How to Make Easy Buttercream Recipe For Cakes

After going through lots of tried and tested recipes on how to make easy buttercream, I have finally found two different types of buttercream frostings that have become my all-time favourites. I’ll share the recipes, along with a beginner’s guide on quantities and how to colour your buttercream

In the early stages of making cakes and cupcakes, I was always looking for the perfect cake and buttercream icing recipes. I started by using the amazing recipes I found in the Humming Bird Bakery Book. This book is by far one of the best cake recipe books I have ever bought! I recently threw all my baking books out, apart from this one! This book gets a starring role in my kitchen for life :) Their cream cheese buttercream recipe is to die for!

So let’s take a little look at what buttercream professional bakers use and the best buttercream for UK cakes!

concentrated whitner food colouring

Traditional Buttercream Icing Recipe with Icing Sugar.

This buttercream recipe is quick, simple and practically fool proof. This recipe doesn’t contain cream or eggs so is safe to leave out of the fridge which is typical for the UK’s colder climate. We also want to avoid putting out butter creamed cupcakes in the fridge to stop them from drying out and our fondant-covered cakes from sweating. That’s why this recipe is an absolute favourite amongst UK professional bakers/cake makers.

I can’t stand buttercream that is too sweet so I have slightly adapted my recipe to use salted butter.

Buttercream Ingredients:

250g Icing sugar
60g of unsalted butter (room temp)
40g of salted butter (room temp)
25ml Milk or cooled boiled water

Simply add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk away until you achieve a rich, creamy texture. It Couldn’t be any simpler!

Top Tip: Make sure to beat the ingredients for at least 5 minutes to make it smooth and creamer, plus this will make it much lighter in colour.

Coloured buttercream piped swirls for cupcakes

How Much Buttercream For 12 Cupcakes

As a baker the minimum cupcake order is usually a box of 12, so knowing the exact amount of buttercream is crucial to avoid wastage. The recipe given will pipe 8 large cupcake buttercream swirls. So, to pipe 12 cupcakes you’ll want to multiply each ingredient by 1.5.

But what if you have 40 cupcakes make and need to work out the exact quantity of buttercream. Grab a calculator and do this maths: 40 ÷ 8 = 5, then multiply each ingredient by 5.

How i fill and layer my cakes with buttercream step by step

How much Buttercream frosting For a 4 layer or 3 layer 8" Cake.

All of my celebration cakes have 4 layers of cake. I prefer this as I can add thinner layers of buttercream filling, avoiding any later cake bulging, when the weight from fondant and decorations is applied to the cake. If you’re going to ganache the outside of the cake, you don’t need that much buttercream. For 3 layers just use the traditional buttercream recipe above. For 4 layers you might want to multiply it by 1.5 like the cupcakes.

How much Buttercream for a two tiered cake 6" and 8"

For a two tiered cake I would multiply the recipe by 3.

How to Make White Buttercream Frosting

concentrated whitner food colouring

But what if you wanted to make white buttercream? Due to the yellowness of the butter, your buttercream can be very creamy. To make this the lightest colour possible make sure you beat it well. To make your buttercream white you’ll have to use a heavily concentrated white food colour. Squires Kitchen has just brought out a NEW whitener, it’s a must-buy. You can purchase the whitener at the cake decorating company.

How to Make Coloured Buttercream

Other concentrated food colours can be mixed into your buttercream. You don’t need expensive oil-based colours like Colour Mill, they are no different to Squires Kitchen. Squires kitchen colours don’t clog up and become thick in consistency like sugar flair making them perfect gel colours to add drops of vibrant colour to your buttercream and ganache!

Concentrated gel colours set for ganache and fondant food colouring for buttercream

How To Make Italian Meringue Buttercream.

As I said, this recipe has become my all-time favourite. It is silky and smooth in texture and not too sweet! But I have to be honest it is a little trickier to master and more time-consuming, but the results are worth it! This buttercream can also be left out as the eggs are cooked with boiling sugar, but due to the eggs leaving it out does worry me. This is a great recipe if you are going to make more of a dessert cake with fruit inside, made closer to the celebration date. It’s also great for buttercream-style cakes that are kept in the fridge right up until served. It’s beautiful to work with and luxurious bright white.

how to make White Italian meringue buttercream step by step

Italian Meringue Buttercream Ingredients

125ml water
225g Caster sugar
8 large egg whites (room temp)
60g Caster Sugar
1tsp Cream of Tartar
680g Butter (room temp, cubed)

How To Make Italian Meringue Buttercream - Step by Step Method.

  1. Bring the water and sugar to the boil and leave to simmer.
    2. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and then add the cream of tartar and turn the speed up to medium to high speed.
  2. Once the egg white forms soft peaks add the 60g of caster sugar and turn up to a high speed until silky and glossy. This is the meringue part of your buttercream.
    4. Turn your attention back to the simmering water/sugar mixture and rapidly boil until it reaches 250f. The trick here is to have this ready at the same time as your meringue.
    5. Whilst the meringue is still whisking away slowly pour the syrup and then turn up to a high speed until the mixture has cooled. This may take as long as 15 minutes.
    6. Once the mixture has cooled you can slowly add in your butter at a slow speed.

Important top tips:

  • Start beating the egg whites at a slow speed, as this will create more volume.
  • Never allow the meringue to sit as it will weaken, so leave it at a slower speed.
  • Wait until the mixture is cooled before adding your butter.
  • The tricky part to the recipe is if you add the butter too early it will melt and then you will end up with a sloppy mixture, but don’t worry! you can come back from it. This recipe is all about the temperature. If it’s too warm you can put the boil into a big bowl of iced water and whisk it until it comes back. If the buttercream is too cold just leave it at room temperature for a while before whisking it again.
  • The buttercream can easily be frozen for a month or so, just make sure you leave it to come back to room temperature before whisking it back up. Note: the mixture will separate before coming back together so don’t worry!

Making this might sound a little complicated but trust me, it is well worth the trouble! Ifyou need any help or have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll advise you the best I can.

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