If you like baking then buttercream is a staple recipe that you need in your arsenal.
Once you can make a basic buttercream, you can use it on cupcakes and sponge cakes, and even begin to customise it with different flavours for more complicated recipes.
This perfect buttercream recipe is simple and easy to follow. Even better, the result will be beautiful, every time.
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What Do You Need?
To make this buttercream you will need the following equipment:
- Mixer – A stand mixer is preferable but you can also use a mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer
- Whisk Attachment – For this recipe, you will need the whisk attachment for the mixer
- Measuring Cups – You will need measuring cups to weigh out your ingredients along with a tablespoon and a teaspoon.
- Spatula – When you are ready to apply the icing to the cake or cupcakes, you will need a flexible spatula and you may also want a decorating knife
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How Much Buttercream Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe for the perfect buttercream will give you enough icing for 24 cupcakes.
If you are making one large sponge cake, then this will be enough to cover and fill a sponge cake with a diameter of 8 inches.
If you need more buttercream then it is very easy to scale up the recipe as the ingredients have a 2:1 ratio – for every measure of butter there are 2 measures of sugar.
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Tips And Tricks
Make sure you follow these tips and tricks to get the perfect buttercream every time.
- Fluffy Icing – If you want your buttercream to be nice and fluffy, then you need to make sure that you incorporate enough air into the mixture. You should whip the butter for around 8 minutes at high speed before adding the rest of the ingredients. The sugar is added slowly on a medium speed, allowing more air into the mixture. Once all of the ingredients are added the icing is whipped for another 4 to 5 minutes to make sure it is nice and fluffy. Make sure you are using the whisk attachment for the mixer, not the paddle attachment, as this will create the most air.
- Soft Butter – If you use cold butter in your icing it will be too hard. This will stop it from getting fluffy and will prevent it from mixing well with the sugar, resulting in lumpy icing. Leave the butter at room temperature for about 3 hours before you make the icing to make sure it is nice and soft. If you forget to get the butter out of the refrigerator, give it a quick blast in the microwave (but not enough to melt it).
- Sifted Sugar – Before you add the icing sugar to the icing, make sure that you have sifted it to remove any lumps. This will make sure that your icing is smooth and that all of the sugar combines with the butter. Add the sugar to the butter gradually for a smooth and fluffy icing. This is also less messy, as it prevents the whisk from sending a puffy cloud of icing sugar into your kitchen!
- Milk – The milk loosens up the icing and stops it from being too stiff. You need the icing to be loose enough to spread well on the cake, but not so loose that it doesn’t set. This is why you need to add the milk gradually. Add the first two tablespoons and check the consistency. Only add the third tablespoon of milk if it is needed. Remember, you can add more milk but you cannot take it out!
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How Do You Store Buttercream?
If you make too much buttercream or you don’t want to use it all right away then you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It can keep for up to two weeks (depending on how fresh the milk was when you made the icing).
When you want to use the buttercream, make sure you take it out of the refrigerator and let it get to room temperature first.
Otherwise, it will be too stiff to spread on the cake.
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How To Customise This Recipe?
There are several ways to customise this recipe for buttercream icing.
- Cream – If you want the icing to be even creamier, swap the milk for cream or use half and half.
- Flavour – This recipe makes vanilla buttercream, but you can use a different extract to change the flavour. You could try almond, orange or lemon.
- Colour – If you want to change the colour of the icing then add a couple of drops of food colouring.
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