Basic Buttercream

Everyone should have a buttercream recipe up their sleeve -- and a little extra to lick from the mixing bowl.

  • Yield: Makes about 4 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2008


  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)


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