Buttercream Frosting Recipes

The following recipes have been collected since 1980 by Kathleen from various sources over the years and some recipes she has developed herself.  Kathleen will continue updating this page with new recipes .  Information in regards to Ingredients maybe found under General Information section under ingredients.    Make sure to check back for new recipes and ideas.  The recipes and information will be updated frequently.

Handling Buttercreams

Most buttercreams can be left at room temperature without melting. Buttercreams made with shortening and a higher sugar content withstand warmer temperatures better than those made solely with butter. Cooling buttercream causes it to harden. If a frosted cake is cooled, the buttercream may crack.

For French buttercream, it is better to leave the cakes with buttercream covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Remove them 10 or 15 minutes before serving or longer to let sit prior to cutting.

When using buttercream to frost a cake, it is best to work with it when it is soft and spreadable. Icings may be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Before use, the icing needs to sit outside the fridge so it can come up to room temperature. If it must be warmed quickly or if it curdles, it can be heated over warm water (such as a double boiler) or a microwave for 5 seconds at a time and beaten until it becomes smooth again. Avoid directly heating the buttercream.

American Buttercream Student Practice Frosting

Stiff Consistency for Flowers

  • 1 teaspoon clear flavoring of your choice
  • 3 -5 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup Sweetex Shortening or Richardson Oilseed Ice-It (high ratio bakery type)
  • 1 tablespoon “A Royal Mix”
  • 1 lb. sifted confectioners’ icing sugar (approximately 4 cups)
  • Pinch- 1/4 teaspoon of salt – extra fine popcorn salt

Sift powdered sugar and meringue powder into a large mixing bowl, set aside; cream shortening, flavorings and water. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or so until creamy. Yields: 3-4 cups

Medium Consistency – More Commonly Used For Decorating

Add approximately one teaspoon water or more to each cup of stiff consistency icing (one additional tablespoon or more liquid when you are using the full recipe). Mix until well blended,

Thin Consistency – Crumb Coating and Frosting Cakes

Add two teaspoons or more water for each cup of stiff consistency icing (two tablespoons or more additional liquid for the full recipe) Mix until well blended.

Buttercream – ½ Shortening- ½ Butter

Follow Buttercream recipe, except use the following substitution: For 1 cup of Sweetex Shortening or Richardson Oilseed Ice-It (high ratio bakery type)substitute 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening and 1/2 cup softened sweet unsalted butter.

Chocolate Buttercream

Follow Buttercream Icing recipe; add 3 oz. of melted Bittersweet Chocolate or 9 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted. If a darker color is desired, use darker cocoa powder or add a little brown paste food color. Chocolate color intensifies, as it rest.

Cake Filling/Frosting

Make a full recipe Buttercream; add two tablespoons light corn syrup and mix until ingredients are thoroughly blended.


Use “A Royal Mix” in place of egg whites! “A Royal Mix” acts as a stabilizer, keeping shortening and other liquids from separating, especially in hot weather.

Rather than wasting unwanted colors of buttercream icing/frosting left over from previous cakes, you can combine to create chocolate frosting! Leftover colored frostings can be mixed together, when you have approximately three cups; simply combine, add ½ cup softened butter, combine in mixer. Add 9 Tablespoons sifted unsweetened cocoa powder, (or) 3 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate (or more, if a stronger chocolate flavor is wanted) and mix to a smooth consistency.

Buttercream Frosting – Excellent for Flowers- Crusting

This frosting is a great practice frosting for buttercream flowers; they maybe air dried and handled within 3 to 4 hours. Good alternative to royal icing flowers; they are good tasting and not as rock hard when applying to a cake.

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 5 Tablespoons “A Royal Mix” – Pre-Mix
  • 1 teaspoon salt- extra fine
  • 2 teaspoons flavoring; may use butter/vanilla, almond or any other combination of your choice.
  • 1- 1/4 cups Sweetex Shortening (or) Richardson Oilseed Ice-It (high ratio bakery type)
  • 3 lbs. confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Combine water and A Royal Mix- Pre Mix powder, whip until peaks form; add salt, flavoring and shortening, whip until fluffy; will separate, continue beating at low speed, adding confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Continue beating at low to medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Recipe yields approx. 6 1/2 -7 cups

French Buttercream – Customer & Family Favorite, since 1980

  • 3/4 Cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 Cup cold water or milk

Combine in mixer and make sure no dry milk remains on beaters.

Combine until fluffy;

  • Add 2-1/2 lbs. sifted confectioners’ icing sugar; continue mixing 5 minutes
  • Add – 1/4 to 1/3 cup water at end or less, depending on consistency desired

Continue mixing 8 to 10 minutes, medium speed (if frosting consistency is too thin, add extra sifted confectioners’ sugar)


Cremora Icing

  • 2 cups Sweetex Shortening or Richardson Oilseed Ice-It (high ratio bakery type)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Cremora, dry coffee creamer
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons almond extract or 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond extract or any other type flavor
  • 2 lbs. sifted confectioners’ icing sugar

Dissolve salt in water, add extract & shortening, beat until fluffy; add Cremora & sugar. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Will ice and fill two 8″ layer cakes.


Cream Cheese Frosting

Prepare as above, except replace ½ shortening with half cream cheese. You will have to add extra confectioner’s sugar to decorate with. (1 cup cream cheese plus 1 cup Crisco equals 2 cups shortening.) You may add sweet unsalted butter as part of the 2 cups shortening and add fresh lemon juice in place of almond extract.


Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 3/4 cup Sweetex Shortening or Richardson Oilseed Ice-It (high ratio bakery type)
  • and 3/4 cup sweet butter (or) 1-1/2 cups sweet unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup cream, evaporated milk or Pastry Pride (Non-Dairy Whipped Topping)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix softened butter and shortening together; add liquid, flavoring and salt; Beat until fluffy.

  • Sift 1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 lbs. sifted confectioners’ icing sugar

Add cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar; continue mixing on low to medium speed until fluffy.


 Whipped Buttercream Frosting

This frosting is similar to bakery frosting; great for frosting cakes and simple decorating.

  • 2 cups Sweetex Shortening or Richardson Oilseed Ice-It (high ratio bakery type) (May substitute 1 cup unsalted sweet butter + 1 cup shortening)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (Manufacturing)
  • 2 teaspoons butter/vanilla flavor or your favorite
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pound confectioners’ icing sugar, sifted

Cream shortening, whip cream, flavoring, and salt until fluffy; add confectioners’ sugar, small amount at a time.  Beat at medium to high speed until fluffy.  If frosting is too stiff add extra whipping cream; too thin add extra confectioners’ sugar. 


Chocolate Kahlua Frosting

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1/ 2 cup sweet unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups confectioners’ icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place the cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and pour in the boiling water and Kahlua. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the cocoa comes together into a soft mass;  add the butter and blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is soft and well combined, 30 seconds. Add the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and beat with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting lightens and is fluffy, 2 minutes or more.

For more  frosting recipes and ideas visit the following link King Arthur Flour Website.


White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 12 ounces white chocolate, chopped –Guittard White Satin
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened – May use ½ Cream Cheese & ½ high ratio shortening
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened – room temp
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted – Option

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or use the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in    between, making sure chocolate is completed melted and not burning. Remove from heat, set aside; cool until lukewarm. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth in a large bowl with a mixer set on medium speed. Add the melted chocolate, small amount at a time, making sure it does not seize on the side of the bowl, scrape and continue beating until well blended; add vanilla and lemon juice, mixing until incorporated. Add sugar and mix until frosting is light and fluffy (may add extra confectioners’ sugar if frosting seems to thin. Store 2 weeks refrigerated.  Yield Approx. 6 Cups.

Note: As with any buttercream you need to consider your climate and adjust accordingly.


Italian Buttercream

Sugar Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar


  • 1/2 cup meringue powder
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, extra fine
  • 1/3 cup sugar


  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter- softened, room temp
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup high ratio vegetable shortening (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla or favorite flavoring


For the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small, nonstick (preferable, if you have one) saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches at least 240°F. It can go as high as 248 to 250°F. Just be sure it’s within those temperatures before you take it off the stove.

For the meringue: While the syrup is cooking, combine the meringue powder, water, and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Beat at high speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture first looks foamy then turns white, and you begin to see tracks in the bowl. At this point, slowly sprinkle in the sugar with the mixer running. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is stiff.

When the syrups gets above 240°F (110°C) and before it gets above 250°F (121°C), remove it from the heat and with the mixer running at low speed, pour it down the side of the mixing bowl (not on the whisk or beaters if you can avoid it; that will send the syrup flying and start spinning sugar threads instead of incorporating it). Once the syrup is all in, leave the mixer running until the mixture cools to 80°F. You can help this process along by wrapping an ice pack around the mixing bowl.

Once the meringue is cool, add butter, a few pieces at a time, with the mixer running at medium speed. The meringue will deflate, and may begin to look curdled. This ugly stage is normal. Just keep the mixer running, adding butter.

Soon the frosting will begin to bring itself together around the whisk, then in the rest of the bowl. Once most of the butter is in, add vanilla or your choice of flavorings. If you’re using the frosting for decorations, add the vegetable shortening in chunks at this point.

Note: Use the buttercream within 4 hours, or refrigerate until needed. This is the frosting that you’ll find on many wedding cakes. Its silky texture is unparalleled, it pipes like a dream, and can be flavored and colored in as many ways as you can imagine. While it takes a little time to make, it freezes quite well. It’s great to have on hand for unexpected occasions.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

You can flavor it with any extract you choose; or see the tips below for flavor ideas.
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 large) egg whites (or) use equivalent of meringue and water to equal 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, extra fine
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened- room temperature


Using a large mixing bowl, 5 quart; combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt.

Place over a saucepan of simmering water (you should just barely see a few bubbles coming up), and whisk constantly until the mixture measures 161°F (71.7°C)
Attach the bowl to your mixer and beat the meringue with the whisk attachment until it’s stiff.
Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, with the mixer running. Mix each addition of butter until completely mixed,before adding the next. Once half the butter is in the bowl, stop, scrape the sides and bottom to make sure all the meringue is getting incorporated; finish adding the rest of the butter. Add flavoring of your choice.
If the frosting seems soft, chill for 15 minutes before using. Store for up to 6 months in the freezer, or up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Yield: 5 cups frosting.

Different Flavors Ideas for Swiss Meringue

Basic flavor for this frosting is vanilla. You may add your own imagination for different flavors.

For coconut, add 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring and 1/2 cup coconut milk powder.

For chocolate, reserve 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of the butter from the recipe. Melt 1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate and cool to room temperature. Combine the melted chocolate and the butter, mix well;  add this mixture to the frosting.

Raspberry (or favorite berry, fruit), add 2 tablespoons raspberry or fruit purée; mix fresh  into the finished frosting.

For lemon (or orange), add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon (or orange) zest and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon (or orange) juice. You can  add 1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice powder to the egg whites before beating.

Cream Cheese Version – In the mixer bowl, whip the cream cheese until very light and fluffy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl several times with a spatula to make sure it is thoroughly whipped.  Gradually add one tablespoon Swiss Buttercream at a time to the whipped cream cheese, stirring on medium-low speed. Once combined, the frosting should be like softly whipped cream. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is like stiff whipped cream. Add a dash of vanilla and a pinch of salt. You can use the frosting right away, or chill it to firm up a bit (re-whip before using). May add small amount lemon juice to help intensify cream cheese flavor and cream cheese flavoring.