buttercream-bowl-1

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Non-crusting American Buttercream
I like to use this buttercream most often, even when using it as the finish on a buttercream cake. It has no shortening in it which means it won't be entirely "white"...it will be more of a cream color. You also can't use the paper towel method to smooth the sides on this, but you can still get them very smooth and get a sharp top edge if you use the upside down frosting technique found in my fundamentals course section. And I like to use all butter as opposed to shortening whenever possible!
Servings
This amount will cover and fill a 6β€³ cake, with maybe a little to spare.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (454 grams) salted butter (4 American sticks) (1 stick of butter = 113 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (or more if desired) extract of choice (I use vanilla and/or almond usually)
  • 2 pounds (907 grams) powdered sugar (no cheap brands here, they tend to have more clumps) (2 pounds of sugar = 907 grams)
  • 4 Tablespoons water (or half&half for added smoothness) (add more if in a very dry/cold climate, or less if in a very hot/humid climate)
  • 2 Tablespoons meringue powder (you can leave this out if you're not worried about your buttercream being extra stable)
Servings
This amount will cover and fill a 6β€³ cake, with maybe a little to spare.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (454 grams) salted butter (4 American sticks) (1 stick of butter = 113 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (or more if desired) extract of choice (I use vanilla and/or almond usually)
  • 2 pounds (907 grams) powdered sugar (no cheap brands here, they tend to have more clumps) (2 pounds of sugar = 907 grams)
  • 4 Tablespoons water (or half&half for added smoothness) (add more if in a very dry/cold climate, or less if in a very hot/humid climate)
  • 2 Tablespoons meringue powder (you can leave this out if you're not worried about your buttercream being extra stable)
Instructions
  1. Cream butter in mixer with beater blades or flat blade (NOT whisk), on medium for 2 minutes
  2. Add extract and water and beat on low until incorporated
  3. Gradually add sugar, beating on LOW (very important to avoid air bubbles) until just mixed.
Recipe Notes

*Add more water, a TAB at a time if too thick. But remember, you don’t want a thin consistency.

*You can color the buttercream by using gel colors

*Keep your bowl covered until ready for use

*Can be refrigerated for up to two weeks

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19 Comments
  1. SweetLiza 7 months ago

    I used to make SMBC so you can’t fell the sugar when you eat it. It’s the same with this buttercream?. And with crusting buttercream?

    • Author
      Shawna 7 months ago

      Liza, I’m not sure what you mean by “fell the sugar”. Can you clarify for me? Xx

  2. radfinfrock 7 months ago

    Will this be a good recipe for cupcakes that will be set out at an Open House for a few hours? For my cakes, I always use the crusting recipe, but on cupcakes, the swirls get rather “sharp” edges!

    • radfinfrock 7 months ago

      Also, how many cupcakes will this frost?

      • Author
        Shawna 7 months ago

        Hmmm… honestly, I’m not sure how many cupcakes one batch will frost as I triple this recipe every time I make it so I have a huge batch and leftovers to freeze for next time. πŸ™‚ If I had to guess, I’d say you could definitely frost at least 2 dozen with one batch… but don’t quote me on that! πŸ˜‰

    • Author
      Shawna 7 months ago

      Absolutely! It’s perfect for cupcakes and you can keep it out for days, actually!

  3. Mary Jarvis 7 months ago

    Hi Shawna! Can this recipe be made into a chocolate buttercream? Thank you!

    • Author
      Shawna 7 months ago

      It can, Mary! I personally just add high quality cocoa to it to make it chocolate, but I know others will add melted chocolate to it instead. Just be careful of the consistency when making it so it’s not too soft or too stiff!

      • Mary Jarvis 6 months ago

        Thank you! One more question…How much Cocoa do you add?

        • Author
          Shawna 5 months ago

          I just add cocoa until it tastes how I want it to. And if you find you’ve added a lot so that the buttercream is a little bit stiff on you, just add a tiny bit more water until it’s back to the consistency you want it. πŸ™‚

          • Mary Jarvis 5 months ago

            O.K. Thank you so much. That is very helpful! πŸ™‚

          • Mary Jarvis 5 months ago

            I swear this will be my LAST question…I added “Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa Gourmet Powder” to taste. While it tastes delicious, it has a gritty texture. I have beat it nearly to death with my beater blade and still have just as much grit. Might you have any suggestions to achieve a smooth texture?

          • Author
            Shawna 5 months ago

            Hmm Mary…no, I don’t actually. I’ve not used that particular brand of cocoa powder, and all I can think of to dissolve it to lose the grittiness is heat…which wouldn’t jive so well with buttercream. πŸ˜‰
            You can also try adding some melted chocolate to your buttercream to create a chocolate version as I know many have had success with that!

  4. SweetLiza 7 months ago

    Or does it means that it makes a hard surface on the cake. So if this one is non-crusting, is it good to put fondant over it to sharp edges? or I have to chose another kind of buttercream’. I hope you understand my terrible English.

    • Author
      Shawna 7 months ago

      Exactly, Liza, yes! This is a great option to use as your buttercream under your fondant because it has no shortening in it, only butter, and will harden up well for you in the fridge or freezer after you ice your cake with it, before you cover it with fondant. πŸ™‚

      Crusting buttercream usually (though not always) has some shortening in it which is usually used when you are using the buttercream as your finish on your cake and not adding fondant. And if it’s “crusting” you can usually use the paper towel method to help smooth out the finish afterwards (look up “smooth buttercream” in the search bar on this site to find a tutorial on this method if you want to check that out.)

      And don’t worry about your English for a second, Liza… you’re doing great!! Xx

      • SweetLiza 7 months ago

        Thanks Shawna. I used to use always chocolate ganache as it was easier for me to manage fondant coverage as it was easier for me to take fondant back if I placed it in a wrong position. With buttercream is more difficult, even sharp edges (for me I mean).

        Where can I get a no shortening crusting buttercream recipe?

        Lots of love.

        • Author
          Shawna 7 months ago

          Try this one… it’s supposed to be great!

          2 sticks unsalted butter – 226 grams

          8 cups ( 2 lb.) ( 920 grams) powdered sugar

          2 tsp. vanilla (8 grams), use clear imitation vanilla if you like a whiter frosting

          1/3 c. milk -86 grams

          pinch of salt if you’d like to cut the sweetness

          Cream the softened butter until smooth. Blend in the vanilla. Add half of the powdered sugar and most of the milk. Beat at medium speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Add remaining powdered sugar and milk and mix at medium speed another 3 to 4 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. I slow down the mixer to very slow. (#2 on the Kitchenaid) for 1 to 2 minutes. This will help eliminate air pockets in the buttercream. The texture will become very smooth.

          This recipe can be doubled or halved.

          Can be frozen in air tight container for at least three months . Thaw on countertop.

          This is a crusting recipe, which works well with the Roller and Viva Paper towel smoothing methods. However, humidity may make it less likely to crust, in which case you can use the hot knife method for smoothing.

          Yields approximately 6 – 6 1/2 cups of frosting.

  5. SweetLiza 7 months ago

    Non-crusting means that you don’t fell the sugar like in SMBC?.

    • Author
      Shawna 7 months ago

      Acutally, non crusting means that your buttercream won’t develop a very thin sort of crust on it once it sits for a bit… it will instead stay a bit soft/buttery to the touch. πŸ™‚

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