Simple Silky Buttercream

There are times when making cooked buttercream is just not a possibility within my ever-busy schedule and there are times when I just do not feel like it. On those days I make this quick and easy Simple Silky Buttercream that is very similar to Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) and refined enough for even the greatest of cake snobs.

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Five simple pantry ingredients go into this buttercream.

  • Butter: provides flavor, stability and a creamy texture.
  • Marshmallow crème: this acts a pseudo meringue adding fluff and sweetness without grit. Marshmallow crème has a simple ingredient list of corn syrup, sugar, egg whites, vanillin, xanthan gum (in some), an acid and salt and is a great staple to have in your pantry. A small jar is enough to enhance the taste and texture without compromising stability.
  • Syrup: most often I use corn syrup to add sweetness to the buttercream since it is ready-made in the pantry but it has limited sweetness and requires the addition of another sweetener. If I am willing to take the time to make it, a sugar (sucrose) syrup sweetens beautifully and negates the need for confectioners sugar. I list both options in the recipe.
  • Confectioners/powdered sugar: as I mentioned above if I am using corn syrup the buttercream needs a little added sweetness. I add a small amount which almost completely dissolves into the buttercream but for ultimate creaminess use the sugar syrup. When I am making buttercream for children or for cupcakes I add up to 3 cups of confectioners sugar to really elevate the sweetness for those with a mega sugar tooth.
  • Vanilla: I love the flowery aroma of vanilla and add two full tablespoons of it to this buttercream as in my SMBC to really give it a full and notable flavor. A-cupcake1web

Throw all of the ingredients in the mixer, blend away for a couple of minutes and you have a great buttercream that pipes beautifully and also fills and frosts a layer cake with enough stability to hold up under fondant when it is chilled. 

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If you are not quite ready to embark on the undertaking of making a meringue buttercream or if you are just so busy you cannot take the time to make SMBC, add this recipe to your collection. It is sure to please.

Happy Baking!

Simple Silky Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16 ounces or 454 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small jar (7 ounces or 198 grams) marshmallow crème
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) corn syrup or sugar syrup (see end of instructions for recipe)
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar (2 ounces or 57 grams) or to taste up to 3 cups (not necessary if using sugar syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer and blend on low for a few seconds to coat the bowl and beater. Add the marshmallow cream, corn syrup or sugar syrup, confectioner’s sugar if using and vanilla; beat on medium high for 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Use immediately or store at room temperature for 2 days, in the refrigerator, tightly sealed, for 2 weeks or in the freezer for 2 months.
  3. For sugar syrup: Combine 1/3 cup water with 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar. Heat on high in microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir adding 2-3 drops of lemon juice to prevent crystallization. If all of the sugar crystals are not dissolved return to the microwave and heat until no more sugar crystals remain, up to one minute more. Cool completely. To quick cool place in an 8-inch cake pan and cool in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
https://www.cakepaperparty.com/2014/04/simple-silky-buttercream-recipe/
 

108 thoughts on “Simple Silky Buttercream”

      1. Well, you need some kind of sweetener. I think I am not quite sure what you are asking. Could you please explain a bit more what you are going for?

  1. I’ll be the first to ask then…is there any substitute for marshmallow creme for those outside the US? Thanks for a great blog.

    1. Thanks! I think the search for marshmallow crème depends on where you are. I checked last night and found a brand that was available in Australia since I know that many readers/cake makers reside there. I also found that Marshmallow Fluff brand will ship anywhere but I don’t know if cost wise it would be prohibitive. Amazon also has marshmallow crème resources if that is an option. If anyone knows of other brands or resources please let us know!

      1. Looking at her name, she might be from The Netherlands (like me). Here you can buy Marshmallow Fluff at most Jumbo supermarkets. Hope this helps Tessa!

      2. Thanks, found it online with a quick search…whoops. Need to look in the spreads section of the supermarket apparently!

      1. Make the SMBC. The ease of this one is the marshmallow crème and I feel that without it the recipe is not viable. I usually don’t care for packaged products but the fact that this one is preservative and color free (as long as you don’t use Kraft) eases my mind. It just contains ingredients that I would use anyway. But if you are not comfortable or feel that your customers/eaters would not be ok with it then another recipe might be a better choice.

    2. Tessa, I live in Brisbane and can get Marshmallow fluff from Woolworths. It’s normally on the lowest shelves with peanut butter, honey and jams etc.

  2. Wow, thank you! I am making a friend’s 15th anniversary cake next week, I will try this recipe. Seems simple enouigh to do, and I do not like ‘grainy’ frosting, so sounds lovely, and not too sweet. Thank you much!

  3. This looks and sounds lovely! But I can’t buy Marshmallow crème or fluff in Singapore. Is there something I can substitute? Or can I leave out the marshmallow crème completely?

    1. For this recipe the marshmallow crème is rather critical. You could make a marshmallow crème but at that point it would cease to be “simple”. I will try to find an alternative that is not too time consuming to modify. Otherwise try the Foolproof SMBC. 🙂

  4. Just made this and had to compliment you on a wonderfully easy and delicious recipe. I made sugar syrup, as imported corn syrup is pretty expensive here in Scotland, and Lakeland (a UK brand) strawberry flavouring rather than vanilla. Totally scrumptious, so light and creamy, but looks like it will hold piping well. I’ve also made the white cake, which smells delicious!

  5. I was hoping you could tell me how well this will stand up to heat. I have a cake that will be outside in AZ in May and they want the less sweet buttercream. This seems perfect, but I wonder how it will hold up in. It’s not until the 17th, so I don’t have an accurate forecast, but we have been running high 80’s. If I refrigerate before delivery and they have it in shade, will it be okay?

    1. I think that it would work well in the 80s. I made it this week in our Oregon heat wave (80 F Lol!) and it stayed quite firm. If it got up to the upper 90’s it would be questionable 🙂

    1. Yummy! I love that it is so easy and fast. Great when there is no time for a cooked buttercream 🙂 Have you tried it with marshmallows? It requires melting but is delicious too!

  6. Marshmallows? Same weight as the creme? Just melt in the microwave? This would be a less expensive alternative for me.

    1. The recipe for the Silky Marshmallow Buttercream is with the White Velvet Cake. Use the largest marshmallows you can find to avoid as much starch as possible. It is actually a bit smoother than the Simple Silky because you can melt in some granulated sugar with the corn syrup and marshmallows and avoid the powdered sugar all together. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  7. Would it be horrible if I use 1 cup of salted butter and 1 cup of unsalted? It’s what I have on hand. And if so, do I need to vary any other ingredients to compensate? Can’t wait to try!

    1. If that is what you have on hand I would go for it. If it seems salty add a bit more powdered sugar or a little lemon juice to balance things out 🙂

  8. How should I store it and for how long? Once prepared and on a cake, can it sit at room temp for a day or two? Thanks!

    1. Hi Maria, If you want a deep chocolate flavor I add cocoa powder with the butter as in the French Buttercream but after you beat the butter and cocoa continue on with the rest of the recipe. If you want a more mild chocolate flavor you can add melted cooled chocolate at the end too. Another fun variation is to grate chocolate and stir it in at the end. It will be more of a chocolate fleck buttercream. You could do a combo of cocoa and chocolate too. Good luck!

  9. This is the perfect recipe for a beginner just like me… So easy and delicious! My husband is not into sweets, and he loved it! I paired it up with your vanilla cupcakes, and it was a hit! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes that make this very insecure baker wanting to keep trying new things!

    1. No, I tend to load my buttercreams up with so much butter that they don’t. You can cut the butter by half and increase the powdered sugar if you want it to crust. 🙂

      1. Could you substitute hi-ratio shortening for half butter for a crusting buttercream? I live in hot summer weather and usually cover American crusting butter creamed cakes in fondant.

        1. You could use a portion of high ratio shortening but I would suggest not more than 1/4 because of the high proportion of fat. This will not crust regardless because of the composition in regard to sugar and liquid.

  10. I have had this on the to try list for ages – had even bought the marshmallow fluff and left it staring at me from the pantry – finally did and it was wonderful. I’m never fussing with hot egg whites again! It was also so much more stable – no more of the greasiness or splitting I have previously battled with when regular buttercream is slightly overworked. Thank you!!

  11. Hi there! I made this for a previous cake and everyone looooved it!! So thank you 🙂
    Now I’m wanting to make it a second time but was wanting to cover in fondant. You said it would hold up under fondant chilled, but what happens after the fondant is applied? I’ve only ever left the finished project out over night before taking them to be eaten! Will it all fall apart over night if left out or do you think it would hold the fondant in place? Thanks so much!!

    1. Once the fondant has set and firmed a bit it should be fine as long as it is not manipulated. I just meant that it needed to be chilled when the fondant was applied as you do with SMBC. It is actually quite similar to SMBC in properties because of the butter content. I think you would only have problems if you went into extremely hot weather an you would have the same issues with any type of buttercream. Good luck 🙂

  12. Hi Summer! First let me tell you I’ve made this buttercream a few times now and everyone loves it!!! I’ve made an Oreo cookie version of it and even the adults at the party were asking for more! Thanks for such a great and quick recipe!
    This weekend I’m making 7 cakes for a joint birthday party and I’ll be using this buttercream as a filling and then covering the cakes with ganache. I live in Seattle and the forecast for this weekend predicts highs in the mid to upper 80’s. The party will be at a park so the cakes will be outside (they will be under shade though) and I was wondering if you have any idea as to for how long it is safe to have the cakes out in the open with that temperature.
    Thanks for all the work and effort you put into your blog and for the willingness to share your knowledge with others!

    1. The heat should not bother the safety of the buttercream. The sugar will protect it from growing anything and if it is in a filling there should not be any trouble with it breaking down at 80ish degrees. Best of luck with all of your baking prep!

      1. Hi Summer, thanks for your prompt response! The party was a success and the cakes looked quite cute. The weather got hotter and hotter and towards the end of the party (when the candles were to be blown) I noticed two of the cakes had developed huge ‘pimples’. The ganache was super soft and the buttercream filling was soft too so everything was trying to break free from the cake. Luckily nothing exploded and almost no one noticed the ‘disasters’ (as one of my friends told me as I pointed the ‘pimples’ to her: “That’s something only the cake engineer can notice” hehehe). I’m afraid the temperature may have gotten around 90 so now I know for next time 😉 I wish I could post a pic of the pimple though 😉
        Thanks again for all your help!

        1. Yes, heat is just not the friend of cake. I have found that if you spiral a bit of something that will hold up, like a firm ganache, onto the cake and then place the filling medium within the spiral the filling is less likely to want to break free and works better than just a dam. I hope that makes sense and can help in the future. Glad there were no breaches! 🙂

          1. I usually have a dam of ganache and even that started to give way because it was so hot that the ganache started softening too. I will try the spiral next time though. Thanks for the hint!

  13. I am loosing my mind trying to decide what buttercream to use…they all look soooo good 🙂
    I am making my son’s wedding cake (5 tiers, chocolate, ganache and fondant), I am now looking for the perfect buttercream for the filling, I was thinking vanilla bc and strawberry bc. It needs to be stable and sturdy. Can withstand to be at room temp for 3-4 days . The wedding will (thank god) not be held outdoor. Can you give me your input as to what buttercream will best meet those criteria. What would be your choice of buttercream filling…Thank you so much.
    Soo many decisions for this one cake !!

    1. I would use the Easy Foolproof SMBC. It is very stable and can be flavored in any way that you choose. Vanilla and Strawberry would be delicious. This buttercream will hold up very well at room temperature for hours on end. Let me know if I can help in any other way. Best of luck! 🙂

      1. Wow, thank you for answering my question so fast. I was pretty sure you would say SMBC , when it comes to wedding cake I guess sticking with the classic is always a sure and safe bet. Now if I can ask you one more question….as far as the flavoring goes, vanilla is an easy one, I could kick it up a notch by using vanilla seeds in my sugar (as well as the vanilla extract). But for the strawberry what should I use…..commercial jam or fresh strawberry reduction like a paste, I’ve heard of freeze dried strawberry powder, but that is really hard to find, and then there are all the artificial ways of adding strawberry flavor. What is your prefered way and in what proportion can I add it to one recipe of SMBC without altering the stability of it. Thank you for your time, it is really appreciated !!

        1. My first choice would be to use the Strawberry Flavor Paste from Pastry Portal. It is highly concentrated with a fresh strawberry color and flavor. The only issue is that you have to buy a significant quantity and it is not super inexpensive. If that is not a possibility I would go with a fresh reduction and add a bit of an extract to kick up the strawberry flavor. I like the Silver Cloud Estates Natural Strawberry Extract. I hope this helps!

    1. I have not tried it but this icing is a bit less sweet than most traditional American Buttercreams, more like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream. 🙂

  14. Can you use all powdered sugar and no corn syrup? If so, how much would you use? I had never thought to add marshmallow creme to buttercream and I am very excited to try it!

    1. Yes, by all means you can use all powdered sugar. I would start with 4 ounces (1 cup) and add more as needed to taste. Good luck!

  15. Will the Simple Silky buttercream hold up well on cupcakes displayed at room temperature? And for how long will it stay sturdy?

    1. Hi Tyler, This will hold up well on cupcakes. It is similar to SMBC in texture. It would be fine at room temp for a couple of days. 🙂

  16. Hi summer! I have a question if I want to use this under fondant, will it hold its shape under room temperature??? I will be making a square fondant cake and if so which quantity of powdered sugar do u recommend to be good enough for fondant

    1. Hi Desmond, Yes, it has a similar consistency to SMBC and will hold up under fondant. I find the less powdered sugar that is in it the firmer it is. The powdered sugar tends to melt out with any moisture present. So, I would stick to the lower end and add to your taste preference. 🙂

  17. Hey Summer – great site – so far I have tried your vanilla cake and your this one your Simple Silky Buttercream (very easy I might add) thank God I could find the marshmallow créme in my local grocery store.
    So – my BC came out not looking like ur nice lovely picture on top — it was not as fluffy – kinda “runny” but still strong enough to hold up the spatula. I read where you said adding too much Confectioners Sugar might cause this (I think I did) before reading all the comments – anyway to ratify this?
    Also are you using the paddle attachment when mixing this or the whisk attachment?

    1. You can always add more butter which should help. You can also slightly chill the buttercream then whip it on high speed. I use the paddle attachment. Make sure your butter is not excessively warm/soft and beat it at a nice high speed to really work air into it. This also could be a function of the consistency of your marshmallow crème. If you feel like that is the case, I would just cut down the amount that you use next time. Good luck with fixing this!

      1. awesomeness!! i am about to do another batch now – I will follow your instructions, keep you posted on my results.
        Thanks again for responding!

  18. Hi, love your site and the recipes! I was wondering what brand of marshmallow creme would hold up best? I started to think of Kraft’s Jet Puffed but it seems kind of runny I don’t know if it thickens when mixed and I want to make sure the buttercream holds well because I want to pipe some rosettes. I then thought of making my own marshmallow creme, but my sister is pregnant and I’m nervous to use raw eggs.

    1. Thank you Amelie! I use a store brand generally but Kraft should work well. Check the dates on your packages because they seem to thin with age and in prolonged heat. Chill the buttercream slightly and beat on high a couple of minutes if it seems thin. Good luck!

  19. Wow! This recipe is amazing! I have been on a search for a good icing that is not gritty or overly sweet and this is it! I was really skeptical but it is now my go to for cupcake icing!! Thanks so much for sharing. Quick question. Can I leave this at room temperature? If so, for how long? I noticed after I put it in the fridge due to the butter it gets really stiff. I didn’t use any corn syrup just salted butter, vanilla, marshmallow cream and 2 cups powdered sugar.

  20. Hi there! I made this over the weekend and it was too runny and it did not firm up at all. It is even too runny for a filling. How can I salvage it? I put it in freezer in hopes I can salvage it because it tastes so good! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Diana, I am working to respond to questions I missed when they were submitted. I hope you have had later success with this recipe. I could only imagine the thin texture had to do with the marshmallow creme and it’s composition. I have never had mine go thin. But you could always try chilling slightly, adding more butter and/or beating vigorously. If all else fails you can add powdered sugar but it might get too sweet before it gets thick enough. Best wishes!

  21. I’ve been making cakes for over 5 years now and this ‘SMBC’ is EXCELLENT!!! I typically use an American buttercream, but have slowly been transitioning to SMBC, but sometimes the process of making SMBC is off-putting due to how time consuming it can be. Well, this recipe is a miracle and my go-go SMBC from now on. Thanks soooo much for posting this and your other recipes as well!!!

  22. summer,
    I decreased the butter amount and kept everything the same. it came out really thick and stickey. is there anyway i can savage this or should i just through it out? please help. if i add the butter i omitted will that help? also, is the corn syrup necessary?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Tyler, I would add the extra butter and whip at high speed. It sounds like you need the butter and the air to get it into proper shape. Sorry for the slow reply to your emergency situation!

  23. Hello Summer,

    Can I make this as a white chocolate buttercream? If so, how much white chocolate can I add without compromising its texture and structure? Also, would adding less butter make it softer? Thanks, as always, for your time!

  24. Can it be frozen? I need to spread out my baking. I don’t like whipping up SMBC for 10 minutes after defrosting. I’m guessing this might be the same thing because of the marshmallows

    Maybe instead of making the icing first and freezing it, I should make and freeze the cakes. Then make the using. I can leave ithis icing out for a few days and the ice?

  25. My usual buttercream frosting does not have marshmallow cream in it but I have the freedom of being able to add any number of flavours to it without losing stability. I love the idea of the marshmallow flavour though. How well would this hold up if I added 5-6 tablespoons of strawberry puree for example?

    1. Forgive my late reply as I try to backtrack to comments I missed along the way. Yes, strawberry puree would work well here. I would start with 4 tablespoons and add more checking on your texture as you go.

    1. Hi Audrey, I am working at answering back questions and I wanted touch on your question. I think this may be a brand issue as I have not had any thinning, but slight chilling, adding butter and vigorous beating should help in the future if it occurs again. My best to you!

  26. Hi summer, I wanted to ask u if I wanna turn this buttercream into chocolate what should I add cocoa powder or melted chocolate and how much should I add

    1. Hi Tala, Both this recipe and the Easy SMBC can be made into a chocolate variation. I like to add cocoa powder because it gives a much stronger, richer flavor than you can get from chocolate alone. Plus it has less effect on stability. I would add 1 cup of cocoa to the butter in the beginning. You can look at the French Buttercream recipe to see an example of this method. I hope that helps!

  27. Is this recipe can be used for 2 tier cake? Will it be stable enough? Need a stable buttercream but not really keen to use the regular american buttercream.

  28. I am very excited to try this recipe out Summer! I’m really hoping that this is the solution to my issue–my kids and I are anaphylactic to eggs, but I LOVE working with SMBC because it’s such a flawless finish after I smooth it out.
    Just a quick question–I have made Sharon from SugarEd Productions buttercream before and in the video she states that you don’t want any air to get into the buttercream when mixing it so it should be filled above the paddle attachment…I just read in some of the comments on here to incorporate air to make it more sturdy. I’m just wondering if you’ve ever had any problems getting air into the buttercream and then it not being silky.

    Thanks!

    1. The silky in this recipe refers mostly to the mouthfeel, but the makeup of this recipe doesn’t require the stringent air incorporation of an SMBC. Therefore, this recipe maintains a smooth texture with or without major air incorporation. Watch out on marshmallow creme, most contain eggs in the ingredient list.

      1. Thank you for the reply! I tested out some of the marshmallow cream tonight and so far no reaction. I made the buttercream tonight and it is absolutely beautiful, thank you again for the recipe!!

  29. Hi Summer,

    Just wondering, can i use homemade marshallows cream coz i couldnt find one in my country Malaysia?

    Found a recipe in Thekitchn.com

    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup light corn syrup
    4 liquid ounces egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Pinch salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    Do you think it would work?

  30. Hello Summer, this has become my go to BC recipe when I don’t have time to make the SMBC, or the palate of the crowd (read children) won’t appreciate the sophistication of the SMBC hehe
    When I make this BC I notice that when I cut the cake the BC is hard (most of the times it comes off the cake layer as a strip of BC) and I was wondering if there’s anything I can do/change to make it stay fluffier. I always ganache my cakes before covering with fondant so I don’t know if making it fluffier will compromise the structure of the cake. Since I don’t like fillings very sweet I tend no to add too much confectioner’s sugar so I don’t know what else to change.
    Thanks for your time!

    Regards,
    Maria

    1. Hi Maria! You can add almost any liquid to the buttercream to soften/lighten it. The butter quantity will emulsify the liquid and make it fluffy, especially if you don’t add a lot of confectioners sugar. For a neutral, tasty option you can add heavy cream and it will help the emulsion as well. If you have more air in your buttercream it won’t harden quite as well when chilled but the difference is minor so you will still be ok for fondant covering. Best of luck!

      1. Thanks Summer! For some reason I didn’t receive an email alerting me of your reply so sorry for the late thank you! 😉

        I have one more question: I want to make this a strawberry BC and made a strawberry reduction (puree the strawberries, passed them through a sift to remove seeds and cooked them at low heat until I had about 1/4 of the liquid) and I’m afraid of adding it to the buttercream for fear of it getting too runny. Should I be worried? How much of the reduction should I add to make sure this does not happen? I would prefer not to have to add extra sugar to compensate for the liquid since we don’t like our BC too sweet. Thanks so much for your time and sorry for bothering you so much!

        1. Hello again! I would start with 1/4 cup but I believe you should be able to easily add 1/2 cup. Butter has some pretty incredible emulsifying capabilities. Just add it a tablespoon at a time so it can properly emulsify and prevent the mix from “breaking”. Since this recipe is high in butter it shouldn’t get runny but may soften a little. Check on the consistency after every coupe of tablespoons of reduction to ensure it is to your liking. Best wishes!

          1. Just wanted to let you know I added 5 tbsp. of the strawberry puree and it was delicious. My heart stopped every time I added the puree for it would all look broken and yucky but was in awe when, after a few seconds, the BC returned to its silky, fluffy self. I’m still in awe that after adding liquid it still remains silky and stable. Gotta love chemistry. Once again thanks a ton for your help!

  31. Hey Summer. I love the simplicity of thus buttercream. Have you ever substituted a small portion of butter with cream cheese? I would like the smoothness if this recipe with a mild cream cheese flavor.

    1. Hi Paula,
      You can surely add some cream cheese. Proportions are a bit tricky. It depends on how firm you want your buttercream. Four ounces should maintain the structure well. Eight ounces will give you more flavor but will soften the Buttercream. You can always start low and add more until you are satisfied. Yum!

  32. Hi Summer,

    I would like to make a maple buttercream using this recipe. Could I substitute pure maple syrup for the corn syrup in this recipe?

    Thank you

  33. Hi Summer,

    Your recipe looks great and I ‘m about to try it out. Can’t find the sugar syrup recipe for the frosting please.
    Thanks.

    Andry.

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