3 Ingredient Russian Buttercream is a delicious and creamy alternative to traditional buttercream and is made with no powdered sugar! All it takes are 3 simple ingredients and a few minutes! Spread it on cakes, cupcakes, or your favorite dessert!
Buttercream frosting is a staple in lots of dessert recipes. It gives that sweet and creamy finish that takes a cake or cupcake over the top! In pastry school, we learned how to make various types of homemade frosting, icings, glazes, and buttercream, including this easy Russian buttercream recipe.
What Is Russian Buttercream?
This specific type of buttercream is used to frost many Eastern European desserts. Instead of traditional buttercream ingredients such as powdered sugar, butter, and milk, Russian buttercream uses sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla extract. That’s it!
The frosting is less sweet than traditional vanilla buttercream frosting and is silkier and smooth like Swiss meringue buttercream. It has a light caramel flavor that’s delicious! It won’t crust because it has no powdered sugar, but it definitely works as a frosting to cover cakes and cupcakes. You can even pipe with it or use it under a fondant cake.
Try this easy frosting on a chocolate cake, or over these white chocolate raspberry cupcakes. And if you enjoy making easy frosting recipes, don’t forget to try out brown sugar buttercream, strawberry buttercream, or classic vanilla frosting.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- This recipe is made without powdered sugar but is still light and sweet!
- With only three ingredients, making this frosting is a breeze!
- The texture is slightly different from traditional buttercream, but it’s just as delicious!
- You can use Russian buttercream on just about any dessert, including cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more!
- Unsalted Butter – Used as the thick base of the frosting and at room temperature, butter adds creaminess and body to the buttercream. Here’s how I soften butter quickly!
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Russian buttercream uses sweetened condensed milk instead of powdered sugar. This gives the buttercream a lovely sweetness and a beautiful creamy texture.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds a lovely warming vanilla flavor throughout the frosting that pairs well with the natural flavors of milk and butter.
HOW TO MAKE RUSSIAN BUTTERCREAM
Prepare the butter: The butter needs to be at room temperature to make this buttercream. Not melted, but not too cold.
Cream the butter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter on high speed for a total of 5-7 minutes until it is white in color and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl if you see some of the butter not getting whipped throughout.
Add the sweetened condensed milk: Stop the mixer and add ⅓ of the sweetened milk. Mix on medium speed for 10 seconds, then add the next ⅓ mixing in between before adding in the final third of condensed milk.
Mix and store: Mix on medium speed for another 30 seconds until it’s all combined. Add to a piping bag or a container. Use immediately or store in the fridge.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
The temperature of butter: The butter needs to be at room temperature. Room temperature is when the butter is still firm but can make a light indent when you press into it. It should not be completely softened or greasy. Learn how to soften butter quickly to get it the perfect texture. This is a crucial step!
- If the butter is too warm, it will not whip well, which will cause the frosting to separate. To fix it, pop it into the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then re-whip for a few seconds.
- If the butter is too cold, it will also not allow for the frosting to come together. To fix, create a double boiler and slowly warm the butter on top. Be careful not to melt it completely. Rewhip when the butter is softened.
How long to mix: The butter needs to be whipped for the full 5 minutes to incorporate all the air to hold the condensed milk when added. The condensed milk needs to be added in parts so it doesn’t weigh down the butter. When it’s added in parts, it allows the butter to hold the weight of the milk.
Using different extracts: Vanilla is a great choice for this buttercream because it compliments the sweetness of the condensed milk. But you can use any extract that you like! Consider almond, coconut, lemon, or orange.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Once completed, this buttercream can be left outside of the fridge for a few hours. This is best if you need it softer to frost desserts immediately.
After a few hours, it must be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use it again, let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature, or re-whip it in the mixer for a few seconds.
You can also freeze Russian buttercream! Place it in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then re-whip for a few seconds before using.
What should I do if the buttercream separates?
If the buttercream starts to look like it’s separating, cool the bowl in the fridge, then add a little bit of sweetened condensed milk (1 teaspoon at a time) to help bring it back together. Whip it again for 30 seconds.
Can I make this buttercream ahead of time?
You can make Russian buttercream 1-2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
Can I add food coloring?
Yes! You can absolutely add food coloring to this buttercream to make it any color you like.
WAYS TO ENJOY
This special frosting without powdered suga can be used on many different desserts. Try our favorites below!
3 Ingredient Russian Buttercream (No Powdered Sugar)
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temp (227 g)
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment cream the butter on high speed for a total of 5-7 minutes until it is white in color and fluffy.
- Scrape down the bowl if you see some of the butter not getting whipped throughout.
- Stop the mixer and add in ⅓ of the sweetened condensed milk.
- Mix on medium speed for 10 seconds, then add the next 3rd mixing in between before adding in the final third of condensed milk.
- Mix on medium speed for another 30 seconds until it’s all combined into a fluffy frosting.