American Buttercream Recipe

American Buttercream Recipe

Chocolate Ganache Recipe Reading American Buttercream Recipe 2 minutes Next Homemade Fondant Recipe

American Buttercream is a go-to favorite for many cake artists. This buttercream absorbs both gel and oil-based colors well and has a stable consistency making it easy to work with to ice cakes and pipe for intricate decorations.

Yields about 6.5 cups


  • 1.5 cups  Vegetable shortening at room temperature (use Crisco, or use  Sweetex high-ratio shortening for professional results)
  • 1 cup        Unsalted butter at room temperature (salted butter is ok too) 
  • 1/4 tsp      Almond emulsion (or 1/2 tsp of almond extract)
  • 1/2 tbsp    Vanilla
  • 2.5 lbs      Sifted powdered sugar - or about 9 cups (to avoid sifting, use powdered sugar sold in plastic bags)
  • 4.5 tbsp    Milk (or half and half, or water) 
  • 1 tsp         Salt (do not include if using salted butter)


  1. Use a mixer with your paddle attachment to cream shortening, butter, almond, and vanilla until fully incorporated and smooth. Start at the low setting and move to medium setting over time (about 5-7 minutes)
  2. Reduce speed to low and slowly add one cup of powdered sugar at a time to the shortening mixture. Allow the sugar to incorporate and increase the mixer speed as the sugar absorbs.
  3. Continue to add sugar until the buttercream appears a bit too dry. At this point, add one tablespoon of milk.
  4. Alternate between adding sugar and the rest of the milk until all has been added.
  5. Add the salt and continue to mix until the buttercream is well combined.
    Place your buttercream in a sealed container and store in the freezer (up to 6 months) or refrigerator (up to 1 month).

To use:

  1. Bring the icing to room temperature prior to use.
  2. Stir the buttercream well to remove an air bubbles. Add some water or milk to increase smoothness.
  3. Use your spatula and finish with a scrapper to ice your cake.

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