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Rum and Vanilla Bean Buttercream

You will need at least 24 cups for the Tropical Wedding Cake; make 3 separate batches.

  • Yield: Makes about 9 cups
Rum and Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2005


  • 2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy and pale. Set aside.

  2. Place sugar in a shallow bowl. Scrape in vanilla seeds; grind together with a wooden spoon. Sift to remove vanilla-bean residue. In clean bowl of mixer, set over simmering water, whisk flavored sugar, salt, and egg whites until warm and sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. With whisk attachment, beat mixture, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, until fluffy and cooled, 12 to 15 minutes.

  3. Switch to paddle attachment; add butter a few tablespoons at a time, incorporating fully after each, on low speed until completely smooth. Add vanilla extract and rum; combine. Use immediately, or refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using, and beat on lowest speed with paddle until smooth.

Reviews (1)

  • PittmanTrio 16 Nov, 2011

    This is one yummy buttercream! Reminds me very much of the buttercream that was on my wedding cake!

    Taste as you go, but I do recommend adding a little extra rum.

    I cut the batch in half for my two apple cakes and had to use the same amount of rum that the recipes for twice as much called for. (this of course could be due to the brand of rum as well)
    Lovely recipe! Perfect with an Autumn apple cake!