The Best Buttercream Frosting + How to Make an Ombré Cake

Best Buttercream + Ombre Cake-1-01.jpg

I am always looking for amazing staple recipes like this buttercream frosting. It’s really wonderful! It’s a perfect soft to medium buttercream, great for cakes and cupcakes! I also wanted to make my first ombré cake for my nephew’s birthday and was really nervous about getting it just right! So, I wanted to share the technique I used to get the ombré effect you see in my picture. Enjoy!

American Buttercream Frosting

From Glorious Treats


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (best quality available)
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half or milk. 


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat 1c butter (on medium speed) until completely smooth (30 seconds to a minute).
  2. One cup at time, add 2c of powdered sugar, beating after each addition.
  3. Add 1t vanilla, or other flavorings and beat to combine.
  4. Add about 1T of cream, and continue beating.
  5. Add the remaining 2c powdered sugar, one at a time.
  6. Add an additional 1-2T cream until desired consistency is reached.  If you want to pipe the frosting on cupcakes, the frosting should be nice and thick.  Continue to beat another minute or so.  The frosting should now be smooth and fluffy.


* If your frosting is not smooth, it is likely because the butter was not fully smooth before adding the other ingredients.

* If your frosting will not hold up when piped on cupcakes, your frosting has too much liquid or is too warm.  Put entire bowl of frosting in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and it will stiffen up.  If it is still too thin, then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar, beat well.


How to Make an Ombré Cake

Step 1: Tint the frosting in various shades you want for your gradient. You can make these a gradual change in color or more dramatic.

Best Buttercream + Ombre Cake-2888.jpg

Step 2: Frost the entire cake with a thin crumb-coat layer in white frosting or your lightest color for the ombré.

Best Buttercream + Ombre Cake-2887.jpg 

Step 3: take a large dollop of frosting and cover the top of the cake, let some frosting come over the edge of the cake. 

Step 4: Take a small round frosting tip (like the Wilton #2A) and start with your darkest color and make straight lines around the cake.

Start at the bottom and work your way up. I did about 2-3 lines of frosting and then layered in the next color. This creates a nice gradual look.

 Best Buttercream + Ombre Cake-2893

Step 5: Use frosting spatula to smooth frosting.

Best Buttercream + Ombre Cake-2896.jpg 

Step 6: Once you’ve covered the entire cake in your frosting shades, take a smooth edge tool (I use the Ateco Frosting Comb & Smoother) and begin smoothing your frosting.

I went over the frosting several times to get a nice blended effect. Just make sure you either wipe off the smoothing tool or don’t move it around to much to keep the colors from mixing wrong. 

Best Buttercream + Ombre Cake-2897.jpg

Voila! You have officially made your first Ombré cake!

Best Buttercream + Ombre Cake-2899

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – @sugarbbaking.

Happy Baking!




2 thoughts on “The Best Buttercream Frosting + How to Make an Ombré Cake

  1. I make my buttercream the same way, it’s the best! I’ve tried numerous recipes and this one comes out perfect every time 🙂 Beautiful cake!

    Liked by 1 person

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