more effort, and I was most certainly looking for something with very little effort.

    The BEST vanilla frosting Id ever had was on my wedding cake, a cake we commissioned from Gannons, the restaurant we had our reception at. We didnt do any tastings or see any samples, we just sent them a picture of what we wanted it to look like and chose our flavors.

    This cake was unbelievable, the buttercream so smooth and delicious. We had a ton of leftovers, which we happily took back to our condo and devoured over the next few days.

    Id mentioned multiple times to Ryan that I wondered how they made it. I assumed it was a meringue-based one because it was so silky smooth, but it was less buttery than ones Id made before. Powdered sugar-based buttercreams always feel so gritty so it couldnt be that.

    Unbeknownst to me, Ryan had emailed Gannons and asked them for the recipe. He should probably get some kind of award, right?! I would never do this. I honestly did not think they would divulge their secrets, but they sent over a recipe!

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    How To Make Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

    Buttercream Frosting is easy to make with my simple tips and tricks! Take your cake and cupcake recipes from ordinary to extraordinary with real butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt!

    The secret to the very best cakes and cupcakes is to make your frosting from scratch and it isnt hard to make at all! With my very easy tips, you can make your own buttercream frosting in any flavor at home easily!

    When it comes to the best buttercream frosting, this frosting recipe needs to be at the top of your list! Its perfect for birthday cakes, vanilla cupcakes, sugar cookies, and more! This is such an easy recipe and youre going to have success making it the very first time!

    What You Need To Know About Sifting Sugar

    How To Make Buttercream Frosting

    Do not, under any circumstances, use unsifted powdered sugar to make frosting. Sifting the powdered sugar breaks up any larger clumps that will otherwise not break down in the whipping process. In fact, youll have varying degrees of tiny clumps which is ugly to look at when spreading this buttercream frosting on a cake. Unsifted sugar also contributes to a grainy mouthfeel.

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    How To Make Buttercream Frosting

    Our Homemade Buttercream Frosting is so easy to make, youll wonder why you ever bothered buying frosting.

    All you need to make buttercream frosting is a big bowl, an electric mixer, and a rubber spatula. If you are using a stand mixer instead of a hand mixer, I recommend using the paddle attachment.

    First, make sure your butter is softened.

    Cream the butter until it is fluffy. This is really the most important step in this entire recipe. I often set a kitchen timer for 6-7 minutes and just let my KitchenAid Stand Mixer do all of the work. Then add in the salt and slowly add in the powdered sugar, continuing to beat the mixture until it is well blended.

    Then add in the vanilla and cream or milk and beat on low speed until combined. Once the vanilla and cream or milk are incorporated, Ill turn up the speed to medium-high and set another timer for an additional 6-7 minutes. This will ensure your Homemade Buttercream Frosting is ultra-fluffy and creamy.

    You can add additional cream or milk if you want a softer consistency, but I recommend adding it just a couple of teaspoons at a time until its just right.

    Its ready to use or store for later!

    Tips For Making The Best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

    • Dont work with butter that is too soft. If its oily, its too soft and will curdle your buttercream. Pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow it to firm up slightly.
    • Use confectioners sugar that contains cornstarch! Tricalcium phosphate is another anticaking agent found in confectioners sugar but it doesnt work as well as cornstarch.
    • Add a pinch of salt to help balance the sweetness.
    • Dont be afraid to let the frosting whip! The more air you add the lighter the frosting will be which in turn makes it taste less sweet. So turn your mixer up and let it whip on medium-high for 5 minutes.

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    Prep Time: Total Time:

    This Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe is so versatile, you can use it for just about anything. Made with just a handful of ingredients, this frosting comes together in a snap.

    • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened SEE NOTE 1
    • 5 ½ cups confectioners sugar, sifted
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 6 tablespoons heavy cream, room temperature

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    There Are Many Ways To Store This Fluffy Buttercream Frosting:


    If you are not going to frost your cake, cupcakes, or cookies right away, place the Buttercream in an air-tight container. Place the container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    Warning though, since there is butter in the recipe, the frosting will harden up. Let the frosting warm up a little and place it back into the stand mixer and whip until light and fluffy again. This will only take a minute or two.

    You can store your Buttercream Frosting in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Room Temperature:

    This is a great debate. Once you make and decorate with buttercream frosting for cupcakes or cakes, what do you do with them?

    Do they need to be refrigerated or can they stay on the counter? That is a question that we get a lot from people!

    Even though buttercream icing has both butter and milk in it, it can stay at room temperature for two to three days according to the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Services. It can stay out because of the high amount of sugar in the frosting.


    Buttercream Frosting store perfectly well in the freezer, if you are making ahead of time for later use or if you have some leftover just place it in an airtight container and it should keep for up to 3 months.

    To defrost you can remove it to the refrigerator or to the countertop depending on when you are going to be using it!

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