Buttercream Frosting - Semi Classic

Total Time
Prep 45 mins
Cook 15 mins


  1. Cut butter into 16 chunks and set aside to soften.
  2. It's imperative that the butter be at a cool room temperature (65 degrees) A couple of degrees warmer or cooler is OK, but no more.
  3. This will take about 2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  4. Place about an inch of water in the bottom of a medium sauce pan and bring to a shimmer (just below the boiling point) over a low heat on the stove.
  5. In a large, heat proof, bowl whisk sugar, salt, eggs and yolks till well combined.
  6. I like to use the stainless steel bowl of my standing mixer for this as it saves me from cleaning a bowl.
  7. Place bowl over shimmering water.
  8. (Allow about an inch of clearance between bowl and water).
  9. Continue to whisk mixture gently, but continuously, until the mixture reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer and the eggs are foamy and starting to thicken.
  10. Don't be too vigorous with your whisking at this stage or all the incorporated air will slow the heating process down.
  11. Place mixture in your mixer and whip (with the whip attachment) on high speed until cooled to room temperature and is foamy and well aerated.
  12. A hand mixer can be used, but it will take some time.
  13. For chocolate frosting fold up to 9 oz of melted and cooled semi-sweet, bitter-sweet, milk or white chocolate into the egg/sugar mixture after step 5:lighten chocolate with about 1/4 of the egg mixture, add chocolate/egg mixture into egg mixture and whip for an additional 2 minutes on high before proceeding to step 6.
  14. Slow mixer to medium speed, add vanilla and butter one chunk at a time allowing each chunk to incorporate as you go (this step takes about 5 minutes).
  15. Return mixer to high speed and whip for another 60 seconds or until desired texture is reached.
  16. Should be very light and fluffy at this point.
  17. Frosting can be used immediately.
  18. Store on counter for up to one day, refrigerate for a week, freeze for 2 months.
  19. Re-whip frosting to rejuvenate its texture.


Most Helpful

Again, Steve's very clear instructions eased me through what I thought was going to be a very complicated process. It was a snap. A lengthy snap, but, easy none-the-less. This was my first butter cream frosting, and the night I made it, I wasn't a fan. I think I was just tired of smelling the butter (I doubled the recipe for a large layer cake - Almond Butter Cake #26089, also doubled) by the time it was done. In the morning when I frosted the cake, it tasted devine! And if it's at the right temp, it frosts like a dream - very smooth. I had a TON left over, but I think I would have run short if I hadn't doubled it. YUM!

Lisa Pizza August 15, 2002

I have been wanting to make a cooked buttercream for a long time. I have to bring dessert to a gathering tomm so I decided to try this out- super easy. I am an experienced baker but was always intimidated at the thought of doing one like this for some reason. I will use this type from now on ! I am chilling it and frosting the cupcakes tomm. The flavor is great -it is very buttery and smooth. I will try the choc. next. Directions were clear and easy to follow. I did not think it was any more time comsuming than regular icing- it came together quick. Thanks for posting !

staceyelee December 31, 2009

Very time consuming! I'm a veteran in the kitchen and have never had as much trouble with frosting as I did with this one! First, the eggs started to cook in the double boiler. Be sure to add your ingredients and then put over heat - ONLY when you're ready to give it your undivided attention!! Second, make sure you remove the wrapping from the butter BEFORE you cut it in to 16 pieces. Yeah, I know..sounds silly but I spent a great deal of time peeling wrapper off of 16 pieces of butter while trying to hold the hand mixer and beat each piece individually. All said and done this is REALLY delicious frosting. Next time I would better prepare myself before attempting this again!!

PollyJo February 06, 2006

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