American Buttercream

Are you trying to find that perfect American buttercream recipe for your macarons (or any cookie or cake for that matter?)  You know, the one that’s silky and white and smooth and creamy. YES!  The American buttercream recipes our grandmothers — no great-grandmothers — used for years? Well, look no futher! We often get asked how we get such a luscious white filling, so let us let you in on all the tricks. Here are a few tips to making the perfect American buttercream.

 

First tip:  We use not-completely-at-room-temperature butter.  It should still be cool, but soft so a slight fingerprint can be made.  This is a trick we learned from the amazing Courtney Rich of Cake By Courtney.  When we were letting butter get all the way to room temp, the buttercream was too soft.  It would just ooze right out of the sides of our macaron like a kid trying to escape his weekly chores. Bottom line: it just wasn’t working.  So when we saw the trick of butter that is soft but still cool, it changed our whole buttercreaming world.

Second, just beat it. (Imagine me singing along with Michael Jackson). Yep! We whip our buttercream for at  least 5 minutes (AT LEAST).  That’s where the magic happens.  Where it goes from that pale yellow to the brilliant white.  That’s where the creamy smooth texture happens and when it all comes together, ready for whatever color or flavor you’ll add.

Last tip: Clear vanilla. I know it seems like such a small thing, but like my momma always said, “The small things can become big things!” By using clear vanilla instead of dark vanilla it helps get that brilliant white American buttercream.

So let’s dive into our famous buttercream recipe.

American Buttercream • Larger Amount Recipe
This makes double the amount of American Buttercream from our inserted recipe below.  We’re including this in case you have to make macs for a crowd and need a large amount at one time.

1 cup salted butter. Let rest on counter for 30 minutes.
475 grams powdered sugar
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
1/3 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream

  1. Place butter in bowl of mixer with paddle attachment.
  2. Mix on medium until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and salt, and mix for 30 seconds until combined.
  4. Mix in heavy whipping cream.
  5. Measure powdered sugar on scale and slowly add to mixer. PRO TIP: Start slowly after each cup addition to the bowl, otherwise pull out your mop. Its going to be a wild ride with the powdered sugar going everywhere.
  6. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add flavor or color to your preference. We usually make a huge batch of plain, then add flavor and color depending on the amount we need. Making one large batch saves us time in the long run.

Store any leftovers in airtight plastic container.

American Buttercream

This recipe makes enough for about 2 batches of shells.

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter Let sit on counter for 30 minutes.
  • 250 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

  • Place butter in bowl of mixer, and attach paddle flat beater. Mix on medium speed until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth.
  • Add vanilla and salt; mix for 30 seconds until combined.
  • Add in heavy whipping cream.
  • Measure powdered sugar on scale. Slowly add to the mixer, 1 cup at a time.
  • PRO TIP: Start the mixer speed back up slowly after adding the cup of powdered sugar, otherwise, pull out the mop.
  • Once ingredients are all mixed, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for five minutes.
  • Flavor or color the buttercream to your preference. We make a huge batch of plain, then add flavor and color depening on the amount of buttercream we need. Making one large batch saves time in the long run.
  • NOTE: American Buttercream will keep up to two weeks in the fridge, and one day at room temperature.

comments +

  1. Jessica says:

    I’m so excited to try this recipe!

  2. kathy says:

    Hi barb! I want to try your American buttercream. my question is how long is the shelf life if it’s room temp. and shelf life when you put it in the fridge? thanks!

    • Barb Charon says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for writing, and sorry about the delay. The American Buttercream will keep up to two weeks in the fridge, and about 12 hours at room temperature.
      Good luck with the making–
      Barb

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