How to Make Buttercream Frosting for Cake Decorating
Buttercream Frosting is an essential recipe to master if you plan on making and decorating cakes. You can decorate a cake entirely with just buttercream from crumb coat to flowers and even script! Even a fondant covered cake requires a layer of buttercream first. The recipe itself is also quite versatile, it can and needs to be adjusted based on the purpose it’s intended for. How much milk you add will determine consistency, what extract will determine flavor, and the type of fat you use will determine color and flavor.
- Powered hand mixer, or stand mixer
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Measuring tablespoon
- Sifter or fine meshed strainer
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 cup (2 cubes) butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
- food coloring, optional
Looking for an easy way to decorate a cake? Simply frost your cake with buttercream, try using edible flowers such as fuchsia, violets, day lilies, carnations and marigolds... just to name a few! Fresh fruit always looks and tastes great as well. Then use this buttercream frosting to make accents such as borders and simple piping.
- Fist make sure your sugar is sifted. This will ensure a smooth, fluffy icing. If you don’t have a sifting tool you can use a fine meshed strainer. Just measure out 4 cups of powdered sugar into your strainer and run a spoon back and forth against the bottom until all the sugar falls through into your medium mixing bowl. Leave the sugar in the medium bowl for now.
- Put the butter into the large mixing bowl and beat on low just until smooth. Now add your extract, 2T milk and 1 cup of the powdered sugar to the butter. Beat on low until combined. Its important to beat on low so you don’t get a sugar cloud in your face. Continue to add sugar one cup at a time and beating until smooth.
- Now is where you can decide what consistency you want. If you want your icing stiff, mostly used for making flowers, do not add anymore milk. If you want a medium consistency icing add one more tablespoon. Medium is great for border work, crumb coat and final frosting. Now if you need a thin consistency for vines, lines or script add 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat any added milk until combined.
- Now that you have all your ingredients it is time to work on getting that soft fluffy texture. Beat your icing on med-high for 6-10 minutes of until its light and fluffy and lighter in color. Even if you used all butter it should be white if whipped enough. Your icing is now ready to use! Congratulations!
- To add color simply stir in food coloring a few drops at a time until desired brightness. Be careful not to add too much, buttercream takes color very well.