Today, we are talking about how to make these 14 delicious American buttercreams!
These buttercream recipes come in various flavors like lemon, champagne, chocolate, peanut butter, and even cream cheese!
Before we get started, let’s talk about buttercream.
What is Buttercream?
It’s a type of frosting made with lots of butter, typically sweet and generally thick and creamy. One of the most common buttercreams is the American buttercream, made with fat like butter, confectioner sugar (or powdered sugar), and heavy cream. The other types of buttercreams that require heat to cook a portion of the frosting are Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Italian Buttercream, French Buttercream, and Ermine (Cooked Flour) Buttercream.
These buttercreams tend to be more advanced, some less sweet but still very creamy and smooth perfect for topping off desserts!
Today we are focusing on the American buttercream style as it is effortless for beginners and requires no cooking.
So how do you make American buttercream?
To master this recipe, you’ll need butter as the base, confectioner sugar for sweetness and thickness, salt to balance the sweetness, extract flavoring like vanilla and heavy cream to make it smooth without watering down.
(Note: you can use migraine or vegetable shortening as well if you need a vegan recipe. Or use shortening if the cake is sitting out in hot and humid temperatures.)
Vanilla American Buttercream
- In a stand mixer bowl, add the unsalted room temperature butter. Mix on medium-high until the butter is light in color and fluffy. Stop the mixer every few minutes to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter is well blended. This step can take up to 5 minutes and is essential to whipping air into the butter, so your buttercream is the creamy smooth texture we want.
- Once the butter is light in color and fluffy, mix on medium and add the vanilla extract and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again before moving to the next step.
- Then gradually add half of the sifted powdered sugar to the butter mixture. Next, add 1 ½ Tablespoon of the heavy cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and especially the center of the bowl to make sure all the powdered sugar is getting incorporated.
- Finally, add the last half of the powdered sugar and mix on medium-high. Continue to mix and scrape down the sides of the bowl until you don’t see any more powdered sugar. If the buttercream is a little stiff, then incorporate an additional ½ tablespoon of heavy cream. Continue to mix until you have a creamy and smooth buttercream.
- The vanilla buttercream is ready to use. Fill a pastry (piping) bag with the buttercream for frosting cupcakes or a cake.
The following buttercream recipes start with the American buttercream you see above but with flavorful ingredients added to make buttercreams like lemon, champagne, and even chocolate. All these buttercreams are tried and true recipes ready for all the delicious cakes you’ll be making.
So let’s get started!
1. Lemon Buttercream – Lemon Buttermilk Cake
To make this, I’ll teach you how to make a lemon gel made of lemon juice, zest, and cornstarch gently cooked over medium heat. The gel creates an intense lemon flavor without curdling the buttercream or watering it down.
2. Champagne Buttercream – Rose Pink Champagne Cake
With this champagne buttercream recipe, you’ll start with the American buttercream but replace the heavy cream with champagne. It’s a simple yet delicious buttercream recipe that is perfect for sugar cookies, cupcakes, and of course, cakes. The bold champagne flavor is ideal for a citrus champagne cake or something fruity like a raspberry jam filling.
3. Cream Cheese Buttercream – Cinnamon Swirl Cake
Cream Cheese frosting is creamy and velvety smooth with the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. This cream cheese frosting is a tried and true frosting that is pretty straightforward, with only five ingredients required so anyone can make it. Since it’s so easy to spread and pipe, it’s an excellent frosting to use for cake decorating.
4. Tequila Lime Buttercream – Margarita Cake
The tequila lime buttercream is unique in creating a lime gel with a concentrated flavor of lime juice without diluting the buttercream. Fresh lime zest and juice is critical in the buttercream as it balances out the sweetness. Finally, the hint of coarse sea salt on top of the buttercream makes you feel like you are enjoying a real margarita!
5. Salted Caramel Buttercream – Caramel Apple Cake
In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make soft caramel used in the caramel buttercream and put it into a squeeze bottle to drip down the sides of the cake. The soft caramel is heating the granulated sugar to a deep amber color and mix with butter and heavy cream, and cooled to a thick delicious treat. It’s folded into the American buttercream to complete this sweet caramel buttercream.
6. Chocolate Buttercream – S’mores Cake
Chocolate buttercream is another most popular frosting that everyone loves. You can use milk or dark chocolate cocoa powder in this recipe. Chocolate buttercream can be used on cakes, cupcakes, brownies, or cookies. It has the perfect balance between sweet and chocolatey!
7. Peanut Butter Buttercream – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
I’ll show you how to make peanut butter buttercream from scratch that’s super easy to make. It’s made with butter, creamy peanut butter, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, and heavy cream. The key to this creamy buttercream is whipping the butter and peanut butter together.
8. Blackberry Buttercream – Blackberry Lime Cake
This blackberry buttercream is made with fresh blackberries mixed with lime zest and a cornstarch slurry to create a gel that blends beautifully into butter for a tasty and colorful buttercream.
9. Strawberry Buttercream – Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake
This strawberry buttercream is made with a strawberry gel that packs a punch of berry flavor. The strawberries are cooked down to a thick gelatin-like consistency, so it doesn’t change the texture of the buttercream. It allows the buttercream to stay thick!
10. Maple Buttercream – Maple Bacon Cake
The maple buttercream tastes just like pancakes and maple syrup. The salty bacon cuts through all the sweetness and tastes incredible with the sweet maple. It’s something your friends and family will always talk about.
11. Winter Orange Buttercream – Winter Citrus Cake
This winter orange buttercream is made with navel orange gel. The orange gel is made with navel orange juice, and a cornstarch slurry cooked together and cooled before it’s mixed with the butter. The winter orange buttercream works well with cake, cookies, and even scones.
12. Chocolate Stout Buttercream – Chocolate Guinness Cake
Guinness is a dark rich beer that lends itself to pair perfectly with chocolate. The sweetness of the chocolate compliments the bitter notes of the Guinness beer. Guinness is used in the cake and the frosting, so you know it’ll taste delicious!
13. Peppermint Buttercream – Peppermint Swirl Cake
When you click the link below, I’ll show you how to make this creamy peppermint buttercream. This buttercream is an American style buttercream made with butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, salt, and peppermint extract. The peppermint extract is potent, so a little can go a long way. Next, you’ll color half the buttercream with super red gel food coloring, so it’ll be a bright red color that is perfect for Christmas. And it goes perfectly with the crushed peppermint candies!
14. Nutella Buttercream – Nutella Hot Chocolate Cake
I’ll teach you how to make this simple Nutella buttercream by mixing the butter and Nutella, creating a creamy blend that is balanced with powdered sugar, salt, and heavy cream. This Nutella buttercream will satisfy any sweet tooth and will be loved by any chocolate lover.
You May Also Enjoy:
- Free Baking & Decorating Trainings
- Decorate Your First Cake (free ebook)
- Cake Decorating for Beginners (online course)
Decorating with American buttercream is perfect for beginners as it’s more forgiving, and you can start over as many times as you need it. Once you learn how to make American buttercream, then you’ll gain the confidence to make any buttercream you want!
Please feel free to email me here at email@example.com with any questions you may have; I’ll be happy to help!
P.S. Hey, if you liked this tutorial, you really should check out Cake Decorating for Beginners, my online cake program. I coach you on everything I teach on these cake tutorials so that you can uplevel your baking and decorating skills. We 10x it so you get the results you want most. Like any new skill, it’s important to learn from the ground up to build a foundation so that you can take on any cake challenge. It is an investment your future self will thank you for. Check it out at XOKatieRosario.com/online-cake-course. I will see you there!
Watch The How-to Video Below: