Hello bakers! Today I am showing you one of the easiest recipes for American buttercream out there.
American buttercream (also known as AMBC) is the classic buttercream for frosting cakes and other baked goods. If you go buy a cupcake somewhere, it will usually be frosted with American buttercream.
It’s very easy and quick to make. That’s why I totally recommend it for beginner projects, or if you just don’t have the time to make Swiss Meringue buttercream.
The advantages of American buttercream
- You only need two basic ingredients: Butter and powdered sugar
- You can make it in 15 minutes
- It’s a crusting buttercream that hardens after a while
- It’s got a good shelf life: It can stay outside of the fridge for up to 3 days
- It tasted good even when chilled
The drawbacks of American buttercream:
- It’s extremely sweet, and therefore not to everybody’s taste
- The consistency and mouthfeel can be a bit sandy. Here in Switzerland, the available powdered sugar is not very fine.
When making American buttercream, you can play with the ratios of butter and sugar. Here’s a list of ratios and their uses for youi:
Butter and icing sugar, 1:1 ratio
- Filling cakes
- Crumb coating cakes
Butter and icing sugar, 1:2 ratio
- Frost cupcakes
Butter and icing sugar, 1:2.5 ratio
- Mask a cake for fondant
- Piping buttercream flowers
American buttercream recipe
- 225 g (2 sticks) of butter
- 225 g – 560 g (1.8 – 4.5 cups) of icing sugar (depending on the use, see above)
- Vanilla: 1 vanilla bean, 1 tsp vanilla extract or a packet of vanilla sugar
- Optional: gel food colorings
- Optional: 1-2 tbsp milk
- Take the butter out of the fridge early enough. When using, it should be soft, but still cool to the touch. Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat it on medium speed, until the color has lightened (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add icing sugar, one cup at a time. Beat for 1 minute between each addition.
- Color the buttercream as you like, and beat in the vanilla.
- If the consistency is too stiff, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- If the consistency is too soft, it might be because the butter is too warm. Chill your buttercream for a 10 minutes in the fridge. If it’s still soft, add more icing sugar to stiffen your buttercream.
The American buttercream in the pictures was colored with “Red Extra” by Sugarflair: