Buttercream Frosting Recipes

Updated on March 17, 2016
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Buttercream frosting is one of the most common frostings used on cakes, cupcakes, and many other desserts. It is fluffy and creamy at the same time, and one of the easiest frostings to make. Listed below are some of the many variations of this famous frosting. Choose whichever you think is most suitable for your sweet tooth.

Simple Buttercream Frosting

If you want a very easy frosting that requires only a few ingredients and involves very few steps, this is the recipe to try. This is probably the sweetest of all the buttercream frostings out there, because of the high sugar-to-butter ratio that keeps it stable and pipe-able. For non-experienced bakers, this is a great recipe to try because it is very easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Mix butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add in vanilla extract and mix for a few more seconds.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

This is a more stable frosting because it can stay at room temperature for up to two days without melting, though it will melt easily at a slightly higher temperature, and thus should be refrigerated. This is a very light and fluffy frosting that is oh-so-yummy and not too sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 4 extra-large egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Mix egg whites and sugar in a bowl and place on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Stir continuously to prevent the egg whites from getting cooked; do this until the sugar has melted.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Beat the mixture on high until soft peaks have formed and the mixture has cooled to room temperature (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the butter slowly, followed by the vanilla extract.
  • At one point, the mixture will look soupy and then curdled. Do not panic. Just continue mixing until the frosting holds its shape.

Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Italian meringue buttercream frosting, another variation, is also quite stable, though not as stable as Swiss meringue. This recipe is buttery and velvety, which makes it really delicious. It can be quite tricky to make, because there is a chance that the egg whites will fall once the sugar syrup is added. Just make sure that you use fresh egg whites and follow the instructions carefully.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup butter
  • a few drops of vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Do not stir. Boil the mixture until the sugar crystals have dissolved.
  • Beat egg whites on high, using the whisk attachment of your mixer. Beat until soft peaks form.
  • Once soft peaks are achieved, slowly pour in the sugar mixture. Continue beating until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and soft peaks form again.
  • Remove the mixture from the mixer and switch to your paddle attachment.
  • Place the butter in a separate bowl and beat it until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add in the egg white-and-sugar-syrup mixture.
  • Beat for about 5 minutes, until the frosting has developed a pipe-able consistency.

Creamy Simple Buttercream Frosting

This creamier version is used as filling and as topping in sylvanas and sansrival.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 350g can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Combine evaporated milk and confectioner's sugar in a container. Mix them thoroughly and chill for a few minutes.
  • With your paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add in chilled milk-and-sugar mixture.
  • Add in vanilla extract and continue beating until frosting consistency is achieved.

French Meringue Buttercream Frosting

This is rarely used in the US because of health concerns surrounding consumption of raw egg whites. Unlike the Italian version, where the hot syrup cooks the raw egg whites, this recipe does not use boiled sugar syrup and simply beats the egg white and sugar together to make a frosting. But if you don't have problems with eating raw egg whites, this is still a great recipe to try that is very light and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 7 extra-large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tsps cream of tartar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl.
  • Using the whisk attachment of your mixer, beat the mixture together on high until it is foamy and frothy.
  • Slowly add in the sugar until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form
  • Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add in chunks of butter. Make sure that each chunk of butter is mixed in thoroughly before adding more of.
  • Add in vanilla extract and beat for about 2 more minutes until desired frosting consistency is achieved.

French Buttercream Frosting

This is different from French meringue because this recipe uses egg yolks, not egg whites. It is prepared the same way but it uses egg yolks instead of whites. This results in a denser and yellower frosting that has a creamier and richer taste.

Ingredients:

  • 8 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter

Procedure:

  • In a saucepan, combine sugar and water together. Do not mix. Let it boil until sugar has dissolved.
  • Using the whisk attachment of your mixer, beat egg yolks until fluffy and thickened.
  • Slowly pour in sugar syrup and continue beating. It will liquefy after the syrup is added, but don't panic. This is normal. Just continue beating until it thickens again.
  • Once a thick consistency is achieved, switch to your paddle attachment and beat on medium speed.
  • Slowly add butter, one chunk at a time, making sure each piece is well incorporated before adding more.
  • Continue beating on high for a few more minutes. At one point, it may turn into a mayonnaise-like consistency, but don't worry. A few more minutes of beating on high and it will have the consistency of frosting.

German Buttercream Frosting

This is the least known of all the buttercream frostings out there, but one of the best tasting. Many people say it tastes just like ice cream and I could not agree with them more.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups butter

Procedure:

  • Mix milk and vanilla together and simmer in a saucepan.
  • While waiting for the mixture to simmer, in a mixing bowl whisk together sugar, egg, egg yolks, and cornstarch.
  • Slowly add the sugar, egg, and cornstarch mixture to the simmering milk. Whisk all ingredients together over medium heat until mixture becomes thick and bubbles a bit.
  • Remove from heat and immediately cover with a cling wrap.
  • Cool the mixture to room temperature.
  • Once mixture is cooled, transfer it to a mixing bowl and use your paddle attachment.
  • Slowly mix in chunks of butter using medium-high speed, making sure that the butter is completely incorporated before adding more. Mix for about 10 more minutes after all the butter has been incorporated or until desired frosting consistency is achieved. You can let the mixture stand at room temperature for a whipped-cream-like-consistency or chill in the fridge for a firmer frosting.

Buttercream frostings are not only delicious but also very easy to make and prepare. Choose any of the frostings mentioned above to decorate your pastries and make them taste even better.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • pinklemonadegirl profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenn 

        4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

        @lisa I'm not really sure how long it can stay out of the fridge as I haven't tried exposing cupcakes with German buttercream frosting for more than a few hours. But I do know that it can withstand heat pretty well like up to 70 F, perhaps. It doesn't melt easily.

      • profile image

        lisa 

        4 years ago

        Just wondering how stable is the german buttercream? I need something that can stay outside the fridge for a day or 2.

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        4 years ago from Germany

        Thanks for sharing these kinds of frostings. Now I feel hungry thinking of the cakes.

      • floridacupcake profile image

        floridacupcake 

        4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

        Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting is my all time favorite! gah I love Foodies =D

      • pinklemonadegirl profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenn 

        5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

        @peachpurple: haha! sorry, I didn't mean to. :D

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        you are making me hungry... I just ate my dinner!

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