Joshua John Russell's Orange Buttercream


Whether you're making a Halloween cake with black and orange layers or frosting a big pumpkin-themed dessert, this is the frosting to reach for. Created by Man About Cake's Joshua John Russell, it's the perfect orange color and perfectly easy to work with. Plus it even tastes like orange!

Orange Buttercream

Yield: Enough to fill and ice a 10-inch cake


  • 8 egg whites (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • *6 sticks unsalted butter (3 cups), at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • Orange food coloring

*Note: In warmer climates/seasons you'll want to change the amount of butter to 4 sticks (2 cups) and add 1½ cups of vegetable shortening to the buttercream. This will give more stability when the weather is hot.


1. Over a double boiler, heat the whites, granulated sugar and salt, whisking constantly, until all the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar is dissolved. Take care to heat this slowly — you don’t want scrambled eggs!

2. Place the mixture in a stand mixer and whip on high for 5 minutes, until the mixture is completely cool and holds peaks.

3. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the softened butter a little at a time. Remember, depending on the climate in your area, you may need to adjust the butter and add some shortening.

4. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and blend thoroughly.

5. Fold the orange extract and food coloring into the buttercream. Start with small amounts and add more until you reach the color and flavor you like.

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Joshua John Russell's Orange Buttercream