American Buttercream
Prep time
Total time
This old-time buttercream has been used through many generations, and is the perfect finish to almost any cake or cupcake recipe. The classic flavor is vanilla; however, you can substitute other flavors such as almond or mint in place of the vanilla for a delicious variation.

Many recipes for American Buttercream are so overly sweet they are unpleasant to eat. But this American Buttercream recipe has the perfect balance of butter and sugar, making it not too sweet. A pinch of salt plus a splash of whipping cream and vanilla is all it takes to finish making this luscious and creamy frosting.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cake Frosting
Serves: About 3 cups
Buttercream: (makes about 3 cups frosting)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3½ cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, sifted before measuring
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, place the butter and beat on medium to medium-high speed 3 to 4 minutes until it is smooth, creamy, and light in color.
  2. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and salt, beat until smooth. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the remaining powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time; beating after each addition until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Then continue beating for another 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high to high speed to make the frosting ultra-light and fluffy.
  3. Use an offset spatula, or use a pastry bag and decorating tip to pipe the frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
  4. Cover unused frosting tightly or place in an airtight container. Frosting can be stored in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Re-whip frosting when ready to use to bring it back to a fluffy texture, adding a small amount of milk or cream if necessary.
Republished 11-29-18 to update ingredients and instructions. Republished 9-9-2018 to update recipe name. Old name: Sweet Cream Frosting. New name: American Buttercream.
Recipe Notes
Equipment: Electric Mixer Yield: 3 Cups Storage: Refrigerate or Freeze

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