How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

In today’s Tip Tuesday, I’m sharing with you all my tips and tricks for making the very best buttercream frosting!

The goal for your buttercream should be a smooth, silky, easily spreadable consistency. It’s this amazing consistency that makes smoothing out your buttercream while decorating so much easier.

For this post, I’m using my Classic Vanilla Buttercream. However, these tips apply to all of my buttercream recipes.

Step 1: Sift Your Powdered Sugar

First thing’s first – sift your powdered sugar! I know it adds a little time to the process, but it’s worth every extra second. It really is so crucial to making sure your buttercream is silky smooth.

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You’ll first measure your powdered sugar and then whisk it through a mesh strainer to get a super fine granule. I think this is the fastest, easiest way to sift powdered sugar.

Promise me you won’t skip this step!

Step 2: Use Semi-Cold Butter

I wish I could shout this one out to the world! Using semi-cold butter is key to ensuring your buttercream actually holds well and doesn’t fall from your spatula or off your cake. I recommend taking the butter out of your fridge about 30 minutes prior to making your buttercream. The butter should still be cold to the touch, but you’ll be able to make a slight imprint with your finger.

If the butter still feels too cold, just cut it into cubes and add to your mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.

We’re going to let the mixer soften the butter for us, without the butter getting too warm. It’s when the butter is too warm that it creates major problems for our buttercream.

Run the mixer at medium speed for about two minutes to beat the butter. You’ll notice it gets lighter in color and looks fluffy and smooth. This is perfect. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl and mix again for another 30 to 60 seconds.

Step 3: Add the Powdered Sugar

You’ll now want to turn your mixer to low speed. We’re going to gradually add our powdered sugar, about a half cup at a time. This tip just helps you make less of a mess 😉

Step 4: Add Heavy Whipping

Now that your powdered sugar is added, you’ll want to add your vanilla, a pinch of salt and your heavy whipping cream. The heavy whipping cream is the star of the show here! I use it in all of my buttercream recipes and it’s such a game changer. A few tablespoons will do, unless otherwise stated in my recipes.

Step 5: Beat the Buttercream for Five Minutes

With your heavy whipping cream added, it’s time for another critical step to making the best buttercream. Turn your mixer to medium-high speed and beat the buttercream for five minutes.

After five minutes is up, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for another minute or so.

Watch closely! You’ll notice the color and the texture of your buttercream will totally lighten up. It’s like magic!

Step 6: Mix the Buttercream by Hand

Isn’t it so neat to see how the color and texture lighten up so much? Your buttercream should look like a fluffy cloud at this point. But it’s not quite ready to add to your cake yet.

The final step to making the best buttercream is actually mixing your frosting by hand. Grab a spatula or big wooden spoon and stir the frosting for a few minutes. You’re trying to push out the air that the electric mixer created. Doing this will help so that you don’t have all the air pockets (holes) in your frosting while you smooth the sides with your scraper.

And there you have it! The best buttercream frosting!

Can’t wait for you to try out these tips and see how your buttercream game totally changes.

xx,

Courtney

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Comments

  1. Hi Courtney, thanks for sharing your tips. I’m wondering if I make the frosting today to then decorate my cakes tomorrow, can I leave it on the bench overnight? Or am I better of making the frosting tomorrow? Thanks 🙂

      1. Hi Courtney!

        I was wondering, Could I add less powdered sugar if I want it less sweet? or would this mess up the smoothness of the buttercream?

  2. Hi Courtney,

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cakes you do on your IG!!!
    Was wondering if you could share the brands of your powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, and whip cream that you use. For some reason, when I use the name brands (C&H, McCormick,etc) the frosting doesn’t taste that good to me.
    Thanks so much!
    <3 Maia

    1. Powdered sugar is C&H. Butter is unsalted from Costco. Vanilla is from Costco. And so is my heavy whipping cream! We love Costco haha

      1. We don’t have a Costco for over 100 miles. C and H is available anywhere. Our heavy cream is from Mayfield Dairies. The best in the world. I make my own vanilla using Drambuie. Oh, my!!!!!!!

  3. I’m wanting to get a new KitchenAid but I am debating between the 5qt and 6qt? There’s a significant price difference so I’m just wondering if the 5qt is big enough to handle a double batch of frosting?

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