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Delicious Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting In 5 Easy Steps
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Delicious Semi-Sweet Buttercream Frosting In 5 Easy Steps

Are you tired of reducing the amount of frosting you use just to make your items edible? Then you have to try our semi-sweet buttercream frosting! It does take more time to make, but it will work out a lot cheaper than traditional recipes. Not to mention, it has a much creamier, richer, and more delicious flavor!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How do you make frosting not taste like powdered sugar?, How do you make frosting that's not too sweet?, semi-sweet buttercream frosting, What can I add to buttercream to make it less sweet?, Which buttercream is least sweet?
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Cakedecorist


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Mixing bowls
  • Plastic or saran wrap
  • Electric hand or stand mixer



  • Make the custard base
    Combine the cake flour and sugar into a large saucepan. Slightly heat it over medium heat, whisking frequently. Then, slowly add the heated milk in a thin stream while whisking.
    If you add it all at the same time, your mixture will start forming lumps. Don't add more milk until the flour and sugar mixture isn't completely smooth.
    10 tbsp cake flour, sifted, 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar, 2 cups full-fat milk, heated
  • Cook the custard
    Once all of your milk is added, keep heating and gently whisking the mixture. Don't leave it unattended because it will burn at the bottom. Keep cooking the custard until it becomes thick and creamy.
  • Cool the thickened custard
    Once you are happy with the consistency of the frosting, remove it from the heat and decant it into a large bowl.
    Add a layer of plastic or saran wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Spread it up against the sides so it creates a thinner layer. This way, it will cool much quicker than one large dollop.
    Leave the custard to cool completely! It shouldn't even be lukewarm.
  • Make the semi-sweet buttercream frosting
    To start your frosting, add the salted butter into a large mixing bowl. Then, beat it until it becomes smooth, creamy, and fluffy. The color will also lighten considerably.
    Remove the plastic from the custard and give it a mix. Keep mixing the custard until it is completely smooth and free of lumps.
    Add the smooth custard to the creamed butter one tablespoon at a time. Mix the ingredients at medium speed. This shouldn't take any longer than a minute, otherwise, you will over-whip the frosting.
    2 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • Finish off the semi-sweet buttercream frosting
    Finally, add the vanilla extract and whip your frosting for 3 minutes until it gets a stiff-peak consistency.
    1 tbsp vanilla extract


You can reduce the amount of sugar even further to only 1 cup if you'd like. Don't remove any more sugar because the frosting still needs some amount of sweetness. And if you remove it completely, the consistency of the custard won't be right to make frosting with.
To make a chocolate-flavored semi-sweet buttercream frosting, add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Add it after your frosting has been made and mix it well.
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