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Buttercream Frosting is a classic option for cakes and cupcakes. This buttercream frosting recipe is perfection every single time. 

Buttercream Frosting on a cupcake

Looking for the perfect buttercream frosting? Look no further! This frosting is easy to make, holds up to piping designs, and is practically perfect every single time. In this post we will review some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to making buttercream and then follow it up with the recipe.

What type of butter to use for buttercream frosting:

You can use either salted or unsalted butter to make buttercream frosting. A high quality butter that has a higher fat content and lower water content will produce the best buttercream possible.

What is the difference between Italian buttercream and American buttercream?

Italian buttercream is a meringue based frosting while American buttercream is a butter based frosting. Italian buttercream is made by pouring a hot simple syrup over whipped egg whites. It is then whipped into creamy, velvety frosting. It has a more white appearance than American buttercream which tends to have a yellow tint.

What is French buttercream?

French buttercream is similar to Italian buttercream, but has a more shiny appearance. A simple syrup is heated to the softball stage and then mixed with whipped egg whites and butter to form a smooth frosting that has a shimmery shine.

Why is my buttercream grainy? How to fix grainy buttercream:

There are a few different reasons why buttercream might end up with a grainy texture. Here are some of the solutions you can try:

  • Be sure the butter is completely softened. One of the most common reasons that buttercream can end up with a grainy texture is because the butter was too cold and not able to fully combine with the sugar. Let your frosting sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours, allowing it to warm up and come to room temperature, and then mix again. If you are in a hurry, wrap the bowl in a warm towel or create a double boiler on the stove, then mix again. Your goal is to warm up the butter in the frosting so that you can combine it completely with the sugar. 
  • Add more liquid. Adding in liquid like milk or water may help your frosting emulsify, removing the grainy texture. Add your liquid 1/2 to 1 tablespoon at a time. If you add too much liquid, your frosting will not be able to hold its shape.
  • Mix longer. Sometimes the issue with your frosting is that you simply did not mix it long enough for the sugar to combine completely with the butter. Try mixing it for 1 minute longer and see if that improves the frosting. 


A closeup of Buttercream Frosting on a cupcake

PRO TIP: Butter provides the structure for buttercream. It is important to use real, high quality butter in this recipe. Substituting the butter with margarine or shortening is not recommended and will produce lower quality results. Be sure that the butter is at room temperature for the smoothest frosting. Cold butter does not whip well.

Use this buttercream in the following recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Buttercream Frosting on a cupcake
Buttercream Frosting is a classic option for cakes and cupcakes. This buttercream frosting recipe is perfection every single time.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat softened butter until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined and smooth.
  • Add in powdered sugar 1 cup a time, mixing in between additions until smooth. After you add in the first 2 cups, add in milk and whip until smooth before adding in the final cup of powdered sugar.
  • Frost immediately or store covered in an airtight container.


Calories: 1527kcal | Carbohydrates: 180g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 92g | Saturated Fat: 58g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 817mg | Potassium: 27mg | Sugar: 176g | Vitamin A: 2835IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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