Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time

4 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes


Buttercream Frosting

Homemade buttercream frosting is a delicious topping for cakes and cupcakes. And, it can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated overnight or frozen for one month before use.

This recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Holiday Baking, by Jeanne Thiel Kelley (Time-Life Books, 1995).


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 In the top pan of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl placed over but not touching simmering water, combine the egg yolks, sugar and brandy. Whisk until very thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan or bowl from over the water and let cool to room temperature.
  • 2 In a bowl, combine the butter and vanilla. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat until very soft and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the cooled egg yolk mixture. Let the mixture stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about 20 minutes.
  • 3 Use the frosting immediately, or cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 1 month. Before using, let stand at room temperature until softened, then beat with an electric mixer set on high speed until smooth and fluffy. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


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