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Vanilla Buttercream

  • Yield: Makes 5 cups
Vanilla Buttercream

Photography: Tosca Radigonda

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Summer


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Food-coloring gel paste


  1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar and egg whites. Place bowl over pan of simmering water; whisk until whites are hot and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat, and transfer to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until cooled and fluffy, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.

  3. To tint, divide buttercream into small bowls, one for each color of flower petals (setting aside some untinted buttercream, if desired); color about 1/2 cup green for the leaves. Add a small amount of food coloring; stir well. Add a bit more color at a time until desired shade is reached.

Cook's Note

Use paste or gel food coloring to tint buttercream; they provide intense hues and don’t cause streaking or flaking (see the Guide). If not using immediately, store frosting, well covered, in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature; beat well.

Reviews (2)

  • Mmg79 28 Nov, 2011

    HI, I want to try this recipe for my daughter's birthday, is this safe for childrens to it and pregnant woman?, I mean, for the egg?.. I'm always concerned about that..

  • Lisar630 3 Nov, 2008

    If you're looking for a fluffy, light tasting buttercream, this is it. I absolutely LOVED this recipe. It has the consistency of whipped cream. I loved that it's not greasy. I used this for a baby shower cake and it was sooo yummy. I beated the sugar and eggs until it reached 160 degrees (about 15 mins). A little work but worth it!

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