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.

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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 458 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%)
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727 comments on “Easy Buttercream Frosting

  1. What buttercream do you recommend for a semi-naked cake? I have to travel over 2 hours to deliver it. Also, do I need to keep it chilled any other way other than an air conditioned car?

    1. It doesn’t really matter. You can even use ganache. I would stay away from cream cheese or whipped cream. As long as it’s chilled and in a cold car you will be totally ok. I also place my cakes in boxes to keep the sun off them.

  2. I tried this recipe and thought it worked out so great. I put it on the cake and put it in the fridge to chill. When I took it out to put on my final layer the frosting looks yellow. Now what?

  3. 5 stars
    At what point to add the melted white chocolate to the butter cream, to make a white chocolate butter cream? I was left with this doubt because the butter cream is cold and the melted chocolate is hot, or would it be a chocolate meringue?

    1. If you are adding chocolate you should wait until the chocolate has cooled to 88ºF and make sure the buttercream is room temperature or you could get lumps of chocolate

  4. Hi I’m just trying to get s knack to cake making. I’m going to try this on my daughters birthday cake coming up. Just curious would you suggest a ganache underneath or not necessary for basic cake but something you may do if it was more professional?

    1. Ganache is just a flavor choice 🙂 You could use it as a filling if you want or you could frost the whole cake in ganache. Its up to you

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, I love your recipes and this one is so delicious too! My question is that 24 oz = 3 cups on my measuring cup but when I weigh this qty to double check, the scale only reads 12 oz. So should I use 6 cups of sugar?


  6. 5 stars
    Love this recipe!! I just have trouble getting all the air out. Even if I double the recipe, using the lowest setting on my kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment for 20 min, there is still a lot of air in the frosting. Any ideas why??

  7. Hello, can you cover a cake in fondant over this buttercream?

  8. 5 stars
    The BEST Buttercream ever! I loved it on cupcakes too! I would always make Italian buttercream when making my wedding cakes for the lightness, however as you know it is a little process. I have found the pasturized egg whites at Sams Club. Thank You so much for sharing with us, I love everything you do, such a great teacher!

  9. 5 stars
    AMAZING! This buttercream was so easy to make and delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. I’m already making a list of more recipes I plan to try from your site!

  10. Hiii dear, I simply love your recipes. Your tips on baking are fantastic. Can I know if I can use this Easy buttercream or your Swiss Meringue Buttercream as fillings for macarons?
    Love to hear from you…

  11. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! It’s so easy and worked perfectly without thermometers and hot sugar ugh can’t rate it highly enough for the convenience. Mine was grainy because I used ‘Icing Mixture’ powdered sugar which in Aus also contains cornflour but totally my fault, should have used ‘Icing Sugar’ powdered sugar. Still excellent buttercream and will know for next time. Saved to favourites! Thanks again.

  12. Will this frosting be ok to use for piping and other decorations?

    1. Definitely! Check out my easy 5-petal buttercream flowers and how to make a wedding cake blog posts to see how it pipes 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    I love this BC, thank you for sharing! Question: can it be toasted like swiss meringue?

    1. As far as I know, Swiss meringue buttercream and easy buttercream cannot be toasted like regular meringue can. The butter in it would melt.

  14. 5 stars
    Wonderful buttercream – delicious and not too sweet! Very clear and easy to follow instructions. I added some espresso powder to make an Espresso Frosting for the white cake recipe I found on this site. Everyone loved it!

  15. Hi Liz,

    Not sure if this question is already asked. If I bake the cake and cover with butter cream frosting a couple days before, do I just need to take the cake out of the fridge and immediately cover with fondant or do I need to wait until the cake warms up a little?

    1. You can cover the cake in fondant when it’s chilled, it’s safest to decorate with a cold cake 🙂

  16. Hi! This frosting looks amazing! I am making a two tiered wedding cake for my parents 50th anniversary. The group will be so small so I figure we’ll be freezing the bottom tier. Will this frosting hold up okay after freezing on the cake? And will the frosting be stable enough for a two tiered cake assuming it’s structurally sound? Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Hi yes this frosting is great for making wedding cakes, freezing/refrigerating both tiers will help set the buttercream. Just make sure to not let it sit in the sun for too long if it’s an outdoor event.

  17. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I don’t like the sweetness of ABC & I have a severe dairy allergy so it’s hard to find good recipes. I replaced the butter with a plant butter alternative & it’s wonderful! My family says it tastes great either way so it a win, win for me. Thanks! 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    Great recipe, can this be used as crumb coat too?

  19. 5 stars
    Hi Liz! I am Aryan from India and I love your recipes. This easy buttercream is delicious and I just wanted to ask a question. In India, we don’t get egg whites in the market so I have to use egg whites from eggs. And this recipe requires egg whites from almost 8-10 eggs. So could you please suggest what I can do or make with those remaining 8-10 egg yolks because I can’t just throw them away.

    1. Yes! You could make lemon curd, https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/lemon-curd/ chocolate mousse https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/chocolate-mousse/ coconut pecan filling https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/german-chocolate-cake/ or chewy chocolate chip cookies: https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/master-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/

      Also make sure to pasteurize your egg whites for easy buttercream frosting, as this frosting isn’t cooked. https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/how-to-pasteurize-eggs/

  20. 5 stars
    I have not read through all the comments, but have you ever used pasteurized egg whites that have been frozen?
    I’ll tell you, this is an AWESOME recipe. I have tried making the regular SMBC but I did not like it. It tasted too much like butter. Never have I ever out of all the recipes I’ve looked over none of them have never said to continue mixing until frosting no longer taste like butter. I am so glad you added that little bit of info in your post. Thanks a bunch!!!!

    1. Thank you so much! It’s a very forgiving frosting for sure, people are sometimes too afraid of over mixing so it ends up tasting like butter. I don’t see why you couldn’t use pasteurized egg whites that have been frozen, as long as they’re defrosted 🙂 I do that with buttermilk all the time.

  21. 5 stars
    OMG, this is an amazing buttercream! I wish I found it earlier. Love your recipes. Thank you!

  22. 5 stars
    This is the best frosting recipe I have tried yet. And probably will always be, because I have no need to try any others as this is so perfect every time!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  23. 5 stars
    I’ve only recently started using this recipe, but WOW!! I never made it before because, for some reason, I was intimidated. But this is the easiest buttercream I’ve ever made. And it’s so delicious! Added bonus…using my scale, the only dishes to wash are my mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Thank you, Liz, for sharing this with us!

  24. Can I use the 24 oz of butter PLUS some shortening for stability or do I have to reduce the butter by the amount of shortening to be used?

  25. Hi liz, I whipped my cream for about 45mins but still taste like butter dnt know what went wrong.. measurements were as per ur instructions.

    1. Hm, it definitely shouldn’t take that long. Were you using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment? What type of butter did you use and was it at room temperature? Did you weigh all your ingredients with a scale?

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