Smooth Buttercream

Imagine a tradition American Buttercream that is silky smooth, stable in warm weather, tastes delicious to compliment your cakes and has the ability to enhance the brightest of colours in your cake and cupcake decorations. If this is what you’re looking for, keep reading and watch my full step by step how to video.


Smooth Buttercream a Step by Step Recipe

Smooth Buttercream

  • Servings: 12 cupcakes, makes 750 grams of Buttercream
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Buttercream Cupcakes.

Author: Katherine Walton


-250 grams salted butter (cool room temperature but soft)

-500 grams (4 metric cups) icing sugar

-1 teaspoon Vanilla extract or other flavouring (I use Wilton’s Clear Vanilla Flavouring)

-1/2 tablespoon milk (room temperature)


  1. Add cool but soft salted butter to mixer, beat on medium speed, then scrape the bowl as necessary.
  2. Continue to mix and increase speed to highest. It is very important that the butter is beaten until it changes colour to a very pale almost white or ivory colour.
  3. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add icing sugar in small batches at a time. Mix on low speed when adding the icing sugar, then increase the speed. It is important that all of the icing sugar is fully incorporated into the butter. You must scrape the bowl as necessary. This is essential to achieve a smooth consistency.
  5. Add milk and vanilla extract or other flavouring. I use a clear vanilla flavouring to retain a pale as possible natural colour in the buttercream.
  6. Continue to mix at medium to high speed until smooth.
  7. Add desired gel food colouring.
  8. Store in an airtight container or bowl and cover immediately to stop the buttercream from crusting.


Please note that I provide all ingredients in grams where applicable. I also provide the measurements in METRIC cup measurements. Be aware that cup measurements vary in different countries. Therefore, I highly recommended the use of food scales to measure ingredients to achieve exactly what the recipe intends.

Icing sugar is also known as powdered sugar.

Store the buttercream sealed in an airtight container. You may store in the fridge for up to 5 days and at room temperature for up to 3 days. If stored in the fridge bring to room temperature before using again. The buttercream will harden.



  1. Why does my buttercream remain grainy?
    How long do u need to beat it?
    Does beating the buttercream for a long time change the texture?
    Need help here😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chandarani,

      I’m happy to help here 😊. When you say your buttercream remains grainy, do you mean it feels gritty in texture? Or is the colour in the buttercream that changes and becomes grainy?

      The more you beat the butter first for your buttercream the better result you will achieve. You have to beat the butter for at least 10 minutes or more. You will know your butter is ready when it changes in colour to an almost white/ivory colour. Then you can add the icing sugar (powdered sugar). Then once all the icing has incorporated into the butter you continue to mix until the frosting is smooth. The more you beat the better. A must is to also always scrape the bowl throughout the process.

      Does that help?


    1. Hi Sahar ☺️

      Yes you can, however you may find that the buttercream will become a softer frosting. The icing sugar (powdered sugar) gives it structure along with the butter. Not enough icing sugar and you may end up with a runny frosting. I don’t have any low calorie recipes to offer at the moment. But certainly something to look for in the future.


  2. Hi.. I enjoy all your post. Thank you for sharing. Would like to ask how do you colour the buttercream. I attempted red colour buttercream using chefmaster red gel. Ended up with pastel red..or rather pink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nosha,

      Thank you so much. I use the brand Rainbow Dust ProGel especially for colours such as reds and blacks and browns. They don’t have an aftertaste and you don’t need to use much of it. It’s very concentrated.


    1. Hi ☺️, yes it certainly is. I would recommend to chop up the butter beforehand into small pieces so that it makes it easier to mix. Then to scrape the bowl as needed to ensure all the butter is beaten. Also if you can, beat it a max speed with your hand mixer. It may just take a bit longer than it would with a stand mixer. That’s all.


  3. Hi!
    I love all of your recipes and it is fun to watch 🌸
    I almost 5 or 6 times tried the butter cream recipes ( 3 times with your recipes and the others were other recipes) but I never able to do buttercream. In my final trial, I could taste each grain of powdered sugar. Also it was too sugary and liquid. Can you help me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hazal,

      Thank you 😊.

      Yes I can certainly help. American buttercream does have that gritty or grainy texture. However, you can reduce by sifting the icing sugar before adding it to the butter. It also helps to add the small amount of milk at the end which softens it.
      May I ask when does the buttercream become liquid? At what stage? The icing sugar should make it quite thick and stiff. So I’m trying to think what could have made it runny.


      1. In the last stage it was too runny. Maybe i did add a little bit more milk. Because when i add sugar it was too stiff so i add tiny amount of milk.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I see it could be extra bit of milk. If you live in a warm environment you could also try to see if the buttercream softens on its own. Here in summer mine tends to be softer but in winter I tend to add a little extra milk. Only about 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon extra. In saying all that take into account if you’re adding extra flavouring as that will count as extra liquid into the buttercream which can soften it even more.


  4. When trying to pipe my frosting I notice it’s a bit soft. Do you chill your frosting between making it and piping? I’m using a hand mixer at the moment while living with the MIL and my buttercream is just not right like it when I use my beloved kitchen aid. Not sure if it’s the tools causing my flat butter cream or if it’s me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amanda,

      I can think of a few things that could be making the buttercream softer. The first one is always warmth, which could come from the environment itself you’re making the buttercream in or piping it. Other things could be the bowl you’re making the buttercream in is warm. Lastly, could also be warm hands. In which case you can put the piping bag with the frosting inside the fridge for 5 minutes before piping.

      The other reason I can think of is perhaps the use of a hand mixer, which may stop you from achieving the creamy, almost white appearance for the buttercream before adding the icing sugar.

      Lastly, the amount of liquid added to the buttercream can also affect it. This could be in the form of the flavouring as 1 extra teaspoon of it can make it softer and also the amount of milk added at the end. If for any chance you are in a warm environment you can always not add the milk at the end to see if that makes a difference. I find that here in Sydney in winter I actually add an extra half tablespoon of milk to the buttercream as the cold weather makes it even more stiff.

      Let me know if any of that helps. ☺️


  5. Hi there. Is there any way of making a less sweet buttercream? Most of the buttercream recipes I found uses unsalted butter. Is there a reason why you use salted? Does it counter the sweetness in the buttercream a little? Thank you for your help on this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Azreena ☺️,

      I use salted butter in my Smooth Buttercream recipe as it takes away the need to have to add salt to the buttercream if using unsalted butter to begin with. When you add salt to buttercream (as some recipes ask to do), you risk the salt not mixing in well for an overall even taste. I use salted butter to also enhance the flavours in the buttercream, however at the same time reduce some of the natural sweetness found in frostings that use large amounts of icing sugar (powdered sugar). In saying that American buttercream is quite a rich and sweet frosting. If you’re after a much less sweet frosting you can always try something like Swiss meringue buttercream or Italian buttercream which doesn’t use icing sugar. They are delicate and silky and they don’t have that gritty texture you can get with traditional American buttercream.

      I hope all that helps.


    1. You’re very welcome ☺️. The buttercream is stiff and perfect for hot weather. We sometimes have over 40 degrees Celsius here in Sydney in summer. You can extra things such as flavouring and even things like chocolate powder to make it a chocolate icing.


  6. Hi,thank’s a lot for sharing with us your recipes also I would like to ask you if it is possible to add Nutella to do nutella buttercream?
    Thank you so much
    Happy baking 👩‍🍳😍😊😘

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for the recipe …..I’ve read the feedbacks and shared the same concerns regarding the grittiness from the powdered sugar…….if we beat it for a long length of time tge grittiness will go away?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi ☺️,

      Yes that is one of the main things that’s most of an issue with buttercream. The grittiness that naturally comes from the icing sugar and also the sweetness as well. There are a few things you can try.
      One could be to change the brand or type of icing sugar (powdered sugar). Here in Australia we have icing sugar that it’s super refined perfect for frosting. It is finer than your regular icing sugar.
      You can also reduce the amount of icing sugar in the recipe to see if that makes a difference. Just keep in mind that the icing sugar is there to give the frosting structure. Therefore less icing sugar will make it softer. In that case you can omit the milk completely.
      Also, you can beat the frosting for a longer period of time.
      All these things will reduce the grittiness but will not completely remove it as buttercream naturally has that from the icing sugar.
      In saying that, have you tried Swiss meringue buttercream? It’s very silky and there is no grittiness at all. I use it when I want something that’s delicate and very smooth.
      Let me know how you go. 😊


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