*Updated: I first posted this Sugar Free Vanilla Buttercream on my original blog, Amy’s Cake in February 2016. Since then, I have made this icing recipe countless times and fall in love all over again every time I do!*
I ate a cupcake! I am jumping for joy!! And also getting laughed at by how giddy I am.
I had this ah-ha! moment with Italian Meringue Buttercream. If it uses granulated sugar and manages to come out smooth and not grainy, then I could use Xylitol (and not have to powder it) and I should be able to make a super smooth buttercream, right? That’s exactly what I tried, and after a disastrous first attempt, I did it!! I managed a silky smooth completely amazing sugar-free vanilla buttercream!
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again
For my first attempt, I took a standard Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe and substituted the sugar for Xylitol. I didn’t make any other changes. The meringue was gorgeous, but after I added the butter I ended up with was a big soupy mess!
So, I figured I would put it in the fridge to stiffen it up a bit and then re-beat. I left it in the fridge for about an hour and it did start to thicken. It seemed like the right time to put it back in the mixer, so I started to beat it. Right away it started to separate. But have no fear, they say Italian Meringue can do this but just keep beating and it will come back together. Well… It did not. I ended up with liquid egg/xylitol syrup at the bottom of the bowl and solid butter attached to my beater blade. Completely 100% separated! A complete failure!!
Success comes to those who wait
By now I had already baked the cupcakes and I needed frosting to go with them, so I wasn’t going to be deterred. I went back to the store for more butter and tried again. Maybe I did something wrong the first time and my temperatures were off?? I had to try. The same thing happened that I got a soupy mess after I added all of my butter. This was not turning into the sugar free vanilla buttercream I had yearned for.
BUT – this time I decided to keep going and added more butter. I added an extra half stick of butter and the clouds parted and the heavens shined down. I had buttercream frosting! After making this recipe countless times, I finally realized that beating the sugar free vanilla buttercream a little longer and adding a little extra butter is all that is needed for it to come together and give you the most silky frosting you will every eat!
The Sugar Free Vanilla Buttercream so silky smooth, it just melts in your mouth and makes you want to say “mmmm”. I could serve this icing to other people and they wouldn’t know it was sugar free, which is the best compliment I can give any sugar free recipe!
What I like best about this icing is that it isn’t too sweet. For anyone that has been off of sugar, full sugar foods are just disgustingly sweet. But this recipe is nothing short of sinful it is so delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! You have got to go and make this now!! Really. Right now.
Don’t have time to try this now? Pin it to save it for later!
Sugar Free Vanilla Buttercream Recipe
- 1 1/4 Cup Xylitol
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 5 Egg Whites, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 2 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter, softened 5 sticks
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)
- In a small saucepan, heat water and 1 cup xylitol over medium heat. Continue heating until the xylitol has reached between 240 and 250 degrees F. Be careful. Xylitol will be extremely hot!
- While the xylitol is heating, begin whipping egg whites in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. When eggs are frothy, add the cream of tartar. When soft peaks form, add the remaining 1/4 cup of xylitol. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. The goal is to have the xylitol reach 245 degrees F at the same time that the eggs have reach stiff peaks.
- With the electric mixer on low speed, gently add the xylitol in a thin stream into the eggs. Be careful not to touch the whisk or the sides of the bowl with the xylitol.
- Continue whisking on high speed until the frosting has cooled, about 10-15 minutes. The mixing bowl should be roughly room temperature or slightly warmer.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and continue beating the frosting on medium speed while adding the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. The entire 5 sticks may not be needed. Stop adding butter when the frosting has transformed into a smooth and thick texture. (Don't panic if the frosting begins to have a curdled look, this is normal. Continue to add butter and it will smooth out.) You may need to continue to beat the frosting for up to 5 minutes after adding all the butter for it to smooth out.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and almond extract.
- For best results, use immediately. Frosting may be stored in the refrigerator for later use. Re-whip before using.