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 Print Recipe
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4 cups
easy buttercream frosting

Easy Buttercream Frosting That’s Not Too Sweet, Super Creamy and Easy To Make

Super easy buttercream frosting recipe! Technically a mock swiss meringue buttercream that requires no heating of the egg whites. Light, creamy, and not too sweet. It’s my go-to recipe for all my cakes and cupcakes. It pipes beautifully and works well under fondant. 

easy buttercream frosting that isn't too sweet made from pasteurized egg whites, powdered sugar, vanilla and butter. Whipped until light and fluffy!

The first buttercream I ever made was from an old Wilton recipe book. Powdered sugar, shortening, and vanilla. I struggled SO hard to get my edges smooth and crisp like the photos I saw in the fancy cake decorating books but I always ended up with mega cake fails.

It wasn’t until I went to pastry school in 2010 at Oregon Culinary Institute that I first heard of other kinds of buttercreams. I’ll never forget the day we made Swiss Meringue Buttercream and we had to frost our cake by holding it in one hand and icing the cake with a spatula in the other. NO turntable!

I was like, there is no way this is going to work. But I lifted that cake up and began frosting as my chef instructed and I could not BELIEVE how smooth it went onto my cake!

easy buttercream frosting made with pasteurized egg whites, butter and sugar. Not too sweet and very creamy.

Then I tasted it…

OMG pure heaven!

Not too sweet, super silky, melt on your tongue goodness!! For the next 6 years I only made SMBC for my cakes which involves a lot of heating of egg whites, whipping, cooling and repeat. I WISH I had this recipe back then! It’s so much easier!

How much easy buttercream frosting do I need?

*NOTE: this recipe has been updated to make less buttercream for the average home baker, if you want the bowl to be full, double the recipe)

This easy buttercream frosting recipe makes a LOT (12 cups) which basically fills the bowl of a standard KitchenAid mixer. The reason for this is because when your mixing bowl is filled to the top, it’s easier to get all the air bubbles out. You can freeze leftover buttercream or store it in the fridge for a week. Just bring to room temp and mix with the paddle a few minutes to make it creamy again before use. 

easy buttercream frosting

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.

Easy buttercream frosting using pasteurized egg whites

This is the easiest buttercream frosting you’ll ever make! The key ingredient is pasteurized egg whites. Pasteurized egg whites have been heat-treated to kill potentially hazardous bacteria without actually cooking the egg. The same process is used in milk to make it safe to drink. Because we are using pasteurized egg whites, there is no need to heat the egg whites like you do with traditional swiss meringue buttercream recipes (hence the time-saving aspect of this recipe!) 

Pasteurized egg whites usually come in a box or a bag and are in the egg section of the grocery store. They will say pasteurized right on the box. If you can’t find pasteurized egg whites then you can use regular egg whites but will have to use my swiss meringue buttercream recipe instead so that you can heat treat the egg whites first. 

How to make easy buttercream frosting

buttercream frosting

  1. Place your egg whites and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk on low to combine. Increase speed to high and whip 5 minutes. 
  2. Reduce speed to medium and start adding in your softened unsalted butter in small pieces until all the butter has been added
  3. Add in salt and vanilla (or other flavorings if you wish)
  4. Increase speed to high again and whip until light in color and fluffy (it will look curdled at first, just let it keep mixing)
  5. Once your buttercream is smooth you can switch the paddle attachment and let mix on low for 15 minutes to reduce bubbles in the buttercream (optional)
  6. To increase the whiteness of your buttercream, add one drop of violet food color to counteract the yellow in the butter and use clear vanilla extract instead of brown. 

How long does easy buttercream frosting last?

Because of the large amounts of sugar in buttercream frosting, it can be left at room temperature for 2 days but I always recommend you refrigerate leftover buttercream when not in use to extend the life of the buttercream. If you are not going to use buttercream for more than a week you can freeze it for 6 months or more. 

To use frozen or refrigerated buttercream, let come to room temp then mix on low with the paddle attachment to make it creamy again. Do not whip or you can incorporate too much air. 

If your buttercream frosting has been sitting at room temperature for more than a day, mix with paddle attachment before use. Buttercream tends to get spongy after 24 hours and looses it’s creamy texture. 

Is this easy buttercream frosting good for using on wedding cakes?

Yes! I love using this buttercream frosting for my wedding cakes. It can even be covered with fondant. Always chill your cakes before covering in fondant. 

When I make my cakes, I keep them refrigerated for stability. Once the cakes are delivered, the buttercream comes to room temperature and is soft enough to enjoy. Hard buttercream is not great to eat. Learn to make this semi-naked wedding cake on the membership site.

semi-naked-cake-tutorial

What Kind Of Butter Is Best For Easy Buttercream Frosting

Any chef will tell you that a recipe is only as good it’s ingredients. Buttercream frosting is made of only a few ingredients. Egg whites (basically no flavor), sugar (sweetness but no flavor to speak of), butter and vanilla. Butter and vanilla is where you get your flavor from so the better your butter and vanilla, the better your buttercream frosting will taste.

butter

Now if you’re like me and you’re making tons of buttercream frosting for huge cakes, you don’t want to go full on plugra (the best butter ever) because it get’s expensive really quick but if you try to go super cheap and use really low-quality butter or shortening, you’re going to taste that greasy aftertaste in your mouth. Not good.

There is a debate about whether or not you should use salted or unsalted butter for your buttercream frosting and I have seen people do both. I personally prefer to use unsalted butter so that I can control the amount of salt in my buttercream frosting. The amount of salt in one lb of salted butter is in my opinion much too strong for a batch of easy buttercream.

buttercream cake

Learn how to make beautiful piped buttercream flowers and sharp edges using acrylic disks from guest instructor Danette Zamora Short.

What Kind Of Flavoring Do You Use For Easy Buttercream Frosting

Same thing with the vanilla. Vanilla is SUPER expensive right now thanks to a vanilla bean shortage so you have to be smart about. You might not want to go putting a vanilla bean into every batch but it don’t go leaving it out all together.

vanilla extract

I get my vanilla from Costco and get a pretty decent deal. You can also supplement your vanilla with almond extract or you can try making your own vanilla extract from vanilla beans.

You can use any type of flavoring for your easy buttercream frosting, Emulsions and extracts that are not “artificial” will always taste better.

Chocolate Easy Buttercream Frosting

You can make chocolate buttercream frosting into a delicious chocolate version by adding in about 1/4 cup of your favorite cocoa powder. I like dutched cocoa powder because it has a nice rich chocolate flavor.

chocolate buttercream frosting

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.

Pro-tip! Most buttercream frosting that uses real butter will look a little yellow at first. This is normal! To counteract that yellow tint you can add a TINY drop of purple food coloring. I know it sounds crazy but it really does work and makes your yellow buttercream look really white!

easy buttercream frosting

Tips & FAQ

Why is my easy buttercream splitting?

The buttercream splits because it’s too cold. Take out 1/4 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.

My buttercream is too soft, what can I do?

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. 

You might also like these buttercream recipes and tutorials

How to make buttercream flowers

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

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (same taste but uses regular egg whites, not pasteurized)

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
easy buttercream frosting

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. 
4.87 from 117 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 5 mins
mixing time: 20 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4 cups
Calories: 849kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz (454 g) unsalted butter room temperature. You can use salted butter but it will affect the taste and you need to leave out additional salt
  • 16 oz (454 g) powdered sugar sifted if not from a bag
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 oz (113 g) pasteurized egg whites room temperature
  • 1 TINY drop (1 TINY drop) purple food coloring (optional) for whiter frosting

Instructions

  • 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 5 minutes 
  • 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. 
  • Add in your salt and vanilla extract
  • Let whip on high for 8-10 minutes until it's very white, light and shiny. 
  • 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. 

Nutrition

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%)

The easiest buttercream frosting ever! Made with pasteurized egg whites, sugar and vanilla! Whips up to the creamiest, not too sweet buttercream frosting you've ever had! You'll never need another buttercream recipe

556 comments on “Easy Buttercream Frosting

  1. Hi Liz….
    Im quarantined and have decided to try some of your recipes.For the easy buttercream do I weight the ingredients on a scale or use measuring utensils ?

  2. 5 stars
    Liz,
    I love this recipe! It’s all I use! I want to start playing with flavors and was wondering the best way to make a keylime flavored buttercream? I would just add key lime juice, but I know that would change the consistency… Can I do this while removing something else or?

    Thanks so much!!

  3. I am making cupcake bouquets and I LOVE this buttercream recipe. However, I need something that will crust up so I can wrap my bouquets and not have the frosting everywhere! Is there any way I can still use this recipe, or do I need to use your American Buttercream recipe? I know you can add more sugar to help aid in crusting, but will that totally change the taste?

    Thanks Liz, I’ve learned SO much from you!!!

  4. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! How long will I need to mix this recipe when using a hand mixer? And can you make this recipe in a food processor or a vitamix?

    Thank you in advance

    1. Mixing times will vary depending on the mixer you use. I go by visuals and by taste. When the buttercream is light, white and doesn’t taste like butter, it’s done 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Liz,
    I’ve used this recipe a couple of times and it is hands down my new favorite!! I’m making a cake for a friend with a dairy allergy. Have you ever tried or heard of anyone trying this recipe with a vegan butter? Just curious what the results weren’t if there is a more tested non-dairy recipe out there I should use?

  6. 4 stars
    Hi Liz, I want to make this butter cream since I made use of your Swiss meringue butter cream recipe last 2wks for my kids birthday. But my problem about getting the pasteurized egg white where I live. We only have access to fresh eggs so how can I get the egg whites pasteurized after seperating them. I find this recipe helpful since I live in a very hot country. Hoping to hear from you soon.

    1. I have read that you can carefully heat eggs in water that never goes above 150ºF but I haven’t tested it yet. You can google how to pasteurize egg whites for more directions.

  7. Hi, I live in London and never seen pasteurized egg whites. Any suggestions? Replacements?

  8. It is considered safe to eat raw eggs in Uk because almost all eggs in supermarkets(Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Lidl) are produced under “the British Lion Code of Practice”.

    The British Lion Marked Eggs signifies a common welfare standard and shows all the hens are 100% British and have been vaccinated against Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium followed by many more food safety regulations.

    This is why in the Uk even infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs. Also another reason why it is very unlikely to see labelled pasteurised in Uk eggs.

    Side note: locally farmed eggs without the Red Lion labels are not guaranteed to be safe unless you really trust that farmer.

    So the thumb rule in the UK is to look for the Red Lion label on the eggs if you are worried about eating safe raw eggs.

    Hope this helps. x

  9. Hi Marisa, you can buy pastuerised egg whites in any supermarket in the UK. Two chicks or Happy Egg Co – the are in a carton and in our Tesco are with pre-made pastry, lard etc in the chilled section x

  10. I tried this buttercream and it was amazing, I was wondering if I were to add 4 oz of cream cheese or shortening in place of 4 oz butter would that change the consistency or the overall outcome?

  11. Hi Liz!!! First off i want to say THANK YOU for all of your amazing recipes and tutorials, your page is my absolute GO TO for all my baking recipes and tips. I have been looking for a frosting recipe that is not as sweet as A.B. and also has a more whipped consistency. Whipped cream frostings just taste like plain whipped cream to me. I am hoping that this is going to be my new favorite frosting recipe to use on cakes for my friends and family who call on me to make them the whipped cream frosting “that is like the grocery store” ughhhh.

    Cant wait to try this tonight!

  12. Hye Liz, can i know what is the ‘room temperature’ there coz mine here is 30 Celsius Deg, so i could use the butter at the right temperature. Or else it will be too mushy at my room temperature. Secondly, if i want to add in any thick puree for natural flavour, should i add more icing sugar to balance out the consistency? I have a very humid kitchen and struggle with butter and chocs 😔

    1. Room temperature is when the butter is soft enough to impress your finger into it and leave an indent but the butter still holds it’s shape

  13. Trying this recipe out for the first time! Can I use pasteurized egg whites from a carton? In the past, I’ve tried using those to make meringue cookies and they didn’t whip up well. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    1. This isn’t a meringue recipe and I actually say to use pasteurized egg whites. Fresh egg whites would not be safe to use for this frosting.

  14. I would like to make this recipe but its my understanding that no oil can be in the bowl or grease or the eggs will break. I have a Bosch bowl mixer with a plastic bowl. Its more for mixing dough. I don’t have a Kitchen Aid. Could I still makes this frosting or do I need metal bowl?

    1. That only applies to making a meringue. This recipe does not make a meringue. Just add everything into the bowl and mix! 🙂 Easy. I also use a bosch and I use it for everything. Just use the whisk attachments.

  15. I love that your recipe renders a lot. I couldn’t find any pasteurized egg whites at my supermarket, but saw several powdered versions on Amazon. Have you used the powdered version and what was the outcome?
    Also, I’d like to make a 3-4 layer 9 inch cake and decorate with sprinkles at the bottom and cake toppers and flowers on top; would half of the recipe be enough? I will be using a hand mixer, and my mixing bowl is not that big.

    1. I haven’t tried this recipe with powdered egg whites, let me know if it works out for you! You will definitely need a full batch for a 9″ cake

  16. 5 stars
    Liz,
    What are your thoughts on the use within 7 days of opening on the pasteurized egg whites, do you follow that rule? Also I made a batch of the easy chocolate buttercream and it was delicious but a little soupy and hard to work with, I feel like my kitchen aid heated it up from mixing it so long, should I cut down on how long I whip after I’ve added the butter? Thanks!

    1. I’ve not heard of that. I use as much as I need and refrigerate or freeze the rest. If your buttercream is too soft from heat then just pop it into the fridge for 20 minutes and it will firm it up

  17. Oh also, should the egg whites be at room temperature or straight out of the fridge? I used at room temp. Thanks for your videos, I’ve learned so much from you

  18. 5 stars
    Hi! Can you add cream cheese to this recipe to make an easy cream cheese buttercream ?

  19. Hi there!
    If I wanted to make this an Oreo buttercream, do you have an idea as to how many Oreo’s I’d have to add?

  20. 5 stars
    So, why didn’t I see this recipe when I was doing 5 Wedding cakes a weekend too? Lol. 😆 FABULOUS RECIPE! I found you on a cake site, but we have a bunch in common small world!

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