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    Grit Free American Buttercream

    This grit free American buttercream (ABC) is everything you love about a traditional ABC, minus the grainy/gritty texture! It’s easy to make, yet smooth as a Swiss meringue buttercream!

    A grit free American buttercream that tastes incredible and is super smooth!

    What makes this better than a regular American buttercream?

    American buttercream (ABC) is one of the easiest and most commonly made frostings, but the biggest problem that most people have with it is that it often has a ‘gritty’ or grainy feel to it. This is because of undissolved icing sugar (also known as powdered/confectioners sugar).

    This version uses a technique where the icing sugar is dissolved into hot milk, which is then cooled and added to the butter. This results in a super smooth, grit free buttercream! I first saw this technique on Cupcake Savvys YouTube channel, so kudos to them for introducing us to this method!

    Another common complaint is that ABC is far too sweet! Most recipes have double the amount of powdered sugar to butter, which is just far too sweet for some. This recipes uses far less icing sugar without your frosting tasting too buttery.


    Is it stable enough?

    This was the first thing that came to my mind when I decided to try this technique. Would dissolving the icing sugar into the hot milk make the buttercream less stable? I decided to give the method a go, and experimented with using water instead of milk as my ‘thinning’ ingredient to make the ABC a little more creamy. I also used a bit more sugar than the original recipe so that the frosting was a little more stable. I also did some research and found that meringue powder is a great stabiliser and could easily be added in to this buttercream to provide additional stability.

    The result – OH MY! A super delicious, creamy, GRIT FREE American buttercream! It basically tasted like a Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) but so much easier to make! Was the recipe good enough to put on my blog – ABSOLUTELY! My new favourite way of making ABC!


    Does this grit free version still crust?

    The only downside for cake decorators is that this buttercream does not crust because the icing sugar has been dissolved. It acts more like a SMBC where it hardens when placed in the fridge, but at room temperature is soft to the touch. If you’re looking for a traditional American buttercream that crusts, then check out my original ABC recipe.


    A grit free American buttercream that tastes incredible and is super smooth!

    Grit Free American Buttercream

    Everything you love about American buttercream minus the grit/grainy texture! My new favourite ABC recipe!
    4.97 from 31 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cooling Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    Servings: 3 cups

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.


    • 2 cups (500 g) unsalted butter - room temperature, see note 1
    • ½ cup (125 ml) milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • ¼ tsp salt - omit if using salted butter
    • cups (330 g) icing/powdered sugar
    • 1 tbsp meringue powder - OPTIONAL


    • Add your butter to a stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment, mix on a medium high speed for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Give the bowl a scrape down every now and then to make sure everything is mixing well.
    • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the milk, vanilla and salt and heat it in the microwave so that it's hot, but not bubbling (about 30 seconds to a minute).
    • Add your icing sugar to the heated milk mixture and mix until the icing sugar is dissolved. It should be a thin paste like consistency.
    • Strain the milk/icing sugar mixture to get rid of any lumps, and then let the mixture cool to room temperature. You can speed this up by placing the mixture into the fridge for 15 minutes, stirring it every 5 minutes.
    • Once cooled, turn your mixer onto a medium speed and slowly drizzle in the milk/icing sugar paste into your whipped butter. It may look like the mixture is curdling, but this is normal.
    • Once the mixture is added into the butter, scrape down your bowl, and then mix on a medium speed for a further 10 minutes. This is going to lighten the buttercream in both taste and texture. Your buttercream is now ready!


    YouTube video


    Note 1. You can use salted butter, but omit the salt in the recipe if you do.


    Calories: 1596kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 131g | Saturated Fat: 83g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 34g | Trans Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 349mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 124mg | Sugar: 106g | Vitamin A: 4066IU | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 0.1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: american buttercream, grit free buttercream
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    • Bushra

      Hii. I made around 4 to 5 batches of this buttercream and it always works well.
      But this time, its melting very easily and getting very difficult to work with. 5 minutes out of the refrigerator, even the warmth of my hands touching the piping bag and its melting. The buttet seems to seperate. How to prevent this?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Bushra! 🙂 It sounds like you may have a bit of a broken or split buttercream. This is usually due to the butter being too cold and not incorporating well with the other ingredients, causing it to separate. Check out this video for more info and how to fix it 🙂

    • Maria

      5 stars
      Can I make this into a chocolate buttercream?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Maria! Yes you could do that by adding in cocoa powder or folding in some melted semi-sweet chocolate 🙂 if the frosting is a little soft after adding in the chocolate, simply pop it into the fridge for 30 mins then re-whip it. Enjoy!

        • Maria

          5 stars
          Thank you so much! I already tried the recipe as shown and it’s yummy! I’m sure it will be even better with the chocolate! Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Brooke

      5 stars
      Can this be stored at room temperature?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Brooke! Yes it can be stored at room temp for a day or two, after which it’s best refrigerated due to the milk 🙂

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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