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    Silky Smooth Buttercream Frosting

    If you’re looking for a silky smooth buttercream frosting recipe that is not too sweet or grainy, then this recipe is it!

    I find traditional American style buttercreams way too sweet, so I came up with my own version that has far less icing sugar (in relation to the amount of butter) compared to more traditional recipes. Best part is, it’s still stable enough to use for layered cakes and is great for piping too!

    buttercream frosting

    What’s Different With This Buttercream

    Usual American style buttercreams that are made with butter and icing sugar (also known as powdered or confectioners sugar), have double the amount of icing sugar compared to butter. This makes a great stable buttercream, however it also makes it very sweet!

    This version uses an almost 1:1 ratio of icing sugar to butter, so it’s far less sweet. It also uses a full half cup of cream to help dissolve the icing sugar in the buttercream to make the final product less grainy. Cream is also used in replacement of milk (which is more common in American buttercreams), as it has a higher fat content and provides extra stability to the buttercream when whipped.

    This makes this less-sweet buttercream great for using with layered cakes and for piping. The picture below is an example of this frosting used in combination with my white cake recipe.

    White cake

    How Can I Store This Buttercream

    Although this recipe is made using ingredients that aren’t usually kept at room temperature (i.e. cream), the high sugar content from the icing sugar and fat from the butter, prevent the frosting from going off immediately. This means you can keep the frosting at room temperature for a day or two, but after that it’s best to refrigerate.

    Does This Buttercream Crust?

    As great as this recipe is, the only down side is that it does not crust. This means that it may not be suitable for certain cake decorating techniques that require a crusting buttercream.

    How to Make Buttercream Frosting

    This recipe comes together really easily using only four ingredients!

    In the bowl of a stand mixer (see note 1 on recipe card below), add in the butter, icing sugar (also known as powdered or confectioners sugar), vanilla and cream.

    Using the paddle attachment, mix on the lowest speed until the ingredients are combined (about a minute), and then turn up the speed to a medium high and mix for a full 10 minutes. Scrape the bowl down half way through.

    After 10 minutes, turn the mixer down to the lowest speed for a further minute or so to remove any large air bubbles.

    buttercream

    The frosting should be silky smooth and it’s now ready to use! If you find that your buttercream is a bit firm and has a lot of holes, then it means that either the butter or cream was too cold. To fix this, gently heat the buttercream in the microwave for 5 second bursts (don’t heat it for too long otherwise the buttercream will melt), mixing in between each burst until the frosting is softer in consistency and you can easily mix it, and then rewhip it for a few minutes.

    buttercream frosting

    Silky Smooth Buttercream Frosting

    If you're looking for a silky smooth buttercream frosting recipe that is not too sweet or grainy, then this recipe is it! I find traditional American style buttercreams way too sweet, so I came up with my own version that has far less icing sugar (in relation to the amount of butter) compared to more traditional recipes. Best part is, it's still stable enough to use for layered cakes and is great for piping too!
    5 from 28 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 15 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.

    Ingredients
     

    • cups (340 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • 3 cups (375 g) icing sugar - also known as powdered/confectioners sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • ½ cup (120 g) heavy cream - room temperature. Any cream used to make whipped cream will work.

    Instructions

    • In the bowl of a stand mixer (see note 1), add in the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and cream.
    • Using the paddle attachment, mix on the lowest speed until the ingredients are combined (about a minute), and then turn up the speed to a medium high and mix for a full 10 minutes. Scrape the bowl down half way through.
    • After 10 minutes, turn the mixer down to the lowest speed for a further minute or so to remove any large air bubbles.
    • The frosting should be silky smooth and it's now ready to use! If you find that your buttercream is a bit firm and has a lot of holes, then it means that either the butter or cream was too cold. To fix this, gently heat the buttercream in the microwave for 5 second bursts (don't heat it for too long otherwise the buttercream will melt), mixing in between each burst until the frosting is softer in consistency and you can easily mix it, and then rewhip it for a few minutes.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. You can use a hand mixer too, but this frosting does require a bit of mixing so if you have a stand mixer I would recommend using it. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 1010kcal | Carbohydrates: 134g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 112g | Saturated Fat: 71g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 29g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 305mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 73mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3613IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 57mg | 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, buttercream frosting recipe, buttercream recipe, icing recipe, smooth buttercream recipe
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

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    81 Comments

    • Serena

      Hi,

      What size cake would the 1× recipe pf this frosting fill and cover? I’m planning on using it for my birthday cake next week

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Serena! 🙂 It will be enough to fully frost a two layer 8 inch cake. Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

    • Meg

      Hello!! Will this icing work as a base to do a gold drip icing? Or is that a cake decorating method that requires the icing to “crust”?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Meg! 🙂 Yes you can totally do a gold drip on a non-crusting buttercream, just make sure the frosting is nice and cold before applying the drip so it sets easily as the chocolate drips down the cake 🙂

    • Lisa W

      This recipe sounds delicious. Is it safe to leave out of the refrigerator since adding cream?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Lisa! 🙂 You can leave the frosting out for a day or so if the weather isn’t very hot (the sugar preserves the frosting and prevents the cream from going off), but after that it’s best to keep refrigerated :). Enjoy!

    • Bri

      Hi, will normal heavy whipping cream work? Or is there a different type of cream I’m supposed to use since you just put cream?
      Making buttercream for my cake for Easter!

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Bri! Any type of cream you can use to make whipped cream will work – the more fat in it the better so heavy whipping cream will work great! Enjoy 🙂

    • Angelina

      5 stars
      This is the best buttercream I have ever made. I used this for a few cake orders and it was definitely top notch. Super smooth and not too sweet. It was perfect! I definitely would recommend!

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So happy to hear you loved the buttercream Angelina 😀

    • Eileen

      If I want to make it a chocolate frosting, can I put in dry cocos powder with a little more cream?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Eileen! Yes you could totally do that 🙂 you may want to add in a bit more powdered sugar to counteract the bitterness of the cocoa, but I would recommend adding in the cocoa, mixing it in and then giving the buttercream a taste and then see if you would like to add more powdered sugar (just to make sure it doesn’t become too sweet). Enjoy!

    • carolina

      hi! what do you mean cream?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Carolina! This refers to any type of whipping or heavy cream – the type you use to make whipped cream 🙂

    • Jill Dyer

      5 stars
      I was making a birthday cake for my granddaughter and every frosting I tried was too soft, too sweet, or too grainy. This frosting is SO good, easy to make and perfect for frosting a cake. Thank you, MK, this will be my go-to frosting from now on!!! If you need a sturdy frosting that tastes great, this is your recipe!

      • Cakes by MK

        Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback Jill! So so happy to hear you loved the frosting, and wishing your granddaughter a wonderful birthday 😀

        • Mital

          Can I make this buttercream in advance? How many days in advance?

          • Cakes by MK

            Hi Mital! 🙂 Yes you can make this buttercream ahead of time, about a day or two before will be fine. Just be sure to pop it into the fridge in an airtight container once it’s done. Once you’re ready to use it, pull it out of the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature and then re-whip it to bring it back to its fluffy consistency. Enjoy!

    • April Burton

      I am so excited to try this frosting! Can I add some strawberry puree at the end to make a strawberry frosting? If so how much? Thank you!

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi April! 🙂 You could totally add in some strawberry puree, just keep in mind it will make the frosting slightly less stable, but as long as you don’t add too much it should be totally fine! Enjoy 🙂

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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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