The perfect creamy, not-too-sweet White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, perfect for covering a cake or piping on cupcakes! Recipe includes a how-to video, and some of my favorite cakes and cupcakes to pair it with!
I’ll be honest, the first time I made white chocolate frosting I expected it to be much, much too sweet. White chocolate is already so sweet on its own and I rarely care for it when there’s real chocolate in the picture (unless it’s tempered with browned butter, sea salt, and nuts like in my white chocolate macadamia nut cookies).
When I set out to make a white chocolate buttercream, I was determined that it would have a distinct white chocolate flavor, without being tooth-achingly sweet. I’ve reduced the sugar, whipped in some cream (for a light and fluffy texture) and voila, here’s a white chocolate frosting that you can actually eat by the spoonful. It may even be less sweet than my classic buttercream frosting!
To give you an idea of how not-overly-sweet it is, this is often my filling of choice when I’m testing my macaron recipe (one of these days I’ll get that perfected and published, I promise!). It’s creamy, smooth, with a silky mouthfeel. It’s softer than my buttercream or cream cheese frosting, closer in consistency to ermine frosting, but as you can see in the photo you can still pipe it onto cupcakes.
- White Chocolate. You can use white chocolate bars (shown in the photo above) or white chocolate chips so long as they are quality/premium chips (I have had bad luck with generic chips and recommend Ghirardelli).
- Butter. I like to use unsalted butter and then add a pinch of salt at the end so that you have complete control over the flavor of the icing.
- Powdered Sugar. I use considerably less powdered sugar in this recipe than I do in some of my others. The chocolate helps to give it a firm texture once it’s cooled completely and whipping a bit of cream in at the end helps give it a fluffy consistency as well.
- Vanilla Extract
- Salt. As mentioned above.
- Whipping Cream. I highly recommend whipping a splash of cream into your frosting at the end. It makes it fluffier, silkier, and light.
As always, this is just an overview of the ingredients that I used. Please scroll down to the printable recipe below for amounts.
Can I Color White Chocolate Buttercream?
Yes! You can add food coloring to this recipe. Stir gel (preferred) or liquid or even powder food coloring after you have finished the recipe. Add as much as is needed to get the desired color. I love using gel food coloring anytime I’m coloring buttercream as a little goes a long way and the colors are so vibrant.
- Always melt chocolate slowly! If heated too quickly, it’s prone to seizing and will take on a grainy appearance. Heat in short bursts and stir very well in between.
- It’s important that you let your chocolate cool after melting. Set it aside and let it cool (stirring occasionally) until no longer warm to the touch (but not so cool that it’s re-solidified!). If it’s warm, it will melt your butter and leave you with a greasy mess instead of luscious creamy frostiing.
- Use butter that’s close to room temperature, but neither melty/greasy or too chilled. If the butter is cold, it will actually cause some of the chocolate to harden, leaving you with small chocolate clumps.
- I recommend whipping some cream into the frosting, but if you whip it very much you can end up with a frosting that’s almost too airy and full of air bubbles, making it difficult to spread smoothly over your cake. If that happens, just use a spatula to gently fold through the frosting, pressing it against the sides of the bowl and essentially deflating the excess air for a smooth buttercream.
This frosting is great on just about any cake recipe, but I especially love it on my marble cake, white cake, and a super fun cake recipe that I have coming for you later this week. It’s also good (though less traditional) on red velvet cupcakes!
I generally recommend using this frosting pretty quickly after making it. As it sits, the harden tends to solidify a bit, giving the frosting an almost fudge-like consistency. However, it can be made in advance and stored. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the frosting. It will keep at room temperature for a day or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You will likely need to briefly re-whip the frosting before using.
White Chocolate Buttercream Goes Great With:
Let’s bake together! Be sure to check out my video in the recipe where I’ll show you exactly how I make these in my own kitchen!
White Chocolate Buttercream
- 6 oz white chocolate¹ chopped into small pieces (170g)
- 1 cup unsalted butter² softened to room temperature (but not so soft that it’s melty/greasy) (226g)
- 2 cups powdered sugar 250g
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Place white chocolate in a small, heat-proof bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir very well, then return to microwave and heat in 15-second increments, stirring very well in between, until chocolate is completely smooth and melted.
- Set chocolate aside to cool for at least 15 minutes and no longer warm to the touch (otherwise it will melt the butter and you’ll have a greasy mess).
- While chocolate is cooling, place softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you may use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer) and beat until creamy and well-whipped.
- With mixer on low-speed, gradually add melted, cooled chocolate and stir well.
- Gradually add powdered sugar , scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically to ensure that all ingredients are well combined.
- Sprinkle in salt and vanilla extract and stir well.
- With mixer on low-speed, gradually add heavy cream to frosting. Gradually increase speed to high and beat for 30-60 seconds or until desired consistency is reached (should be light, creamy, fluffy, and slightly increased in volume). If you beat too much air into the icing and would like a smoother frosting, use a spatula to cut through the batter and work out any air bubbles.
- Pipe or spread frosting onto prepared, cooled baked goods.