White Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

white chocolate buttercream recipe

I have this friend who is a total chocolate lover. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday cake, she said, “milk chocolate, white chocolate, any kind of chocolate.” So I decided to make her the ultimate chocolate lover’s birthday cake: layers of my favorite chocolate cake recipe frosted with a flavor ombre that went from chocolate buttercream to white chocolate buttercream. It was to die for.

chocolate and white chocolate buttercream cake

After sharing it on Instagram, I got so many requests for my white chocolate buttercream recipe that I just have to share it here. It’s made with melted white chocolate chips (I use Hershey’s, but feel free to use any brand) to give it a really authentic, decadent flavor. And best of all, it pipes and frosts like a dream, so whether you’re piping it onto cupcakes or looking for a smooth buttercream cake finish, this recipe has you covered.

white chocolate buttercream by Sugar and Sparrow
white chocolate buttercream cupcakes

This white chocolate buttercream recipe pairs well with so many flavors. You can make it ultra decadent by topping a chocolate cake or pair it with some fruity flavors to add a little richness. I’ve even paired it with pumpkin cake in the Fall and the flavor palette was so dreamy! It’s versatile, not too sweet, and the perfect amount of silky smooth.

white chocolate buttercream recipe
4.92 from 12 votes

White Chocolate Buttercream

A silky smooth, decadent white chocolate buttercream that’s perfect for piping cupcakes or frosting a smooth cake finish. Makes enough to frost 15-18 cupcakes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 Cups


  • 6 oz (170g) white chocolate chips
  • 1 Cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cups (180g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup (60ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  1. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or a double boiler, stirring until there are no lumps. Set aside to cool slightly.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, add the powdered sugar, and mix until well combined. Scrape down the bowl and paddle, give the melted white chocolate a few stirs and make sure it’s not hot enough to melt the butter (if it is still too hot, wait a few minutes before adding!), then add it in. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla, milk, and salt and beat for another minute on medium. 

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead Tip: This buttercream can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for one day. Alternatively, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature and re-whip with your stand mixer to bring it back to piping/frosting consistency.

Did you make this recipe? I want to know how it went! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram so I can see what you’re caking. I love to see your creations!


  1. Thank you for dis recepie. Will try it soon. Can we pipe flowers using dis cream?

    • Hi Femida! This buttercream will work for flowers. If you like it to be stiffer for more intricate flowers, I would add up to 1 cup of extra powdered sugar to stiffen up the consistency.

  2. that looks pretty yummi… Can I substitute the white for dark chocolate?

    • Hi Demetria! This is enough buttercream to fill and frost a three-layer 4-inch cake. I would double it for a three-layer 6-inch cake or a two-layer 8 or 9 inch cake. Hope that helps!

    • Would it be possible to use shortening instead of butter to increase the heat stability of the icing?

  3. I had a snafu with white chocolate ganache last night–I didn’t pay very close attention to the recipe OR to what I was grabbing at the store and ended up with half-and-half. My WCG would not whip. I added meringue powder and powdered sugar, but it only thickened up slightly. Do you think I could cream butter and add some of the WC/half-and-half mixture and get the same or at least similar results as this frosting? I refuse to throw away the mixture–it’s so tasty!

    • Hi Kimber! I think you could totally substitute the melted white chocolate in this recipe with your ganache mixture! If the ganache super sweet, maybe decrease the amount of powdered sugar by 1/2 cup and see how the consistency of the buttercream is. You can always add that 1/2 cup of powdered sugar back in at the end of the recipe if you need it to be thicker. Let me know how it goes!

  4. Hi Whitney!

    I tried this recipe and it tastes amazing, but when I poured the white chocolate into the mixer it hardened and I got little chunks of white chocolate throughout the frosting. I tried it a couple times and the same thing kept happening. Do you have any tips or suggestions? I love the taste so I really want to get it right! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Annie! That’s so interesting, I haven’t heard of that happening before. The only things I can think of is either 1) the white chocolate was cooled too much before adding it in (it can be warm, just not too hot to melt the butter), or 2) the white chocolate wasn’t completely melted to start with. Let me know if either of those things changes the outcome next time.

      • Thank you so much for responding! I think you were right and my chocolate was too cool. Third time was the charm, it came out perfect!

        Thank you thank you!

          • I have the same issue – can I fix it? Or do I need to bin it and start again?

          • Hi Becky! If the white chocolate was too cool before adding it to the buttercream, it will result in little lumps of chocolate in the buttercream. There isn’t a way to fix it once you’ve added it. Next time, make sure that the white chocolate is still a little warm, just not too hot to melt the buttercream, before adding it in.

    • Hi Whitney ! I would like to know if this recipe works with Italian Merengue Buttercream ¿? Sounds delicious!!

  5. Laura Laney

    Hi Whitney! I’m loving the taste of this recipe…do you have any articles on the consistency and thickness of frosting to get that smooth finish? I’m thinking my batch is too smooth and runny, but maybe it should be?

    Thanks for the help and great recipe!

    • Hi Laura, I do have a bit of info on buttercream consistency after the recipe in this post: https://sugarandsparrow.com/vanilla-buttercream-recipe/

      I like a thin consistency for frosting a smooth buttercream finish but if your buttercream is too runny, you can always add another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to thicken it up + a pinch of salt to make sure it doesn’t end up too sweet. Hope that helps!

  6. Mariana

    Hi Whitney, do you think we can add color to this buttercream? Thanks!

  7. Rosana Jauregui

    Hi Whitney,
    Can I use this recipe with Striped Buttercream Circus Animals Party Cake? I am afraid it could be a little stiff for it, if this is the case, how can I make it thinner?
    Thanks for sharing your recipes with us, love your creativity!!!

    • Hi Rosana! You can totally use this buttercream with the Striped Buttercream Circus Animals Party Cake tutorial as-is! The consistency should be just right for making stripes. If you feel like you need to thin it out more you can always add another tsp or two of whole milk at the end.

  8. 5 stars
    How do you do the colour in the middle? It is a mix of both buttercream or is the same as white chocolate but with milk chocolate? Thanks from Spain!

  9. Love this and can’t wait to try it out! I’m just wondering how you decide on whether to use a buttercream or cream cheese frosting on cake! I’m just learning as I go and just don’t know how to decide which is best to use!!

    • Thanks so much, Nicole! The only deciding factor for me on which buttercream to use is the flavor of the cake. If I think it’ll pair better with cream cheese buttercream (lemon cake, carrot cake, pumpkin cake etc) I’ll use that. If not, I’ll choose a buttercream flavor based on what I think would taste better. Hope that helps!

  10. Hi! I’ve just discovered your blog and is in baking heaven. I can’t wait to try your recipes and tips and tricks. I want to try and make this buttercream but would like to use food colouring. I know food colour and chocolate doesn’t go well together unless it’s oil-based, will it affect my buttercream if I don’t have oil-based food gel? Thank you.

    • Hi Reena! I’ve actually never tried coloring this buttercream before, but I did see someone on Instagram color this recipe with a vibrant pink Americolor gel. It seems to work fine with water-based food coloring, so I’d say go for it!

  11. Question, I’m making a chocolate cake for my husbands nephew. Found your recipe and was wondering if it was “food color” safe? I didn’t want to put vanilla or just regular buttercream frosting on a chocolate cake and wanted to incorporate a chocolate buttercream frosting but wasn’t sure if food color would work to make the cake colorful like he wants.

  12. 5 stars
    I made a triple chocolate fudge cake for my husband’s birthday but needed to have a white outer frosting to decorate it the way I wanted. So, I decided adding another chocolate flavor was best. This recipe was perfect. Amazing flavor and the perfect consistency. My only issue was that the white icing started separating and sliding away from from the other chocolate frosting as the cake warmed up! 🙂 It was all delicious, though!

    • Hi Rachel! That sounds delicious! I’ve paired this white chocolate buttercream with chocolate cake before and it’s so, so tasty. Glad you and your husband loved the recipe and sorry to hear about the cake getting too warm!

  13. 5 stars
    Hi Whitney ! I was wondering if this beautiful white chocolate bc recipe be used with Italian Merengue bc as well. Thank you !

    • Hi Adriana! The process for making Italian Meringue buttercream is quite a bit different than making the above recipe (American Buttercream). I’ve never made it before but I’m sure there are recipes for white chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream out there from other bakers!

  14. I made this. But the ratio of butter to sugar seems off. Is the recipe correct? 1 cup of butter and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar? Mine came out really thin and I did not even add the milk, which would make it more of a glaze.

    • Hi Mike! The measurements are correct, whenever I make this recipe it turns out thick enough to frost and pipe with. The cupcakes in the photos are piped with this exact recipe. I’m wondering if your butter was too soft or the melted white chocolate was warmer than room temperature? It does seem like a small amount of powdered sugar, but when made correctly this frosting should thicken with the addition of the melted white chocolate chips after the whipping step, enough to add the milk without thinning it too much. You can always add less milk if you like your frosting ultra thick.

    • Hi Sheeree! This buttercream can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temp and re-whip with your stand mixer for about thirty seconds.

  15. Hi Whitney, I want a really white frosting for my chocolate cake to have a white look. Is there a way to make the white chocolate BC whiter? Or is it already white?

  16. 5 stars
    Hey Whitney,

    I’ve just finished making this buttercream and it is soo light and soooo fluffy – oh my goodness. I’m pairing it with your chocolate cake recipe (semi naked cake) . Love the recipe and I just wanted to say thanks for sharing.

    • So happy you love this recipe as much as I do, Rati! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve paired it with my chocolate cake recipe as well (excellent choice)! Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂

  17. Hello, can you please tell me how many standard size cup cakes a single batch of this white chocolate butter cream will frost? I like it piled high. 🙂 thank you.

    • Hi Anne! This buttercream recipe yields enough to frost 15-18 cupcakes, so probably more like 15 if you’re piling it high.

    • Hi Theresa! You can certainly use a hand mixer for this recipe. Just follow the same speeds and mixing times as the recipe calls for.

  18. Hi! Does this buttercream colpur well?? I’m looking to make a ombré blue cake and my own recipe isn’t colouring well, so was thinking the white chocolate base might make it better. I use oil based gel colours! Pls help xx

    • Hi Grace! This buttercream colors very easily with water-based gels, but I haven’t tried oil-based gels. I’d imagine it would work just fine, but since I haven’t tried it myself I can’t say for sure.

  19. Hi Whitney. Does this buttercream form a crust once on the cake and cooled?

      • Hi Whitney, Will this buttercream work under fondant? Im planning to make my daughter’s birthday cake and i want the perfect finish. So im wondering the perfect recipe under the fondant.

  20. Could I add orange juice to flavor this for a specific cake I’m wanting to try? If so would I take out some of the milk?

    • Hi Marie! Flavoring this with orange sounds so tasty! I would either swap half of the milk in this recipe with room temperature orange juice or keep the recipe as-is and add a tsp or so of orange zest. Most of the flavor from oranges comes from the zest, and that is one of my favorite ways to flavor buttercream/cakes.

  21. Can I used cooking white chocolate instead of Which chocolate chips in this recipe?

    • Hi Maaheen! I have never tried this recipe with white baking chocolate before, but from a quick Google search it seems like it should be fine!

  22. Thoshanka Amarasinghe

    Can I use normal white chocolate slab chopped and double boiled and added? Would that work? Coz I need to cover the cake and pipe some flowers too.

  23. 5 stars
    Hi whitney.. this is my new favorite for butter cream recipe. I didnt have good quality chocolate chip and used white chocolate compound instead but it still turns out soo yummmy… my family loved it. Made a 2 layers 9″ birthday cake and they finished so quickly as they are that good.. thanks for sharing the recipe..

    • Hi Eva! That’s so wonderful to hear and I bet this paired so beautifully with the chocolate cake. Glad it was a hit and thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  24. Could you please tell me if this frosting recipe would be enough for a 3 layered cake. My husband’s birthday is coming up and this seems like an awesome recipe. I want to decorate the cake as well. So kind of worried if the frosting would be enough or not. Please help me out..

    • Hi Anju! I would double this recipe for a triple layer cake to have enough for filling, frosting, and decorating. Enjoy!

  25. Hi Whitney, I’m looking for a tasty buttercream that’s not too sweet. It’s for my daughter’s birthday cake (she’s 4 and sugar sensitive!). Can I reduce the sugar quantity without impacting flavour and consistency?
    Also, can the milk be substituted for thickened cream for a richer, creamier frosting?

    • Hi Hema! Since there’s already very little powdered sugar in this recipe, I do not recommend reducing it in this specific recipe only because the buttercream will end up being too thin in consistency. Instead, I’d recommend finding a recipe online that is reduced sugar as-is. If you do end up going with one of my recipes, you can sub in thickened cream for the liquid in any of my buttercream recipes – I do it all the time!

  26. 5 stars
    Hi! Thanks for sharing. As for making flowers, how much is confectionery sugar in total? And if add sour cream instead of milk?

    • Hi Natalie! I don’t recommend subbing in sour cream in this recipe, as it would alter the consistency too much. Instead you could use heavy whipping cream as an alternative to the whole milk and it would work just fine. This recipe is pretty pipeable as-is, but if you want it to be extra stiff you could add an additional 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!

  27. Hey, does the buttercream become really firm such that it’s easy to do painting and drawing on it?

    • Hi Faiza! When chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, this buttercream will be firm enough to paint/draw on. I would make sure that whatever you’re using to paint/draw is compatible with buttercream though. Hope that helps!

  28. Hi Whitney
    I want to try this recipe for a cake for my baby girl’s dedication this weekend. Can I substitute the milk with whipping cream? What difference will it make to the consistency?

    • Hi Madel! You can substitute the milk with whipping cream that’s room temperature! I’ve done that in a pinch and it works just fine, the consistency isn’t much different. Hope that helps!

  29. Hi Whitney just asking if you can give that recipe for that chocolate cake that’s ombre and has the white chocolate buttercream with the cacao bits? Thank you Gina

  30. 5 stars
    A favorite frosting that I use often. Get tons of compliments. I pair it with a white cupcake and raspberry mousse filling..huge hit. I just made this yesterday for decorating my little one year old great grand daughters huge smash cupcake I made. This recipe never fails me.

    • So happy to hear you love this recipe, Lynn! That flavor pairing sounds delicious and I am so happy you were able to use it to celebrate your great grand daughter turning one!

  31. Hi there , I’m wondering if I could sub in melted milk chocolate for the white chocolate ? I’ve tried the white chocolate and it’s divine!

  32. 5 stars
    Made this frosting with Verona White Chocolate from Whole Foods.. OH MY GOSH… this frosting is amazing.. I made a chocolate cake with this frosting and I honestly could have eaten the frosting alone.. so creamy and delicious.. my husband is beyond grateful to you for sharing this recipe.. thank you again.. blessings to you and yours..

    • Yay, Iris! That’s amazing and I’m so happy the recipe was loved by all! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know 🙂

  33. Alison Adwell

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I used the ratio of sugar and butter in my go to buttercream recipe, added HWC for the milk ! Definitely will be making again!

  34. This looks delicious. I’m new to cake decorating and I don’t like most buttercream I’ve tasted/made. I’d like to try this for my son’s birthday cake, but as a base for fondant. Do you think it would work well?

      • Now THIS is a buttercream I could get on board with!! I just made it (in blue!) in preparation for my son’s sea animals birthday cake assembly on Friday. It is DELICIOUS. Thanks for a great recipe, and for restoring my confidence in buttercream!

  35. 4 stars
    Delicious frosting!! So yummy. The two adjustments I would make, maybe less milk and a bit more powdered sugar. And when adding the melted chocolate chips, to temper them with some frosting before adding it into the rest of the butter mixture. My butter was at room temperature, but at my house, that is 68 degrees and some of the chocolate ended up “freezing”. Do you think that would work? Nonetheless, it turned out so well. If o can post a picture here, I will. Thank you for a great recipe!!

    • Happy you loved this frosting, Elaine! My only suggestion to prevent the chocolate from seizing is to try adding it when it’s a little bit warmer than room temp. This will make it less likely to seize. I’ve never tried tempering it with buttercream but you’re welcome to try that as well!

  36. Charlotte

    I just wanted to say this recipe is amazingggg. I have been struggling with normal buttercream but ever since I have used this recipe it works wonders. Smooth cakes and smooth designs on cupcakes

  37. Hi! I checked and I don’t think this question was asked yet. Can a nut milk be used instead of reg milk? Almond specifically. Thanks in advance

    • Hi Delfina! I’ve never tried this recipe with a nut based milk so it would be an experiment. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  38. Patrice B

    Hello whitney. So glad I’ve found your page. And my little sisters name is also Whitney. I read some of the pins on Pinterest saying the icing was a soft of lose texture. Should I add 1 Tablespoon of meringue powder to stiffen the frosting? Or just add mor sugar? What do you suggest? Sorry if this has been asked already

    • Hi Patrice! This buttercream is stable enough to fill and frost a cake, but if you find you want to thicken it I would add 1/2 cup more powdered sugar.

  39. Emily Davison

    Hi , could you use this recipe for a semi naked wedding cake? And how well does it withstand heat? Thanks

    • Hi Emily! Yes – you can totally use this for a semi naked cake. If you’re dealing with heat, I’d recommend refrigerating the cake until you need to display it and making sure it isn’t in direct sun. It should last for a few hours that way before it starts to really soften.

  40. Christina

    I LOVE the height of this cake, curious what size cake pans you used for the ombré cake?

    • Hi Christina! I used three 6 inch cake layers for the ombrè cake. My pans are 6 inches diameter, 2 inches tall.

  41. I tried this recipe out several months ago, and now it’s my go to recipe. When I get cake requests, they always ask for this frosting in particular. Everyone loves it. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

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