Buttercream is the most popular type of decorating cakes and cupcakes. It can be used to coat a cake or even to fill a cake. Buttercream is easy to make, as it involves to steps: creaming the butter and then mixing the icing sugar with the creamed butter. Buttercream can be made with margarine or lard however; this can affect the flavour of the buttercream. Some people like to add a bit of margarine to the buttercream to make the buttercream more stable at room temperature. The addition of margarine also helps to keep the buttercream stable when piping buttercream roses.
There are also other variants of buttercream such as Italian meringue buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream and French buttercream. The buttercream can be left at room temperature without the buttercream from melting, but do not leave it out for too long as it may cause the buttercream to spoil.
There are so many different flavours that can be incorporated into this recipe, which makes it a very versatile frosting. Also the buttercream can be coloured using food colouring. I prefer to use food colouring gels because you will use less of it compared to liquid food colouring and it will not affect the consistency of the buttercream. It only needs four ingredients and it is easy to make!
When you are going to use the buttercream make sure it is soft and spreadable. If you placed the buttercream in the fridge, allow the buttercream to reach room temperature before using. As if the buttercream is too stiff it can break the cake when coating a cake and cause crumbs to get mixed in with the buttercream coating.
125g Soften Butter
400g Icing Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Essence/Paste
2-4 tbsp Milk
1. Place the soften butter into a large bowl and mix on a high speed using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes until the butter starts to look paler (with is due to air being beaten into the butter, which makes it lighter). The butter has to be soft otherwise there will be lumps in the buttercream.
2. Add the icing sugar, vanilla essence/paste and the milk into the bowl and mix on a low speed for 5 minutes until everything is incorporated.
3. After 5 minutes the buttercream should be a pale white colour. If the buttercream is not at the right consistency you want, add a tablespoon of milk until you reach your desired consistency.
4. At this stage you can add the food colouring gel to the buttercream, mix the buttercream until you get your desired colour. You can now use the buttercream to frost cupcakes, make cake pops or coat your cakes.