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Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream.jpg
Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream
TypeIcing or filling
Main ingredientsFats (usually butter; sometimes lard or margarine), powdered sugar

Buttercream is a type of icing or filling used either inside cakes, as a coating, or as decoration.


Simple buttercream[edit]

Simple buttercream is made by creaming together fats (butter, margarine, or vegetable oil shortening) and powdered sugar to the desired consistency and lightness.[1][2] Typically twice as much sugar as butter by weight is used. Flavorings, in the form of extracts and oils, may also be added. Some recipes call for cream,[1] non-fat milk solids, flour,[3] or meringue powder.

Meringue-based buttercream[edit]

A wedding cake prepared with Swiss meringue buttercream filling and other ingredients

There are three types of meringue-based buttercream: Italian, Swiss, and American.[4] The Italian and Swiss meringues must be cooled to room temperature in order not to melt the butter (which has a variable melting point below 35 °C (95 °F)[5] as it is subsequently beaten in. The American meringue buttercream is a no-cook method which means there is no risk of melting the butter.

Other varieties[edit]

French buttercream (also known as pâte à bombe-based buttercream or common buttercream) is made with whipped egg yolks.[6][7] Custard-based buttercream is prepared by beating together pastry cream and softened butter, and may be additionally sweetened with extra confectioners' sugar.[1][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The World of Buttercreams: 6 Varieties to Try at Home". Serious Eats. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  2. ^ "Classic American Buttercream Recipe". Serious Eats. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  3. ^ "Flour Buttercream Recipe". Serious Eats. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  4. ^ "The Buttercream Nemesis". FineCooking. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  5. ^ Cheung, Jessica (2003). Elert, Glenn (ed.). "Melting point of butter". The Physics Factbook. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  6. ^ "French Buttercream Frosting Recipe". Serious Eats. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  7. ^ "French Buttercream: What's the Difference?". Kitchn. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  8. ^ "German Buttercream Recipe". Serious Eats. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2018-04-18.