Italian Buttercream Icing Recipe

This Italian Buttercream Icing Recipe, is so fluffy and light (not light in calories) that it makes a total difference. Its a little scary in the beginning because it curdles up and you think it went bad, but keep whipping and you will see how it pulls together and becomes a wonderful frosting for your cakes and cupcakes.

You can also add food coloring and flavor if you prefer.

For this recipe you will need a candy thermometer and a pastry brush.

I used this recipe for my 15 cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes and it was enough for all.


– 6 egg whites

– 1/4 cup of water

– 1 1/8 cup of sugar

– 1 1/2 cups of cold unsalted butter cut in slices (3 sticks)

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or your favorite flavor)

– food coloring


Put the egg whites into your KitchenAid Mixer bowl and attach the wire whip attachment.

On a glass or cup add water and ice and let your pastry brush sit in the cold water while you prepare the syrup.

On a small pot on medium high heat add sugar and water and whisk it just until you start feeling the sugar ganules are dissolved. Once it starts boiling DONT TOUCH IT ANYMORE, all you are going to do is brush the sides of the pot with the brush dipped in cold water to dissolve the crystals that are forming on the sides of the pot. Put the Candy Thermometer in, once its starts boiling turn on your mixer to the highest speed and whip the eggs.

When your thermometer hits 240F turn off the heat. Once the egg whites are fluffy and forming peaks you can pour the hot syrup over the egg whites and keep whipping it until the bowl feels cool to the touch, this will take around 15 minutes. (make sure you wipe the botom of your pot for any water, if any water gets into the eggs it may ruin your frosting).

Once your bowl feels cold, turn down your mixer to speed 2 and start adding the butter, slice by slice and also the vanilla (or your preferred flavoring), DO NOT BE SCARED, your frosting will be soupy and will start to curdle up, KEEP WHIPPING IT!!!

You will see that it will start to thicken up and it will look almost like cottage cheese, dont worry, keep whipping. After a while you will notice that your buttercream will start forming and will be smooth and fluffy. Once it becomes smooth and thick, you can turn off your mixer. If you like you can add food coloring at this point.

Fill a piping bag with yout favorite tip on and start frosting those cupcakes or your big cake.

I hope you like this frosting, its perfect for wedding cakes or birthday cakes as well.



Brushing the sides of the pot with cold water to dissolve sugar crystals
Once it hit 240F its ready
Pour it over your egg whites and keep whipping it, this will "cook"your egg whites
After the bowl feels cool to the touch your egg whites should look like this
Once you start adding the butter, your mix will be soupy
Starting to curdle...
This is normal, don't freak out!
It gets worse before it gets better 🙂
Now its starting to look like buttercream
Phew, its working...
Finally, nice and fluffy
I added some food coloring and frosted my cupcakes with different tips


I made the stars with fondant and food coloring
My beautiful rose cupcake
So cute
I made mini cupcakes as well
Italian Buttercream Icing Recipe



7 thoughts on “Italian Buttercream Icing Recipe

  • August 5, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Looks like a great recipe, and thanks for all of the step-by-step photos! I’m thinking of making this icing up in advance, do you know if it freezes well? Also, is it safe to leave this icing out at room temperature for a couple of days, or does it need refrigeration? Thanks again for a great article.

  • August 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Sandra, thanks for your comment. I am not sure about freezing the Icing, for some reason I like my icing fresh, but for sure you dont need to refrigerate this icing for a day or so, since It doesnt have cream in the recipe. It will definitelly get very hard in the fridge. Let me know how it turns out and I will post your experience on this page 🙂

    • August 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Carol and Sandra – I’ve just recently taken a cake course and made this Italian Butter Cream Icing – I was told that the icing lasts up to 6 months in the fridge – put it in an airtight container with saran (plastic) wrap laying on the top to prevent condensation. Or it will last up to a year in the freezer. When you want to use it take it out and let it sit to room temp. then whip it again. I have put mine in the fridge for a month and it worked and tasted great.

  • August 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    ps: the first time I made it it was just like the pictures – curdled – and I did freak out but it’s true – keep whipping and it turns out fine! 🙂 Thanks for the pictures, they make a huge difference compared to just words in a recipe.

    • August 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you soooo much for the information, That will make my life much easier since I can prepare the icing months before and keep it in the fridge. I really had no idea you could freeze it, WONDERFUL!!!!
      I know Pictures are very helpful on my case when making recipes, even when I want to make the recipe again, sometimes I forget something and I just go to my own website to take a look at the pics just to make sure everything is right, hehehehe.

      Please ladies, keep me updated, I love hearing from you all 🙂

      Have a great weekend!


      • August 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

        Hi Carol – I tried something a little different last night and it worked – I had a little container of icing in the fridge and my husband wanted a cupcake so I put the icing in the microwave for 10 seconds – stirred it up a little – put it in again for another 10 seconds and it was perfect. A little scary because you don’t want to overheat it. Glad I could be of assistance – just paying it back – and thanks for the great website! You too have a great weekend.

        • August 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm

          Hi Adrienne,

          Thank you so much for this, wow, impressive I would never thought to put it in the microwave.

          I have my nephew’s birthday coming up next week so This will be a great opportunity to make everything a week before 🙂

          Thank you so much and please keep them coming :-)))

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