How to make white buttercream

Struggling to get that crisp-white finish on your buttercream? Follow our simple top tips for making white buttercream!

Ah, we can picture it now… you have slaved over a beautiful buttercream cake, agonised over a fluffy finish and put your heart and soul into getting the perfect pure white buttercream. You step back to wonder at your cakey creation until… oh no, horror! The buttercream isn’t a crisp white! Fear not, dear caker! We are here to tell you how to make white buttercream!

Our top tips for making white buttercream

Cupcakes with white buttercream

Avoid yellow ingredients

We love real buttercream icing made with the best butter and vanilla, but sometimes, its natural yellow tone doesn’t flatter your cake as it deserves. So we recommend avoid any yellow ingredients, such as butter. Wait, buttercream with no butter, I hear you cry? Yes – it can be done! You could use shortening instead, or even get that white tone by adding vegetable shortening into your butter – simply add more vanilla extract to even out the taste.

If you simply can’t go without butter, you could mix in lumps of coconut oil to whiten your butter – yum! Or, why not try vegan ingredients, which feature butter substitutes which are naturally less yellow in colour.

Use clear vanilla extract

A simple tip is to get your ingredients working with you before you begin your quest for the perfect white buttercream. If you are more concerned with the overall look of the white buttercream and are willing to compromise on taste, then you could opt for a clear vanilla essence. Of course, we normally prioritise taste and therefore always recommend decent brown vanilla extract, but in this case, we know how important avoiding that yellow tinge is.

Beat the butter

Let’s go back to basics here (that is, if you choose to use butter to begin with) and actually beat that butter! Get some elbow grease involved and whisk until you can’t whisk anymore, resulting in a paler butter, simply by adding air. This will also create that light, fluffy and delicious effect we love about buttercream, increasing the volume as you whisk. The good news? You can’t overbeat it, so keep on until it’s the perfect shade of white. Winning!

Cake with white buttercream

Add purple

Those of us who have accidentally bleached our hair a little too yellow, or who paid attention in art class, will know that purple is the perfect colour to counteract those pesky brassy yellows. So, when your buttercream is crying out for a refresher, simply add a dot of purple paste colour in, such as Sugarflair grape/violet.

Top tip! only add the tip of a cocktail stick at a time and blend until you are happy with the tone. A tiny amount goes a very long way, so it’s far better to add it gradually, as you cannot take the purple away!

Try making meringue buttercream

Is there anything whiter or fluffier than a meringue? Yes – your buttercream, if you follow our simple tips! We divulge… Meringue buttercream is essentially fluffy egg whites plus butter, so why not crack open those eggs and fluff up those whites to cancel out any yellow tones, and achieve that gleaming white buttercream cake – the dream!

Try white food colouring

Buttercream still not white enough? You could try adding drops of white food colouring until your yellows fade. For a better consistency, go for a paste or a gel food colouring. Again, a little goes a long way so don’t be hasty in adding too much and ruining that buttercream texture!

So there you have it, our top tips on making white buttercream!


Now you know how to achieve that perfect, white buttercream, why not take your buttercream to the next level with an ombre effect buttercream recipe?


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