German Buttercream Recipe (With an Egg-Free & Dairy-Free Version)

German buttercream has gotten a bad name for being too soft to pipe or use to frost cakes, but it’s not so! Use this soft, creamy goodness on refrigerated cakes or as a filling for donuts, cakes, and cupcakes. You start with pastry cream and end up with an amazing, rich buttercream. It doesn’t even taste like buttercream. This German buttercream recipe is much better! It tastes like pastry cream.


See the recipe for Lump-Free Pastry Cream.
Dairy Free Version:
Be sure to thicken this recipe with unflavored gelatin to make it sturdy. See the Tips/Notes section of the recipe.  Then, use dairy-free margarine like Smart Balance (or Earth Balance for vegan) instead of butter. Be sure to omit salt in your pastry cream if you are using salted margarine.
How Much Butter Should I Add?

The amount of butter depends upon the texture you’re trying to achieve. If you’re looking for a whipped cream texture, just use 8 tablespoons. The more butter you add, the firmer the buttercream once refrigerated.


German Buttercream Recipe

A yummy naturally gluten free German buttercream recipe that starts with pastry cream. It's not only a soft, creamy frosting but makes a great filling for cakes, cupcakes, and donuts!
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Ingredient Keyword buttermilk, buttter, eggs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill 2 hours
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 cups


  • 1/2 recipe Lump-Free Pastry Cream see link above
  • 8 - 16 tablespoons 1 - 2 sticks unsalted butter, each tablespoon cut into fourths at room temperature
  • Confectioners' sugar optional
  • Gluten free extract and/or gluten free food coloring optional


  1. Make the pastry cream as instructed at the above-linked recipe. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
  2. Transfer the cooled pastry cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip for 1 to 2 minutes, to aerate. While the mixer is running, add one piece of butter at a time, until it disappears permanently into the pastry cream. Use at least 8 tablespoons of butter up to 16 tablespoons, depending upon the texture you’re trying to achieve. Additional butter makes it fluffier. Continue to beat until the buttercream is fluffy and smooth.
  3. If using, beat in some confectioners' sugar for a sturdier frosting. Add the sugar a little at a time until the buttercream reaches your desired consistency. (I like to sift in confectioners' sugar to avoid lumps.)
  4. If flavoring with additional flavorings or coloring, add those in at this time and mix until thoroughly blended.
  5. Use this German buttercream recipe to frost or fill cakes, cupcakes, donuts, pastries, and more. Refrigerate any leftovers.

One Reply to “German Buttercream Recipe (With an Egg-Free & Dairy-Free Version)”

  1. O love your recipes. It is wonderful to have recipes that taste great. It is hard to enjoy Gluten free food when you are use to regular food like from my grandmother.
    Thank you

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