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Buttercream icing recipe

Buttercream icing recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cake decorating
  • Icing
  • Buttercream icing

An easy to make egg-free icing that works great for decorating cakes for birthdays. If you use liquid colouring, you may need to add more icing sugar.

2784 people made this

IngredientsServes: 20

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

MethodPrep:10min ›Extra time:5min › Ready in:15min

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, a quarter at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

Video

Buttercream icing

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1532)

Reviews in English (1190)

This is a great recipe to have. I used it to ice cupcakes. However add the icing sugar gradually as you might not want to add as much as it says. I used 450g instead and it was sweet enough!-10 Feb 2011

Good basic buttercream recipe, but careful with how much you make - I halved the recipe and still had a fair bit left over after icing a whole sandwich cake.-24 Oct 2011

very easy and lovely buttercream, worked a treat on delicious cupckaes.-15 Nov 2011


Award-Winning Buttercream Icing Recipe

Buttercream is probably the most-used most-delicious icing ideas around. The traditional buttercream frosting is one of the easiest and well-loved the world over and can be the basis of many artistic cake endeavors. You can think of buttercream as your paint and the sponge cake is your canvas. Since buttercream is so important to me, I really wanted to find the very best buttercream recipe on the internet, so when I found this awesome award-winning buttercream icing video recipe tutorial by Recipe By Carina, on YouTube, I knew I had picked a winner. The ingredients are really simple and this recipe is not hard, and the difference in taste from easy store-bought is huge. When you see how easy this recipe is you will never want to eat canned icing again.


Reviews ( 11 )

Frosting looks as yellow as the butter used. Not sure how to make it white and fluffy as in pic.

Melts super fast within minutes. looking like melted butter again. :-(

Anybody has advice? If not, I've to switch back to my old trusty recipes again.

Truly delicious, but the consistency was too soft for me as written. The filling squeezed out the side of my cake. I recommend forgoing the 1T of milk, or if you do add it, be prepared to add more powdered sugar to thicken it back up.

I have not made this yet. What would be a good cake batter recipe to go with this frosting?? Looks good for this coming Easter weekend.

Having never made frosting before this recipe was simply amazing and no fuss. Truly delish and used it on a carrot cake. Brilliant :)

This frosting is wonderful. I had more than enough to thickly frost 24 cupcakes. Going to use this same recipe but try different flavors than lime next time.

This was truly outstanding!! I substituted regular lime zest and fresh lime juice, otherwise made it just as it is written. It got lots of raves at the gathering. I used it for white wedding cake cupcakes. yummy! Also lots of requests for the recipe. You won't be disappointed if you try it. The name should be "SPOON worthy" as we had to control ourselves from sampling and sampling it off the spoon . lol I also agree with the review about the cream cheese and the hot weather. this will melt if out of the fridge too long!

Terrific quick recipes - great for a summer treat. You can also make this as a Cream Cheese Icing by reducing the butter to 1/2 stick and adding an 8 oz. block of softened cream cheese, beaten with the butter. The cream cheese version is good when you need a slightly sturdier icing to stand up better to hot weather, as the Buttercream version can't be without refrigeration for very long or it will run.


Italian Buttercream

This is the frosting that you'll find on many wedding cakes. Its silky texture is unparalleled, it pipes like a dream, and can be flavored and colored in as many ways as you can imagine. While it takes a little time to make, it freezes quite well. It's great to have on hand for unexpected occasions.

Ingredients

  • 48 tablespoons (680g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup (92g to 138g) vegetable shortening, optional
  • 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons flavoring (see baker's hints)

Instructions

To make the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small, nonstick (preferable, if you have one) saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches at least 240°F. It can go as high as 248°F to 250°F. Just be sure it's within those temperatures before you take it off the stove.

To make the meringue: While the syrup is cooking, combine the meringue powder, water, and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Beat at high speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture first looks foamy, then turns white, and you begin to see tracks in the bowl. At this point, slowly sprinkle in the sugar with the mixer running. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is stiff.

When the syrups gets above 240°F (115°C) and before it gets above 250°F (120°C), remove it from the heat and with the mixer running at low speed, pour it down the side of the mixing bowl (not on the whisk or beaters if you can avoid it that will send the syrup flying and start spinning sugar threads instead of incorporating it). Once the syrup is all in, leave the mixer running until the mixture cools to 80°F. You can help this process along by wrapping an ice pack around the mixing bowl.

Once the meringue is cool, add the butter, a few pieces at a time, with the mixer running at medium to medium-high speed. The meringue will deflate a bit, and may begin to look curdled. Don't lose heart! This ugly "adolescent" stage is normal. Just keep the mixer running and adding the butter.

Perfect your technique

Italian Buttercream Frosting

Soon the frosting will begin to bring itself together around the whisk, then in the rest of the bowl. Once most of the butter is in, add vanilla or your choice of flavorings. This is also the time to add food coloring, if using. (Be sure to use gel or paste colors, not liquid ones they'll cause the frosting to break.)

If you're using the frosting for decorations like piped roses or if the cake is going to spend any length of time in a warm place, add the vegetable shortening in chunks at this point. (It will help the decorations hold their shape better.)

Use the buttercream within 4 hours, or refrigerate until needed.

Storage information: Buttercream will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator freeze for longer storage. (Consider dividing it into several smaller containers before refrigerating or freezing smaller amounts take less time to come to room temperature, and you'll be able to work with the frosting sooner.) To use from frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then let it come to room temperature before using. If you see any weeping or separation, toss the frosting in the mixer and whip it briefly to bring it back together.

Tips from our Bakers

For a tangy passion fruit version, whip 1/3 cup (60g) of passion fruit purée or concentrate into the finished buttercream.


3. ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

For something light but durable, try this Italian meringue buttercream. The ingredients are similar to Swiss buttercream but in different proportions, so this frosting is a bit sturdier than its counterpart. Great for using between layers or frosting your cake, this buttercream requires a little extra work, but it’s well worth it!

  • This buttercream is best the day it’s made
  • Pasteurized eggs may be used, but they will not whip up as well as regular eggs and will yield less frosting
  • If using pasteurized eggs, start adding hot sugar syrup when eggs reach soft peaks


How To Make Buttercream Frosting – With 4 Different Flavors

Whilst most like to stick with the original Vanilla flavored buttercream, you can make many delicious flavors of buttercream.

I just had to bring you this recipe / link, Daniel from Live Well Bake Often has an easy to follow how to make buttercream frosting tutorial.

It really is a very easy to follow tutorial on how to make 4 different flavors of Buttercream.


We know you want your treats to stand out in the crowd. Good news - show stopping icing has never been easier. Download this handy chart with the food color ratios for the perfect icing color. You’ll find the latest color trends as well as some classic staples. So, have fun and get creative! Your treats will be as colorful as they are delicious.

We know you want your treats to stand out in the crowd. Good news - show stopping icing has never been easier. Download this handy chart with the food color ratios for the perfect icing color. You’ll find the latest color trends as well as some classic staples. So, have fun and get creative! Your treats will be as colorful as they are delicious.


Buttercream Frosting – How to Make Buttercream Frosting

 Buttercream Frosting – How to make buttercream that is light, creamy, and fluffy using this homemade frosting recipe. This is the BEST Buttercream frosting recipe for cakes and cupcakes. It’s the perfect buttercream icing for decorative piping. You’ll love this EASY vanilla buttercream frosting recipe!

 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Most people I know (including me) always have a tub of frosting on hand in case they ever need it. Store-bought frosting and buttercream frosting are on opposite ends of the spectrum in every way in flavor, texture, sweetness, spreadability, and versatility. But, if you would like to know how to make frosting, you’ve come to the right place! In fact, this buttercream frosting recipe is the only icing you need for any recipe calling for frosting.

To make this homemade buttercream frosting, you will need:

  • butter
  • powdered sugar (also called confectioners sugar)
  • vanilla
  • a tiny but of salt
  • heavy cream

The buttercream frosting is made by creaming butter with powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and a little bit of heavy cream, then whipping it into the perfect buttercream frosting. The frosting should taste light, airy, and like sweetened whipped butter. This is why it’s called buttercream frosting. It should definitely not taste greasy, artificial, or overly sweet. The best buttercream frosting is the one that works with you for whatever you need it to do versus being limited by what it can do (cough.. cough… frosting in a plastic tub). If you don’t believe me, try piping frosting on a cupcake using frosting in a tub. It’s just too soft. You should not attempt to stiffen store-bought frosting.

As a former professional wedding cake decorator, I’ve been using this buttercream recipe for over 25 years. Trust me when I say you want to have a go-to reliable best buttercream frosting recipe you can always count on. Whether you’re frosting cupcakes for a child’s class party, need the best birthday cake frosting for icing, or want a stiff enough buttercream frosting to handle your decorative piping work for cake decorating, this buttercream recipe will do everything you need for your cake and cupcake frosting needs.

Frankly, it’s the best buttercream frosting recipe because it is so versatile, adaptable, and easy to make. With so many buttercream icing recipes to choose from, this truly is the best frosting.

Keep in mind, not all frosting recipes are alike. Most wedding cake frosting recipes are egg-based such as Italian, Swiss, or French. These frostings are slightly less sweet but require you to cook sugar into a syrup while whipping eggs and butter at a high speed as it magically whips into the most luxurious buttercream – which is why it is the best wedding cake frosting of choice for brides. However, for all other occasion cakes including birthdays, This classic vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is the gold standard. Most boutique cupcake shops use a base buttercream frosting like this one and add different flavors to it to create endless buttercream recipe combinations– much like how most ice cream flavors start with a vanilla ice cream base. Cool, right?

Is Homemade Frosting the Same as Grocery Store Bakery Frosting?

When you walk pass the bakery section at your local store you often see beautiful decorated cakes in bakery case. The bright white frosting they use is often not made with real butter and instead is made from shortening which allows cakes to be left out for long periods of time.

Stabilizing the frosting is often the primary reason why white buttercream frosting recipes call for shortening or a mixture of shortening and butter. Although you could easily substitute some of the butter for shortening, your frosting will have a greasy mouthfeel and taste to it. However, there are times when using shortening is appropriate. For instance, if you need to stabilize the cake frosting because your cake will be sitting outdoors in sweltering weather (like for a wedding) or you have to have a true bright white cake frosting, shortening can be used in combination with clear vanilla extract flavoring. Real homemade frosting made with only butter will always have a barely off white color to it from the butter and vanilla extract. Keep in mind, when whipping the buttercream using shortening or butter, it will lighten as you whip air into it.

If a store is selling a 8-inch buttercream frosted cake like this for $29.99- it’s definitely real buttercream.

The truth is, most grocery baking departments use pre-made shortening based buttercream frostings unless the bakery is in a high-end store like Whole Foods. They use all butter frostings. The same is true for cupcake frosting. Those brightly airbrushed colored frostings you see on cupcakes are made with all shortening or a non-dairy whipped topping that needs no refrigeration and never goes bad. Another reason to make your own frosting at home. My personal preference is always make buttercream with only butter. It just tastes so good!

I don’t want vanilla buttercream. Can I change the flavor? Can I change the color?

As mentioned before, this buttercream frosting recipe is very adaptable. You can substitute the vanilla extract for other extract flavors such as almond, coconut, maple, orange, or lemon. Sometimes I’ll even mix in a few tablespoons of fruit jam to make strawberry frosting or raspberry buttercream. Whipping in a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon curd to the buttercream makes the best lemon frosting filling between layers of cake, especially if you also add fresh raspberries! You can also mix in homemade or store-bought caramel sauce for a nice caramel frosting – perfect for banana cake. The frosting can be easily tinted with food paste gel or food coloring for all your cake decorating needs.

How can I change the stiffness of the buttercream frosting?

It’s worth noting when preparing a batch of frosting you should adjust the consistency of the buttercream for what you plan on using it for. The easiest way to do this is by adjusting the amount of cream you use. The less cream you pour in, the stiffer your frosting will be. And if you pour in too much cream, you can always add more sifted powdered sugar to stiffen it right back up.

For frosting and spreading on a cake, I prefer a medium (somewhat soft but slightly stiff) consistency. For piping and decorative work, I always go with a stiffer consistency, so the detailed edges of my piping tips show clearly. The tip I used in the picture above is a #32. As you can see, I piped it in 3 different styles using the same tip.

This buttercream frosting recipe is the best because it’s so flexible and very forgiving. Changing the amounts of heavy cream and powdered sugar makes it very easy to make the frosting how you want it. The only important suggestion I recommend is to make sure you sift your powdered sugar before adding it to the butter. This will ensure your frosting is smooth without small sugar clumps.

How much frosting do I need for cake? What about frosting cupcakes?

Many of you have asked about how much cake frosting you need for layered cakes and cupcakes. The truth is, there is no straight standard answer because how much you need entirely depends on how you plan on using it. Will you need just enough frosting for the exterior of the cake? Or cake plus layers? Do you plan on doing any decorative piping? If you plan on frosting a not so tall 2 layer 8-inch round cake, you’ll have enough frosting to fill, frost, and get a tiny bit of piping in. Assuming you are spreading the frosting thin.

For frosting cupcakes, do you only plan on a light, thin layer or do you plan on piping a swirl skyscraper high? I can’t give you an honest answer about how much cupcake frosting you’ll need without knowing more of your project. However, this frosting recipe makes enough to spread an average amount of frosting for 24 cupcakes. If you plan on piping swirls of frosting, this recipe is enough to swirl frosting for 15 cupcakes.

Here’s a cake and buttercream frosting chart from Wilton which gives approximate estimates on how much buttercream icing you’ll need based on cake sizes. I suggest using this guide and plan to make more frosting if necessary. You’ll feel frustrated if you don’t have enough and you’ll feel relieved if you have extra – which can be saved in the refrigerator or freezer for future baking projects.

What you need to know about butter!

I recommend using unsalted butter because different brands of salted butter have varying levels of salt concentration. Some people have commented their buttercream frosting was too salty. This is due to the brand of butter you use. Some brands are very salty and others not so much. Therefore, I have changed the recipe to reflect unsalted butter.

The texture of the butter makes a BIG difference. If your buttercream icing is too runny or thin, this is likely due to the texture of the butter pre-whipping, which I’m assuming some of you microwaved to soften. When you microwave butter like this, you run the risk of partially melting the butter in spots (which is not good) making your frosting runny and grainy… imagine making buttercream frosting with vegetable oil. Ideally, you want your butter to be soft enough to whip with a mixer but not liquidy, even partially. The texture should be similar to soft serve ice cream, soft enough to scoop but firm enough to hold its shape.

What you need to know about sifting sugar!

Do not, under any circumstances, use unsifted powdered sugar to make frosting. Sifting the powdered sugar breaks up any larger clumps that will otherwise not break down in the whipping process. In fact, you’ll have varying degrees of tiny clumps which is ugly to look at when spreading this buttercream frosting on a cake. Unsifted sugar also contributes to a grainy mouthfeel.

-Tools of the trade-

A few people have asked in the comments section which tool I use to sift powdered sugar. I use a rounded kitchen mesh strainer found in nearly all grocery stores’ baking aisle. These Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainersare a great deal. Nearly half-off the retail listed price, having a set of three in various sizes will serve you well, especially the small mini one. I use that one to dust small plated desserts or a pan of brownies ALL THE TIME.

This homemade frosting recipe requires you to beat it with a mixer until the texture of the butter and sugar turns light and fluffy-just like the picture. This step is crucial as it whips air into the frosting. If you own a Kitchenaid stand mixer and bake regularly, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the beater attachment with the silicon edge scraper. I’ve owned two of these beaters because it saves me a step from having to stop the mixer to scrape the bowl down. Truth moment – scraping the bowl down is a pain in the butt. I haven’t used the medal attachment for years since discovering the scraper attachment. I hate having to scrape the bowl down when making frosting or mixing batter. This attachment makes for a better workflow for me. At nearly half off the listed price, I recommend this KitchenAid KFE5T Flex Edge Beater for Tilt-Head Stand Mixers.


I feel like I’ve covered all there is to know about buttercream frosting. If you have any additional frosting questions, feel free to leave them down below in the comment section. – Alice


Ingredients

There are really 4 key ingredients: butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream (amounts included in printable recipe below). It’s all about the amounts you put in that will change the consistency of the buttercream. I usually like to stick with 2 sticks of butter and 5 cups of powdered sugar as a starting point. If I’m making cookies, I thin it out a little more with cream. With cupcakes, I use less cream so that it’s pretty thick and holds a point.

  • Butter: Use salted butter. If you only have unsalted butter on hand, add in about 1/4 teaspoon salt for every stick of butter. You also do not want the butter to soften before adding it in.
  • Powdered sugar: Make sure to sift the powdered sugar before mixing it in. This helps get rid of any lumps.
  • Vanilla extract: Add in vanilla for extra flavor. If you want your buttercream to be a bright white color, use pure white vanilla.
  • Heavy cream: You only need a few Tablespoons of cream to help thin out the frosting. I’d start with 1 Tablespoon, then add more in if needed.


The Best Homemade Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Using a mixing bowl and hand mixer or stand mixer, add butter and sugar to bowl. Cream together for about 10 seconds until combined. Add vanilla and cream, and mix again until smooth.

For chocolate frosting, add unsweetened cocoa, and mix together

Spread buttercream frosting on cupcakes, cake, or cookies, as desired.

Love to bake and want a buttery creamy frosting recipe?

Check out how to make the best buttercream frosting recipe! It&rsquos so good, and takes just a few minutes to whip up. When you&rsquore in the mood to bake cupcakes, cakes, and homemade sugar cookies, keep this recipe on hand for fail-proof frosting that&rsquoll taste 100% better than any store-bought version!

This recipe amount could easily frost an entire cake, or 12 cupcakes if piping on frosting using a pastry bag. If you were to simply spread a flat layer of frosting on a cupcake, I&rsquom sure it&rsquod go a lot further and perhaps even frost 24 cupcakes.