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How to Make American Buttercream - Recipe & Video

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

American buttercream is the easiest buttercream to make, and is the type of buttercream you'll find in most household kitchens. However, there are a few tips and tricks to getting it perfect every time, and I'll be sharing them all in this post!

When it comes to American buttercream, you want to make sure that you're keeping the following in mind:

1) Make sure your butter is at room temperature. It should be squishy to the touch, but not too soft that isn't holding it's shape, and it shouldn't be too hard that you can't squish it at all, otherwise it will not cream properly.

2) Make sure you cream your butter for 5-8 minutes. This is important for two reasons: firstly, it will improve the consistency of your buttercream and make it more creamy, and secondly, by creaming your butter for a longer time the butter will lose it's yellow colour, which will help in achieving a nice, white buttercream.

3) Use a good quality icing sugar/confectioners sugar that is very fine. If your icing sugar is not fine enough, you will end up with a grainy buttercream.

4) Mix in your icing sugar in small batches on a low speed. This will allow the butter time to mix in well with the icing sugar, and prevent a big cloud of icing sugar from ending up on your face! :)

5) To change the consistency of your buttercream, add more or less heavy cream. Depending on what you're using the buttercream for, the consistency may need to be firmer or softer. Add a tablespoon of heavy cream to thin it out a little bit for a firm buttercream, and simply add in more heavy cream if you need a more soft spreadable buttercream, until the desired texture is reached. Only add in a tablespoon at a time though, as you don't want to add too much and end up with a soupy buttercream!

6) Remember to re-beat your buttercream if it's been made beforehand. Sometimes buttercream is made earlier and either kept in the fridge or on a bench top for some time. As the buttercream sits, it forms air bubbles that need to be whipped out otherwise you will have very holey buttercream that wont smooth out/pipe well. Before using, simply mix your buttercream on a low speed in a mixer (or by hand) for a couple of minutes and you'll be good to go!

If you'd like to watch this American Buttercream come together, then you can check out my YouTube video where I take you step-by-step through the process!

YouTube video on how to make American buttercream!


Prep time: 10 minutes │ Yield: Enough to ice a 10 inch cake.


-1 cup (227g) unsalted butter

- 2 1/4 cup (325g) of icing sugar/confectioners sugar

- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

- 2-6 tablespoons of heavy cream (depending on the consistency required)


1) Cream butter for 5 minutes in your stand mixer using the balloon whisk or paddle attachment on a medium-high speed. You can do this with a hand mixer too. Scrape down the bowl half way through the mixing process.

2) Once the butter has turned a pale white colour, gradually mix in the icing sugar on a low speed. Once all the icing sugar has been mixed in, scrape down the bowl and mix again on a high speed for 30 seconds.

3) Mix in the vanilla extract.

4) Scrape down the bowl and add in a tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until the desired consistency is reached. For a firmer buttercream add less heavy cream, and for a softer buttercream, add in the full quantity of heavy cream (and a little more if needed).

If you do try this recipe out or have any questions, then please leave me a comment below! I'd be happy to answer any questions. Also, I'd love to see pictures if you try this recipe out, so don't forget to tag me on Instagram @cakesbymk.nz :)


#cakesbymk #cbmk #buttercream #americanbuttercream #blog #cakes #cakedecorating

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