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

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


Simple buttercreamEdit

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 buttercreamEdit

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 varietiesEdit

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 alsoEdit


  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. ^ a b 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.