Today I’m talking about buttercream.
Buttercream is a frosting made by mixing mainly a solid fat (butter, vegetable shortening, margarine) with sugar (powdered or granulated) used most commonly to ice cakes but also for a variety of other things.
I’ll share my three main buttercream recipes and their pros and cons.
Pros: it’s cheap to make, easy to make, needs no refrigeration
Cons: not as easy to smoothen when icing a cake, and doesn’t taste too great.
500g Vegetable Shortening
1 kg Powdered Sugar (sifted)
- In a standing mix fixed with the whip attachment, whip up the measured out shortening on the highest speed for about 5 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
- While shortening is whipping up, sift the powdered sugar.
When the shortening is soft enough add in the powdered sugar in 2 parts. Pour in the first half and whip together on low speed until all incorporated, then do the same to the second half. When all the powdered sugar in incorporated, turn the mixer back up to highest speed and let it whip for another minute or 2. Then it’s ready to use.
Pros: smoother in taste and in look, better taste, a bit easier to smoothen an icing cake with, easy to make.
Cons: needs refrigeration, a bit more expensive to make
500g Unsalted Butter
1 kg Powdered Sugar
- In a standing mixer fixed with a paddle attachment, mixed together the butter and shortening until smooth and soft and pale in color.
- While fats are mixing, sift the powdered sugar. When fat mixture is ready, pour in half the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until it’s incorporated, then do the same with the other half. When everything is mixed together, buttercream is ready to use.
Pros: easiest to smoothen out on cakes, tastes really smooth, not too sweet
Cons: longer process, expensive to make, needs refrigeration.
Egg Whites 125g
Unsalted Butter (softened) 435g
- Pour sugar and egg whites in a metal mixing bowl. Over a double boiler, dissolve sugar in egg whites, making sure the water in double boiler isn’t touching the bowl. Mix with a whisk consistently until can’t feel sugar granules in egg whites.
- Take off heat and whip with a whisk attachment on high speed until cool and forming firm glossy peaks.
- Turn mixer down to low speed and add softened butter few at a time, making sure each have been incorporated before adding the next.
- Add in any flavorings you may want and continue to whip on high speed until buttercream is smooth. (Will look curdled at first but continue to whip till smooth.) Then it’s ready to be used!
*Double boiler: a saucepan with a bit (an inch give or take) of water in it with another bowl/compartment over it that is being heated by the steam of the water below.