Buttercream Recipe
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Buttercream Recipe

Whoa! Stop the presses!

Many of you many be wondering what has gotten into me?

A buttercream recipe that is NOT my world famous Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe!?!?!


Choosing the best buttercream recipe

Here at Gretchen’s Bakery I get so many requests for variations on recipes that I have already shared.

One common request is for a buttercream recipe that can hold up in high heat and humid conditions AND one that does not have eggs in it.

Now, as we all know the Swiss Meringue Buttercream is made with egg whites to achieve that stiff, glossy, strong base.  I recently shared a Vegan version of that same Swiss style recipe with the magical Aquafaba bean water and vegan shortening! Yes- I said Bean Water! LOL

But there was still a void in my repertoire for an American Buttercream Recipe, or more commonly known as decorators icing.

Wilton has always been the leader in decorators icing, and their recipe is still #1 in an online search, which means the majority of the people are using that icing. (Or so it seems)

I have come up with a slight variation on the Wilton buttercream recipe, which uses butter and shortening and confectioners sugar and some heavy cream to help give it some fluffy volume.

I do use Sweetex which I feel is superior in the Hi Ratio shortening department, but it is very hard to come by.

There is another brand by CK Products and another viewer commented that it is very good, waaaaay better than Crisco and it is available on Amazon or Cake Decorating Stores.

Some of you may want to eliminate the shortening altogether and that would be fine to use all butter; just be aware that it will be slightly less stable to the heat and humid conditions we are trying to battle; not to mention super buttery which oddly some people are against?

This recipe is probably closer to the buttercream that many of you were familiar with as kids.

It doesn’t crust as much as those other decorator buttercreams do, but it will get a slight “dry-ness” to it that I think is suitable for most decorating applications.

It is a perfect frosting for cupcakes and tastes more like the icing you get from the local bakery, since this is a close rendition of the buttercream that was used in my bakery many moons ago!

The key to this buttercream is to whip it and whip it and whip it and whip it.

This will not only give it the lightness and airy-ness that is “Oh so good!” But it will also get it ultra white, since that is something we all seem to be on a mission to find too!

That being said, if you are using a hand mixer, you will not be able to achieve that same level of volume that the balloon whip attachment of the stand mixer and it’s sheer power can deliver. So you will want to cut back on the amount of heavy cream in the recipe by half. Try to whip it is fast as possible while mimicking the global rotation of the stand mixer this will help to give the best volume as possible when using a hand beater.

This recipe is perfect for art cakes, and carved cakes, and buttercream transfers.  Cupcakes and layer cakes and basically everything you think of! I was perfectly happy eating it straight out of the bowl! Woops!

So it is up to you to decide which recipe you prefer, the slightly more “adult version” buttercream such as my Swiss Meringue Buttercream or this all purpose – all pleasing American Style Buttercream Recipe!

5.0 from 22 reviews

Buttercream Recipe

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Prep time

Total time


You can use a hand beater for this recipe
Be sure to have your butter and shortening at room temperature before mixing (Heavy Cream can remain cold)
I specify Domino Confectioners Sugar here- you can use any brand really- I just feel that the Domino 10X is the best and will not give a grittiness to the Buttercream like some other confectioner sugars do. So if you cannot get Domino brand, just sift it a couple times before adding it to the recipe, AND by the way, confectioner sugars can go “off” so be sure it is fresh.
I also specify Sweetex HiRatio shortening here, and I know that is a difficult item to find as well. Crisco (and other solid vegetable shortenings) can tend to leave a greasy mouth feel. I have been told that this is another good brand
Author: Gretchen’s Bakery
Serves: 6 cups

  • Unsalted Butter 1½ Cups (3 sticks) (336g)
  • Hi Ratio Solid Vegetable Shortening 1½ Cups (336g)
  • Confectioners Sugar (Domino Brand 10X Sugar) 6 cups 720g)
  • Heavy Cream 6 Tablespoons (90ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  • Butter Extract 1 teaspoon
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon

  1. Combine the butter and shortening in the Kitchen Aid (or stand mixer) bowl with the paddle attachment
  2. Whip on medium to high speed for about 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it is evenly mixed and add the salt. Mix well.
  4. Stop mixer and add the sifted confectioners sugar all at once.
  5. Mix on low speed until incorporated , scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and then mix on high speed for 3 minutes.
  6. Scrape the bowl again and then while mixing on low speed slowly drizzle in the heavy cream.
  7. Increase speed to high and whip for another 5 minutes
  8. Add the flavor extracts and then you are done!
  9. The icing will gain volume almost to the top of a 6qt Kitchen Aid bowl and get very white. (*If you are using a hand beater, the volume will not get as high since the hand beaters cannot incorporate air as efficiently as the Kitchen Aid or stand mixers)

This recipe will store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days

Refrigerate for longer storage up to 4 weeks

Freeze for 6 months

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5.0 from 22 reviews

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

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Author: Gretchen’s Bakery

  • 6 ounces (1 cup) Melted Baking Chocolate

  1. Add melted COOLED chocolate to the buttercream recipe at the last stage of mixing

Adding chocolate to the buttercream will make it heavier, so it may be necessary to refrigerate whatever you are icing with chocolate buttercream not because it will go bad, but because it will have the tendency to droop

Refrigerate for up to 4 weeks

Freeze for 6 months

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For more flavor variations click to see how to Create Your Own Buttercream Flavors

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