Easy Buttercream Frosting

Delicious, rich and easy buttercream frosting recipe that anyone can make. This is not a crusting buttercream. It is meringue based so it has a slight shine and chills nicely in the fridge. Takes 10 minutes to make and is fool-proof! Light, fluffy and not too sweet. 
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 6 cups
close up of easy buttercream rosettes

I love easy buttercream frosting (technically a mock Swiss meringue buttercream) because you don’t have to heat any egg whites (thanks to pasteurized eggs), it tastes super creamy and not too sweet and only takes 10 minutes to make! You can pipe with this, use it under fondant and it tastes SO much better than store-bought! I promise anyone can make this!

close up of easy buttercream rosettes

This buttercream frosting is the recipe I WISH I had when I was making 5 wedding cakes a weekend. Now it’s the only buttercream frosting I use and my clients love it. Way better than the super sweet frosting I was used to seeing on cakes.


You might be like, egg whites… in frosting? What? It wasn’t until I went to pastry school in 2010 that I first heard about different types of buttercream. Many types of buttercream, like Swiss, Italian, and French have eggs in them. The egg is often whipped into a light and fluffy meringue and then softened butter is whipped in. When you use meringue as your base for buttercream, you don’t have to use as much sugar resulting in a light, fluffy, and less sweet buttercream that tastes a lot like ice cream. YUM!

Easy buttercream is similar to Swiss Meringue Buttercream except that you do not have to heat egg whites and sugar, whip to a meringue, let cool, etc. Thanks to pasteurized egg whites, you can skip to the whipping stage and no need to mix to a meringue! The taste and texture of easy buttercream is nearly identical to traditional SMBC. Did I mention this was easy?

easy buttercream ingredients


Depending on the country you are in, you may or may not have access to pasteurized egg whites. In most places, they are found in a box in the egg section. The word “pasteurized” will be on the box somewhere, usually very small.

Pasteurizing is the process of gentle heating to kill food born illnesses and make a product safe to drink or eat. Many things are pasteurized, such as orange juice, milk, and wine. Pasteurized egg whites are safe for anyone to eat.

If you can’t find pasteurized egg whites you can pasteurize them yourself and just use the egg whites or you can use my Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe instead.

closeup of pasteurized egg


Step 1–  Place pasteurized egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low, then whip on high for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the powdered sugar. You do NOT need to whip to a meringue.

adding pasteurized egg whites to powdered sugar in a metal bowl

whipping egg whites and powdered sugar

Pro-tip – In traditional SMBC, fresh egg whites and granulated sugar are cooked together to dissolve the sugar and cook the eggs. We skip this step by using pasteurized egg whites and powdered sugar. 

Step 2 – Add in your salt and vanilla extract. You can also substitute any other extract flavoring that you like, I love lemon or orange extract. Using clear vanilla extract will result in a whiter finished buttercream.

holding clear glass bowl above the rim of a metal bowl mixer

Step 3 – Add in your softened butter in chunks and whip with the whisk attachment on high. If you are using pasteurized egg whites from the fridge then you might notice this rim of cold butter forming. This is normal and can easily be fixed.

cold buttercream forming a ridge in the mixing bowl

Simple stop your mixer and remove about 1/3 cup of the buttercream. Melt this in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until it’s just barely melted. You don’t want it hot!

Pour the mixture back into your whipping buttercream and the warmth from the melted buttercream will cause it all to come together and get creamy. This is honestly easier than taking out the egg whites ahead of time and trying to bring them to room temperature (at least for me).

pouring melted buttercream into cold buttercream

easy buttercream frosting in a metal mixing bowl

Step 4 – Now let the buttercream whip until white and fluffy. This will take 8-10 minutes with a KitchenAid, but taste it to see when it’s done. When it no longer tastes like butter and is sweet like ice cream, it’s done!

Pro-tip – If you want your buttercream super smooth, double the recipe so that the buttercream level is above the whisk attachment. As the buttercream whips, it works out all the bubbles so you get a super smooth buttercream with no bubbles. 

airless buttercream

Step 5 – (Optional) To make your buttercream extra white, use the end of a toothpick to add in a TINY drop of purple food coloring and about 1 TBSP of white food coloring. The purple will counteract the yellow in the butter and make it super white. Mix together.



Using good quality, real butter is best, but you can substitute it with margarine, vegan butter, or vegetable shortening. I can’t guarantee the taste will be the same, but you can use whatever is your preference!


The buttercream splits because it’s too cold. Take out 1/3 cup of the buttercream and melt it in the microwave until it’s just melted and then whip it back in. That little bit of warm butter helps it all come together again.


Buttercream is soft or firm depending on how warm it is. If it’s too soft, it could be your butter was too soft when you added it in or the mixer warmed it up. Put the buttercream in the fridge for 20 minutes then whip it again and it should firm back up.


Some people have said their buttercream has a grainy consistency, but I have never experienced this before. If you have this issue, try sifting your powdered sugar before adding in the pasteurized egg whites and mixing the egg whites with the powdered sugar on medium for 5 minutes to dissolve the powdered sugar.


YES! I do all the time, just make sure to chill your cakes until the buttercream is firm to the touch before applying fondant. It goes great with my homemade marshmallow fondant too! Check out my video on how to cover a cake in fondant.

How to get sharp fondant edges on your cake


This frosting will not crust, but is stable enough to pipe buttercream flowers and will last at room temperature for 2 days. It is ok at temperatures up to 85ºF  but will melt in direct sunlight in about 20 minutes so keep it in the shade! You can replace half the butter with shortening to make it more stable in high temperatures.

Easy buttercream is not as stable as American or Italian buttercream but is more stable than cream cheese frosting or whipped cream.

You can also make a white chocolate buttercream frosting by adding melted white chocolate into the buttercream frosting. This makes a SUPER stable buttercream frosting that is a combination of buttercream and white chocolate ganache.


Easy buttercream will last for 2 days at room temperature, 2 weeks in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer. If your buttercream is cold, make sure to whip it up again before using it. Bring your buttercream to room temperature and begin whipping it. Then remove 1/3 cup of the buttercream and microwave it until it’s just barely melted, then pour it back in while whipping to make it smooth again.

If you’re going to frost your cake tomorrow, just leave the buttercream on the countertop. You don’t have to refrigerate it within 2 days because the butter and sugar act as its own preservation.

If your buttercream frosting has been sitting at room temperature for more than a day, mix it with the paddle attachment before using it to make it smooth again. Buttercream tends to get spongy after 24 hours and loses its creamy texture.


You can add a few drops of gel food coloring to this buttercream to color it. It holds color well and gets darker overnight. Just be sure to not add too much food coloring or you’ll be able to taste it.

If you want to make darker colors, check out my neon buttercream blog post for more information.


Yes! Pasteurized egg whites are heat-treated (like milk) so they are safe to eat. They usually come in a box carton in the egg aisle. If you don’t have pasteurized egg whites then you can use my SMBC recipe instead. Note: undercooked egg whites are not recommended for pregnant women just to be on the safe side.


This recipe is not very sweet, especially if you’re used to American buttercream. You can add more powdered sugar if you want it to be sweeter, but you cannot reduce the sugar or the buttercream will be too soft.


This easy buttercream frosting recipe makes about 6 cups which is enough to frost and fill a three-layer, 8″ round cake. You can use the frosting and cake batter calculator below to adjust the amount of frosting you will need depending on the size cake you want to make.


How to make buttercream flowers

Ermine frosting (similar taste to easy buttercream but no eggs)

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Easy Chocolate Buttercream

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.

Choose a pan type

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Cupcake Tin Size

Choose number of pans

Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
close up of easy buttercream rosettes

Easy Buttercream Frosting

Delicious, rich and easy buttercream frosting recipe that anyone can make. This is not a crusting buttercream. It is meringue based so it has a slight shine and chills nicely in the fridge. Takes 10 minutes to make and is fool-proof! Light, fluffy and not too sweet. 
4.93 from 471 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
mixing time: 20 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Calories: 849kcal


  • 24 oz (680 g) unsalted butter room temperature. You can use salted butter but it will affect the taste and you need to leave out additional salt
  • 24 oz (680 g) powdered sugar sifted if not from a bag
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz (170 g) pasteurized egg whites room temperature
  • 1 TINY drop (1 TINY drop) purple food coloring (optional) for whiter frosting


  • Place egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low and then whip on high for 1 minute to dissolve the powdered sugar 
  • Add in your salt and vanilla extract
  • Add in your butter in chunks and whip with the whisk attachment to combine. It will look curdled at first. This is normal. It will also look pretty yellow. Keep whipping. 
  • If your buttercream looks curdled, remove about 1/3 cup of buttercream and melt it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until JUST barely melted. Pour it back into the whipping buttercream to bring it all together.
  • (Optional) Add your drop of purple food coloring. Whip on high with the whisk attachment for 8-10 minutes until it's very white, light and shiny. Taste the buttercream, if it tastes like sweet ice cream then it's ready!
  • Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles. This isn't required but if you want really creamy frosting, you don't want to skip it. 


Serving: 2oz | Calories: 849kcal (42%) | Carbohydrates: 75g (25%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 61g (94%) | Saturated Fat: 38g (190%) | Cholesterol: 162mg (54%) | Sodium: 240mg (10%) | Potassium: 18mg (1%) | Sugar: 74g (82%) | Vitamin A: 2055IU (41%) | Calcium: 18mg (2%) | Iron: 0.4mg (2%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

727 comments on “Easy Buttercream Frosting

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve used your recipe several times, always with great success. I’d like to make this as a mocha (chocolate and coffee). I’m good with choc powder, but any suggestions on when/how much coffee to add (and do I need to reduce anything)? Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Just FYI. Currently making this awesome recipe for a peanut butter cake. Be careful how much peanut butter you add as the extra oil within the peanut butter can make your once perfectly silky buttercream go incredible soft/liquidy. Not sure how I’ll correct this…currently trying the freezer and then rewhipping.

  3. 5 stars
    WOW this is phenomenal. I made this with the white almond sour cream cake from this same site for my daughters birthday and they are AMAZING together. I got so many compliments and I LOVE it. I ate so much of it sheesh. It will forever be my go-to. Also I’ve been putting the leftovers in my coffee for the last two days and it has been heavenly. It definitely needs time to warm up. We assembled the day before and let the cake sit out room temp (73ish for us) for 8 hours and it was perfect – the interior of the cake (we did three layers and used the rest of the batter for cupcakes) was not cold.

  4. Love your videos but it really bothers me when you refer to boxed liquid egg whites as “pasteurized egg whites”. All eggs in the US are pasteurized in accordance with USDA guidelines so the egg white from a whole egg is indeed pasteurized.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi, my buttercream is always gritty no matter how long I whip them with pasteurized eggs or how warm the room temperature is. Is it OK if I heat up the pasteurized eggs and sugar over the stove just to dissolve the sugar before adding in the butter? The reason why I do not want to use raw egg whites is because I do not want to deal with the yolks. Thank you.

    1. Hm so sorry that’s happening to you, I’ve never had that problem before. You can try to heat it over the stove to dissolve the sugar. Or I would try switching up powdered sugar brands and sifting it before adding in the pasteurized egg whites. Hope this helps!

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, this recipe is my all time fav! I just want to know how I would make this into a chocolate buttercream? Would I add cocoa powder or chocolate melts? If so how much? I saw the one for white chocolate buttercream but I’m actually trying to make black.

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this!! I was too intimidated by SMBC, but don’t like the overly sweetness of AMB. I made this last night and it’s so delicious and smooth!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi, thank you for this! Love the taste! My only question is that it seemed thick, like when I went to pipe it would just lift right off the cupcake. Is that normal? I weighed all of my ingredients, I wasn’t sure if there was a way to thin it a little? Thanks!

    1. If your environment or butter was a little cold, that’s normal. I usually like to take out a cup of buttercream, melt it down in the microwave and then pour it back into the buttercream. This makes it nice and smooth, but also makes it a little softer to work with.

  9. 5 stars
    Hi there,
    Big thanks for all your fantastic recipes- and when I went to post this question and saw 705 (!!!) comments on this recipe, I just wanted to say thank you for all the guidance you give us home bakers. You’re a peach for all the time you take to help us out. I tried to read through to see if this was already asked, but (705!!!) I might have missed it. Can I use the easy buttercream recipe and fold in crushed cookies at the end for an Oreo frosting? I realize they’d have to be pretty crushed not to clog the piping tip and to smooth easily around the cake. Any suggestions, or guidance on that?

    1. Yes, you can add Oreos to the frosting, just scrape off the centers and chop the cookies really finely, then smash them with the side of your knife to make them as small as possible. Then I’d make sure to use a fairly large piping tip so that it doesn’t clog as easily. American buttercream with crushed Oreos in it also tastes a lot like Oreo frosting. Hope this helps!

  10. 5 stars
    How would I make this with chocolate flavor?

  11. 4 stars
    This came out really really good, I just need to know how to get it white, I tried the purple trick but didn’t work so I added about a tablespoon of white gel color but still yellowish…but really tasty & so smooth! I can’t wakt to use for my textured cake next!

  12. Hi Liz! I’m making a layer cake for my nieces birthday. She requested raspberry flavored frosting. I wanted to make raspberry buttercream… Or maybe a jam for the inside? Or both? I looked around in your site for a recipe like that but couldn’t find it. Any suggestions?

  13. Hi! If I’m planning to add the strawberry reduction to this and use it for your fresh strawberry cake, is it really necessary to use clear vanilla extract to get it as white as possible? Can I just use the brown vanilla extract?

  14. 5 stars
    Oh my! So I already said how I really liked this a few weeks ago but I used today for sugar free cupcakes & it worked perfectly with the sugar alternative. I made chocolate & strawberry flavors & it turned out simply amazing!

  15. 5 stars
    I can’t believe how easy and phenomena this butter cream turned out!!! Pipe effortlessly and yummy,

  16. 5 stars
    This is THE BEST buttercream to use!! It really does taste like ice cream and people LOVE it!!

    Quick question, I have the stainless steel Bosch mixer and need to make a triple batch….can I just use the cookie paddles throughout the whole process instead of the wire whips? The whips make too many bubbles.

    1. Hi Lola! Thanks for the nice review! The whisks ensure that your buttercream gets nice and fluffy and has that ice cream taste. If you use the paddles the whole time, it won’t whip up correctly. After you whip it and make the buttercream, try switching from the whisks to the paddles and mixing on low for a few minutes. I also take 1/3 cup of the buttercream and melt in for a few seconds in the microwave and then pour it back into the bowl. This should help to work out the bubbles.

  17. 5 stars
    I made this vegan by using aquafaba and vegan butter and oh my gosh – so delicious and dreamy to work with. For the first time ever I got crisp edges.

  18. Hi Liz, can you clarify your oz measurements, please? Because you accompany all the measurements by their equivalent in grams, you are doing butter, eggs and sugar measurements by weight? No fluid oz?

  19. 5 stars
    This buttercream is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! Is there anyway that I can make this chocolate? Would I use cocoa powder or melted milk chocolate chips or both?

  20. 5 stars
    Best buttercream EVER!! I’m only an amateur baker but I absolutely love it and I been looking for a buttercream that is easy to make and spreads easily but also provides the sturdiness and this is it!! Thank you so much!!

  21. 5 stars
    The BEST frosting I have ever made! So easy to work with as well! Thank you for sharing! It will be my go to from now on!

  22. 5 stars
    I LOVE this frosting. It is SO GOOD, not too sweet, and easy to work with, held its shape with piping. I did have a lot left over, though, I frosted a 2-layer cake, and had 2 cups left over. I freaked out when I saw the amount of butter in the recipe, but it’s delicious, and so creamy and shiny. A winner for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating