Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream

Makes 10 cups (8 cups chocolate and 2 cups vanilla)

This frosting goes with our Movie Star Cake.


  • 2 ¼ cups sugar

  • 9 large egg whites

  • 4 cups (8 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

  • Gel-paste food colors in pink and yellow


  1. In a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk together sugar and egg whites until sugar is dissolved and mixture is very warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat on medium speed until completely cooled and stiff peaks have formed, about 10 minutes.

  2. With mixer on medium speed, add butter a few tablespoons at a time until completely combined. Add vanilla. Beat on low speed until smooth, about 5 minutes.

  3. Measure out 2 cups vanilla buttercream; set aside. Add chocolate to remaining buttercream; mix on low until combined.

  4. Divide reserved vanilla buttercream into thirds; tint one yellow and one pink. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons chocolate buttercream to the third to make a light brown for piping a contrasting border. Use immediately.

Cook's Notes

Don't worry if the buttercream looks curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating.

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