When it comes to buttercream, a good recipe isn’t always a silver bullet. I think you need a good set of guidelines to go along with any recipe, as there are so many variables that can alter the outcome – the temperature of your ingredients and the kitchen, the varying water content in your dairy ingredients, your mixer, and so on. So with that in mind here are my…
Top Tips for Perfect Buttercream
- Be prepared to deviate from the exact recipe and method. Bear in mind the consistency you want to achieve and add your sugar and liquids slowly, beating in between to get it just right.
- Use Billington’s golden icing sugar, good vanilla, good butter and double cream if you can – these are the flavours you want to come through.
- Start with very soft (but not melted) butter and beat it alone to incorporate some air in the very first stage.
- Then once you’ve added everything and it’s combined evenly, beat it again, on high for a while to incorporate more air. This will give you a whiter buttercream too. You can drop the mixer speed down to low for a minute if you ant to knock out some of the bigger air bubbles.
- If your buttercream is too thin, you can thicken by adding some more butter, rather than sugar. Just make sure the butter is very very soft, otherwise it will break apart into lumps and you’ll have to ditch the lot and start again.
- If it’s very hot in the kitchen, which is melting your butter and thinning your buttercream, refrigerating it slightly then beating it smooth again will mean you can thicken it up without having to add a load of extra sugar.
- In winter I tend to add a little more cream, and less in Summer.
Here’s a couple of videos which give you an idea of the texture – Icing cupcakes * Buttercream vid
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g Billington’s golden icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract OR matcha powder, dehydrated raspberry powder, a single fresh raspberry, black sesame seeds, citrus zest – flavour it as you like!
- 75ml double cream (give or take)
- Beat the butter alone for 4–5 minutes on high speed.
- Add the sugar, vanilla and cream and beat on a low speed to bring it together, then turn up and beat on high for another 2–3 minutes.
NOTE: You can substitute whole milk for some or all of the cream; just add it slowly, as you may need a bit less.
This recipe & more can be found in Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth