Classic American Buttercream Recipe

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Classic American buttercream. .
Nila Jones

This classic American buttercream is deliciously creamy, super sweet, and incredibly fluffy, and one of the easiest buttercreams to master. It’s just a matter of beating softened butter until it’s fluffy, adding powdered sugar, cream and a little vanilla and whipping it all together. No cooking required! It has a pale, ivory color and it’s a bit firmer than most other buttercreams, because of its high butter content. This also means that it doesn’t hold up very well in warmer temperatures, because the fat in the butter will melt.

Classic American Buttercream Recipe

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch fine table salt

  1. Add the butter to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle, or a medium mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy, smooth, and lightened in color, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt and mix at low speed until somewhat incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until buttercream is smooth and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. (If the buttercream is too thick, add a little more cream, if it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.)

  3. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container or a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To use buttercream that has either been refrigerated or frozen, first allow to come to room temperature then beat until smooth and spreadable again. Cakes or cupcakes decorated with buttercream generally keep for up to 3 days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve buttercream at room temperature.

Special Equipment

Electric mixer

This Recipe Appears In

  • The World of Buttercreams: 6 Varieties to Try at Home
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
200 Calories
13g Fat
22g Carbs
0g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 200
% Daily Value*
13g 16%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
35mg 12%
14mg 1%
22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 21g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 8mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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