Russian Buttercream

I’ve decided that 2020 is going to be my year of frosting. As much as I love using my American buttercream on my cakes and cupcakes (AND cookies), I am ready to play around with other types of frosting. I’m kicking off this year with this Russian buttercream recipe.

While doing a bit of research, I learned about sweetened condensed milk frosting. There are a lot of different versions out there.

Some simply add in a bit to an American or swiss meringue buttercream base, but other recipes take it further.

That’s when I stumbled upon Russian buttercream. When I first read about it, I was pretty shocked. It is pretty much JUST butter and sweetened condensed milk.

image of russian buttercream piped onto a cupcake

Sweetened condensed milk seems so sweet and thick. The thought of adding it to buttercream didn’t seem very appetizing, let alone being the flavor of a frosting.

Much to my surprise, Russian buttercream frosting isn’t overly sweet or heavy. It’s surprisingly smooth, with a fluffy texture.

I know it sounds crazy, but you’ll understand once you try it. Trust me on this one!

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

What Is Russian Buttercream?

Russian buttercream is a frosting that’s used on a lot of Russian and Eastern European cakes. It’s an insanely simple recipe that really is just butter and sweetened condensed milk.

I like to add in a touch of vanilla extract and salt for kicks, but that part is optional.

ingredients for russian buttercream recipe

The process of making it is even easier than my American buttercream recipe, which I didn’t think was possible.

You simply whip the butter up until it’s light and fluffy, then slowly incorporate the sweetened condensed milk.

And voila! I love that there’s no powdered sugar involved, because it makes the process a lot less messy.

Do I Really Have to Whip the Butter for That Long?

The key to creating that delicately fluffy texture is to beat the heck out of the butter.

I’m talking at least 5 minutes at a medium-high speed with a whisk attachment or hand mixer. This incorporates a ton of air into the butter.

The butter should actually change color by the end of the whipping process.

It should be very white in color before you try to add in the sweetened condensed milk.

All the air that’s incorporated into the frosting gives it that silky smooth texture, and a very light mouth feel.

image of butter after being whipped with a whisk attachment

This also helps the frosting taste a lot less sweet and rich. If you’re used to American buttercream, get ready for an entirely different texture and taste.

It’s kind of like a hybrid between Italian meringue buttercream and American buttercream.

Reasons Why Your Buttercream Might Separate

While it is insanely easy to make a batch of this Russian buttercream recipe, that doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong.

The main issue that I ran into while recipe testing was having my frosting separate.

Too Warm of Butter

This can happen for a few different reasons.

If your butter is too soft/warm, it won’t whip up as well and will have trouble incorporating all the sweetened condensed milk.

Too Cold of Butter

On the other hand, if your butter or kitchen is too cold, it might also throw off the texture of your frosting.

The key is that the butter and the sweetened condensed milk are at the same temperature.

Adding in the Sweetened Condensed Milk Too Quickly

Your frosting might also separate if you try to mix in the sweetened condensed milk too quickly.

It’s super important that you gradually mix it in.

I like to pour it in over 4 additions, to allow the butter lots of time to incorporate all that sweet goodness.

image of adding sweetened condensed milk into sweetened condensed milk frosting

Your best bet at having your frosting seamlessly come together is using butter that is actually at room temperature.

This doesn’t mean that it’s super soft to the touch.

It should be somewhat firm when hold it, but you can make an indent in the side of the stick with your finger.

I find that taking my sticks of butter out of the fridge about an hour before I need them gives me the right consistency.

How to Fix Separated Russian Buttercream

If your frosting does separate, it’s ok. We can easily fix it!

My kitchen is usually pretty warm, so a lot of time my frosting separates because my butter gets too soft.

If my buttercream is broken after I add the sweetened condensed milk, I pop my mixing bowl into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool it down.

Then I whip it up again, and it usually comes together right away. If that doesn’t do the trick, continue to repeat this process until it thickens up and comes together.

On the other hand, if you think your butter might have been too cold or your kitchen is cold, I suggest taking a different approach.

Scoop out about a half cup of frosting and place it in a separate bowl. Heat it up in the microwave for 5 second, then give it a good stir with a rubber spatula.

Repeat until the little bowl of buttercream is smooth again. Be sure to heat in small increments, so that the frosting doesn’t get too thin!

Add this back into your bowl of frosting, and try whipping it again. Repeat this process until your frosting comes together and is smooth.

You can also add in powdered sugar (1/2 cup at a time) to thicken your frosting, and bring it together.

Making this Buttercream in Advance

While I am all about making buttercream in advance, this frosting can be a bit more finicky.

It can be made in advance, but you will need to re-whip it with your stand or hand mixer once it comes to room temperature.

Be sure you don’t let it sit out for too long before adding it to a cupcake or cake, or else it can get too warm and lose its silky smooth texture when you try to stir it.

I let my frosting sit out overnight, and found it had developed air bubbles overnight. When I went to restir it to make it smooth again, it separated :/

But don’t panic, mine only separated because my kitchen was too warm, and I aggressively stirred it!

image of russian buttercream colored pink with gel food coloring

To keep things simple, I suggest just making it the day of.

It comes together so quickly, and you’ll spend pretty much the same amount of time trying to re-whip it the day of.

Adding This Frosting to Cakes or Cupcakes in Advance

While adding this buttercream to a cake or cupcake the day it’s made is best, once the frosting is on the cake or cupcake, it will stay silky smooth!

This frosting only separates when it’s too warm AND you try to re-stir it.

If you add it to a cupcake or cake ahead of time and chill it in the fridge, it will keep its shape and consistency.

It will also be fine once it’s set out and brought to room temperature.

image of easy mirror glaze cake

I made this layer cake with Russian buttercream, and let it sit in the fridge for 2 days before pouring a mirror glaze over it. The frosting tasted great, and didn’t change in texture at all.

This frosting is amazing on cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and even with fruit!

Tips for Making the Best Russian Buttercream:

  • Use room temperature butter! I suggest taking your sticks of butter out of the fridge about 1 hour before you plan to make the frosting
  • Whip the butter until it becomes lighter in color
  • Slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk to prevent the frosting from breaking
  • Use the frosting shortly after making it
  • If the frosting seems a bit soft, pop it into the fridge for 10 minutes to make it easier to spread on cakes or pipe with
  • If you want to color this buttercream use gel food coloring to get a vibrant shade without throwing off the consistency of your frosting
  • This buttercream is stable enough to be piped onto cupcakes, to fill and frost a layer cake, or to pipe onto cookies!
image of russian buttercream in a mixing bowl

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this Russian buttercream recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it!

Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 3

Russian Buttercream

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

This Russian buttercream is made with just 4 ingredients!! It's secret ingredient is sweetened condensed milk, which gives it a silky smooth consistency

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


Russian Buttercream

  1. Whip the room temperature unsalted butter on a medium high speed with a whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer for 5-7 minutes. The butter should lighten in color as you incorporate air into it.
  2. Add in the vanilla extract and salt, and mix on a low speed until incorporated.
  3. Slowly mix in the sweetened condensed milk, adding ¼ of the can at a time, mixing on a medium speed.
  4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula throughout the process. The sweetened condensed milk sometimes pools at the bottom of the bowl, so be sure to scrape all the way to the bottom.
  5. If you frosting is broken or not stiff enough, you can add in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time to thicken it and bring it together.
  6. Use to frost layer cakes, pipe on cupcakes, or even to ice cookie. It tastes amazing on just about everything!!


This recipe makes about 3 cups of frosting, which is enough to frost about 2 dozen cupcakes or a 6-inch layer cake.

Use room temperature butter! I suggest taking out your sticks of butter from the fridge about 1 hour before you plan to make the frosting.

Slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk to prevent the frosting from breaking.

If your frosting seems too soft, pop it into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to thicken it.

If you want to color this buttercream, use gel food coloring to get a vibrant shade without throwing off the consistency of your frosting.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 1293Total Fat 125gSaturated Fat 78gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 41gCholesterol 332mgSodium 212mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 0gSugar 46gProtein 1g

268 thoughts on “Russian Buttercream

  1. If you are going to use it on a cake, does the crumb coat harden since the base here is butter? We found the vegan frosting tough because the vegetable shortening wouldn’t harden and the bench scraper was going all the way down to the cake despite the crumb coat — but we liked the lighter texture of the frosting, which this recipe seems to have too.

    1. Hi Brandi,

      It does harden when it’s chilled in the fridge or freezer! It’s not quite as firm as american buttercream, but it’s definitely firmer than vegan frosting when chilled. It does have a much lighter texture, so I think you guys would definitely like it 🙂

  2. Would it be easy to double this recipe or should I just make a separate batch? I’m really excited to try this recipe!

    1. I haven’t tested out making a double batch yet, but it should work fine! You will probably need to whip the butter a bit longer to incorporated enough air though, and just be sure to really gradually add in the sweetened condensed milk.

      If you try it, please let me know how it goes!! I’d love to know 🙂

  3. Hi Chelsea, my daughter and I are huge fans of your and we love your american buttercream to use in our stacked cakes! This frosting sounds delicious but will it hold well in between layers of stacked cakes? Also it is ok for the cake frosted with this buttercream to sit at room temperature for a few hours or does it always has be refrigerated?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Ana,

      I’m so happy to hear that! This frosting is definitely lighter than my american buttercream, but it does work well for stacked cakes! I used it to make a layered red velvet cake that I poured a mirror glaze over, and it worked great 🙂

      A cake frosted with this buttercream can sit out for a bit, but If it’s going to more than a few hours I’d pop it in the fridge! The sweetened condensed milk is perishable, so you don’t want to leave it sitting out for too long! Hope that helps, happy baking!

  4. I may try this today! Ive never heard of it before, so interesting. My only concern is the separation over time. Do you know how this stands up to being in a decorated cake that is refrigerated then presented to clients for an event that day? For example would the top of cupcakes look separated the next day after being refrigerated overnight?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      You totally should! The frosting isn’t going to separate once it’s on a cake or cupcakes. It only separates when you stir it a bunch after it’s been sitting 😛

      I used this on a cake that sat in the fridge overnight and it was fine the next day. I also let cupcakes frosted with it sit out for several hours and it didn’t change at all <3 Hope that helps, happy baking!

  5. Hi Chelsea! Love your recipes.

    Do you find that it still separates after you’ve decorated your cake/cupcakes? Does this mean the cake shouldn’t be left out for too long?

    1. Hi Mackenzie,

      It doesn’t separate once it’s on a cake or cupcake, it only separates when you stir it a bunch after it’s been sitting in a warm room 😛

      Sweetened condensed milk is perishable though, so you shouldn’t leave a cake frosted with this buttercream our for more than few hours. hope that helps, happy baking!

  6. Question…do you store the cake in fridge after decorating then pull out perhaps an hour prior to serving? Assume it doesn’t crust like American Butter Cream? Love having a less sweet alternative!

    1. Hi Emmy,

      Great questions! I do generally store a cake frosted with this buttercream in the fridge, and take it out an hour or two before I plan to serve it. You are so right, it doesn’t crust like an american buttercream, because it has less sugar 🙂 So happy to hear you’re excited about this recipe, I hope you love it!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      It has a similar consistency to italian meringue buttercream! It can be made in advance, but needs to be remixed before you use it (and once it comes back to room temp). I discuss my thoughts and advice on that in the post 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!

  7. Hiya,

    I have been using the russian buttercream recipe for almost 2 years now and its my go to recipe! I absoluetly love it and super happy I do not have to sift any icing sugar or clean up any mess after. I sometimes slowly add icing sugar if I need it for a more sturdy cake. Love love love!

    Ps I love your bakes


    1. Hi Alpa,

      That is awesome, it really is such a delicious buttercream!! And that’s a great tip, thank you for sharing! I’ll have to try it next time I make it 🙂 Happy baking!!

    1. Hi Dina,

      It really is! And it’s so yummy 🙂 I hope you love it as much as I do! It’d be wonderful on sugar cookies or cupcakes!!

  8. What if you assemble the entire cake the night before and keep refrigerated until the next day? I need to make a cake tonight for a party tomorrow evening and would love to try out this buttercream recipe.

    1. Hi Anne,

      This buttercream can definitely be used to decorate a cake in advance! Just frost the cake and refrigerate it until an hour or two before you plan to serve it! It should keep great, and come to room temperature in that time fame. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  9. This sounds so interesting! I was prepared to make Funfetti / Oreo Frosting for my son’s birthday but this may change things. What sort of cake would it pair with? It seems so rich and smooth.

    1. Haha i love hearing that!! It kind of has a caramel taste from the sweetened condensed milk! I think it would honestly taste great on just about anything! With oreos, with funfetti/ sprinkles… 🙂

      I hope you guys love it as much as I do! Please let me know what you end up pairing it with, and what you think of it! <3

    1. Hi Catillia,

      Yay! It sure would! Once it’s on a cake, it keeps its shape and is quite stable. Just take it out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan to cut into it. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  10. Does the frosting become hard if you put it in the fridge after frosting cakes? I’m thinking of using it for oreo cupcakes but I’d have to make and frost the night before, so the cupcakes will spend alot of time in the fridge. Also, do you think it would hold up to having crushed oreos added to it?

    1. Hi Andrea,

      It becomes a lot firmer than it is at room temp, but it doesn’t crust the same was american buttercream does! So it’s relatively firm, but not hard! It does keep its shape though.

      I’ve never tried adding anything into it before, so honestly I’m not quite sure :/ So sorry I can’t be of more help.

      If you do try adding them to it, please let me know how it goes! I’d love to know 🙂

    1. Hi Robyn,

      you have to in this recipe for the sweetened condensed milk to incorporate properly. It also is just a totally different type of frosting, with a drastically different texture.

      I like my american buttercream being super smooth for spreading on cakes, so I try not to incorporate air into it. It’s really just a matter of preference. Both taste and work well on layer cakes 🙂

  11. Hey Chelsea! I know you said best to make and use day of. But have you tried piping onto cupcakes, refrigerating overnight and then seeing how they did once out next day. I generally never refrigerate cupcakes. Was just curious if you have tried this while trialing with icing separating. Thanks. Can’t wait to make!

    1. Hi Donna,

      This frosting works great to pipe on cupcakes a day in advance! I did that last week and they kept just fine!

      However, the cupcakes need to be refrigerated overnight because sweetened condensed milk is perishable! The frosting doesn’t separate once it’s on the cupcakes, it only separates when the frosting has been sitting out in a warm room and you try to stir it 😛

      Hope that helps! Happy baking <3

  12. So excited to try this!!! How far in advance can I ice cupcakes with this? And do you think store in the fridge or room temp once iced? Also have seen people make caramel sauce out of sweetened condensed milk right in the can? If you did that and then added it to the butter, it could be like a salted caramel buttercream! I feel like I wanna try that too!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      You definitely want to refrigerate them if you make them in advance! They can sit at room temp for a few hours, but sweetened condensed milk is perishable, so you don’t want to leave it out for too long. You can ice a cake several days in advance, or cupcakes a couple days in advance.

      I have seen that! I’m working on flavored buttercream recipes right now (chocolate, peanut butter, caramel :P). so stay tuned! They’re coming, I promise 🙂

  13. How stable is this frosting? If I ice a cake with it and refrigerate it, then take it out for a party the next day, will it stand up sitting at room temp?

    1. Hi Tamara,

      It will hold up just fine! It’s stable at room temp. I let a cake frosted with this buttercream sit in the fridge for 2 days then come to room temp and it was perfect.

      I’d recommend taking the cake out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan to cut into it, to allow it to slowly come to room temp. Hope that helps, and that you love this recipe as much as I do 🙂

  14. This recipe looks delicious – I have some sweetened condensed milk on hand so I’m going to give it a try! How warm is your kitchen? I typically have to take out my butter for American buttercream the night before as my house is a little chilly, just want to make sure I don’t need to adjust that!

    1. Yay! It’s a long story, but my apartment building was built in 1904, and we don’t have central heating. We have an old school radiator (the joys of living in NYC), so i have no clue! There’s a pipe right next to our kitchen that gives off a ton of heat in the winter, and at night the kitchen gets really warm unless we leave it a window open. It’s a nightmare!!

      If your house is chilly, you’ll probably be fine! My butter is just way too soft if I take it out the night before for this, it’s almost to point of melting -__-

  15. That’s what I use because I am Russian. Haha, I am. I bake for Russian friends mostly and they always say they like my cakes because they are not as sweet as American. I love your recipes but I was shocked by the amount of sugar in American buttercream (900 grams!)

    1. Haha that’s awesome Valeria! You’ve been ahead of the curve this whole time!!

      American buttercream is insanely sweet! I’m so happy to have found this frosting because it’s also easy to make, but so different in texture and taste from american bc! It’s a great alternative 🙂

  16. Im going to try a batch this weekend but I’m a little worried about how it will hold up once it’s on cake or cupcakes? I live in the hot humid south! I don’t want it to melt and slide off my final product because of temperature changes. Have you had problems with it setting up well and then separating or melting after it’s applied to cake or cupcakes?

    1. Hi Lishia,

      That’s a very valid concern!! You can make this frosting a bit thicker / more stable by adding in a touch of powdered sugar!! I haven’t tried mixing in shortening with it, so sadly I’m not sure if that would work (that’s my usual trick for humidity). I haven’t had any issues with it separating after it’s on a cake or cupcakes, but I also live in NYC where it’s not very hot. I think it’s about as stable as ABC, which I don’t think holds up super well in really hot climates.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  17. Excited to try this! How does this hold up once used to decorate your bakes, say at room temperature? I’m assuming it’s a bit less stable than an American buttercream.

    1. Hi Alyssa,

      It keeps its shape great! It doesn’t crust like ABC, but it works great for filling and smoothing onto layer cakes <3 It’s stable at room temp!!

  18. Cant wait to try this recipe. I’ve been using Swiss Meringue Buttercream,but it gets so time consuming. I usually use salted butter for all my baking,not a fan of unsalted. Do you think using salted butter could throw off the consistency? Thanx..Sue S

    1. Hi Susan,

      I think it’d be just fine to use salted butter, and then not add any additional salt in! I don’t think it will have any effect on the consistency 🙂 Hope you love this recipe as much as I do! <3

    1. Hi Annie! It doesn’t crust the same way american buttercream does, but it will keep its shape at room temp. I do recommend refrigerating a cake frosted with this after it’s made if you make it more than a few hours in advance, since sweetened condensed milk is perishable <3 Hope that helps, happy baking!

  19. hi – I am loving the sound of this Russian buttercream! Mainly because you made it sound like it’s easier to smooth onto a cake. I have a hardback time perfecting the smoothing with ABC. Anyway, reading about how much air you’re supposed to whip into the butter had me a little confused though. Won’t the air bubbles have the opposite effect of trying to achieve a smooth finish? I’m hoping to try this recipe out tomorrow on a cake for my friend and want to be sure it’s perfect! Thank you.

    1. Hi Shira,

      What it really comes down to is the size of the air bubbles. By mixing the butter on high for so long, you’re incorporating tons of tiny air bubbles into the frosting, which just makes it fluffy not difficult to smooth. Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Yay, I hope you love it as much as I do Samantha!! It taste great on just about everything, but I love it with my vanilla cupcake recipe, or my red velvet cake recipe 🙂 It has caramel notes from the sweetened condensed milk, so really anything you think that would pair will with would be great! Hope that helps, happy baking!

  20. I’ve made this before. Did not know it was called Russian. It was fast and easy. If you like sweetened condensed milk, you will probably like this. If you don’t like the milk (which I don’t) you probably won’t like this. My favourite frosting is Italian meringue buttercream, hands down. Can’t wait to see you try it. It’s all I make anymore. I enjoy seeing your new cakes.

    1. Haha that is a very fair point, sweetened condensed milk is definitely the predominant flavor in this frosting!

      I’m sorry to hear you don’t love the taste, but I think half the battle of frosting is finding a recipe / type you love 😛 That’s awesome that you love italian meringue buttercream, it really is wonderful too!! Happy baking 🙂

  21. Hi! Can’t wait to try this out although using the butter and the condensed milk does the buttercream come out with a slightly yellow colour?

    1. Hi Hayley,

      When you whip the butter on a high speed for 5 minutes, it becomes super white from all the air you incorporate into it, just like my pictures! The sweetened condensed milk does give it a slightly yellow/tan tint, but it’s pretty light in color. You can see from my cupcake picture it’s pretty light, and this also makes it super easy to color with gel food coloring <3

      Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi Firyal,

      It really depends on how you plan to frost them! If you’re doing large swirls, I’d say one batch is enough for about a dozen! If you’re doing buttercream rosettes or smaller swirls, it should be enough for 2 dozen.

    1. Hi Pete,

      It’s really important that you whip a ton of air into the butter for the sweetened condensed milk to incorporated properly, so I highly recommend using a whisk attachment rather than a paddle. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  22. When you take your butter out of the fridge an hour before using it, do you cut it up to help bring to room temperature or leave it whole?

    1. Hi Donna,

      Great question! I leave my butter whole (as sticks), but take them out of the box so each stick can come to room temp individually. Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi Valerie,

      It should work great! It has a light and fluffy texture that pipes well, so I think it would work great with those fun ball piping tips! I’m not so sure about the floral russian frosting tips though…I just haven’t tested it!

      If you try it, please let me know how it goes! I’d love to know 🙂

    1. Hi Jessica,

      You sure can! I used it on a orange velvet layer cake that I covered with mirror glaze, and it held up great! The video is on my instagram, if you want to get a feel for how it smooths on a cake 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!!

    1. Hi Molly,

      I do think it would! I used it on a orange velvet layer cake that I covered with mirror glaze, and it held up great! The video is on my instagram, if you want to get a feel for how it smooths on a cake / holds up 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!!

    1. Aw thanks!! It can vary based on how much frosting you like between your cake layers, and how you plan to decorate it! I think you’d need at least 3 batches though, if not 4 (I like a lot of frosting :P)!

      Hope that helps, happy baking <3

    1. Hi Lindi,

      Yes, it’s delicious and I bet it would be wonderful on cookie!! Sadly it doesn’t crust quite as firmly as american buttercream or royal icing, so I don’t think it would work well for stacking cookies :/

  23. This recipe is mind blowing, I just made it along with box cupcakes. I ate five in a matter of 10 minutes the frosting is so fluffy and perfect balance in sweetness. Thank you Chelsey

    1. I am so happy to hear that Veronica!! Also that makes me feel better, I inhaled two cupcakes as soon as I frosted them!! I was like, is this normal?!?! but they were just too delicious 😛

      Thank you for sharing, comments like this make my day <3 happy baking!!

    1. Hi Lola,

      I think this would be just enough frosting to cover a three layer, 6 inch cake! you prob won’t have enough leftover to pipe big swirls or add other frosting decorations though! hope that helps, happy baking! <3

  24. I have attempted this twice. It flopped both times. It was almost gelatinous. The flavor was great.
    I am not sure what I am doing wrong.
    Butter and SCM was the same temp.
    Added SCM in four increments.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that Tracy! How long did you let your butter sit out before making the frosting?? Would you say your kitchen runs warmer or colder?? Hopefully we’ll be able to figure it out together!!

  25. Hi! Would this frosting work on a cake that will be refrigerated about 24 hours before serving? Or would it be better to frost the day of?

    1. Hi Olga,

      That would be just fine! Once the cake is frosted, the buttercream will stay stable / keep its shape and consistency <3 I recommend taking the cake out an hour or two before you plan to cut into it, to let it thaw 🙂 Happy baking!

  26. Tried this today with cupcakes! My husband said the frosting made the cupcakes taste like grocery store cupcakes…I’m pretty sure he meant that as a good thing. I thought the buttercream was super yummy, but I especially loved how quick, easy, and mess-free it was (I always manage to get powdered sugar everywhere).

    1. Haha that’s too funny, my husband actually said something similar too when he tasted it 😛

      And yes, I love how you don’t have to fuss with powdered sugar too, makes like so much better 🙂 Happy baking!

    1. Hi Connie!

      I’m actually experimenting with that right now! You can make it chocolate, by swapping out the butter with 2 oz of melted chocolate <3 I’m going to be sharing my full recipe for it soon!! Stay tuned 🙂

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      You can make it chocolate, by swapping out the butter with 2 oz of melted chocolate <3 I’m going to be sharing my full recipe for it soon!! Stay tuned

    1. Hi Lindi,

      It can totally be used to pipe on cookies, but it doesn’t firm up enough for them to be stacked! It doesn’t crust like american buttercream because it has a lot less sugar in it. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  27. Hi, Chelsea, i am from México. I love your passion for cakes ?.
    My question:
    Do you recommend this frosting for all type of cakes or just cupcakes?
    And what frosting is your favorite?

    1. Hi Zusy!

      Thank you 🙂 This frosting works great on cupcakes and cakes! I used it on a layer cake last week and it worked great!!

      My chocolate american buttercream is my absolute favorite, but this is a close contender! 🙂

  28. Hi, Chelsea, i am from México. I love your passion for cakes ?.
    My question:
    Do you recommend this frosting for all type of cakes or just cupcakes?
    And what frosting is your favorite?

  29. I don’t know what happened to mine 🙁 if I could upload a pic I would, best way to describe it is it is kinda lumpy? It tastes good! Just isn’t pretty lol

    1. Hi Kelsey,

      I wish you could too! you can always email me at [email protected]!!

      It sounds like it may have broken. How long did you let your butter sit out before making the frosting? It should only be out for about an hour, so it should still be a tiny bit firm when you start! I find popping the frosting into the for 20 minutes, then trying to re-whip it! That usually works for me when mine breaks. I hope that helps, if it doesn’t please shoot me an email and we’ll get to the bottom of it <3

  30. In Germany we use Russian buttercream more and more. There a several delicious tastes ready made in the cans like caramel (like dulce dulce di lece), strawberry, coffee, chocolate or nut. It is easy, fast to make and also good for piping.

    1. That’s awesome Anja!! I love that, I need to try to find some of the flavored sweetened condensed milk like that. I’m dying to make some different types!! 🙂

    1. It sure can Pebbles! I’m actually working on a chocolate russian buttercream recipe right now. I’m still testing it out though, but it should be up in the next week 🙂 stay tuned!!

  31. SUPER excited to try out this recipe! Does Russian buttercream flavour well? Thanks for sharing this recipe! Much love from Vancouver ?? ?

    1. Yay I hope you love it as much as I do!! You can make it chocolate, by swapping out the butter with 2 oz of melted chocolate <3 I’m going to be sharing my full recipe for it soon!! Stay tuned

    1. Hi Marleen,

      You sure can! You can make it chocolate, by swapping out the butter with 2 oz of melted chocolate <3 I’m going to be sharing my full recipe for it soon!! Stay tuned

  32. Hi, I followed this recipe but added cocoa powder for chocolate flavoring. Mine didn’t stay thick, fluffy and smooth like yours. It was a little runny and looked gritty before smoothing it out on to the cake. Could the cocoa powder of caused that? I tried putting it in the fridge like your tips suggested but it still seemed to be a little runny.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      I haven’t tested it out with cocoa powder so sadly I’m not sure! I don’t think it would though, i think it must have just been too warm / starting to separate. to make chocolate russian buttercream, I’ve been swapping out the butter with 2 oz of melted chocolate <3 I’m going to be sharing my full recipe for it soon!! Stay tuned

  33. You’ve probably already answered my question after reviewing your response to Annie … but just to make sure … does Russian Buttercream hold it’s form in high humidity?

    1. Hi! Sadly I’m not 100% sure because i live in NYC and it’s not super warm or humid. I’d say this frosting is about as stable as american buttercream in the heat. It holds its shape at room temp, but I’m not so sure about really warm temps + humidity. I’m so sorry I can’t be of more help!

    1. Hi Tai!! The salt and vanilla extract are optional, but I add them in right after I’ve whipped the butter! I mix them in on a low speed before adding in the sweetened condensed milk. hope that helps, happy baking!! <3

    1. Hi Emma,

      I’m actually working on that right now! You can make it chocolate, by swapping out the butter with 2 oz of melted chocolate <3 I’m going to be sharing my full recipe for it soon, along with other flavors!! Stay tuned 🙂

    1. Hi Ramsey!

      So sorry for the confusion on that! I just updated the recipe card, I add the in before I add the sweetened condensed milk! It doesn’t really make a difference if you add them before or after though, both will work 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi Sara,

      I’d recommend doubling it! You really only need about 1.5 batches, but if you’re going to open a second can of sweetened condensed milk, you might as well use the whole thing! You can always save the leftovers, or add them to cupcakes or cookies 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!

  34. I made this today but I added crushed oreos and it worked perfectly but today here in South Carolina it go unusually warm today for the 12th of Jan its 70 degrees outside and it got warm inside so i had to keep it in the fridge…I miss the crusting American buttercream but the Russian one is new,tastes good just not meant for warmer weather….Thanks for the recipe Chelsea

    1. Thank you for sharing Linda! Oreo russian buttercream sounds incredible 🙂

      That’s totally fair, I could see there being issues with this frosting in warm weather, since it’s consistency is pretty much solely based on the temp of the butter!

      Happy baking!! <3

    1. Wait that’s wild!! Do you do that to thicken it, to make the frosting more stable?! How long do you cook it for? I’d love to hear more about that 🙂

  35. I absolutely love your cakes!! I’m planning on making a Lion king cake for my brother this weekend and definitely trying this recipe out! After layering the cake and doing a crumb coat would adding fondant mess with the structure of the cake?

    1. Hi Marissa,

      That’s so fun, I hope it turns out great! I haven’t tested this recipe out with fondant before, so sadly I’m not sure! I feel like it should, but it is a tiny bit less firm than my usual American buttercream. Sorry I can’t be of more help!!

  36. So excited to try this out! I know you said you can put it in the fridge and re-whip it, but for you think freezing any extra buttercream would be okay as well??

    1. Hi Leah,

      I haven’t tested it out (I’ve used the full batches each time I’ve made it), but I think it should freeze just fine! I’d suggest transferring the buttercream from the freezer to the fridge the day before you plan to thaw it, to help it gradually thaw.

      I hope that helps, if you do freeze it please let me know how it goes, and if you’re able to re-whip it back to it’s smooth and fluffy consistency 🙂 I’d love to know!

    1. Hi Abeer,

      So sorry to hear that! It sounds like your butter might have been too warm. I usually put mine in the fridge for 10-20 mins if it seems too thin, then try to rewhip it.

      If that does fix it, I’d recommend only taking your butter out 1 hour before you plan to make this frosting. That way the butter will be a bit firm when your start the process, and hopefully it will work the first time you try it next time.

      I really hope that helps, happy baking!

  37. Would love to try this on a cake, would you think I’d need to double for a four layer six inch cake? Also do you think air brushing would work with a frosting that doesn’t crust?

    1. Hi Amy! It depends on how much frosting you like you add between the cake layers, and how you plan to decorate it! You should definitely have enough if you make a double batch. I’m not sure about airbrushing, I haven’t tested it out! But people airbrush SMBC, so I’d like think it should work on this too (the texture is similar). Hope that helps, happy baking!

  38. I love the flavor of this buttercream, but mine stayed soft and wanted to slide off the cake. I chilled it overnight and it formed some but still slid after assembling the cake and frosting

    1. So sorry to hear that! I haven’t run into that myself, is your kitchen pretty warm, or do you live in a humid environment? This frosting is not the most temperature stable, and sometimes it doesn’t keep its shape well in warm climates :/

  39. I can’t wait to try this out! My mother used to make a very similar version, but instead of butter, she used crisco. It was my favorite frosting growing up!

    1. Yup! Just like I discuss in my blog post, it it seems a little thin or like it’s separating, chill it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, then try to mix it again. Repeat that until the buttercream is smooth. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  40. I tried Russian Buttercream tonight. It was super soft during the crumb coat so I put the cake in the freezer and the BC in the frig for about 45 minutes. I was able to whip up the RBC to make it workable. It’s still softer than American Buttercream.
    The flavor was a creamy, milky flavor. We did a side-by-side taste test with American Buttercream. Frosted two dark chocolate cakes; one with AB and one with RBC. It was a tie!
    Although the AB was super sweet still, I prefer working with it. The RBC was less sweet, but I wasn’t crazy about the flavor.
    I am still searching for a less sweet BC that works as well as AB. #thehuntcontinues
    Thanks, Chelsweets!

    1. Hi Bridget,

      It definitely is softer, I agree! I love that you guys did a taste test!!! I actually feel the exact same way about the two. I like the change of pace / playing around with a different frosting, but I like decorating with american buttercream better. I actually do like the taste of RBC though, but it being less stable makes me like it a tiny bit less than ABC 🙂

      A random thing I just learned about (actually from the comments on one of my posts) is to add 1/4 cup all purpose flour to each pound of powdered sugar. It sounds crazy, but it’s a tip from a wedding cake maker who swears by it. I say maybe give that a try?? Hope that helps!

  41. Hi Chelsea! I’d love to give this a try! Is this sweeter than American buttercream? Does it taste better? Also, how much does this recipe yield?

    1. Hi Takwa,

      One batch of frosting yields about 3 cups of frosting! I think this frosting is slightly less sweet than american buttercream, and it has an almost caremly taste from the sweetened condensed milk. I like it a lot, and it’s a lot fluffier than my american buttercream. I prefer decorating with my american buttercream recipe though! Hope that helps, happy baking!

  42. I live in Houston so it’s basically always hot sooo curious question, if I use this frosting and then do a mirror glaze or fondant on top do you think that will help it last in our type of climate?

    1. Hi Angela,

      That is a great question! Sadly the butter in this recipe just doesn’t do well in hot/humid weather. You can actually swap half or all of the butter for shortening though, which will help make it more temp stable! Hope that helps, happy baking!

  43. Oh my gosh, okay I heard a similar thing about cornstarch. It was a replace situation though. I still wonder about the crusting part since sugar is the reason for that. Definitely trying this!
    Also… I just love that you’re from Seattle. I lived there too (Tacoma). Recently moved to Phoenix for work. Also just started posting my cakes to Instagram @flourncocoa
    I love your recipes and give you shout-outs whenever I can!

    1. Yah I’m not sure if it will help with the crusting, but hopefully it will help with the rest.

      Seattle is a great city!! But the weather in Phoenix is definitely a little nicer 😛 I fly out there each february with my family to go hiking, and it’s so beautiful!

      And thank you, I so appreciate that!!! 🙂

  44. Mine turned out soft and goopy:/ I put it in the fridge for like 20 minutes and it’s still pretty soft. Any way to salvage it? I’m positive I measured everything right!

    1. How long did you let your butter sit out before making the frosting? It may have been too soft/warm! I’d try letting it sit in the fridge for an hour if it’s goopy, then try whipping it again! It sounds like it just really needs to chill a bit more. I hope that helps, happy baking Mia!!

  45. OMG!!! I made this today and actually can’t believe how easy and tasty it is!! Thank you for sharing the recipe. LOVE all your cakes! I’m a big fan. ??

  46. Hi Chelsea!! I have a question for you that i have been searching everywhere for the answer and have had no luck so i really hope you can help me! I use a lot, and i mean ALOT of your recipes. However, my mom doesn’t like sweet frosting. I mainly use your american buttercream recipe for everything i do and i love it so so much! But do you have a recommendation on a recipe that you may have or know of that isn’t very sweet? Maybe more of like a whipped frosting similar to whipped cream? Thank you very much for your time <3

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      I totally get it! I like Italian buttercream best as a less sweet alternative, but stabilized whipped cream is always an option too! It’s a bit hard to decorate with though, but it still works!! I hope that helps, happy baking!

  47. Hey from Australia ??
    I am going to attempt your Russian butter cream today . It’s about 25 degrees celsius inside my house but feels much warmer . I am thinking I might pop a fan In front of mixer to keep air moving . I will let you know how I go !

    1. Hi Bec!! This frosting is definitely temperature sensitive so I hope the fan helped! Also don’t be afraid to pop your entire bowl in the fridge if it separates while you’re making it. I hope it turned out well!! <3

  48. I made this tonight for my mom’s birthday cake along with your chocolate cake recipe and I LOVE them together! She loves drizzling a can of sweetened condensed milk over chocolate sheet cake, but this year she wanted me to make her a layer cake. I was trying to figure out how to incorporate the sweetened condensed milk without having to drizzle it on the cake because that makes it soggy. This worked out perfectly and I’m so excited for her to try it tomorrow! Also, your chocolate cake recipe is the bomb. I always only use your recipes for anything cake-related!! Thank you so much for this! ?

  49. I tried it and we loved it But my daughter said it tasted too much like butter, is it suppose to or what could have gone wrong?

    1. Hi Maria,

      I don’t think you did anything wrong! It’s less sweet than american buttercream, so that could be why your daughter thought it tasted like butter (if that’s the type of frosting she’s used to)! I think the predominant flavor is kind of a caramel flavor from the sweetened condensed milk, but I could see someone saying that. You can try adding in more extract or vanilla bean paste (to give it a stronger flavor), or you can also make it chocolate with some cocoa powder.

      Those are my suggestions to give it a bit more flavor, hope that helps! Happy baking!

  50. Thank you Chelsea, I did forget to mention I made it with fresh raspberries and regardless of the butter taste it was delicious and very silky

  51. I think this would be great for a filling! But we just didny like it as a frosting. We really like ermine/boiled milk frosting. But I’ve had a problem with that one breaking. This one did too …

    1. Hi Amy,

      The flavor of this frosting isn’t for everyone, so I totally understand! If it broke, the frosting or butter was probably too warm :/ If you make it again, I’d recommend using colder butter, or chilling the frosting in the fridge and then mixing once it’s colder. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  52. hi i tried it and the taste is ok, but i think i like it more for between my layers of cake. i think it may be too soft for decorating though and i am in the Caribbean

    1. Hi Natalie,

      I could definitely see this frosting being on the soft side if you’re in the Caribbean!! I support using it a cake filling and not using it to pipe / decorate since it’s so warm where you live 🙂

    1. Hi Dolores,

      I don’t think it is firm enough for that! It can be used to pipe on cupcakes, but I don’t think it would be stiff enough to handle that intense of a frosting tip :/ so sorry!

  53. I have been making a similar version of this for about 40 years. The difference I have is I use 1 cup butter and 1 cup shortening to the can of sweetened condensed milk. It is a favorite and my chocolate cake with this frosting is always in demand.

    1. That’s so interesting, I like the sound of that! I definitely want to try adding in some shortening to make it more stable 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

  54. Hi! I’ve tried making this a few times and each time it’s just so soft. Even when I put it back in the fridge and then take it out to whip it it still gets insanely soft. It’s just too soft to use. Any idea why this is happening?

    1. Where do you live? How long did you let your butter sit out before making the frosting? The butter shouldn’t be out for more than an hour in order for it to be properly at room temp. You can also try adding in some shortening to make it more stable if you live in a warm/humid climate. I hope that helps, happy baking!

  55. I tried this recipe last night and unfortunately it didn’t work out for me. I think my butter was too warm when I started out because it was just so loose and separated. I chilled it multiple times and tried to re-whip it but it never came together. I also didn’t like how strongly it tasted like the sweetened condensed milk so I won’t be trying it again. I think maybe I am just someone who doesn’t like that flavor.

    1. Hi Amanda,

      That’s totally fair, if you don’t like the flavor of sweetened condensed milk, you definitely wouldn’t like the flavor of this frosting :/ Sorry to hear you ran into trouble, I think that you’re right about the butter! It probably was that the butter was too warm to start. Did you find frosting too sweet for your palette? or was it just the flavor?

    1. Hi Syedah

      I haven’t tested this frosting under fondant, but it isn’t super stable in warm temperatures! I think it would hold up fine under fondant if you keep the cake cool, but if you live somewhere warm it might not work so well. Hope that helps, happy baking!

    1. Hi Julie,

      It depends on how you plan to decorate the cake, but I’d definitely recommend doubling this buttercream recipe to make my funfetti layer cake. Hope that helps, happy baking!! <3

    1. Hi Jeanna,

      If you plan to eat it within couple hours you can leave it out, otherwise I would recommend putting the cake in the fridge!

    1. Hi Roxanne,
      You can totally use caramel sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche! You can also add melted chocolate or cocoa powder to this to make it chocolate flavored. I hope that helps, happy baking!

  56. Russian buttercream was a big success ! I made two separate batches . The second time round I decreased my butter to 190 grams and left the condensed milk the same . Much nicer as not so buttery . The day I served the cake was 45 degrees celsius outside ??. Needless to say after about 20mins of sitting on the bench ( air conditioning on) it started to lean to the side . Thanks for your tips , I will definitely be making this again ?

    1. Hi Bec! That’s super interesting, if anything I’d think I would add more butter 😛 I’m so happy to hear you like the way it taste with a bit less butter though!

      And wowza, that is so hot! I think just about any frosting would struggle in that heat!! haha excited to hear you’ll be making this again in the future 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  57. This was my second time using this recipe. The first time the buttercream separated but I still used it and the finish looked really grainy. Today, I decided to try it again. I doubled the recipe and for some reason it kept separating and was too runny. I was about to give up- but then I had to try one more thing before I tossed it. I grabbed 1/2C shortening and whipped it in the stand mixer for a 1 min then I poured the broken runny buttercream into the shortening mixing on low-then medium. Voila! It brought everything back together and I ended up with the most silky amazing buttercream. I filled and frosted a 8 in 3 layer cake with doubling the recipe and adding that 1/2c shortening. Just some pointers for others 🙂 butter is expensive don’t waste it!

    1. Paulina I admire your perseverance!! 🙂 I’m so happy you were able to save your second batch!

      I’m going to retest this recipe next weekend and try to add in some shortening, to make it easier for people to get that silky smooth consistency. Thank you for sharing <3

  58. Hi Chelsey!!! I am a beginner baker working currently out of my home. I have a buttercream recipe that I use consisting of butter, shortening, vanilla and heavy whipping cream. When I make it, it’s super creamy and soft. Problem is after it sits for a bit it starts to “feather”??? That’s the only way I can describe it. It still tastes very good and soft. Do you know why that may be? Thanks :0)

    1. Hi Patsy,

      I assume the frosting recipe you use includes powdered sugar too, right?? Sometimes as the frosting sits it develops air bubbles. I’d recommend giving it a good stir with a rubber spatula for a few minutes, and see if that helps make it smooth again. That’s what I usually do when my frosting has been sitting for a bit. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  59. HI! Just wanted to know if this buttercream would be good for a tiered cake? If I’m planning on frosting the cakes on the same day of delivery and stacking them, would it be a good option? or would it be better to use the American buttercream instead as that one can freeze to make stacking easier?


  60. Thanks much for this.i love that it is not too sweet unlike the american is easy to make and takes less time, effort and is not as stable as the American buttercream specially when the cake ‘s first coating of frosting has been chilled. The decoration made of the same will not stick to the cake as much as the American buttercream.BUT i love the taste.probably just needs more practise.thanks much again!

    1. Hi Theresa,

      So happy to hear you love this recipe! If you swap out half the butter for shortening, it makes the frosting a lot more stable and easier to decorate with. I’d say try that next time, it might make it easier to work with. Hope that helps, happy baking!!

  61. Hello, just a quick question. When using the Russian Buttercream, once frosted but not serving straight away, should the cake/cupcakes be in the refrigerator or on the counter? Thank you!

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Unless you plan to eat it a couple hours after making it, I recommend refrigerating it because the sweetened condensed milk is perishable. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  62. Hi! I just tried this and it tasted delicious although the texture was super runny 🙁 I tried piping it onto cupcakes and it just didn’t work at all. What did I do wrong? Maybe didn’t whip the butter long enough..?

    1. It sounds like the frosting is too warm! I would suggest popping your frosting into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to help the butter cool down, and then try piping again. Hopefully that will fix it. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  63. Hi
    I just made this frosting. And it’s so amazing! It’s like giving me an eggless version of SMBC. Sooo smooth and dreamy! Lovely! Thank you for introducing this into my life!

    1. I have been meaning to for the longest time but haven’t yet!!! It’s at the top of my to do list though, and I will definitely share the recipe once it’s fully tested 🙂

    1. Hi Megan,

      If you want to pipe rosettes, I’d suggest swapping out half the butter for shortening in this recipe! It makes it more stable and easier to pipe with 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!

  64. Hi Chels,

    I’ve made this frosting twice now, oreo cookie for cupcakes and recently for a tiered cake, both times it was softer than a more stable buttercream. I saw your comment about using shortening but will it have that ‘shortening taste’ like grocery store cakes? Can I use a butter flavored Crisco?

    I’m not real sure what happens…my kitchen isn’t warm and I keep my sliding doors open, I use my hand mixer, because my KitchenAid doesn’t seem to hit the bottom of the bowl and it pools down there. I set a timer and whip up my butter for about 6-7 mins aggressively and follow your recipe to a T.

    I love this frosting, its everything you describe and more!!! Its just that I’m hesitant to leave a cake out for too long for fear of the frosting melting or softening too much and the decorations will fall off. Yikes!!

    Love your work Chels, you’re an inspiration!!!

    1. Hi Wendi,

      haha you’re too sweet! I totally get what you’re saying. I think using butter flavored shortening would work great, I def recommend trying it! I hope that helps, happy baking!!

  65. This frosting is a revelation! I had never heard of Russian buttercream before thanks for introducing me to it. It has a much smoother texture compared with American buttercream but so much easier to make than Swiss or Italian meringue buttercreams and I think I prefer the flavour. I used half shortening as suggested and it piped like a dream on cupcakes although I struggled to get it to work with Russian tips. I coloured mine using purple gel colouring and couldn’t really get a dark or vibrant tone. I might try oil-based colours next time. Thanks for all you do Chelsea, I love your blog and videos!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Kate 🙂 Yah I could see how it might be a struggle with russian piping tips though :/ Hopefully the coloring will be brighter with oil based colors!!

  66. Here were are isolating and trying not to go bananas, and I loved the idea of this recipe for frosting. Instead of using room temp butter, I chilled the sweetened condensed milk in an ice bath for 45min and used butter straight from the fridge. It worked very well, but my only issue is that I taste too much for the sweetened condensed milk flavor. I added a touch more vanilla, but it doesn’t taste like vanilla as opposed to SCM. Anything I can add now to change the flavor without breaking the frosting? Many thanks for your recipes!

    1. Hi Earl,

      That’s awesome to hear, and good to know! You can try adding a stronger flavored extract like lemon, almond, or coconut to try to give the frosting a bit more flavor contrast from the SCM! You also can add in some cocoa powder to make chocolate russian buttercream! Hope that helps, happy baking!

  67. Hi chels,
    I read somewhere that someone used icing sugar to make the Russian frosting that’s condensed milk, butter and icing sugar..could this work? Have u tried it?

    1. Hi Mariah,

      You can! It does make the frosting sweeter though. I like to add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, but you can add a little more less based on how stable you need the frosting to be. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  68. Hello, I have really enjoyed your tutorials. I do have a question though. I want to make a moist chocolate cake for a friends birthday. Can I make it in advance, and freeze it, or will that ruin it? I can share the recipe if needed to answer me question.

    Thank You

    1. Thanks Charles!

      You can totally make it in advance! You can either make the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them like this:

      Or you can make the entire cake in advance. A frosted cake can stay good in the fridge for up to a week! As long as the frosting is completely covering the cake layers, it should lock in all the moisture, and the cake should stay nice and moist 🙂

      I let cakes sit in the fridge overnight, or for a few days all the time! I usually leave my cakes just open in the fridge without a covering! It should be fine as long as you don’t have anything fragrant in your fridge (like fish or onions).

  69. I used canned coconut sweetened condensed milk and it make a tasty substitutes in this recipe. No extract needed since the coconut flavoring was already in the can. Worked very well for a coconut cake.

  70. I made this recipe last night and it separated. I followed your advice and kept putting it back in the fridge and rewhipping. I ended up frosting my layer cake anyways although the frosting looked bumpy. I’ve seen other Russian Buttercream recipes where they state the condensed milk needs to be cold. Do you think that would help? Also do you have your stand mixer on low or medium throughout the mixing process when putting the condensed milk in? I really want to perfect this recipe because it tastes so delicious!

    1. Hi Shyri,

      I respect your dedication to getting this just right 🙂

      If you chill the SCM, then your butter needs to be a bit cold too! I’ve heard that it can help, but I’ve also heard it doesn’t! It’s worth a try though!!

      You can also try adding in some powdered sugar (1/2 cup at a time) to help thicken / stabilize it! Best of luck, please let me know how your next attempt goes!

  71. Can’t wait to try this version of buttercream! I’m Russian and the buttercream we (and most) use is actually with cooked sweetened condensed milk or Dulce de Leche and butter. I’ve never seen a Russian recipe with uncooked sweetened condensed milk and butter but interested in trying it out!

    1. Hi Angelina,

      That’s so interesting! Maybe I need to try making this with dulce de leche!!

      Haha this version is delicious but a bit less stable than the frosting you’re used to using, but it’s still super delicious. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it 🙂

  72. So the butter has to be room temperature but what about the condensed milk? Some recipe say to have the condensed milk cold and right out of the refrigerator but what about this one? Does it have to be cold or room temp?

    1. Hi Vams,

      Most sweetened condensed milk is stored at room temp, so that’s how I always use mine! Unless a recipe specifies it should be cold, the assumption is that it’s room temp. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  73. I think this sounds great but I have two questions. First, can you use salted butter? And second, this may sound crazy but can you eat it cold, I always eat cold cake.

    1. Hi Karen,

      You can use salted butter and omit the salt, and you can definitely eat it cold! It actually never really gets hard in the fridge, so it’d be great to eat cold. I love cold cake too 🙂

    1. Hi Katherine,

      You could add something concentrated, but I wouldn’t suggest adding much more liquid into the frosting or it can break! Or if you want to, I’d recommend adding in more powdered sugar to keep it’s consistency. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  74. Hey Chelsea, do you try adding shortening to the Russian frosting? If so, was it more stable like smbc? Thank you! Cynthia

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      I did and it was more stable, but it definitely didn’t taste as yummy :/ If you go that route I recommend doing half shortening half butter <3

  75. Hi Chelsea,
    I make an easy meringue frosting I call American Meringue bc it is so easy. Beat Pasteurized egg whites and powdered sugar, (not even to meringue stage) then add chunks of butter and vanilla. That’s it. Silky and more stable but like Swiss mc. But you do have to add the butter in last in chunks by hand. That takes the time.
    I was wondering how could I merge the 2 recipes to cut down time. So, kinda asking what you thought of this PROCESS? I hate to waste money on butter if the process may be a disaster. Idea…..
    Whip butter until fluffy. Drizzle in pasteurized (from carton) egg whites. Add can of sweetened condensed milk.
    The eggs giving it structure would help I believe and still end up with a silky frosting that won’t melt in my Orlando heat. It’s funny, but American buttercream gives me the worse time,
    and always is too loose. No amt of chilling or adding stabilizers work, which is why I came up with the American Meringue. Works ALL the time. Tastes less sweet and has a very silky mouth feel over ABC.

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      I actually have made a very similar frosting to your american meringue, but I call it faux swiss meringue!! I honestly have no clue if your idea would work. In theory it seems like it should, but russian buttercream isn’t very stable on it’s own, so I’d worry the hybrid frosting wouldn’t hold up to the orlando heat :/ I also think you’d have to use some shortening to be safe in that heat!!

  76. In response to different flavor Russian buttercream, it is not cheap, but I would assume you could get dehydrated strawberries and food processor into powder and add. I do it for my American Meringue buttercream without adding liquid. Delish.

  77. Hey Chelsea. Thanks for the reply and thoughts. Love the faux Swiss buttercream. Easy and so delicious. Shortening…I feel the same as you…yuck, cough cough.
    OK, so call me a frosting snob. Some people can taste that greasy feel and the slight medicinal flavor. I am one of them. Yea, Orlando can be a problem. In order to keep the kitchen cool, you have to lower the A/C temp for the whole house. That costs a fortune! I am thinking about buying portable A/C unit that can be used directed to kitchen only.
    Yes, I think I am going to do another frosting experiment and try merging my American Meringue and Russian buttercream. I think the egg whites will give it the structure needed to be easy and reliable, yet still cutting time in order to make a silky frosting. I’ll let you know how it comes out. If I take a pic, how can I send it to you?

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      I feel you! I totally support getting a portable A/C unit!! I think that sounds like a great idea, please do let me know how it turns out <3

  78. Hi Chels! I am trying to make this for the first time – I wanted to add raspberry purée to it for flavor, when should I add it in? Thanks!!

  79. With the Russian buttercream how long would the cake be able to be on a table without spoiling ? I am planning to do a wedding cake. Thanks!!

  80. I’m Russian and loved eating Russian desserts when I lived there. After moving to America I hated (and still can’t stomach) pretty much all American desserts because they are just so sweet and not creamy enough. So I started to bake my own. Russian buttercream is the only type of frosting I use, but I use half a can of sweetened condensed milk with the amount of butter you have specified (so my buttercrram is considerably less sweet than this recipe).

    It’s interesting how people’s palettes are so different! I love sweet things, but if they are too sweet, I just can’t enjoy eating them.

  81. Well my icing is a runny mess–but it tastes good. I had to add powdered sugar, flour and even corn starch. It’s in the fridge now hoping butter will firm it up. Sure nothing like consistency in video. Don’t know if I’ll be abke to frost cake…much less pipe finishes.

  82. I love this frosting! I used it for a birthday cake and everyone had positive feedback. The only thing I did different from your instructions was drizzled in the condensed milk as it whipped. I will definitely be making this again!

  83. I was just wondering if you have tried making this a chocolate frosting. I would think you would add melted chocolate rather than cocoa powder. How much melted chocolate and when to add? I love the ease of this recipe, I can’t wait to try it, sweetened condensed milk if one of my favorite things. Thank you.

  84. Hey Chelsea!
    Just made Russian Buttercream for the first time. Wow. Amazing!

    I’ve never been a big fan of the taste of ABC, too sweet for me, and I’ve always preferred the texture of SMBC but it’s so much more work!
    I don’t think I’ll go back to ABC after trying Russian buttercream! It’s super simple, perfect amount of sweetness and the texture is closer to that of SMBC – it’s like the perfect combination!

    I had no idea it even existed until I saw your YouTube video – so thank you!

    I made a double batch and instead of adding in the condensed milk in stages, I drizzled it in as it whipped and it came out perfectly!

    Definitely don’t think it’d stand up to our Australian summer but that’s okay, I’ll just enjoy it in the cooler months haha!

  85. Can’t wait to try this in some cupcakes I’m making this week! 2 questions: if I want to use my Russian piping tips, will this be a good consistency to hold the flower shapes? Also, would this make a suitable filling for macarons?

  86. I wouldn’t add any more moisture to the frosting. It is beautiful and tastes very nice but it borders on being to loose.
    If you wanted to do a trial/test, I would get some freeze-dried raspberries and put in food processor until they are a powder, then add at end. You can get a 1 oz baggie for about $3.99 US at Whole Foods. Or find online. In fact, the powered fruits help absorb and give structure because they suck up the extra moisture, so it prob works very well. I use freeze-dried strawberries for my all of my strawberry frostings (ABC, SMBC etc) and it is awesome.

  87. Results trying to merge my American Meringue (faux swiss) Disaster! Then not a disaster!
    Way too loose, bordering on fluid. I didn’t whip butter first, which was obviously an error. There may be a diff way to incorporate the egg whites, but that’s for later. In order to try and “save” the frosting to use on anything, I ended up adding A LOT more butter than I ever planned and powered sugar to firm it up. But with the sweetened condensed milk and egg whites now being in the mix, it turned into the most beautiful, magical frosting I have ever put in my mouth!!! And there is absolutely NO WAY I could duplicate this. I didn’t even keep track of what I added. It was just going by appearance, texture and taste until it somehow came together. Needless to say I had A LOT of extra frosting. Which ended up being a good thing. I am defrosting the extra which I froze to do a version of my final Triple Threat Lemon Cupcakes today! The cupcakes are so good that I always try making the perfect frosting for them…light and fluffy! When I try another test of the Russian Buttercream with Amer Meringue, I will post again.

  88. Lana, if the wedding date has passed, I hope it worked out. If you want to use this, test and test. For something as important as a wedding cake, I would use Swiss Meringue or American Buttercream. This frosting tastes great, but is the loosest frosting I’ve made. Because the frosting uses butter and sweetened condensed milk which are BOTH dairy products, I would not keep out of fridge for longer than 3 hours. Also, if it might be warm where the cake was displayed, it might get extra loose and slide off the cake!!
    If you are intimidated by the Swiss Meringue recipe, ask Chelsea for her “Faux” Swiss Meringue. You don’t have to heat the sugar OR whip the egg whites into meringue. Sounds too good to be true, huh? It’s real and it’s delish!

  89. Hello Chelsea!

    I wonder if Russian buttercream would work under fondant? I’m decorating a Baby Yoda Cake tomorrow ? and I’ve made this buttercream before and everyone loved it but I’m wondering if it might not be stable enough under fondant. Your thoughts? Love your baking videos! Thank you!!

  90. Hi I make this buttercream all the time and I don’t mean to sound rude by what I’m suggesting but maybe change the condensed milk ratio to 200g to 220g because it has a tendency separate more. It’s not because your kitchen is to warm, it’s actually the amount of condensed milk you put in there. Again I don’t mean to sound rude I’m just hoping you improve your recipe

  91. Hi Donna,

    I have never tried the Italian meringue buttercream, Could you please tell me if you can pipe roses or flowers in general or is it too soft.

    Thank you


  92. I made this for the first time 2 days ago and used it to frost cupcakes. I have to say it is by far my favourite (I find American Buttercream far too sweet and gritty) . The Russian Buttercream has the texture of whipped double (heavy) cream. A real delight.

    I left my cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter (not in the fridge) and they are still perfect. I’m now looking forward to using this on a layer cake and experimenting with different flavours. This batch I added some freeze dried strawberry powder, but it was way too subtle.

    I live just outside Belfast in Northern Ireland so our climate is on the cool side.

  93. Hello there!! I have been using swiss meringue all the time but it is quite difficult to get bright colors on that.. is russian buttercream eaay to get bright and vibrant colours unlike smbc? Love your work !

Let me know what you think!