The Ultimate Guide to Buttercream Perfection

The Ultimate Guide to Buttercream Perfection

At Cake Muse we like to embrace the familiar, romantic, and sometimes even vintage aspects of life. Buttercream embodies all of those elements in our opinion. There is nothing more fulfilling than a finger full of soft, fluffy and creamy butter frosting. We are here for everything involving buttercream, from the easiest at home recipes to the decadent and a touch more involved.
Buttercream is a versatile frosting that is commonly used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods. It is made by combining butter, sugar, and flavorings to create a smooth and creamy texture. Very simple and very easy to make at home!
There are numerous types of buttercream frostings: American, Swiss Meringue, Italian Meringue, French, German, and Vegan to name a few. Today we are going to share tips and tricks on the perfect buttercream frosting in general. Scroll to the bottom for our favorite recipes.



Chef Mixing Buttercream


Expert Tips

1. Start with room temperature ingredients: Make sure your butter is soft and at room temperature before you begin. This will ensure a smooth and creamy consistency. We cannot stress this enough. It really makes the difference!
2. Beat the butter: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until it becomes light and fluffy. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes.
3. Gradually add the sugar: Slowly add your choice of sugar to the butter, one cup at a time, while continuing to beat on low speed. This will prevent lumps from forming. We often prefer Caster Sugar: Superfine Cane. It is already very light and we love the amount of sweetness it gives.
4. Add flavorings: Once the sugar is fully incorporated, add your desired flavorings such as vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or fruit puree. Mix until well combined.
5. Adjust the consistency: If your buttercream is too thick, add a tablespoon of milk, cream, or even water, at a time until you reach the desired consistency. If it's too thin, add more sugar.  
6. According to Julia Child, buttercreams may be refrigerated for several days, or frozen for several weeks. To use again, allow the cream to warm at room temperature until it can be beaten into spreading consistency. If it begins to separate or turn grainy, beat in a tablespoon or two of tepid, unsalted, melted butter. 



Woman Frosting A Cake


Decorating with Buttercream

1. Use a piping bag and various tips to create different designs and textures.
2. Chill your cake before applying buttercream to prevent crumbs from mixing into the frosting.
3. Experiment with different colors by adding food coloring to your buttercream.
4. Practice different piping techniques on a piece of parchment paper before decorating your cake.
5. Add any of our cake ready sugar flowers to your cake. 


Our Favorite Buttercream Recipes


Julia Child's Créme Au Beurre, Ménagére

[Buttercream I - with powdered sugar] This should be made with an electric beater; it is heavy work by hand. Yield: about 1 1/2 cups



2 1/2- quart mixing bowl 2 egg yolks 2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar 2 Tb kirsch, rum, orange liquer, or strong coffee, OR 1 Tb vanilla extract, OR 2 ounces (2 squares) melted, semisweet, baking chocolate 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter Electric beater (or a wire whip)


Rinse the bowl in hot water, dry it, and place in it all the ingredients listed. Beat at a moderate speed for about 5 minutes to obtain smooth cream. Chill until the cream is cold but still malleable, then fill and ice your cake. 



Martha Stuart's Italian Meringue Buttercream

Yield: 4 1/2 cups



1 1/4 cups sugar 5 large egg whites Pinch of cream of tartar 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



Step 1 - In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cups water ti a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
Step 2 - Meanwhile, place egg white in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on a low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not over beat. 
Step 3 - With mixer running, add syrup to white in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; beat in vanilla. If icing curdles, keep beating until smooth.  


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 3