Vanilla American Buttercream Recipe

Chelsweets Buttercream Rosette Cake

There are so many reasons why I love my vanilla american buttercream recipe. The first is that is only uses 5 ingredients which most of us already have in our pantries!

It also is seriously the easiest recipe. It’s pretty much foolproof and only takes about 5 minutes to make.

image of buttercream frosting on whisk attachment in front of stand mixer

However, as with any recipe, sometimes you need to do a little trouble shooting! I get TONS of questions about my buttercream recipe, including the following:

  • Can buttercream icing be made ahead of time?
  • Can buttercream frosting be frozen?
  • How do I get the air bubbles out of my buttercream?
  • Can buttercream frosting be left out overnight?
  • Which type of buttercream is best for cakes?
  • Why does my frosting have air bubbles in it?
  • Does buttercream need to be refrigerated?
  • Why is my buttercream grainy?
  • Why is my buttercream yellow?
  • How do you make your frosting white?
  • How do you get such vibrant colored frosting?

I’m here to answer all of these and more! So buckle up and get ready to learn everything (and more) about American buttercream frosting.

I’ll be sharing the fundamentals, tips for troubleshooting, and of course my tried-and-true recipe!

Can I Make My Buttercream In Advance?

A common theme in these questions involves making buttercream in advance and storing it.

I almost always make my frosting ahead of time.

If placed in a large, sealed piping bag or airtight container it can last in the fridge for up to a month and in the freezer for up to three months

image of smooth american buttercream frosting in bowl

When you’re ready to use the chilled or frozen buttercream, simply take it out of the fridge or freezer and place on the counter to thaw.

The amount of time it takes to thaw can vary based on the amount of frosting and how it’s stored. I usually take my buttercream out the night before I need it and let it slowly warm to room temperature.

However, once the buttercream has reached room temperature it will likely be riddled with tiny air bubbles!!

But fear not, I promise you can get your frosting back to a silky smooth consistency.

Mix it on a low speed with a paddle attachment or by hand with a rubber spatula. It’s an arm workout to mix it by hand for a couple minutes, but it makes a big difference.

Be sure to really push the frosting against the side of the bowl to push out all of that trapped air.

I do this with every batch of buttercream to make it easier to get super smooth sides on my cake.

image of gluten free vanilla cupcake being frosted with vanilla bean buttercream

How Long Does Buttercream Keep At Room Temperature?

In general, buttercream can sit out at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Most people freak out when they hear that. “Won’t it spoil??” “But this recipe has cream in it!! Won’t the frosting go bad?”

The short answer is no. The high amount of fat and minimal amount of heavy cream give my American buttercream a great shelf life.

I leave my frosting out overnight all the time and have never gotten sick from it.

In fact, I even left my frosting out overnight to decorate my own wedding cake and it tasted great.

image of wedding cake with fresh white and green florals

Do I Need To Sift My Powdered Sugar?

A lot of recipes ask you to sift the powdered sugar before adding it into the frosting. I don’t know how you feel about sifting, but to me it’s always such a pain!

It is important to sift the powdered sugar if you have trouble with it clumping when you add it into your buttercream.

However, most powdered sugar in the United States is mixed with a tiny bit of cornstarch to keep it from clumping. It usually discloses this on the front of the package.

Cornstarch helps absorb moisture which naturally prevents clumps from forming.

I’ve never had an issue with my powdered sugar clumping so a few years ago I decided to be rebellious and not sift my powdered sugar.

And you know what? My frosting turned out EXACTLY THE SAME! Ever since that day I’ve never sifted my powdered sugar when making frosting.

If you live in a humid environment or in a place in the world where powdered sugar isn’t mixed with cornstarch, you may have issues with clumps in your powdered sugar.

If this is you, it may be necessary for you to sift.

cream cheese buttercream

Why Is My Buttercream Grainy?

Some people also run into the issue of grainy frosting!

When the texture of you buttercream isn’t nice and smooth, it may be because you need to add a bit more heavy cream. I recommend adding 1 additional Tablespoon at a time to make sure you don’t throw off the consistency of your frosting.

If there isn’t enough liquid in your frosting to help dissolve the powdered sugar, it can throw off the texture of your frosting.

But sometimes adding additional heavy cream doesn’t solve the problem.

When you run into this, the grainy texture might be caused by the brand of powdered sugar you’re using!

Some brand are less fine than others and in some place of the world powdered sugar is also less fine.

I usually use the Domino or Shoprite brands, which are both 10x.

When you see this on a package, it refers to the the number of time the sugar is processed to make it into the fine powder that we know and love.

Be sure to check your package when you buy it, to be sure it’s been processed to a fine enough powder!

Why Is My Buttercream Hard / Why Does Buttercream Crust?

Another important thing to note when making this recipe is that it is a crusting buttercream!

Now I know what you’re thinking, “crusting sounds gross!!” or “why would  frosting crust?”

My american buttercream recipe crusts overtime as the frosting is left exposed to air due to its high sugar content. 

image of bitten into sugar cookie with buttercream frosting

But it’s really not a bad thing. In fact, most of the time it’s actually a great thing! I like that it firms up, especially when I use it on cookies like these buttercream cookies.

Crusting buttercream recipes are usually stiffer due to the high amount of powdered sugar and therefore easier to smooth on cakes.

Other benefits of crusting include reduced risk of bulging sides, the ability to paint designs onto a cake and it helps piped flowers or designs keep their structure.

I used this frosting recipe to make this winter wonderland cake and it piped like a dream!

image of american buttercream being piped onto a detailed winter wonderland cake

If you want to use a frosting that doesn’t crust, I recommend trying my swiss meringue buttercream or russian buttercream.

What Is American Buttercream Frosting? How Is It Different than Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

Based on the amount of powdered sugar in this recipe, you can probably tell this is an American Buttercream Frosting (ABC)!

The noticeable difference between American buttercream and other types of buttercream is that it doesn’t use any egg whites!

American buttercream frosting is primarily made with butter, loads of powdered sugar, and a bit of salt, vanilla and heavy cream.

While there are tons of delicious types of buttercream out there (Swiss, German, Italian, Russian…), I prefer ABC! 

I don’t like to mess with eggs when it comes to frosting and I enjoy the way American buttercream tastes.

As most of you know, I have a huge sweet tooth and Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) honestly isn’t sweet enough for my palette. 

I ate loads of sugary candy, sweet breakfast cereals and sweetened beverages as a kid. My brain has been hard-wired over the years to just love sugar.

IMG_1428 (2)

How Do I Make My Buttercream White? Why Is My Buttercream Yellow?

One last thing to note when making this American Buttercream is about its color. Since this recipe is only 5 ingredients, each one really counts when it comes to the look, flavor and consistency of this frosting.

With this in mind, the brand of butter you use has a huge impact on the taste and color of your frosting!

Some brands of butter are more yellow, either based on the diet of the cows producing the milk (cows eating a lot of grass will produce yellower butter due to the beta carotene in the grass) or if a brand adds in coloring (always check the ingredients).

frosting smoothed

My go to brand of butter is the unsalted Whole Foods brand. It is very light in color and makes very white frosting!

If you can’t find a brand of butter that is lighter in color and your frosting is still a bit yellow, try adding the smallest (TINIEST) drop of purple gel food coloring.

It sounds crazy, but purple and yellow are opposites on the color wheel, so they cancel each other out.

The purple gel food coloring will color-correct the yellow tint, leaving you with white frosting.

You can also whip your butter on a high speed with a whisk attachment for a few minutes. This will help incorporate air into the butter which will naturally lighten its color.

Can I Use This Recipe to Make Other Flavors of Frosting?

I use this recipe as the base of almost every frosting I make. It’s incredibly versatile and easy to color and flavor. The possibilities are limitless!

Sometimes I add in melted dark chocolate to make a decadent chocolate American buttercream.

image of chocolate american buttercream

I also love to make salted caramel buttercream but adding in a bit of my homemade caramel sauce.

caramel buttercream photo

Some of the different flavors I’ve made include the following:

When I make variations and plan to use a different extract, I usually swap out 1 or 2 tsp of vanilla and replace them with my extract of choice.

This is what I do for coconut, lemon, mint, almond, ube, and maple buttercream!

Some flavors require mixing in an addition ingredient, like Nutella, Oreo or peanut butter.

image of oreo frosting on a whisk attachment, after just being made in a pink stand mixer

For these, I replace 1 or 2 sticks of butter with the ingredient of choice. For example, to make Nutella frosting, I use three sticks of butter, and a half cup of Nutella.

I then add some additional heavy cream because the Nutella makes the frosting thicker than regular buttercream.

This approach works great for cream cheese frosting, salted caramel, peanut butter, Nutella, strawberry and cookie butter frosting.

image of strawberry buttercream piped using a wilton 1m frosting tip

How Do I Color My Buttercream To Make Bright And Vibrant Shades?

Now onto coloring frosting! To make my buttercream super vibrant and colorful, I use gel food coloring.

It allows you to get vibrant colors without adding a ton of liquid into the frosting. I avoid liquid food coloring because it can throw off the consistency of the buttercream if you add too much.

My favorite gel food coloring is Americolor. I used different amounts of the deep pink shade to decorate my small batch funfetti cake shown below.

image of funfetti cake slice made from 6 inch cake layers

While some colors are easy to make, others can be more challenging.

I have separate post that share all my tips and tricks for making black buttercream and red buttercream frosting.

How Much Buttercream Do I Need To Make For A Cake?

When using this to frost my favorite vanilla layer cake recipe , I usually make 1.5 batches. However, this can vary based on how I’m decorating the cake.

A lot of the time I have leftover frosting, but I’d always prefer to have leftover frosting, rather than run out!

I don’t mind since it can easily be saved to use on another cake.

Plus, like I mentioned above, leftover buttercream keeps in the fridge for up to a month if it’s stored correctly!

One batch of this recipe makes about 6 cups of frosting. When you’re first starting out though, that doesn’t mean much!

You’ll learn overtime how much frosting you like to add between the layers and how much extra frosting you need to create the decoration you have in mind.


For example, a semi-naked cake uses less than one batch of frosting.

On the other hand, if you chose to decorate a cake with buttercream rosettes, you may use two entire batches of frosting!

Tips for Making The Best American Buttercream Frosting

  • Use a paddle attachment if you plan to add this frosting to a cake, to make super smooth frosting that’s easy to smooth
  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature to give your frosting the right consistency
  • If you don’t have some of the ingredients on hand, check out my substitutions guide!
  • Place a kitchen towel over your stand mixer as you add in the powdered sugar to prevent it from splattering out.
  • Check your buttercream consistency by stirring it by hand with a rubber spatula, and adjust as needed.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time)
  • If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter cup at a time).
  • Mix your frosting on the lowest speed for a couple minutes once it’s made and/or stir by hand with a rubber spatula to make super smooth frosting.

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try out this vanilla american buttercream recipe (or any of my other frosting recipes), I’d love to hear what you think of it! Please leave a comment below.

Also be sure to tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets so I can see your creations 🙂

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 6

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Chelsweets Buttercream Rosette Cake

This vanilla American buttercream recipe only uses five ingredients! It's so easy and delicious to make, you'll never buy frosting again!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (434 grams; 1 lb box)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (12 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 7 cups powdered sugar (907 grams; 2 lb bag)
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (45 grams)


  1. Beat 2 cups of unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds until smooth with a paddle attachment / stand mixer or a hand mixer.
  2. Mix in 1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and 1/2 tsp salt on a low speed.
  3. Slowly add in 7 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Half way through add in 3 Tbsp of heavy cream or milk to make it easier to mix. I like to place a kitchen towel over my mixer to contain any powdered sugar clouds.
  4. Mix on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached
  5. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  6. If you plan to color the buttercream, add in the gel food coloring once the frosting is fully mixed and beat on low until it reach the desired colored


This recipe makes about 6 cups of frosting.

If you're struggling to get your frosting smooth I share all my tips for making super smooth buttercream here.

Make your frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!

If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

If you are making frosting for a cake, mix the buttercream on the lowest speed at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process.

I usually make 1 1/2 batches of frosting to stack and frost a seven or eight inch cake.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 1074Total Fat 64gSaturated Fat 40gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 171mgSodium 207mgCarbohydrates 129gFiber 0gSugar 126gProtein 1g

661 thoughts on “Vanilla American Buttercream Recipe

  1. Do you use the paddle attachment for mixing this? I can never get mine so smooth even for the rosettes. There always seem to be tiny air bubbles in the frosting itself (even before it’s on the cake). Also, is there a specific butter brand you usually use?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Yes, I prefer the paddle attachment! I always use the whole foods brand of butter. Hope that helps! I suggest beating the frosting on a very low setting for a couple minutes at the end of the process, which can help remove any excess air. Happy baking 🙂

      1. My buttercream always seems to be sticky and not fluffy the way yours looks. I watched the above video tutorial where you used your whisk on your kitchenaide. Do you do this only when making cupcake buttercream and then use the paddle for cake buttercream? Thank you! I love watching your videos. I made the unicorn cake and filled the center like your pinata cake with skittles. Perfect cake for my 22 year old daughter lol! 🙂

      2. Yes, i use the whisk attachment when making buttercream for cupcakes, but the paddle attachment when making buttercream for cakes! And that’s such a cute idea, I love that!!! 🙂

  2. Can I leave it in room temperature overnight? I would like to make the cake a night before and Im alfraid the cake will gethardwhen I put in the fridge. Thanks!

      1. Help! I refrigerated the icing. Will I be able to salvage it once it comes back up to room temp??

  3. What I mean I will decorate the cake with buttercream night before…the buttercream is already on the cake overnight.

  4. Hello! I have a question, I know you said that your buttercream is a crusting buttercream which I love to work with, but I usually do shortening and butter because I’ve had experiences where using strictly butter makes the frosting “loose” and not easy to work with. Have you ever had this problem with this recipe?

    1. I actually never have! I very rarely use shortening! I add very little cream, which keeps my frosting pretty study and easy to frost with! I live in NYC,and never really have problems with temperature or humidity in my kitchen though, I know that people encounter issues related to that other places in the world !

  5. I just have a quick question I made your buttercream for Mother’s Day and the consistency was perfect but it was really sweet so sweet we couldn’t eat it what could I do to cut the sweetness please help

  6. I just tried this for a birthday cake. Love it! Super easy to make and tastes great! However, mine was really hard to pipe on the cake, and it didn’t seem as fluffy as yours. Any troubleshooting tips you can offer? Thanks 🙂

    1. Hmm! If you’re having trouble piping, you can always add in a bit more cream to make it easier to pipe! I usually add in slightly more cream when piping vs. covering a cake. Hope that helps!

    1. the amount of salt in butter varies by brand, and you can’t control it! so using unsalted is best, then you can add in the exact amount of salt a recipe calls for

  7. I’m wanting to use this for my wedding cake but I did a trial run and the next day it had kind of dripped some white wax looking stuff onto the counter (I’m assuming this was butter maybe?) Have you run into this problem before or know how I could solve it? I love everything about this frosting but want to make sure it is perfect for the wedding. Would using half butter half butter shortening help do you think?

  8. This is the only recipe that I will ever use when making icing….. No more store bought icing….. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  9. Hi there! I too am a baker and I’m always looking for new inspirations and recipes and I have never heard of using salt or heavy cream in my recipe! I am making a birthday cake tonight for a friend so I’m giving your recipe a try! I hope it works! You do incredible work and your cakes make me just wanna be in my kitchen all day long baking and trying new flavors!! I have a question about your actually vanilla cake recipe though.. does it come out rather dense like pound cake or is it fluffy and soft like a sponge cake?

  10. I want to make this recipe for my sons birthday cake but I don’t have a processor with a paddle attachment. Can I use a hand mixer instead? Will it come out the same?

  11. Amazing cakes 🙂 I find your Instagram videos really relaxing! Whenever I make buttercream, between the yellow tone in butter and the colour of the vanilla, I never end up with white icing. Even using clear vanilla extract. Do you have any tips/tricks? Thanks 🙂

  12. I have used this recipe for icing before and it is perfect! Thank you! I am making a cake for the office and it will probably be sitting in the break room a few days before all of it gets eaten. Will this icing be ok left out? Or, would you put in the fridge instead of leaving it out? Thanks!

  13. Hi Chelsea, I follow you on IG and I’m making my first homemade frosting using your recipe for my son’s birthday cake this weekend. If I can’t get to a Whole Foods in time, could you recommend another light colored butter that I can use?????? My cake is a football field and I’m mostly using green but I worry the frosting areas that need white will not be as white if I use a butter than isn’t the Whole Foods brand.

  14. I live in Mississippi where it’s a little warmer I’m concern if the buttercream will hold up with the temperature.

    1. you can always swap out half the butter for shortening, which will help make it more stable in the heat! However, my buttercream is very stiff and I’ve never had a problem with it!! But I live in NYC

  15. I want to bake the cake tonight and frost the cake. The party is tomorrow. Can the cake be left out at room temp.? Should I refrigerate the frosted cake? If so how long before he party should I removed the cake from the fridge?

      1. Thank you so much! My 8 year old son and I LOVE watching your videos! I am using your recipes but making him a cake that will look like an Oreo cookie and will be decorated with mini Oreos! Can’t wait to see how it turns out! You have inspired me to try out my baking skills! Thanks!!

      2. So my buttercream definitely did not come out like yours. It was not as fluffy as yours. I had a hard time spreading it out. There were little air bubbles. The flavor is dead on but the consistency was off. Not sure what i did wrong! Again, great flavor though!

  16. Hi Chelsea,

    Why does my frosting always turn out so thick and heavy? I feel like it weighs my cake down too. What am I doing wrong??? I follow your recipe exactly as it is!

  17. Hi! Just found your channel and I’m obsessed! For a seven layer (rainbow) 7″ OR 8″ round cake, how many batches of the buttercream frosting should I make?

  18. Hi Chels! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe! Ive read through most of the comments and have experienced for myself that it does crust. Have you noticed that its a problem with decorating cupcakes? Or does it just crust a pretty thin layer on the outside? I hope this makes sense

    1. The frosting just crusted on the surface! Overall it is still soft on the inside. I have not had any problems with this while decorating cupcakes! It really just helps the frosting keeps its shape!

  19. Hi if I’m not able to buy the whole foods butter, which other brand would you recommend for it to not be so yellow? Also is there a difference between brands of powdered sugar?

      1. Okay thank you anyways! I hope it comes out right I’m going to try it today for the first time!

    1. I know that your Buttercream recipe is fail proof but I fail everytime. My frosting is always too thick. The recipe calls for 8 cups of Powdered sugar. Is there a way to measure accurately? I know you had mentioned in one of your tutorials that you use a premeasured box or bag. What brand? If I measure, do I sift and then measure? Or measure unsifted?

      1. oh no! I use domino sugar powdered sugar, which is always really fine and clump free! I actually don’t normally sift my powdered sugar (shocking, but it’s never clumpy and I’ve found it doesn’t really make a difference for me)The butter you use can also impact it! I’d recommend adding a bit more heavy cream, and seeing if that helps thin it out and make it easier to work with!

      1. If i want to make half a batch for a dozen or a little over a dozen cupcakes do i just split all the ingredients in half?

  20. Hi! I’m so excited to make that Jack Skellington cake for my nieces birthday this weekend! I hope it ends up looking almost as good as yours! What did you use for the black drips down the side and the face? Is there a recipe? I just want it to be the right consistency. Also I’m going to try to make this buttercream but I only have a handmixer, do you think it will turn out okay?

  21. I love watching your tutorials and live streams, and I enjoy making cakes for fun for friends and family. I recently made one where I tried your buttercream recipe, and it was wonderful!! I wish I could share a picture on here. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and tips with everyone! 🙂

      1. Hey Chelsea! I love your tutorials and they’re super helpful. I also wanna ask if there’s any way I could reduce the powdered sugar by at least half but still keep the texture – like if there’s any substitute to the ingredient. Looking forward to your reply xxxx

      2. sadly the texture will be affected! but you can try to add less powdered sugar, and reduce the amount of cream you use to try to make the frosting thicker <3

  22. Just made both the vanilla cake and buttercream frosting and Omgosh let me tell you… they came out amazing! It is on the sweet side but I would just use a thin layer of the frosting if you do not have a sweettooth. I love it just the way it is.

  23. Hey! Should I freeze my cake layers before frosting?
    Also Should I make my frosting a certain amount of time in advance to frosting the cake?

    1. I like to, to make it easier to frost but you don’t have to! You can make your frosting whenever, i usually make it the day before just to make it easier to assemble and decorate the cake the following day!

  24. Hi Chelsea!
    How would you exactly incorporate white chocolate into this buttercream recipe ? Or do you already have a recipe for it? ?

  25. Can I make my buttercream and cakes 2 days in advanced? Or would you recommend only one. So If I make it Thursday night would it still be ok and taste as good being assembled and eaten Saturday night?

  26. Hello, thanks for the recipe, for Nutella buttercream, the ingredients are only butter Nutella and heavy cream? No icing sugar?

  27. I have never been very successful at baking, but this weekend I am going to try your buttercream base and make peppermint buttercream. Wish me luck!

    1. you can create a reduction of strawberry puree, and add it to the frosting! Just be sure you cook out a lot of the water, so that the frosting doesn’t break when you add it 🙂

  28. Hi,how exactly do you make your Nutella buttercream. You say to use 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of Nutella. But how much sugar? 4 cups?

    1. yup! the ratio of 1/2 cup of fat (butter or nutella) to 1 cup of powdered sugar still stays true! I also add in an extra TBSP or 2 or cream, as the nutella makes the frosting pretty thick 🙂

  29. Hi, I was wondering, if I want to make some cake layers ahead of time, what is the best way to store them?

    1. These layers can be made in advance, and can be stored in the freezer for up to 5 days! If you do plan to freeze them overnight, be sure to either place them in an airtight container, or wrap them tightly in saran wrap.

  30. Hi,
    I’m trying to make this butter cream red but I’m having trouble getting it vibrant enough without the awful food colouring taste. I’ve seen a lot of your vibrant colored cakes and was wondering if you have any pointers.

  31. hello, I have a business of cakes, but usually use shortening in my buttercream (or half and half), because Im always afraid my cake could be melting with the hot temperatures, do you recommend something , add more sugar? add another ingredient, I don’t want to put all the time in the fridge I think if the party is outside could be a risk if the cake is cold and the weather hot, what do you think?

    1. I don’t live in a very hot climate, so I don’t use shortening! However, if you do I highly recommend you continue to do that!! Adding more sugar makes it too sweet :/

  32. love your cakess..I will definitely try some as I love to bake.. just one question regarding frosting.. does it really need so much sugar? Or could I put less? Thanks and have a nice day :))

    1. Definitely!! It’s great for piping flowers! You can also reduce the cream slightly if you want to use russian piping tips (buttercream has to SO stiff for those!)

  33. How much buttercream do I need if I want to make a semi-naked cake ( 2 8′ cakes and 2 6′ cakes)? I am hoping they look like your semi-naked cake tutorial.

    1. if you’re only using 2 layers for each tier, you shouldn’t need a ton! I would say about 1.5 batches should be enough! but it can vary based on how thick your cake layers are, and how much frosting you add between the layers <3

  34. What do you change when you make chocolate frosting? Do you add cocoa, chocolate squares, chocolate chips…? And do you make different types of chocolate frosting? Such as devils food cake frosting, black forest cake frosting, milk chocolate frosting…?

    1. Depends on you taste! I prefer the taste of american buttercream over swiss meringue, but if you don’t have a big sweet tooth or aren’t used to american desserts, this recipe will probably be too sweet for you!

  35. Hi. Do you have a video tutorial on frosting techniques using frosting tips? BTW- your cake designs are really beautiful;)

  36. Can i use whole milk instead of heavy cream in the American buttercream frosting? Would it still turn out good?

    1. up to a few weeks! I store it in an airtight container in the freezer if I’m making it super far in advance, or put it in the fridge if I plan to use it in the next few days.

  37. Your cakes are so beautiful! For the rosette cake, which coloring did you use for the top and middle layer of icing? It’s so beautiful!

    1. Thanks!! Its actually all the same shade of americolor pink gel food coloring, just in varying amounts! I was really surprised the middle layer turned out that color, but I also really liked it!

  38. Amazing work girl!
    what if I use 1 tsp gelatin powder softened in 3 tsp water at the end to stabilize the frosting?

  39. I have 2 questions. At Easter, I made chocolate cupcakes and used your buttercream frosting for the grass and added the cocoa and cream as you recommended above for chocolate buttercream frosting. The frosting seemed gritty. What did I do wrong? And lastly, I live in Florida and the buttercream grass just melted. Do you have a recipe for one that is more temperature stable in hot climates? Thank you in advance.

  40. Hello, Is it possible to make the frosting a day in advance, or is it better to make it the day of decorating the cake?

    1. either way is fine! if you make it in advance, you just need to be sure to store it in an air tight container to prevent crusting! You also need to give it a good stir once it comes to room temperature, as air bubbles can form inside the frosting as it thaws.

  41. I just made your American buttercream with cocoa added for the chocolate version and it may be the best frosting I’ve ever tasted! I haven’t frosted the chocolate cake yet but I’m sure it will be amazing . Thanks for your recipes and tutorials.

  42. How do you get such vibrate colors on your fosting? I need to make a basketball cake for my son’s birthday and I need a good orange, but I can’t ever get colors right. Any advise?

  43. Hi Chelsey! I love your recipes and have made your cakes twice! I was wondering how you get your buttercream so creamy and easy to frost with? I find I have to add a lot of extra heavy cream (and I let it mix longer) and it’s still not so easy to frost a cake with? It’s a little too heavy and stiff. What’s your secret? Thanks!

    1. A lot of factor can come into play with frosting consistency! I actually do use very stiff buttercream, but my kitchen is usually pretty warm! I think this makes my frosting just the right consistency, but I also freeze my layers! This makes them much easier to frost. If you find your frosting is too thick, you can keep adding heavy cream until it’s just right. The type of butter you use can also affect the consistency. Some butter has slightly more water/ less fat than others!

  44. Hi Chelsey, Thanks for the buttercream recipe, can’t wait to try it. I would like to know though whether this recipe works well in humid places and if I can use replace some of the butter with shortening.

    1. You definitely can, and I recommend you do! It will change the flavor a bit, but it really helps make the buttercream more stable / stand up to the humidity!

  45. Hey Chelsey! I have tried to make your buttercream and many others. But I can always taste the sugar. I have added sieved sugar in batches of 3. Whisked for a good amount of 3-5 minutes. It just doesn’t come out right. And I’m from India, so it’s really humid here.
    Any suggestions?

    1. when you say you can taste the sugar, do you mean the texture is off, or it’s too sweet? it might be the brand of powdered sugar that you’re using, but overall the frosting is pretty sweet. If you want it taste less sweet, you can try using a swiss meringue buttercream, which is less sweet!

  46. Hi Chelsey! I am making a birthday cake for my daughter tomorrow and I was wondering if I can make the frosting tonight and store it in the fridge overnight that way it’s less mess for tomorrow, and if so what do I need to do to it tomorrow before hand so I can get a nice smooth outcome? Thanks!

    1. definitely! just be sure to take it out a few hours before you need it to let it come to room temp, and give it a very good stir with a spatula to smooth it out, and remove any air bubbles! they tend to form as the frosting warms up.

  47. One one of your live streams I heard you say you make your frosting ahead of time and freeze it until needed. Any special methods for freezing? And how long does it need to thaw before using?

    1. Nope! just store it in an airtight container, and let it sit on the counter to thaw! I give it a good stir before using, to remove any air bubbles that may form while it thaws!

  48. Hi there do you recommend this buttercream recipe to be used with your best ever vanilla layer cake recipe?? Does it make enough to fully cover and to use between the layers? Thanks, I am loving your page so much 🙂

  49. Hi Chelsea-
    I love your buttercream recipe and use it everytime I make a cake! I was wondering if I want to make cream cheese buttercream, how much cream cheese do I use and do I still substitute it for 2 sticks of butter like the nutella version? So it would be 2 sticks of butter and a cup of creamcheese? Thanks so much!!

  50. Hi Chelsea, Does your buttercream need to be refrigerated once on the cake or can the cake sit on the counter?

  51. Hi! I want to make a chocolate buttercream to frost the outside of my cake. I looked at your Whipped Chocolate Buttercream, but this one seems easier to frost. How do I take this Vanilla Buttercream and make it chocolate?

  52. Hi, this recipe is good for fully frost and fill how many cakes? What size? how much would you need for a 3 tiered cake? If its so suppose to be 100 degree weather will this frosting hold?

    1. I’d recommend swapping out some of the butter for shortening if you want it to hold up in 100 degree heat. As for the amount of frosting you’ll need, that varies drastically based on how much you add between the layers, and how you plan to decorate it! I usually use about 1.5 batches on an 8 inch cake with four layers. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  53. hello Chelsey and congratulation for your work!
    could you please tell me about this buttercream ,when i use it for a cake , the cake the cake must be kept in the refrigerator or it’s ok outside the refrigerator at a room temperature?

  54. Hi Chels, I’m trying your vanilla buttercream receipe this weekend and was just wondering if I was to have left over buttercream, can it be stored and if so for how long?

  55. Hi chelsey I read a few comment and I saw them saying swap some butter for shortening in 100 degree weather. whats the ratio? about how much butter should I use and how much shortening? thank you!

  56. Hey Chelsey! I’m making my dear friend’s wedding cake in August and wanted to do a mascarpone buttercream. I love your recipe and want to still use it for this. Would I substitute one cup of mascarpone for one cup of butter? Have you worked much with mascarpone? Love following you on instagram and FN’s facebook live for inspiration!

    1. Hi Samantha!! I have made a marscarpone filling, but not a buttercream to cover a cake! i’m not quite sure what the best ratio would be :/ sorry i can’t be of more help!

  57. Hey Chelsweets! LOOOOOVE your channel! I follow you on IG, Youtube and FB!! I love your work

    Quick question: i’d love to make a big batch, and then just freeze it so I can use it bit by bit….any tips? I’d hate to ruin it, but be able to use it later! Thanks 🙂

    1. you can def make a big batch ahead of time! just store it in an airtight container, and be sure to give it a good stir once it’s thawed back to room temp before you use it! it will get airbubbles as it warms, but these will go away once you stir it with a spatula!

  58. HI Chelsy! I love watching your videos. I’m really not much of a baker but it’s so fun to watch you decorate. For the recipe, would it work to use salted butter and not add the 1/3 tsp of salt or is it better just to get the unsalted butter?

  59. Hi Chelsea! If you were making four tiers of this recipe in a 10 inch pan, how many times the above
    recipe would you go? 1.5x or 2x to get the right layer thickness?

  60. Hello. I live in Florida where it is really hot and humid. I have used this frosting but it does not hold up in this weather. Do you have another buttercream recipe that fairs better in the extreme heat and humidity?

    Thank you in advance!

  61. Hi Chelsea, I love the way the frosting flowers look on this cake. I’m a very novice cake decorator. How do u make those flowers? What decorating tip do I need to make those flowers?

  62. Hi Chelsey, love your videos! if I wanted to make a 6″ double barrel cake, how many batches of this icing would I need? Thanks 🙂

    1. I’m not sure what a double barrel is! but to make 3 6 inch cake layers, i usually use a half batch of my frosting <3

  63. Hi Chelsea! I love yor recipies and tips! I do not miss your videos! … I have a question, please help me, how is the proportion of ingredients to make it white chocolate buttercream?
    Thank you for your comments

    1. I would just add in 6 oz of melted white chocolate, and an extra 2 TBSP of heavy cream. it will seem too thin at first, but will firm up as the white chocolate cools <3

  64. Hi would like to know is you have a recipe to make 1/2 of your butter cream frosting.I just love your videos .

    1. I do make half batches sometimes! The process is the exact same, and you just use half of the ingredients <3

  65. I am looking for your different fondant recipes and not sure where to find them.. I want to use something that is easy and taste good. I love your videos and site. Thanks . Susan

    1. I don’t make my own fondant, but if you google baked by dan (he’s a fellow food network digital contributor) marshmallow fondant, he shares his recipe which is supposed to taste great! hope that helps, happy baking!

  66. How much shortening and butter should I use when replacing the full 4 sticks of butter in the buttercream to withstand 100° weather?

    1. oh geeze, at least half!! I’m not sure how much you’d need to stand up to that kind of heat though, that’s hot!!

  67. Hi there! Thank you for all your insight!!! Do you have a favorite frosting recipe you use for when people ask you for a cake that’s not too sweet? Because American buttercream, to my knowledge, is the sweetest right? I would really appreciate your help on this! ??

    1. it’s definitely very sweet! if someone wants a less sweet frosting, I usually recommend my whipped frosting recipe, or a ganache!

    1. it depends on how much frosting you add between your layers and your decorations, but one batch of buttercream should be enough to cover one 4 layer cake made with 7 or 8 inch cake layers!

  68. Hi Chelsea, I’m making a wedding cake in October. Should I freeze the multiple layers ahead of time and take them out the day I frost the cake? I worry about too much moisture when they come to room temperature?

    Thank you, you are amazing!


    1. They will get some moisture as they thaw, so I’d let the layers sit out and thaw for about 40 minutes before decorating, then assemble the cake! this should help with any issues with condensation!

  69. I love your videos, im going to make your totally pink cake formy daughters Birthday next week. I love you live near Dylans candy Bar. I will have to find pink candies here in California lol

    1. haha I feel like California has some pretty awesome candy shops too 🙂 You’re daughter is a lucky girl!! Happy baking <3

  70. Hi there! I am making your semi naked tiered cake from youtube for my sister’s baby shower on Saturday. I am using 4, 6″ layers for the top tier and 4, 8″ layers for the bottom half using your classic vanilla cake recipe. How many batches of this buttercream will I need for this cake? thanks so much!

    1. I’d recommend 2 batches! you may have a bit of leftover batter, but i like having slightly thicker layers! I’ve made it with 1.5 batches before, but if you’re making 4 layers, they may be a bit thin!

      1. Hi Chelsea 🙂 I wanted to know how much buttercream to make? 🙂 I already made the cakes and 2 batches worked perfectly and I used all of the batter. hoping you get this in time! If not I will make 3 JIC! 😉

  71. Hiya – why don’t you whip the butter before adding the sugar like lots of other bakers recommend? Thanks!

  72. Hi Chelsea, love this recipe! It’s my go to for the best buttercream for my cakes. Just curious, what’s the green food coloring for? I’ve never seen that on this recipe before. Is it new?
    Thanks for all the great recipes!

  73. Hi! I am making a 2 layer 11×15 sheet cake, what would you recommend for the frosting? I plan to use the vanilla american buttercream, and possibly tripling the recipe – do you think that would cover it?

  74. Hi Chelsea! I’m making a wedding cake in Nov and I’m wondering how many batches of your vanilla recipe I will need for the bottom 14in cake? I would like to do three thicker layers instead of 4 thinner ones. LOVE your vids and advice! You have helped me so much!?

    1. If you want 4 thick layers, you’d need one batch of cake for each 14 inch layer (based on the formula of a circle). That’s going to be one huge cake!!

  75. Hi Chelsea! First of all, love all of your cakes! Two questions for you:
    1. If I wanted to make this icing 2 days in advance, do you recommend putting it in the fridge or leaving it at room temp? And do I need to whip it again before using?
    2. If I’m making a couple of colors (red, yellow, and black), should I do that in advance or the morning I’m decorating?
    Thank you!

    1. I recommend refrigerating buttercream if you don’t plan to use it within 12 hours! Sometimes I’ll leave it out overnight, but if I don’t plan to use it for a couple days I pop it in the fridge. Definitely remix it to get out any air bubbles that can form as it comes to room temperature!!

      I recommend coloring the frosting in advance, as the shade can deepen overtime! this is always great for reds, or other vibrant colors 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!

  76. Hi Chelsea! Recently started following your Instagram and loving every bit of it! Already made your vanilla cake and edible cookie dough and was a huge hit! If I need to make this completely dairy free is it best to use margarine or Crisco bars? Thanks!

    1. so happy to hear that!! To make this dairy free I would do exactly that, swap the butter for crisco, and use almond milk instead of cream!

  77. Oh my goodness. I’m making a semi-naked came for my daughter’s wedding in a few weeks, so I’m in the process of recipe testing. This buttercream (with the additional couple tbsp of cream) is AMAZING. THANK YOU!! I actually feel like I might be able to do this thing now. ?

    1. so happy to hear that!! yes, sometimes the amount of cream needs to be adjusted a bit based on the butter you’re using and the temp of your kitchen!! (in the winter when my kitchen is colder, i have to add more to get the consistency right!)

  78. Hi Chelsea! I love watching your videos! You make everything look so easy!!! You have inspired me to make my very first 4 tier cake ever! I am practicing today for my son’s cake in November. Your buttercream recipe says 8 cups powdered sugar. But then it says 907 grams. My 32 oz. (2 lb.) bag of powdered sugar says it is 907 grams. But wouldn’t 32 oz. be only 4 cups since there are 8 oz. in a cup? What am I missing???

    1. aw I’m so happy to hear that! That math doesn’t work, because you’re using volume measurements and weight measurements! If you were to pour your 2lb bag of powdered sugar into cups, you’d see it has 8 cups! 🙂

  79. Is it true that you need to let colored frosting sit to let the color mature/deepen? Or does it just depends on the quality of coloring used?

  80. I love your channel!

    You are so detailed when explaining step by step. This buttercream…. Amaze! Question, after a crumbcoat with your icing, can I chill it, then wrap it, then freeze it? If so, after freezing it, and when I’m ready to put the final coat of icing and decorate, can I do it right away, or should I leave in fridge until it thaws to fridge temp, and then begin to decorate?! Please help lol….

    P. S.

    I’m in Hawaii. So I’m going to try the half Crisco half butter. Any other changes needed besides that if making this adjustment?

    1. haha you can definitely do that!! but i’d recommend transferring the cake from the freezer to the fridge the day before you want to add the second coat of icing. This will help minimize the temperature shock, and reduce condensation <3

  81. Hi Chelsea! I love every thing you do you have brought out my inner baker i just would like to know how you make your Oreo frosting thanks

    1. Aw that’s so wonderful to hear!! I usually just cut up 1 sleeve of oreos really finely, and mix them into my vanilla buttercream once it’s made 🙂

  82. Hi there, can i substitute cream for coconut cream? Making a cake for my daughters 1st birthday however she has a dairy allergy. Thank you

  83. What a joy to watch you on here,Iam a cake decorator from a chain store! and I love how much joy you make this.Do you have any good recipe for a fresh banana cake.Thanks

    1. Aw thanks Jan! I’m actually still working to perfect my banana cake recipe, but am hoping to share it in the next month 🙂 Stay tuned!!

  84. Hi ?
    I love your channel!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes!! My question is: why don’t you sift your powdered sugar? I use C&H and if I don’t sift it, I find large clumps of sugar. Is the brand you use more fine-less clumps?
    Thanks ?

    1. Hi Denece! You’re exactly right, I don’t sift because i never really have issues with clumps of powdered sugar. I use either the domino or shop rite brand, which I get here in manhattan. If you do have issues and can’t get those brands of powdered sugar, I do recommend sifting 🙂

    1. I add about 1/2 cup of melted white chocolate into 1 batch of buttercream, plus an extra tablespoon of heavy cream 🙂

  85. Hi. Loving all your recipes, tips and videos! I have never seen buttercream made this way! I always whip it to death to incorporate air! Definitely going to try this. Thank you so much! My residents that I cook/bake for will love this!

    1. Aw thanks Megan! It’s definitely a rich/thick buttercream, but i sure think it’s tasty 🙂 happy baking!!

  86. Good day my dear…. my name is Estelle and I am from Namibia. I love your videos. I want to ask you if you can make videos how to smoothen number cakes from 1 to 10 please if it is possible. I also want to see how you baked your cakes and witch pans you used and so on….

  87. Hi Chelsea! I love your videos and decided to try and make my son’s 1st birthday cake using your vanilla cake and American buttercream recipe. When I made the frosting, I found 2 tablespoons of heavy cream was no where near enough and had to end up adding a lot more to get a workable consistency (I was using a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer). What did I do wrong?? Thanks!

    1. you didn’t do anything wrong! the amount of heavy cream you need to add can vary a ton based on the temperature of your butter, the type of bowl you use (metal vs glass), even the temperature of your kitchen! I err on the side of not enough cream in this recipe, because a lot of my followers live in warm climates (from Australia to the Philippines to Florida!). In the summer when my kitchen is warmer, I use 2 Tbsp. In the winter sometimes I have to use up to a half a cup!! We don’t have control over the heat in our apartment (our building was built in 1904!!), so it varies a ton. It’s all about realizing what consistency you’re after, and adjusting as needed to get it just right. I’m sorry there isn’t a more straight forward answer!! <3

  88. Love your detailed videos and instructions. Can I ask if I could add mango puree to the buttercream to have mango flavour? What are the measurements?

  89. Hi!! How would you go about flavoring buttercream with fruit? Any time ive ever tried incorporating a jam or puree, it either makes it too soft or runny or not flavorful enough!

    1. Fruit can be hard! You usually need to make a fruit reduction, by boiling down fruit puree!! or if possible, freeze dried fruit works wonderfully <3

  90. I have a feeling the icing sugar in the country I’m in now Is less fine/sweeter than in the states, my batch came out tasty but super sweet and possibly a bit hard in consistency, but not sure. If I want to make my batch slightly less sweet, should I beat in more butter? Or add more cream or vanilla? Thanks!

    1. I recommend adding in more cream and vanilla! you can also add in a bit more butter if you want, to try to make it less sweet!

    1. It is just enough to frost a cake, but not for any additional decorations! it can also vary based on how much frosting you add between the layers. I like to make 1.5 batches, just to be safe! you can always refrigerate and reuse any left over buttercream 🙂

  91. Hello from Staten Island! So happy to have found your channel on YouTube. I’m a beginners baker. I love to cook and now recently my inner baker has come out. I have made a couple of cakes and according to all those that have eating it it there good. I have not tried to decorate as of yet. But I think by watching your videos that I’m ready. I want to buy me a turn table, what do you recommend. I saw a set on Amazon that comes with the knives, and the flat spatula looking things (told you I’m a beginner) by the brand of Kootek. Do not want to start with nothing too expensive. I don’t plan to sell them but I want to make them for family and to bless my friends. Also, I’m not too much into very sweet frosting can you please show me how to make a frosting that is not too sweet. Thank you sweetie for all your lessons and great tips. I’ve subscribe to your You Tube channel, Instagram and your blog. Oh my, I think you have a stalker here. Take care!

    1. Happy to have you along for the ride Sandy! I highly recommend an ateco 612 turn table, they last forever and are super high quality. Here’s the link:

      It’s on sale for $54 right now, which is a steal! however, if that’s higher than you want to spend, you can also get a kit like this:

      haha if you like your frosting less sweet, I highly recommend one of my whipped buttercream frostings!

      I hope that helps, happy baking <3

    1. Honestly I’ve never measured it, but I’d guess 9-10? some of it depends on how much you beat it/how much air your incorporate into it!

  92. Hello, I just tried this frosting for cupcakes and i am happy with the results but but after decorating my cupcakes, i put them in fridge and after 2 hours the frosting became hard? Whats the best way to maintain the silkyness? 🙂

    1. Based on the amount of butter in the buttercream, the frosting is definitely going to firm up when they’re in the fridge, just like a stick of butter! Most buttercream also crust due to the high sugar content. It’s almost impossible to avoid, but I would also not recommend putting cupcakes in the fridge! They can sit out if you plan to eat them the same day, or you can freeze them if you don’t plan to eat them within a day <3

      1. Thank you dear :* yes it got better after taking them out of fridge for 30 mins before serving (Y)

    1. I would add in freeze dried strawberry powder, or add in a reduced strawberry puree! You don’t really need to replace anything, but you can adjust the amount of cream you add accordingly 🙂

      1. You could use that too, but you need to make sure the strawberry puree is REALLY reduced down! Otherwise it can cause your frosting to break. I’ve never tried strawberry extract, but i really try to use the real fruit when it comes to frosting and cake flavors if possible <3

    1. This recipe doesn’t rise up a ton, and it does bake pretty flat! but if you think it didn’t rise at all, I’d recommend getting new baking powder! sometimes our leavening agents sit in our cabinets for too long and lose their potency! They should be replaced every six months <3

  93. Hi Chelsey, when I make this frosting, which I love, it seems much thicker than your consistency and I put in more cream than the recipe asks for. I don’t know what else to do.

    1. That’s exactly what you should do! The consistency of your frosting can vary a ton based on the temperature of your butter, the type of butter, even the temperature of your kitchen! This time of year my kitchen much colder than in the summer (and so is my butter at “room temp”), and I’ve been having to add an extra 1/3 cup of heavy cream!! I keep the recipe the way it is though, because in the summer/for people in warmer climate, if I included a ton of extra cream in the recipe, it would be way too thin! So I highly recommend adding extra cream as needed, until you get the right consistency 🙂

      1. Hi Chelsy?i have my red gel too ,to color my butter cream but i don’t have super red like you have ..what will i do ?to get really close the super red gel.asap pls thank you ?

      2. other brands can work too! I’d just try it and see how it turns out, and if it’s too light, you can always add a tiny bit of black or purple gel food coloring, to try to deepen the shade!

  94. Hello, can this frosting be made in advance and then kept in the fridge or frozen until ready to frost? How long can it be kept in either? Your recipes are great, made your mint cake for my husband’s birthday and he loved it!

    1. I’m actually about to share an in-depth post on that! fridge up to a month, freezer two months! Just be sure to bring them to room temp, and give it a good stir to remove any air bubbles before you add it to a cake! ??

    1. I’ve used almond milk before, and it worked well! You can swap the butter for vegetable shortening to make it fully non-dairy 🙂

  95. Hey Chelsweets, one question regarding your ABC, you don’t state whether you use ref. vanilla or the clear vanilla. Does it make a difference in order to keep your frosting super white?

    1. I usually use real vanilla extract! The amount that’s added is so small, it really shouldn’t change the color! However, if you have clear vanilla extract you can use that too! It just won’t taste as flavorful, since it’s not real vanilla <3

  96. How well does this hold up to heat and humidity? Summers in Ohio can be brutal and I am looking for a new recipe that will hold up outside.

    1. If you’re worried about the heat, I’d recommend swapping out at least half of the butter for shortening, to help stabilize it!! If you use all butter, it won’t stand up well to the heat at all?

  97. Hey I just found your site and really excited about trying your white cake, I’ve had a few people ask for white cake and I am always hesitant because I am worried if it will as moist as my other cakes. So I am going to give yours a try!! Something I read in your comments that I am curious about, I read all your comments, one you said you don’t sell your cakes?? I was curious as to why not, isn’t this why you do these beautiful cakes!! You are so very talented!! Thank you and God Bless!!

    1. this recipe is a great white cake recipe! because of the buttermilk, it is nice and moist and doesn’t need simple syrup 🙂

      Yup, I don’t sell my cakes! I did back in the day, but I’m now a content creator, and make videos of my cakes instead <3 my revenue comes from monetizing my channels (YT, FB, my blog) and partnerships with brands 🙂

      1. Hi, I was wondering, why do you use a whisk attachment for American buttercream when frosting cupcakes opposed to a paddle attachment for America buttercream when frosting a cake? I have only ever used a paddle attachment when I make American buttercream. Thanks in advance!

      2. I like to make fluffy buttercream for cupcakes, but I want silky smooth buttercream for cakes, so it’s easier to get smooth! Using a whisk incorporates air into the buttercream, which is great for cupcakes, but not great for cakes. Extra air can cause air bubbles in the frosting. The paddle attachment helps reduce the amount of air added into the frosting, so I love using it for cake frosting <3

    1. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter when you add in the salt and vanilla. Sometimes I add it in the beginning, sometimes I do it at the end! It tastes the same either way. I just updated the recipe card though, so they’re aligned to avoid any confusion <3

    2. Adding in the salt and vanilla toward the beginning or the end of the frosting doesn’t materially make a difference, or change the taste! I started adding them in earlier in the process so that I put away my ingredients while the powdered sugar incorporates into the frosting. I’m a big fan or cleaning as I bake!

  98. Hey how would I make lemon frosting? Just substitute the vanilla for lemon? Also, add in some fresh lemon zest? Thanks!!

  99. Hi! What size bag of powdered sugar do you use in your YouTube video that you explain as the ‘big bag’ and that you say you never have to measure because it equals the 8 cups perfectly? Is it a 32 ounce bag? Thank you!

    1. You’d probably need less than one batch!! I’d say about 2/3 of a batch, but it can based on how much frosting you add between the layers and to the sides of the cake ??

  100. Hey there! I didn’t read through all the comments so I apologize if this has been asked before. I made homemade buttercream for the first time last night and used your recipe. It was delicious! When frosting my sugar cookies, I like to heat the frosting and flood the cookie so when the frosting crusts, you get a perfectly smooth surface. However, when I did that with the homemade, it was a disaster! The fat started to separate from the frosting. I had to stir it really fast and the frosting base did not self-level. Do you know why I can do this with store-bought frosting and not homemade and is there a way to use this technique with homemade buttercream? Thanks so much!

    1. No worries Caitlin! Store bought frosting has oil (palm and canola) as the fat base rather than butter, which gives it a different consistency when heated! Since homemade frosting has butter it’s fat, it will melt when heated up. Hope that helps, happy baking <3

  101. Hi, love your IG page and finally following here too since I’d like to start baking again. I’m looking for a good lemon buttercream recipe. How would you modify your ABC recipe to make a lemon frosting? Thanks!

    1. I would add in the juice of half a medium lemon, and the zest of the 2 medium sized lemons!! so happy to hear you’re getting back into baking 🙂

  102. Love your site and videos. Approximately how much icing (1 cup- 1/2 cup more or less) icing should be used inbetween layers of an 8 inch cake?

  103. Hi there! On your smores cake video you mentioned that you used a marshmallow butter cream frosting. Where can I find the recipe for that?

    1. since it’s completely butter based, it will melt if exposed to a lot of heat or direct sunlight! you can swap out half of the butter for shortening to make it more heat stable though!

  104. Hi Chelsey! I’ve made your buttercream frosting twice now and love the taste of it but have no idea why it got these little white spots on it when I iced the cake? (I tried pasting a pic but couldn’t).
    Also, it wasn’t as smooth as yours looks to be- any ideas? Thank you!!

  105. Hi chelsey!! I’ve been loving your site! I just started making your buttercream frosting and had made it twice now. I love the taste but both times, I got tiny white spots in it when I iced the cake. Any ideas why that might have happened? I can’t figure out how to send a picture or I’d attach it! Thank you!!

    1. that sounds so strange! I know, I so wish we could share photos on here!!! does it seem like your powdered sugar is clumping? are the tiny lumps there before you add it to the cake?? I’d recommend sifting your powdered sugar next time, and see if that fixes it! hopefully it will <3

  106. Hi! I’m going to make your snowflake cake this weekend and went to Whole Foods to get the butter for the buttercream and they didn’t have their own brand! I’m in California. Is there another brand you recommend?

    1. Sad! While I do love the whole foods butter, any unsalted butter will work. You can just add the tiniest bit (TINY) of purple gel food coloring to your frosting, and it will offset the yellow tint your frosting might have from butter. Yellow and purple are opposites on the color wheel, which is why it works <3

  107. Hi Chelsey! How many cupcakes would 1 batch of your icing cover? I am baking cupcakes for my son’s birthday and want to make sure I get enough ingredients! I have made your ABC recipe numerous times and LOVE it!

    1. Hi Alayna,

      It can vary a ton based on how you’re frosting them! I like to add massive swirls onto each cupcake, so I find that one batch frosts a little more than 2 dozen. However, if you were doing buttercream rosettes or something like that, I’m sure that it’d cover more! <3

  108. Hello, I made your butter cream for this first time yesterday after reading through all the comments just to be sure I didn’t goof up… and I goofed up. My frosting was bitter. I didn’t add any color or other flavors. I even made another batch with a different brand of butter – and I had the same (awkward) taste. Can I do anything to fix it? (I covered it and it’s in the fridge) Or do you know why this is happening?

    By the way I made your vanilla cake (SUPERB GIRL!!!) it was AMAZING. I didn’t frost it because all I had was the bitter butter cream but I ate all three layers of cake with homemade strawberry jam. It was soo delegate, no frosting needed.

    But please help, what the heck is up with the bitter buttercream??? Why did I do wrong????

    1. So sorry to hear that Sasalita!! I’ve honestly never heard of bitter frosting before. The main flavor is from the butter and the vanilla extract. What brand of vanilla extract are you using? And are you using heavy whipping cream??

      Those are my only guesses. To try to salvage the existing frosting, you could try to add a stronger extract, like almond or coconut!

      Honestly cake with homemade jam sounds pretty great though 😛 haha happy the cake recipe worked well for you!

  109. Love your sight. I just tried the buttercream frosting. It was delicious. However, it did not crust and became very soft. I noticed you said to add shortening. Which kind and would that affect the taste?

    Thank you,

    1. Thanks Julieta! I’m surprised the frosting didn’t crust! did you add more heavy cream than the recipe calls for? Or do you live in a really humid/hot place? If so, shortening does help stabilize frosting in the heat. It doesn’t taste as good as butter, which is why I usually recommend doing 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening!

      Hope that helps!! <3

  110. hello dear, I have a question please regarding the American buttercream. I did it with the ratios in your video but the buttercream ended up to be grainy and I can feel the sugar in the taste !! what is the reason behind that and how I can fix it ?? btw I am in love with all your videos and how you shifted your career 🙂

    1. Hi Nada! So sorry to hear that!

      When the texture of you buttercream isn’t nice and smooth, it may be because you need to add a bit more heavy cream (1 TBSP at a time)! If there isn’t enough liquid in your frosting to dissolve the sugar, it can throw off the texture of your frosting.

      Sometimes adding additional heavy cream doesn’t solve the problem. When you run into this, the grainy texture might be caused by the brand of powdered sugar you’re using!

      Some brand are less fine than others, and in some place of the world powdered sugar is also less fine. I usually use the Domino or Shoprite brands, which are both 10x. When you see this on a package, it refers to the the number of time the sugar is processed to make it into the fine powder that we know and love.

      Be sure to check your package when you buy it, to be sure it’s been processed to a fine enough powder!

  111. hello dear, thank you for the reply 🙂 I don’t think the buttercream was in need for more milk, yes I guess I might see other brand for powdered sugar.
    I searched and found also that others may add hot water with Milk for more dissolve, is this right to do ??

  112. I have another question please, how I can store my buttercream cake after decoration in the fridge until delivery to the customer the next day ? I put it in the fridge as it is without any cover but the buttercream became dry and hard 😀

  113. Hello and Congratulations on your recent wedding! I’ve been following you for a while but just got brave enough last weekend to try your chocolate cupcakes and buttercream recipes for my daughter’s 14th birthday. Both recipes were so easy to follow and make and the cupcakes were amazing! I was so inspired…we tried the vanilla cupcakes tonight with the left over icing. Equally easy and also delicious! Thank you so much for such great recipes ?

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Kristin!! That’s exactly the goal of chelsweets, to encourage others to have some fun in the kitchen 🙂 I’m so happy to hear you’re putting my recipes to good use!

    1. It really depends on how plan to decorate them! I pipe really big swirls onto my cupcakes, and I find that one batch frosts about two dozen cupcakes! however, if you were to pipe rosettes onto a cupcake, I think one batch would frost more! <3 Hope that helps Nicole!

    1. Hi Mabel! You are too sweet, I am so happy to hear that!! You just put the biggest smile on my face 🙂

    1. I have! I just don’t really like the way it tastes / the texture of the frosting. It also is much more challenging to make!! But it’s a great frosting for people who are looking for a frosting that is less sweet than American buttercream.

  114. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
    Question: does buttercream is the type of frosting that gets hard or is the type of frosting that is gets ruined if you touch it? Like can the texture be similar as fondant?
    I normally buy cakes for my coworkers and at the time of placing the order I’m not sure which frosting I need to ask for, so they always give me the one that gets ruined while traveling.

    1. The texture isn’t similar to fondant, but like I mention in the post it is a crusting buttercream! 🙂

  115. Hi! I have a question normally they say when u use heavy cream in the buttercream icing it doesnt hold its shape good? Does it pipe good? Does the icing stiff up? Etc .. What is your experience with it ? I understand its your to-go recipe you use for all your cakes! I would apreciate your response thanks.

    1. My buttercream is usually pretty stiff! I like it that way for frosting cakes, because it keeps its shape and doesn’t bulge.

      However, the amount of heavy cream you need to add can vary based on the temp of your butter, the quality of your butter, even the temp of your kitchen! People in tropical environments sometimes add a bit less heavy cream. In the winter I find I have to add a bit more.

      In general though, I find piping with my buttercream works great!! But you can adjust as needed based on how your buttercream turns out. Hope that helps!

  116. Hello! I’m wondering about the correct consistency. Would you say it should form soft peaks or hard peaks when done for frosting a cake? Thank you for the help!

    1. Hi Wes! It comes down to your preference, but I like mine stiff for frosting cakes! It’s closer to stiff peak than soft peak, but American buttercream never can really form a true stiff peak!! Hope that helps!

  117. Hi! Love ur website~ its full of delicious inspirations! Quick question though- if i use less sugar, would that affect the outcome of the buttercream a lot? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Jenny! Adding less powdered sugar makes the frosting less stiff, so if you want to do that I’d recommend also using less cream, to make sure the consistency turns out correctly 🙂 Hope that helps!!

  118. Hi! I have another question please. I would like to make your icing in advance, 2 cakes due for Saturday! Can I store it right in the piping bags that I’ll be using? I usually make as needed, however this time I’ll need 5 different colors. If so, how do I get out any extra air bubbles? Thank you as always, love your recipes ?

    1. You sure can, I do it all the time!! When I keep my frosting in bags, the consistency isn’t affected from chilling / thawing. Just make sure it’s super smooth before you put it in the piping bags 🙂

    1. Hi Sammi! You can use salted butter and just omit adding the salt in the recipe, but this doesn’t allow you to know how much salt is going into the recipe. Different brands of butter use different amounts of salt, and this can change the taste of the frosting! This is why most recipes call for unsalted butter and a precise amount of salt. However, if you’re in a pinch and only have salted butter, you can use it – just know that it may taste a bit different!

  119. Will this make enough frosting for a crumb coat and also enough to decorate with? I will be doing 10” , 9”, 7”
    Layers that are about 3” thick! Thank you for this recipe!

    1. It also depends on how much frosting you add between the cake layers, and how many cake layers! I find that to fill, and frost / decorated an 8 inch cake with 4 layers, I like to use 1 1/4- 1 1/2 batches. I usually make a double batch to have extra on hand just in cakes.

      If you’re making a tiered cake with a 10 inch tier, a 9 inch tier, and a 7 inch tier, you’re going to need a LOT of frosting! I used almost 7 batches on my wedding cake, which had 12 inch, 10 inch, 8 inch, and 6 inch tiers. Hope that helps!!

  120. When you say you make 1 1/2 batches to stack and frost a 8 inch cake are you talking about 4 layers of cake? Also, if I wanted to double or triple this (for large cakes or storing some if I’m baking alot of different cakes) would you reccomend making it one batch at a time or ×2 or ×3 the ingredients and make it all together? What do you reccomend for large amounts of butter cream?

    1. I am! I usually use about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 batches of my buttercream to frost an 8 inch layer cake with 4 layers. You can definitely make multiple batches at a time. I almost always make a double batch when I make frosting (I love having extra on hand since I bake so much!!). I made a few quadruple batch in my commercial kitchen aid for my wedding cake and it worked great! Hope that helps!!

  121. Hi, I wanted to make a sheet cake for my little sisters birthday party and would this recipe be enough for icing the whole cake and decorations?

    1. Hi Laetsha!

      It depends on the size of your sheet cake! Also, and you stacking two layers together to make the sheet cake, or just using one single layer? If it’s one single layer, it should be enough! But if your stacking, filling, and frosting two cake layers, you will definitely need more than 1 batch <3

    1. Hi Megan! You should be able to add in either almond extract (I suggest 2 tsp) or amaretto (1 Tbsp) in addition to the other ingredients in my frosting recipe! If you chose to add both, I recommend using less heavy cream, to make sure the frosting doesn’t get to thin. You also can add more or less of either, it’s all about adding to taste <3 hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Depends on how large of swirls you’re piping on top of each cupcake, but I usually frost about 3 dozen cupcakes with one batch! I make really big swirls though, so you might be able to frost 4 dozen with one batch. Hope that helps, happy baking Tiffany <3

  122. Hi Chelsweets? Does
    The brand of heavy cream matters for flavor when making buttercream?? I use walmart brand which is cheaper than others but would use another brand for better quality!

  123. Hi! I tried making the buttercream and its too sweet for Asians palate. I tried reducing the powdered sugar by halve but it didnt turned as smooth like yours! Any other ways i can do to reduce the sweetness yet achieving the same great taste (and look) like yours? Im so tempted to try your salted caramel cake recipe but im concerned with the sweetness too. 🙁

    1. Hi Jessie,

      I totally understand! American buttercream is by far the sweetest type! I’d recommend trying a swiss meringue buttercream next time, it’s less sweet and also easy to frost with! Hope that helps, happy baking <3

  124. Hi, can I use shortening in this recipe instead of butter?
    And can you tell me where you get the pretty sprinkles.

    1. Hi Shereika! You can use shortening, but it will change the texture of the frosting a bit! It won’t firm up as hard as frosting made with butter does, so your crumb coat will be less solid. It also will taste less good :/ I really recommend butter if possible!

      I get my sprinkles from sweetapolita, here’s the link:

  125. Hi !
    I have a question. In your Red Buttercream frosting recipe and the Best American Buttercream recipe, the nutrition information is completed different, from yield to carb count. However, they both have the same value of ingredients. Was there a mistake? I need to calculate the correct (or approximate) amount of carbs in 1 cup of frosting because my daughter is diabetic. Thank you!

    1. Just updated the red frosting nutritional info, which is what was off!

      One batch of frosting makes about 6 cups of frosting if mixed with a paddle attachment (volume can be higher if you use a whisk attachment, and incorporate more air into the frosting), and each cup of frosting should be about 1100 calories. Hope that helps, sorry for any confusion!

  126. I am making a 4 tier (3 layers each tier) semi naked wedding cake and two (2 layer) 16×12 kitchen cakes. I need to serve 125 guests. Can you help me calculate how much of your American buttercream I will need? THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    1. Hi Elisa! It can vary a lot based on how much frosting you add between your cake layers, and the size of the tiers in your cake. I’m working to create a buttercream chart that shows how much frosting you need for different tiered cakes, but sadly I’m not done with it yet :/

  127. Hi, Please tell me if this is the frosting I should use on my cookie cakes also? I need to make a circus tent and trying to find a good buttercream frosting.

  128. I refuse to use any other buttercream recipe! Yours is by far the best! Approximately how much purée do you add? And do you still add all other ingredients or substitute the purée for part of the other ingredients?

    1. Hi Darcy,

      Aw I’m so happy to hear that! I’d recommend cooking down the puree, and then adding in about 1/4 of a cup in place of the heavy cream! The consistency can vary based on the thickness of the puree, so you can adjust as need after that with additional powdered sugar or heavy cream. Hope that helps <3

  129. I absolutely love this recipe!!! It makes the best frosting. What do you do if you want to make it a mocha/coffee flavor?

    1. Hi Sara,

      So happy to hear that! I would add a bit of espresso, or even 2 tsp of instant espresso or instant coffee dissolved into 1 Tbsp of water or milk, and then add a bit less heavy cream 🙂 Happy baking!!

    1. Hi Sofia,

      Did you use the ingredients I recommend exactly? The only reason I can think that your frosting would be runny is if you are using something other than butter (like margarine), or if your butter is too warm when you start to make the frosting. Is your kitchen super warm? Are you using something other than heavy cream to thin it out?

  130. I was curious about whether you’ve ever added jams to your frosting? I’m making a cake this week and the frosting recipe is different than this (I’ve made this one before and love it!) so I was thinking of using your recipe instead of the recipe I have. It is supposed to be a cranberry buttercream. Would you recommend adding in some of the cranberry jam at the end of the process? Or add it while I’m mixing? Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Laura! I have added strawberry before, and it works pretty well! You just have to be careful not to add too much, or else the frosting can break from the extra moisture! I’d say add the cranberry jam at the end, so you can ensure it won’t break. Hope that helps, happy baking!!

  131. Hi, I absolutely love this recipe however it doesn’t seem to matter what recipe I use my buttercream seems to bleed and I don’t get a vibrant all over colour, any idea how I can stop this? I use gel colouring and refrigerate over night before use. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Charlotte,

      I’m so sorry to hear that! I don’t really run into issues with my frosting bleeding. What brand of gel food coloring are you using? I use Americolor, and it works great! Here’s the type I use, I order it on amazon:

      Do you live in a humid area? are your cake layers at room temperature when you frost your cake? sometimes humid climates can cause condensation, which can lead to bleeding. If that’s your situation, try to minimize the amount of temperature shock your cake goes through, and keep your kitchen cool.

      Those are my best guesses, I hope that helps <3

  132. I want to try this and have never made my own frosting before. On the sweetness level. Which butter cream would you recommend to be about as sweet as regular store bought frosting?

    1. I think American buttercream is definitely the most similar in sweetness level to store bought frosting. I recommend trying this type!

      Making homemade frosting can be scary the first time, but I promise it isn’t too difficult and it’s totally worth it! Once you do, you’ll never go back to store bought 🙂

  133. I normally make swiss meringue buttercream but I have someone asking for american buttercream , honestly i’m so scared this will be too sweet , do you have any suggestions on a not so sweet recipe.

    1. If someone is asking for american buttercream, odds are they like sweet frosting! Everyone has different palettes, and that person sounds like they know what they like! you can try to whip your butter more in the beginning to make it lighter / fluffier, but all ABC is quite sweet.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about it, even if it’s not your favorite type 😛

  134. What did you do when you ran out of the first dowel? Did you cut another of the same type of dowel? If so, what did you use. Hope this makes sense.

    1. Haha I know exactly what you’re talking about Victoria! I should have planned ahead better and used a taller dowel, but instead I did just insert another dowel (it was slightly thinner) into the cake. This was a makeshift workaround, but it did end up working just fine 😛

  135. I add 1/4 cup all purpose flour to each pound of powdered sugar. You won’t believe the difference it makes to you frosting flavor. I make wedding cakes with my recipe and people love it. Not too sweet.

    1. Wait woah!!! I’ve never heard of anything like that, but now I’m dying to try it Christine! Thank you for sharing, I will have to play around with that 🙂

  136. T
    My wedding cakes that have the top layer saved for the first anniversary can freeze very well for a year if wrapped properly. Freeze the layer then double wrap in plastic wrap, double wrap in aluminum foil and place back in the box it was delivered in. Take out of the freezer unwrap completely and defrost at room temperature. I’ve been told they taste as good as on their wedding day.

    1. Hi Beth,

      Are you mixing the buttercream the next day with a paddle attachment, or a whisk? I mix mine on the lowest speed possible with a paddle attachment, and that usually pushes that extra air out and leaves me with silky smooth buttercream! If that doesn’t work, you can always try adding in a touch more heavy cream, to make it smoother. Hopefully one of those things helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi Kaylea,

      This frosting only uses a tiny amount of heavy cream, os it won’t spoil if it sits out overnight! I leave my buttercream out overnight all the time, and it’s always fine <3

  137. Christine I’m curious if you heat treat the flour before using it in your buttercream? I wouldn’t want to give anyone listeria but also wonder if that would alter the flavor.

    1. Hi Erin,

      I’m sure she does! It’s pretty easy to do. To make your flour safe, you can pasteurize in the microwave. If you heat it for a little over a minute, it should be good to go! Once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s safe 🙂

  138. I cant wait to try this on a cake I am doing for a friend in a couple weeks. I did homemade buttercream for the first time a few weeks ago and it just wasnt the right consistency and I did realize I needed more liquid. I too am a self taught bake in the making ? I hope to be able to get good enough to do it full time and open my own shop. Also any good tricks on cutting back on the sweetness of the buttercream?

    1. Hi Savannah,

      It can be hard to get the consistency just right! The amount of heavy cream you need to add can vary a ton based on the temperature of your butter, the temperature of your kitchen, and even the brand of butter that you’re using. When in doubt, just add a little more heavy cream (1 Tbsp) at a time, until the frosting feels workable!

      That’s awesome that you’re self taught too! If you want to make the frosting a bit less sweet, you can add less powdered sugar or add 1/4 cup (heat-treated) all purpose flour to each pound of powdered sugar (sounds weird but it’s a tip from wedding cake makers). Hope that helps, happy baking!

  139. I tried your buttercream recipe today for the first time. The flavour is amazing! What should the consistency of the icing be? It seemed so thick and hard to spread. I kept adding more cream, but it wasn’t getting any thinner or lighter , even after an extra 3-5 tbsp. I wanted to try it because the I can never get my recipe to ice completely smooth. Any tips?

    1. Hi Maureen,

      It can be hard to get the consistency just right. The amount of heavy cream you need to add can vary a ton based on the temperature of your butter, the temperature of your kitchen, and even the brand of butter that you’re using. When in doubt, just add a little more heavy cream (1 Tbsp) at a time, until the frosting feels workable!

      I like to stick my rubber spatula into my frosting, then pull it out to check the consistency. I should come to a peak, with a slight curve at the tip! I’m not sure if that makes sense, but hopefully it helps!

  140. Thanks! That’s very helpful! Love your instagram page and the inspiration I get! (Also some frustration – that your cakes always look so smooth, and I cannot seem to master that!) 🙂

    1. Haha np! Getting frosting smooth is always the hardest part, but I promise it gets easier the more you do it <3

  141. Hi. This would be the first time ever I’ve made buttercream frosting and I used your recipe, procedures, and techniques. I used salted butter, watched your video, and it turned out just fine. Thanks!

    1. So happy to hear that Mary! Making frosting for the first time cane be a bit scary, but I’m so happy to took the leap! it’s totally worth it, happy baking 🙂

    1. Hi Kerri,

      I think most people heat their flour to pasteurize it before adding it <3 That ensures it’s safe to eat!

  142. Hey! Thanks so much for this post! In the video you add 2 tbls of heavy cream, not 3. Are the video and recipe different?

    1. Hi Casie,

      I increased the amount of heavy cream this past year, which I think makes it easier for people to spread! The video is from a few years ago, which is why they don’t match. Sorry for any confusion, please follow the recipe 🙂 It’s more up to date!

  143. Chel how many batches of butter cream would I need to to coat and stack a 12 and 10 inch cakes Both same height as your wedding cake you did Please thanks

    1. Hi Renee,

      It depends how much frosting you add between the cake layers, and how you plan to decorate the cake! I used about 6.5 batches of frosting on my entire wedding cake (12, 10, 8 and 6 inch), but sadly I don’t know exactly how much frosting went into each tier. So sorry I can’t be of more help!

  144. To make your chocolate buttercream, do I have to use dark chocolate chips or can I use regular milk chocolate chips? How does the taste differ?

  145. I’ve used this recipie before. Very tasty I must say. And it holds up very well. I was wondering can you use milk in a pinch instead of the heavy cream?

    1. Hi Sarah,

      So happy to hear that! You can, but milk is a lot thinner than the heavy cream this recipe calls. It will definitely give the frosting a different consistency, but it will work in a pinch <3

  146. Your recipe for the American Buttercream is the best buttercream I have ever tasted! I am a baking newbie and have been trying different recipes and was struggling to find a recipe that had a good flavor. This icing is smooth, easy to work with, has a great flavor and it’s easy to make, it checks all of the boxes. I did have to add a little extra heavy cream, but it turned out amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Aw thank you Ardena, I am so happy to hear that!!! The amount of heavy cream you have to add can definitely vary, so I totally support adding a bit more if you need it 🙂 Happy baking!!

  147. Love your buttercream but it’s just a little to sweet for my kids is thee anyway to make it less sweet or use a diffrent ingredient then powder sugar? Also wanted to know if you have any whipping cream frosting recipes

    1. Hi Dalia,

      You can definitely add less powdered sugar to make the frosting less sweet, or whip your frosting on a high speed with a whisk attachment to make it fluffier and less dense/ sweet. I’m working on a whipped cream frosting right now, and am planning to share it in the next month. Stay tuned!! <3

  148. Hi Chelsea,
    I’m going to try your recipe for a rosette cake for Valentine’s Day. In the image you have attached to the recipe (the rosette cake) what colours are those? Light pink, light peach and cream? Trying to decide what colour palate I want to go with, and those 3 are lovely.
    I’m also considering trying to mix a dusty rose colour and do an ombré rosette cake. Never made that colour before tho- so just trying to decide.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      I”m so sorry for the delayed response :/ Surprisingly I just used different amounts of americolor deep pink gel food coloring, even for the peachy tone!

      However I bet your plan for coloring worked great too!! Happy belated valentine’s day <3

    1. So happy to hear that jacky!! You can double it as long as you have a 5 quart kitchenaid. I make double batches all the time, but they barely fit in my kitchenaid!! Just be sure to rally slowly add in your powdered sugar and place a kitchen towel over it, to avoid any powdered sugar explosions.

      Hope that helps, happy baking!

  149. I just made this buttercream and tried to frost your small batch funfetti cake. As I was trying to smooth it on the cake it kept pulling off and my top rated of cake would not stay in place during my crumb coat. I literally had to do my crumb coat by pushing the buttercream into my cake with my finger. I’m assuming the buttercream was too thick. I already had 3 Tbs of cream in there, but would it ruin it if I add a little more? I also added a tiny bit of color to the buttercream. How much would be too much cream?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      You can definitely add in a few more Tbsp of heavy cream if needed! It can be hard to get the consistency just right. The amount of heavy cream you need to add can vary a ton based on the temperature of your butter, the temperature of your kitchen, and even the brand of butter that you’re using. When in doubt, just add a little more heavy cream (1 Tbsp) at a time, until the frosting feels workable!

      I like to stick my rubber spatula into my frosting, then pull it out to check the consistency. I should come to a peak, with a slight curve at the tip! I’m not sure if that makes sense, but hopefully it helps!

      You can also chill your cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before frosting them to reduce crumbing and make them easier to stack.

  150. How many batches would you recommend for a 6 inch two layer cake. With a good bit of frosting in between the layers and a “grass” or “fur” type effect as the final layer of frosting? With pipes eyes and a mouth? To make it look like Elmo from Sesame Street? Making my nephews first birthday smash cake and Sesame Street is the theme of the party? Also how many batches would you recommend for 24 cupcakes using the same effect but using two different colors?

  151. Hi.. I just love your cakes. I want to know if you make cakes with whipped cream too. I use whipped cream but am not able to get a good red color without the cream tasting bad. Any suggestions to get a bright red whipped cream without coloring the mouth and without the bitter taste. I use Americolor gel colors

  152. HI! I’m doing a trial run of my wedding cake and baked 3 10″ cakes and 3 6″. I plan on frosting them in the next day or so – do you think 2 batches of buttercream will be enough? I’m not planning on doing rosettes or anything, just a plan frosting and then using the spatula to do the rippled affect on the edges. The cakes came out great btw! Thank you!

    1. Hi Michele,

      So happy to hear the cake layers turned out great! I feel like I always use a ton of frosting on 10 inch cakes, but if your second tier is only 6 inches that might be enough! I’d make 2.5 or 3 batches just to be safe!! There’s nothing worse than running out of frosting while making a tiered cake.

      Leftover frosting lasts in the fridge for weeks, and you can always use it on another project. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  153. Chels, I have been making your cakes for a while. I love them! But I would like them to be a bit less sweet, specialy the frosting. How can I make the frosting to be a bit less sweet?

    1. Hi Roci,

      You can try adding in a bit of extra cream, and whipping the frosting on high with a whisk attachment! It will increase the volume of the frosting by whipping air into it, which will make each bite of frosting a bit less sweet. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  154. This recipe tastes delicious! I have tried it twice now. However, both times I have had some issues when smoothing out the icing. I love that seamless, smooth surface your icing has when you ice cakes in videos. Mine usually looks 80% there, but when I tug my spatula along slowly, there are still tiny holes or air bubbles that disrupt the surface in some places. Almost like a whipped icing would have, even though I used the paddle attachment on my mixer. Is this an instance where i need to add more of a certain ingredient? It even happens when I make sure I mix on low for a few minutes to get the air out at the very end. Thanks in advance for your input and inspiration!

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Sometimes that can happen as the frosting sits out on the counter. I always give my frosting a really good stir by hand with a rubber spatula, pushing the frosting back and forth for a couple minutes to get it super smooth. I do this before. I start assembling the cake, and before I add the second layer of frosting. I find air bubbles usually develop as the frosting sits on the counter while my crumb coat chills.

      Hope that helps and will fix that problem going forward 🙂 Happy baking!

  155. Hi Chelsea, absolutely love your videos thanks for sharing. Question regarding the consistency of American buttercream. I’ve always used swiss meringue but have recently been using ABC a lot when making vegan friendly cakes. It’s delicious but no matter how slowly I add the icing sugar it always seems to appear grainy on the cake and yet yours looks so smooth. Any ideas why?

    1. Aw thank you sammy! It might be the brand of powdered sugar you’re using, or you may need to add a touch more liquid to help dissolve the powdered sugar. I’d suggest trying a different brand of powdered sugar, hopefully that will help. Happy baking!

  156. I should also add, in Australia we have limited brands available for pure icing sugar. Some people use icing mixture which has the cornflour in it too, but I was always told this makes the icing too soft?

    1. That’s super interesting, I had no idea!! I’ve never really tried a powdered sugar that didn’t have cornstarch in it, but I haven’t had issues with that. The ratio of cornstarch might be different in the US and Australia though!

  157. Hey!

    I’m trying out your vanilla cake recipe, and I’m planning to do 4 layers (all 6″ in diameter). How many batches of this icing will I need in order to frost the outside and fill the layers of my cake??

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Ellen,

      It depends on how you plan to decorate it, and how much frosting you like between your cake layers! I’d say make 1 1/2 batches to be safe and ensure you have enough. You can also refrigerate any leftovers for future baking projects. Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi Katie,

      You can totally use half and half in place of the heavy cream. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  158. Hi I have made this frosting before and I use milk instead. It turns out normal but every time it comes out it’s too sweet. What should I do?

  159. Hi! I was wondering if there are alternatives to heavy whipping cream in this recipe. It’s been very scarce around me ?

    1. Hi Josie,

      You can whipping cream or whole milk! Whole milk will make the frosting a bit thinner, so only add a little at a time until the consistency is just right.

    1. Hi Vincent! Either works / is the same! I make my buttercream in advance all the time, and as long as you give it a really good stir with a rubber spatula right before you plan to use it, it should be perfect! I’d recommend chilling it if you make it more than 12 hours in advance. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  160. I’m allergic to corn and have to use organic brands for powdered sugar that don’t have cornstarch in it. The frosting is a little softer but still stable enough for piping flowers. You can also add a little bit of meringue powder to the frosting if it’s too soft. I definitely prefer using normal powdered sugar if I’m not going to eat the cake. Hope this helps!

  161. Hello. Is there a way to maybe cut this recipe in half for smaller cakes? or to make a smaller batch? I only have 1 cup of unsalted butter on hand.

    1. Hi Sam,

      You can totally cut this recipe in half / make a half batch with 1 cup of butter. You can also use salted butter and omit the salt. Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi liz,

      This buttercream works great for rosettes and piping! It’s quite thick and keeps its shape very well.

  162. SO glad to find someone who’s not keen on SMB! Tried making it once–what a pain! It had the taste and texture of a stick of sweetened butter. I do have to use half shortening here in the South since it will melt off the cake if it’s the least bit warm, but I’ve found that a palm oil shortening has a buttery mouth feel. Unfortunately, only one store carries it in my town, and with the pandemic they’re out. So back to Crisco for this cake I’m making. Thanks for the recipe and tips!

    1. Haha I feel you Donna! That’s great to know, I get asked about shortening swaps all the time. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon, happy baking!!

  163. Hi! I am going to try your recipe out, it looks so good! I do have a question though. The recipe specifies to use a paddle attachment, yet in the photos on this post, 3 of the 4 photos showing the mixer attachment show you using the wire whip. Why do you use it but recommend the paddle attachment, does this make a difference in the final texture? Thanks! Julie

    1. Hi Julie,

      I generally use a paddle attachment when making frosting for cakes, and a whisk when making frosting for cupcakes. THe whisk makes fluffier frosting which I like for cupcakes, but is harder to smooth onto cakes. the paddle makes silky smooth frosting which is great for cakes. Also, frosting just looks better on a whisk attachment than a paddle attachment!! Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi Anne,

      It’s the same recipe! I like my frosting to be pretty stiff when I pipe rosettes, but you can add a tiny bit more heavy cream if you want!

  164. I love your buttercream but my family would like something that isn’t as sweet… have you made any other frostings that are similar to this buttercream but not as sweet? I looked up some other options and found something called ermine buttercream, have you ever made it? Thank you!

    1. For sure! My ABC is definitely on the sweet side! I recommend trying my russian buttercream or my swiss meringue buttercream! 🙂

  165. Hi! I’m a beginner and a Nigerian. I have watched lots of other people’s videos, just watched yours today and it is so exceptional ??. I don’t have any machine i.e mixer to work with, so if I use my hands and a whisk, will I still get a perfect buttercream?
    I would love to chat with you one on one and also have all your baking tutorials. Much love ma.???

    1. Hi Edidiong,

      Thanks so much! this recipe is quite challenging to make by hand / without some sort of electric mixer, but you could do it if your butter is super soft. It’s just challenging and messy to incorporate the powdered sugar. I’d actually use a rubber spatula to stir it together rather a whisk. You also might need to add a bit more cream to thin it out, so that you can stir it! Hope that helps, happy baking!

  166. My birthday is on the 27th of this month and I really want to make a wonderful and a special cake.

    1. Hi Diana,

      You can use that and omit the salt. The frosting might end up a bit saltier than it would otherwise, but it should still taste great! 🙂

    1. Hi Hannah,

      I’m not sure what grocery store buttercream tastes like, so I’m not sure! Most grocery stores use shortening to save money, so I’d think this tastes better!

    1. Hi Jana,

      It depends on the size and height of your cake layers. I usually make 1.5-2 batches when doing rosettes on an 8 inch layer cake with 3 or 4 thin layers. I alway err on the side of making extra frosting, because leftovers can always be saved for a future baking project. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  167. Hi – thanks for this recipe. I’m excited to learn how to make flowers and other decorations (just for my personal/family cakes). My question is: can I use half and half instead of cream. I always have half and half on hand but have to make a special trip to the store for heavy cream and then end up dumping the extra because I can’t use it up in a week

    1. Hi Elaine,

      You can definitely use half and half in place of the heavy cream in this recipe. It should still turn out great 🙂 Happy baking / cake decorating!!

  168. Hi I’m going to make a 2 layer 8 in round cake, but im going to do scrolling around it and then a bunch of other piping on top like stars, rosettes, zig zags, and dots. Will 2 batches of this frosting be enough?

    1. Hi Christina,

      I think 2 batches of frosting should def be enough for that! I think you’ll have plenty left over 🙂

  169. This looks so great and delicious! Would you recommend this recipe for a smash cake? Maybe smooth on the cake or for the pulled dot technique?

  170. Hi Chels, I’m Hany. Can i use a liquid whipping cream to replace the heavy cream? Bcause in my place there is no heavy cream.

  171. Hi Chels, i’m Hany.. can i use liquid whipping cream to replace the heavy cream? Bcause there is no heavy cream in my place.

  172. Hi I’m going to bake my son wedding cake ,I live in Belize we are subtropical country so Im wondering if i should add shortening to your recipe and how much ? It can be very humid here,Do you have a recipe for the hot climate? thks

  173. Love this recipe! I’ve been using it a lot lately, but sometimes I think it’s not firm enough to pipe with! What should I add to it to make sure it doesn’t? I don’t want my stuff melting with this heat!!

  174. Charla, Since you asked about a wedding and are waiting a reply, I’ll let you know what I do in the meantime.
    I live in Orlando Fl and it is in the 90s with high humidity. If the cake will be outdoors you may want to use ALL shortening. Even if indoors it can be much warmer with humidity so I will replace half of the 434 grams or 1 lb pack with shortening. It won’t taste as buttery, but you can add a bit more vanilla extract or Almond extract for flavor. You can also sift into the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons of corn starch, arrowroot or meringue powder which work as stiffeners. I’ve heard of using cream of tarter but I have never tried it because these other methods work in our heat. Using MORE powdered sugar will always make it stiffer, but you risk it being way too sweet. Good luck!

  175. Yes, I do all the time! For a regular size batch I use the juice AND zest of 1 good size Valencia lemon. Should equal a tablespoon of zest and 1 tablespoon of juice. Not the thin skinned one. When you zest, do it lightly to start so you don’t get the white pith in it which can be bitter. Yum!!

  176. Vams, I’ll give your question a go.
    Yes, you can use 1%. Heavy cream helps to keep it fluffier than if you used 1%, so you may need a bit extra powdered sugar. The cream or 1 % milk should be used at the end to see if you need it at all. Especially in the summer, frosting can be more loose and absorb water from the air, so many times you may only need 1 teaspoon not 3 tablespoons. I think this may be what happened to poster “Jewels” below.

  177. This will generously frost a 2 or 3 layer 9″ cake. Been using Chelsea’s ABC recipe for years now! In fact it was the first one I ever made.

  178. Samantha, see my comments above to a couple posters about adding cream only if needed at the end, esp in summer. And if you need it more stable in summer to substitute some butter with shortening

  179. Hi such a nice recipie. I am from Sri Lanka. I’m highly interested in using your frosting recipie for our upcoming family function. My biggest concern is about the frosting. I just wanna put the cake in outside for 2- 3 hours. Does it melt or something can happen to it with regards to our climate.

  180. I made this frosting today (1st timer) and it turned out amazing!!!! I took out a cup of it and made lemon and a half cup and made peppermint. I used colored gel to make the lemon yellow and peppermint pink. One drop goes a long way. Thank you for sharing:)

  181. By powdered sugar does it mean icing sugar or simply powder the granulated sugar… a bit confused here as I have been using icing sugar till now and really wanna try this one

  182. hi Chelsea! This is my go to icing! I love it! Just wondering how come your frosting always comes out silky smooth and mine is somewhat smooth, but I always have to microwave it a little bit to get it to look like your consistency. I follow your recipe exactly. What am I doing wrong? thanks!

  183. I love it! I I used this recipe along with your yellow Cale recipe to make my sister’s number 25 birthday cake! Thank you for all you do!

  184. Hi 🙂 I’m not one to usually leave comments, but this one is warranted…
    I like baking and have tried multiple buttercream recipes. This one (for me) is by far the best!! Honestly. I really like the addition of salt and cream – it offsets the sweetness and it makes for the perfect consistency!

    Thank you and I look forward to trying your other recipes xx

  185. Tried your recipe and it tasted really good. But at the moment I made it, it looked fine and fluffy I feel like but once I set in the fridge for a couple days and the cake filled with frosting it hardens why does that happen?

  186. Hi ! Im going to be trying this recipe for the first time with ur funfetti cake recipe ! I was wondering how long does the frosting last in room temp before its starts to crust !?! Thank you

  187. I’m beyond excited to find your site! I’m a beginner & I’ve learned so much already! I’ve been doing research for a while and haven’t found anything that’s been as helpful as your info & all in one place. It’s a great combination of tried & true recipes along with great tips & info. I’ve learned a lot from reading the comments & your answers also. This has inspired me to try a layer cake which I haven’t done in over a decade due to disastrous previous experiences 🙂 I’m getting ready to try your recipe for 6 inch vanilla cake & American buttercream frosting. I was wondering if you have a favorite all purpose flour that you like to use & any tips for high altitude cake baking?

  188. Hi. Just had a couple questions
    If I were to make a 8 inch round cake with rosettes all around, would I need 1.5 or 2 batches or frosting ? Also this recipe calls for 1.5 batches correct ? And if I were to use the Swiss meringue buttercream would it be just as firm and easy to pipe rosettes and will it hold its shape ? Or should I just use this recipe ?

  189. Hi
    Is this frosting sweet? Or does anyone know if this frosting turns out sweet? How sweet is it 1 out of 10…10 Bering overly sweet!


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