Italian Buttercream Frosting

Italian Buttercream Frosting @createdbydiane

I LOVE this frosting!

It’s so wonderfully rich and creamy.

It’s not an overly sweet frosting, which I really like.

I’ve made a few batches trying to find the combination I liked best.

I found recipes on Cake Journal,, all recipes, and King Arthur Flour.

I found many tips on making it and made many batches until I got it just the way I liked it.

Bring sugar syrup to 240 degrees

mix egg whites with cream of tartar

whip egg whites until stiff

Adding the butter in small pieces helps it blend together well.


Ice packs on the motor of the Kitchen-aid Mixer help keep the motor cool, while you are mixing it for 8-10 minutes. You will hear it come together. (could take a little longer depending on temperature of ingredients)

It’s getting there!


This is what it looks like when the butter is being added.


Finished Italian Buttercream Frosting, smooth and creamy.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Italian Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cups water
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1¼ pounds butter, cubed (unsalted)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Heat granulated sugar and water in saucepan until it reaches 245 degrees.
  2. While the syrup is heating, mix egg whites on low until foamy with whisk attachment.
  3. Add cream of tarter then mix on medium to high until stiff.
  4. Pour hot syrup in a slow stream into egg whites while mixer is on high.
  5. Beat for 8 minutes or until mixture is cool.
  6. To help the mixers motor stay cool and prevent over heating place an ice pack on top of the motor and wrap ice packs around the sides of the bowl. You can tie them on with a thin dish towel.
  7. Keep butter in fridge until this point.
  8. Remove whisk attachment and put paddle attachment on mixer.
  9. Add vanilla and butter in small cubes a bit at a time.
  10. Beat until all butter is combined.
  11. If it looks like it's separating or curdled or soupy looking, keep beating and keep the bowl cold if needed. The frosting will come together as long as you didn't add the butter while the syrup/egg mixture was warmer than room temperature.
  12. The frosting will be smooth and creamy.


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  1. 1

    This sounds amazing!! I want to make an Italian Rum cake next month..wondering if this might be the perfect frosting.

  2. 3

    This sounds like a tasty frosting:) Cute cupcakes! Merry Christmas!

  3. 4

    Italian buttercream is my favorite. It is so smooth and creamy, and as you say not too sweet. I love it before the butter is added. My mom and I can’t get enough of it!

  4. 5

    great info Diane!!

  5. 6

    ooo Nice! Saving this recipe!

  6. 7

    Oooooo…I love playing with different frostings. This looks like a great one!

  7. 8

    These are gorgeous. How do you get your frosting to look that way once it is on the cupcake?

  8. 9

    Looks really great Diane! I have pinned this to try later, I’m always up for buttercream!

  9. 10

    When heating your sugar syrup, do you stir it gently, or let it sit until it comes to the right temp?

    • 11

      Sorry I’m just seeing this now, you message landed in the spam folder for comments.
      I just let it boil, I dont’ stir it.

  10. 12

    The images and directions say to place an ice pack around the bowl to keep the motor cool, as well as one on top. What do the packs wrapped around the bowl have anything to do with keeping the motor (which is in the top of the mixer) cool? Does the mixture need to stay chilled while mixing hence the ice packs around the bowl? I’m just really confused as to why ice packs around the bowl keep the motor cool.

  11. 13

    How much frosting does this recipe make?

    • 14

      This recipe makes about 8 cups, plenty of frosting to pipe onto 24 cupcakes at about 1/4 cup each.

  12. 15

    Does this frosting need to stay refrigerated or is it OK to store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter for a few days?

    • 16

      the frosting is ok for a few days on counter, I would not however use an airtight container, you will trap in moisture and cupcakes in general get soggy on top where the frosting meets them, cover the cupcakes with a box, or use a bakery box for best results, or just leave them on the counter, the cake portion won’t go stale as the frosting is covering any exposed cake. (Think of a bakery, nothing is in a small closed airtight container) more air, but something to cover if you are worried about dust/bugs/hair etc getting on them. A large box placed upside down over them works well.
      Airtight containers are great for transporting them, but then take them out of the container.
      Italian buttercream stays softer than regular buttercream that crusts when it hardens in the air.

  13. 17

    Does this re-refrigerate/freeze well?

    • 18

      Yes, if you don’t use it within two days, I would place it in the refrigerator and when you need it allow it to come to room temperature and whip it up smooth and creamy to use it. I have not frozen it, but hear others have with very good results.

  14. 19
    Laura Mast says:

    On recipe it says the butter room temp. then intructions say to keep in frig, so is it fig or room temp.?

    • 20

      sorry about that, I used to keep the butter really cold until I added it. A while ago I adjusted the recipe to reflect that you don’t need to keep it that cold. I must have missed that portion in the instructions to adjust. I now just take my butter out of the fridge as I gather all my ingredients and dice it up and add it as it is, slightly cold. (I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect the changes I’ve made, it’s easier now)

  15. 21

    I made this and it’s very yummy but what would happen if you use half the butter? Almost to much for us for our liking.

    • 22

      I haven’t made it with half the butter. I’m not sure it would come together properly. Meaning the batter will have too much liquid and egg whites for it to be smooth, creamy and able to frost a cake/cupcake. You may prefer traditional buttercream frosting, you can find my recipe for Buttercream Frosting here
      Italian buttercream has a smooth and creamy buttery taste, if you prefer a less buttery more sugary frosting I would recommend a more traditional buttercream frosting.
      If you simply prefer it sweeter, you can add more sugar to the Italian Buttercream recipe and alternatively use salted butter to give it a sweet and savory taste.


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