Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting

star rating (44) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo

Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting

star rating (44) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This rich, creamy frosting is lovely swirled atop a cake or cupcakes.

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (ONLY if you use unsalted butter)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) boiling water
1/4 cup (1 ounce) meringue powder
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
4 cups (16 ounces) sifted confectioners’ or glazing sugar
2 cups (4 sticks, 16 ounces) soft butter, vegetable shortening, or a combination of both*

*We love the flavor of butter, but if your cake will be sitting in a hot place, using some (or all) vegetable shortening will help keep the frosting from melting.

Dissolve the sugar (and salt, if you’re using it) in the boiling water, and cool to room temperature. Mix in the meringue powder. Use a mixer to beat on slow speed for several minutes, until the powder is dissolved and the mixture is foamy. Increase the speed and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in the vanilla, then the confectioners’ or glazing sugar. Add the soft butter a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition.
Yield: Enough frosting to fill and frost an 8" layer cake or 24 cupcakes.

Variations: For coconut frosting, add 4 to 5 drops coconut flavor and 1/4 cup (1 ounce) coconut milk powder along with the confectioners’ sugar. Or flavor to taste with almond extract; coffee flavor; 2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in the boiling water; butter-rum flavor, or 2 tablespoons fruit purée, added after the confectioners’ sugar. Be aware that adding fruit or espresso will change the color of the frosting.

Tip: For zesty lemon or lime frosting, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice fruit powder or lime juice fruit powder to the frosting along with the confectioners’ sugar.


1 2345  All  
  • star rating 06/29/2014
  • Janet from Louisville KY
  • Love this simple buttercream! Got rave reviews on my first time making it for birthday cupcakes. I'll be using it again for sure.
  • star rating 04/04/2014
  • Sally from St. Louis
  • Great recipe! Wonderful alternative to Italian buttercream. Only change I made was cutting butter to 3 sticks and powder sugar to 3 cups...made it wonderfully fluffy and smooth. I always fill my cupcakes with filling so this frosting is a great compliment. My 'go to' frosting for cupcakes!
  • 04/01/2014
  • Stacy from Oklahoma
  • I have not used this recipe as of yet... Could it be used as a crumb coat under Fondant?
    You are better off using either the Swiss Meringue Buttercream or the Italian Meringue Buttercream both found on our site! Enjoy! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 02/24/2014
  • pastry520 from KAF Community
  • This is a nice alternative if you do not want to deal with separating eggs for egg whites if you are making a Swiss buttercream. The flavor is nice and not overly sweet like American style buttercream. I do feel a little grit but I think that is because the powder sugar needs to bloom all the way. Nice recipe, Thanks KAF! One batch makes 5 cups
  • star rating 12/29/2013
  • Kathy from Albany New York
  • If you're looking for light fluffy not too sweet frosting, this is the one. I've made this several times and each time it came out perfect! The recipes says it makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes however there's enough to frost 45.
  • star rating 11/12/2013
  • Mary from Texas
  • This is a really nice icing combining qualities of both American, and Swiss Meringue buttercreams. It pipes nicely, but if I wanted to make it just a bit silkier in order to spread completely smooth, can you suggest a change or solution?
    Unfortunately it would be very hard to make this recipe as written "silkier". However, we do have recipes for both Italian and Swiss buttercreams. They will work much better for you in this regard. Jon@KAF
  • star rating 10/16/2013
  • Lisa from Gastonia NC
  • I absolutely loved this recipe frosting was creamy buttery whipped delight!! My definite go to for butter cream for now on!!! Great recipe.
  • star rating 06/09/2013
  • Janie Dee from Bella Vista, Ar
  • I just used this to decorate a Birthday cake for my granddaughter's 6th Birthday. I've never made it before. Being KAF I knew it would be excellent, and it was. I had no problems with it at all. I even used it to glue fondant flowers onto plastic towers. I had to drive over 30 miles on the freeway and didn't lose one! It was just perfect. Thanks again for not disappointing! PS Everyone Loved the taste and texture.
  • star rating 04/03/2013
  • from
  • 03/16/2013
  • Laura from NC
  • So I thoroughly dissolved the granulated sugar, but the texture wasn't smooth. It didnt have lumps, per se, but it seemed like it shouldve been more satiny smooth. Do you think I mayve done something wrong? I've never made true buttercream, although I've certainly eaten it and so expected the outcome of this recipe to be more smooth. What do you think I should've done better?
    The lack of smoothness would come from the confectioner's sugar--it always leaves that slightly "rough" texture. To get a satiny-smooth buttercream, you'll want to follow a recipe for either Swiss Buttercream OR Italian Buttercream: they rely on melted sugar (at very specific temperatures) whipped with egg whites for a meringue-based icing that is then beaten with soft butter for an exquisitely smooth frosting. I hope this helps! Kim@KAF

1 2345  All