How to make your buttercream frosting white

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I love using buttercream on my cakes and cupcakes but do you ever find it a little yellow for what you need? In the UK our butter is quite yellow so you are always going to get a yellowy/ ivory buttercream, but in this weeks video tutorial I’m going to show you a few tricks and things you can add to make it alot whiter.

This is great maybe if you are creating buttercream cakes for weddings or even as a base for colouring your buttercream other colours.

The Recipe

To make my buttercream I’m still using my American buttercream recipe. You can find a tutorial with some more helpful tips, including what butter I use to make it here:

12oz / 340g – Icing Sugar
6oz/ 170g  – Room Temperature Salted Butter
1.5 tbsp – Milk
1 tbsp – Vanilla Favouring (or favouring of your choice)

This usually makes enough to pipe 12 cupcakes!

Turning your buttercream white

how to make your buttercream white 4

So the big question is how do you get your yellow buttercream to turn white. The truth is it takes a few stages. The first stage is to whiten your butter. Now you can do this with all your ingredients added to the bowl. In the tutorial I do it before I add my sugar just so you can see the different. By beating butter for longer it naturally starts to lighten. You can see below by beating the butter for 15 minutes you get a much lighter yellow to our original buttercream.

how to make your buttercream white 1

We then want to remove some of those yellow tones. To do this I add really small amounts of purple food gel. In the colour wheel purple is directly opposite yellow so it can be used to cancel out yellow tones. Have you ever seen in the supermarket purple shampoos for blonde people. The purple shampoo cancels out the brassy tones, and the same thing is happening here.

This gives us an off white buttercream, so the last stage is to add a whitener. There are different whiteners on the market and these come in either a powder or a liquid. I used the new ‘Icing & frosting whitener’ by Ingenious Edibles. You can add as much as you like. In the tutorial I added 1 tablespoon just to show you how much it can be whitened.

TOP TIP: If you add alot of whitener and it makes your buttercream a little soft you can add in a few more table spoons of icing sugar to get it back to the consistency you want for your buttercream.

how to make your buttercream white

Using this as a base for other colours

Normal yellow buttercream can cause problems when colouring your buttercream. One big example of this is if you are trying to get pastel shades, especially blue. If we think about mixing colours if you mix blue and yellow you get green! This can mean sometimes if you are colouring your buttercream a light blue colour we end up with a light green. By lightening your buttercream first it allows you to get much truer colours.

I really hope you will find this tutorial useful if you’re looking for a more whiter buttercream.  Plus if you haven’t already you can subscribe to my YouTube channel for more Free cake decorating video tutorials.

Tools I used

I have put a list below showing all the tools that I used throughout this video or if you would like to see all my favourite cake decorating tools just click here:

Ingenious Edibles Whitener:
Violet Colour Splash:
AEG Stand Mixer (blue version):
Piping bags I use:
1M piping tip:
Sugarflair Super white Powder:

~ Please note that some of links above may be affiliate links. If you click the link and purchase any item through that link, I will receive a small commission from the website but this does NOT add any additional costs to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog x ~

how to get white buttercream recipe

White American Buttercream Recipe

Author: Cakes by Lynz
Buttercream is perfect to fill and cover your cakes, but it has a naturally yellow colour due to the butter content. If you're looking for a white buttercream here is how to make it!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 Cupcakes
Recipe Type Buttercream
Keyword American Buttercream


  • 340 g Icing Sugar (12oz)
  • 170 g Room Temperature Salted Butter (6oz)
  • 1.5 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Favouring or favouring of your choice (preferably clear)
  • Purple Food Gel
  • Edible Food Whitener


  • To start add your butter into your mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer set your mixer on a high speed, beat your butter for around 15 minutes. You will see your butter start to lighten.
  • You then want to sift in your icing sugar, getting out any lumps. Then add your milk and flavouring and start to mix your ingredients on a low speed.
  • Once the ingredients have started to combine turn your mixer up to a medium / high speed and let your buttercream mix for at least 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes you should have a smooth, creamy buttercream mixture.
  • To lighten your buttercream even more, start by adding a tiny amount of purple food gel. The purple is used to cancel out yellow tones.
  • To get your buttercream even whiter add 1 tablespoon of edible whitener. I'm using the whitener by Ingenious Edibles and mix this through.
  • You'll then have a white buttercream you can use to decorate your cakes or cupcakes.

Plus why not save this tutorial for later and pin it to Pinterest

how to make your buttercream white

Thank you for reading!

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Hi, I’m Lynsey and welcome to Cakes by Lynz. I LOVE everything cake! Here you will find all my latest cake decorating video tutorials from my YouTube channel, reviews and general cake ramblings!

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