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Basic Buttercream

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Easy to make, this sweet and delicious buttercream screams birthday cake.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 6 cups (enough to frost one 8-inch layer cake)

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2010

Ingredients

  • 6 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 9 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat butter and 3 cups sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to medium-low, and continue to beat, gradually adding remaining 6 cups sugar, 1 cup at a time. Raise speed to medium-high; add vanilla. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cg51515
    24 FEB, 2014
    Was incredibly sweet, my children didnt even want to eat the frosting. Sets up pretty hard in the fridge too. Will try with a salted butter and less sugar see if can make it more palatable.
    Reply
  • fishnlady
    15 OCT, 2013
    This recipe does appear to be far too sweet and also an excessive amount. I have a recipe that is similar and it won a first place in the Oregon State Fair one year. Not my recipe. 3 cups powdered sugar 1/2 Cup (1 cube) Butter 1 Teaspoon Vanilla 1 egg but you can use Egg Replacement equivalent of 1 egg Beat all till fluffy. Makes plenty to frost one cake If you want chocolate frosting then add 3 ounces of bakers chocolate melted. Add while mixer is moving slowly.
    Reply
  • salfaro2
    7 JUL, 2013
    I tried this recipe for a 9x13 cake and it actually frosted the whole cake. It's overwhelmly sweet and it does get hard when you refrigerate.. Must be taken out at least 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.. Used on a yellow cake recipe and almond custard filling and all together great taste if we could avoid so much of the sugar. Lesson learn.. next time I will use a more less sugary flavor.
    Reply
  • kalsjoy
    7 APR, 2013
    Can i leave this frosting outside? because i tried to refrigerate it in a bowl and it became hard , so i waited until its softened again to put it on a cake, thanks for your help i really appreciate it
    Reply
  • Delilah Weeks
    10 FEB, 2013
    I used 5 Cups of Confectioners Sugar instead of 9, and used 4 sticks of Butter instead of 6, and way more Vanilla, great recipe :)
    Reply
  • PROART
    24 DEC, 2011
    Good basic frosting, a big improvement over canned frosting for little effort. Cut the amounts in half because as written it makes enough for 2 cakes, not one. I mxed it with the chocolate frosting recipe in the same article and it was wonderful.
    Reply
  • Moonechild
    17 DEC, 2010
    When used for sugar cookies, this was the perfect frosting. Also, this is one of only two recipes Martha has done for buttercream that does not contain egg whites. Great for pregnant/nursing moms-and children. I've used this recipe on cakes, and often hear they are the best cakes the recipient ever tasted. I do know one thing, this is way better than the canned junk! Especially because there are no trans fats in butter(have you read those labels?Ew!) thanks Martha!
    Reply
  • MCCC
    15 NOV, 2010
    Waay to sweet. The cake was inedible once frosted. Even my kids didn't want to eat it. It mixed up nicely and frosted very smoothly, but even though I only used 1/2 of the recipe, the sweetness was overwhelming.
    Reply
  • hajohnson
    5 NOV, 2010
    I made this recipe to frost Martha's Marble Cake. I was able to frost a two-layer 9" cake AND a two-layer 6" cake and still had about a cup left over!
    Reply
  • crystaldawnmiller
    24 OCT, 2010
    I used this on Martha's recipe for white cake with lemon curd, and ti was an awesome cake for my daughter's first birthday. I received lots of compliments on it! Also, I used a butter/margarine/shortening combination instead of all butter.
    Reply