Buttercream & Frosting, Gluten Free and/or Paleo

Basic Buttercream (Step-by-Step Tutorial with Pictures!)

September 26, 2011
E32C4D8988E051C6D65CEF14F14E9606
On most of my cake and cupcake recipes you will probably notice that I almost always use my basic buttercream as the frosting.  If I have extra time in the kitchen I will make Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Or sometimes I will make a Marshmallow Frosting, a specialty frosting like Peanut Butter, or even just a basic Ganache or Glaze.  However, no matter how many different types of frostings I use, my favorite is always the Basic Buttercream.   With Swiss Meringue Buttercream being a close second.  
 
The basic buttercream recipe I use has been adapted from a recipe I found on Annie Eats, which was originally from Cooks Illustrated.   It is easy and simple, and truly is the only recipe I have memorized.  For one batch of frosting the ingredients are:
1 ½ cups (3 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
 
I love this buttercream frosting for many, many reasons:
1)   It is quick and easy.
2)   It is creamy.
3)   It is light and airy.
4)   It isn’t overwhelmingly buttery or sugary.
5)   It has the perfect vanilla flavor.
6)   It works well with any type and flavor of cake or cupcakes.
7)   It’s not the kind of frosting you want to wipe off your cake or cupcake.
8)   It doesn’t overpower the flavor or your cake or cupcake.
9)   It tastes good!
Below you will find step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) to make this incredible frosting.  At the end you will find the recipe and directions in only word form.  I hope you make this frosting in your home and enjoy it as much as I do :)!
Before you begin to make the buttercream, gather all the ingredients:

1 ½ cups (3 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Place the butter in the bowl of the stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment.

Begin creaming the butter on medium speed.  You may need to the stop the mixer a couple times to scrape the bowl. 

Cream the butter for 5 minutes, until it becomes light and fluffy.

Add the confectioners sugar and salt.

Slowly begin mixing, gradually increasing to medium-high speed.

After 1 minute.

After 2 minutes.

After 4 minutes.

You will have to stop the mixer a couple times to scrap down the sides of the bowl.

After 5 minutes.

After 7 minutes.

After whisking for 7 minutes the mixture will be light, fluffy, and creamy.  Then, add the vanilla.

Begin whisking to incorporate all of the vanilla.

Continue whisking for a total of 3 minutes.

Once the buttercream is creamy and airy, it is done!

You’ve just made creamy, fluffy, and flavorful buttercream.

Basic Buttercream
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: About 5 cups, Enough to Frost 24 cupcakes and 1 2-layer 8-inch
1 ½ cups (3 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
Add the confectioners sugar and salt and mix (gradually increasing in speed) until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture is creamy and fluffy, about 7 minutes.  You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. 
Add the vanilla and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Once the buttercream is creamy and airy, the buttercream is done! 
If you would like to color the buttercream, add about 10 drops of the desired food coloring to the frosting.  Mix until the food coloring had colored all of the frosting and no white is showing. 
Use to frost your cake and cupcakes as desired. Enjoy :)!
Recipe adapted from Annie Eats, which was originally from Cooks Illustrated.  

You Might Also Like...

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
Blueberry Cupcakes
Flourless Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcakes

5 Comments

  • Reply Audra September 30, 2011 at 1:03 am

    What a great tutorial Krissy! It too me a while to get that one right :)

  • Reply Megan - Newly Wife February 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Looks fabulous. How long will it stay good in the fridge or freezer? Thanks!

  • Reply Krissy's Creations February 8, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I’ve used a buttercream that has been in the refrigerator for 6 months.  I truly feel that is never goes bad! :)

  • Reply Ichanese February 23, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Thanks for this recipe!!!Loved it and it came out great :) I’ve been trying to make Buttercream frosting for the awhile now and this is the first that I nailed it on!!!

  • Reply Rachel December 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Is it possible to make this with a hand mixer? I do not yet own a stand mixer. 

  • Leave a Reply