Birthday cake icing recipe


By Olivia on June 12, 2020|449 Comments| This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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The best Vanilla Buttercream you will ever make! Four simple ingredients are all you need lớn make this classic American buttercream recipe.


I made my own birthday cake. I think this is pretty standard for bakers, và I’m totally ok with it. I was actually notgoing to lớn make a cake at all, since I was knee-deep in Pastry School at the time, but my husband insisted that we needed one, even if that meant buying one from the grocery store.

This is harder & harder for me to vày these days. Buying a grocery store birthday cake used to be a thing (I know they are gross to some, but I love the sickly sweetness – I’m sorry!). These days I know I can (and have) made better, so I can’t bring myself to lớn buy them.



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It helped that I still had a couple cake layers in the freezer from when I baked them for my Flat đứng top Cakes post.

The recipe I used was my Almost Scratch Cake. So with the cake layers already done, all I had to vị was defrost them, make the frosting, & decorate. I decided khổng lồ go for an American Buttercream for ease.

What is American Buttercream Frosting?

I’ve actually had a hard time nailing down a good, simple vanilla buttercream recipe – what some would điện thoại tư vấn American Buttercream – that uses mainly butter và powdered sugar.

I usually make Swiss meringue buttercream, which I love but takes a bit more effort, & I was most certainly looking for something with very little effort.

The BEST vanilla frosting I’d ever had was on my wedding cake, a cake we commissioned fromGannon’s,the restaurant we had our reception at. We didn’t bởi vì any tastings or see any samples, we just sent them a picture of what we wanted it lớn look like and chose our flavors.

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This cake was unbelievable, the buttercream so smooth và delicious. We had a ton of leftovers, which we happily took back lớn our condo and devoured over the next few days.

I’d mentioned multiple times to lớn Ryan that I wondered how they made it. I assumed it was a meringue-based one because it was so silky smooth, but it was less buttery than ones I’d made before. Powdered sugar-based buttercreams always feel so gritty… so it couldn’t be that.

Unbeknownst to lớn me, Ryan had emailed Gannon’s và asked them for the recipe. He should probably get some kind of award, right?! I would never vì this. I honestly did not think they would divulge their secrets, but they sent over a recipe!

How to lớn make American Buttercream

This American buttercream consists of four simple ingredients — butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, và cream. I’m convinced that there are a few key things you can bởi vì to make sure your buttercream is nice & smooth with as little grit as possible.

The first step is khổng lồ really whip the butter, on its own, before adding any powdered sugar.Sift your powdered sugar! This is a bit of a pain, but really helps lớn break out those clumpsAdd your powdered sugar slowly — 1/2 cup to lớn 1 cup at a time lớn the buttercream và whip well in between additions.Once all the sugar is added, give it a good whip for at least 3 mins, more if needed.Add only as much cream as needed lớn reach the consistency that you want and whip some more until completely smooth.

Now, I’m not convinced this is the exact same vanilla buttercream that was on our cake (it still felt a little gritty when I made it, notasgritty others before), but it was delicious. I am super happy with the over result và will definitely be making this buttercream again!

How lớn make a rosette cake

For the decorating, I wanted lớn try something new (to me) & a rosette cake. I’ve seen this done before and it looked amazing, so I wanted to lớn give it a try.

I had done rosettes before, but usually just as decoration on đứng top of the cakes or on cupcakes, not something that would cover the whole cake. I could have winged it, but I’m glad I checked out a couple of đoạn clip tutorials first. I wouldn’t have thought lớn offset each row of roses khổng lồ fill in the gaps.

I stacked and iced the cakes and did a crumb coat layer on the outside – thicker than just a crumb coat, but not too thick, as the rosettes would địa chỉ cửa hàng a lot of icing already.

For this rosette cake, I started at the bottom and worked my way around, then the next layer, then the top.


All in all, the rosette part was really easy và probably took less than 10mins. I’m surprised at how easy it was, really. It’s a simple way khổng lồ decorate your cakes và make them look stunning!

This particular vanilla buttercream is a bit less sweet than most you’ll find. I don’t lượt thích mine super-sweet, so I just added less powdered sugar. You can adjust this khổng lồ your liking though — just use more/less if you prefer, but be sure to lớn adjust the cream as needed!

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious vanilla buttercream recipe, this one is for you!

Tips for this Vanilla buttercream recipe:

This recipe makes enough lớn frost an 8″ two-layer cake or one three-layer 6″ cake.Addcream 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency, make sure it’s at room temperature.For the rosettes, it’s best to lớn practice a few on some parchment first. When ready, pipe the bottom row of rosettes, then offset them for the next row.