Eggless Vanilla Buttercream Icing (perfect for Cakes, Cupcakes and Macarons)

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A simple buttercream icing for filling cakes. As this doesn’t contain any eggs, you don’t need to place the cake in the fridge. Enough to fill and ice an 8in/20cm cake.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Coffee Cake with Buttercream and Rose Decorations

You might want to visit the Cake Decorating Page for more wonderful recipes and cake assembly ideas!

This is the most basic form of buttercream there is, just butter, icing sugar and flavouring, no eggs involved. I must confess I much prefer this to the French style icing that involves egg whites or egg yolks which, while yummy, is a little heavy for my taste.

This recipe will give you about 750g, enough to fill (sandwich) and double coat an 8″ (20cm) cake, with enough left over for piping.

You’ll find that the proportion of butter to sugar is greater, which produces a slightly lighter buttercream. I also prefer salted butter to unsalted as it gives a more rounded finish. Alternative flavours are given at the end of the recipe.

Coloured Buttercream

Needless to say, add food colouring of your choice for different coloured buttercream. A colour paste is always preferable to liquid form as you’ll be amazed at how just a little liquid can affect the consistency of buttercream.

This buttercream is very versatile. I’ve even made pistachio buttercream by just adding very finely ground pistachios, use your imagination and experiment. Look below the recipe for some of my favourite variations.

A softer icing is easier to spread, but will take longer to crust (when you touch it, it won’t come off with your finger).

Milk in Buttercream

I’ve given you an option of using evaporated milk or water in your buttercream. If the cake is meant to be eaten within 24 hours of the icing being made and the cake being decorated, then by all means, go ahead and use milk. Yes, you can use fresh milk too. The milk lends a wonderful creamy flavour to the icing.

If I’m making a cake at home and I know that it will last a good 2-3 days, then I always go the water option as the milky icing will show signs of going off and change in texture after 36 hours or so.

Flavoured Buttercream Icing Recipes

Rose Buttercream

Used in Rose Macarons

2 tsp rosewater or 1 – 2 drops of essential oil of rose geranium (geranium oil can leave a slight bitter aftertaste)

Lemon Curd Buttercream

Used in Lemon and Raspberry Rose Cake

60g lemon curd, instead of the vanilla, added right at the end – this will give you the right amount of tang

You can always add more if you fancy a stronger lemony taste but I would stop at 100g, to ensure that the icing will crust

Panettone Buttercream

I quite frequently “spice up” a regular Madeira with this.

Replace the vanilla with panettone aroma (found in specialist shops, sold in bottles, just like vanilla).

Coffee Buttercream

This is perfect for a Coffee Cake.

2 Tbsp of very strong espresso in place of the water/milk.

If using instant coffee, dissolve about 2 Tbsp in the water/milk and add to the icing. I prefer to retain the vanilla for a deeper flavour.

White Chocolate Buttercream

Can be used in Raspberry, Rose and White Chocolate Cake

  • 150g butter
  • 150g white chocolate (good quality, with no vanilla specks)
  • 400g icing (powdered) sugar
  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second spurts, stirring each time. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  2.  While waiting for the chocolate to cool, beat the butter and sugar as above.
  3. Add the melted chocolate.

Brown Chocolate Buttercream (not ganache)

Simple chocolate icing. Add 3 Tbsp cocoa powder to the milk/water in the basic recipe above.

Again, I retain the vanilla.

Baileys Buttercream

  • 150g butter
  • 600g (1 lb 1/3oz) icing (powdered) sugar
  • 100ml – 125ml (2/5 – 1/2 cup) Bailey’s
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Follow basic instructions, adding half the Baileys and increasing as you go, stop before the icing is too soft/loose.

Buttercream with other alcohol

Use the “recipe” for the Baileys Buttercream above, just substitute it with whatever alcohol you choose. Baileys is creamy, if you are using something not creamy, like Cointreau, be prepared to use less of it.

So, shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

Coffee Cake with Buttercream and Rose Decorations

Eggless Buttercream Icing (for Cakes, Cupcakes and Macarons)

A simple buttercream icing for filling cakes. As this doesn’t contain any eggs, you don’t need to place the cake in the fridge. Enough to fill and ice an 8in/20cm cake.
4.97 from 116 votes
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Course: Cakes
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake decorating
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 About 750g (1 lb 3/5oz), 1 portion
Calories: 347kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


For a Standard, Vanilla Flavoured Buttercream Icing

  • 250 g salted butter
  • 600 g icing sugar (powdered sugar) (5 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp evaporated milk or water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Place the butter in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about a minute.
  • Add the icing sugar and beat until thoroughly combined and smooth. You’ll end up with a very pale cream mix.
  • Add the milk/water and vanilla and beat to mix.
  • Keep it covered with cling film until you’re ready to use it.


I’ve kept buttercream icing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (no milk) and it was perfectly fine. Personally, I think refrigerating it changes the texture, so I never do it.


Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 9mg | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
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5 thoughts on “Eggless Vanilla Buttercream Icing (perfect for Cakes, Cupcakes and Macarons)”

  1. Is this a stable buttercream -? Will it hold its shape and can it be used under fondant? Thankyou.

    1. Yes, to all the questions, Jemm. Its ability to hold its shape will depend on how much liquid you add.
      I use it as is to pipe decorations that hold their shape (flowers, etc). For crumb coats (under fondant), I dilute it ever so slightly with 1/2 to 1 Tbsp of liquid to allow it to spread better.

  2. Do you mean that a cake with this buttercream icing should be kept in room temperature, not in the fridge?
    (I mean for a couple of days.) I like buttercream icing on cakes. The icing with rose flavor sounds very interesting.

    1. Hi Minou, buttercream icing can be stored at room temperature if you are not adding any milk to it. If you are using rosewater, you don’t need milk or extra water or lemon juice for it.
      So if you are making a simple sponge or butter cake and want a rose flavoured buttercream, then yes, store your cake at room temperature, no need to place in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container and it will be fine for about 5 days.

      Buttercream on its own will be fine for a week stored in an airtight container, as long as it’s not made with milk.

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