•   DEC. 2, 2013   •   33679 VIEWS

Making American Buttercream

My buttercream recipe is world renown for its great taste, workability, and stability. Half the secret to getting perfectly smooth iced cakes is to start with an airless icing. This video will show you how to make my icing using a mixing technique that will ensure a perfectly smooth, airless batch every time.

Things to note: 

  • This is an American buttercream made with all shortening, but you can make this recipe with all or part butter (liquid amount will need to be adjusted.)
  • Using the exact recipe and ingredients is very important to the consistency and performance of the icing. (See recipe below.)
  • Meringue buttercreams (like Swiss Meringue) are another type of icing used in caking. Those are made with cooked egg whites, granulated sugar and all butter. They perform and taste differently. I use both kinds, depending upon the situation. Try them both!  
  • I've got videos on how to ice cakes with both American and Swiss meringue buttercream in the online school.
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  • 5 1/2 generous cups Sweetex shortening or other brand of hi-ratio shortening.
    • You may substitute some or all shortening with butter but it will make a softer icing and the liquid amount needed will be less.
    • Hi ratio shortening makes a much better icing overall. If you can't get hi ratio, then be sure the one you use does have at least 3 grams of trans fats per serving. Crisco doesn't work well in this recipe.
  • 5 pounds powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. Wedding Bouquet flavoring (or substitute your flavoring of choice in the appropriate amount)
  • 12 - 14 Tbsp. hot coffee creamer liquid which is made from mixing a 1:1 ratio of plain powdered coffee creamer with near boiling water. (* You may need to adjust the amount of liquid from batch to batch. Powdered sugar and shortening batches vary and can affect the amount needed.)


Cream the shortening, flavorings, and hot liquid with the paddle attachment until well combined and creamy. Then stream in the first 3 pounds of powdered sugar with mixer running at speed one. When incorporated somewhat, stop and scrape down sides of bowl well. Stream in last 2 pounds of powdered sugar at speed one. When incorporated, turn the mixer up to speed 6 and let it beat for 5 - 7 minutes, until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl very frequently while the mixer is going at speed 6.

The goal is t get all of the icing down into the belly of the bowl and fill the bowl from side to side with no air gaps around the walls, as well as covering the paddle up to the springs. If the icing is making a "kissing" noise after all the sugar is in, add just a few drops more of liquid, while scraping down the sides, with the mixer running, until that stops. You should create a bowl full of icing side to side, where the paddle is completely submerged and beating in a vacuum under the icing. Five to seven minutes at speed 6 and you should have a smooth as silk and nearly airless icing. Cover and cool before using.

I make this recipe to fill my 5 quart mixer. Adjust the recipe volume to fill your mixer properly.

Enjoy the video!






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