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Is there actually a works-every-time, delicious recipe or method for buttercream icing?

(53 Posts)
Stopmithering Fri 07-Nov-14 17:36:07

Am I missing something?
I follow recipes to the letter but don't seem to be able to make that lovely light buttercream you get on posh cupcakes.
Is it the recipe?
Do I need a piping bag? confused

ICanTuckMyBoobsInMyPockets Fri 07-Nov-14 17:39:21

You need a good mixer. I have a Kenwood Chef and just leave it to run for at least 5 minutes.

I use Hummingbird Bakery recipe which is

250g icing sugar
80g butter (room temperature)
25ml milk
Few drops vanilla extract

Chocolate buttercream:
300g icing sugar
100g butter (room temperature)
40g Cocoa powder
40ml milk

Perfect every time!

BelleateSebastian Fri 07-Nov-14 17:39:37

Piping bag and make sure you really whip the butter!

SirChenjin Fri 07-Nov-14 17:42:38

I second the good mixer/long beating. I stick the butter and icing sugar in the mixer and walk away for 10 minutes, sometimes longer.

UriGeller Fri 07-Nov-14 17:45:09

I use 3:1 ratio of icing sugar to butter. Also, use salted butter, or add a pinch of salt. It really picks it up.

MrsKipling16 Fri 07-Nov-14 17:47:17

Yes! And it's really easy because you don't even have to faff about with the scales:

250g lurpack unsalted butter at room temperature
500g box of icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 - 4 tablespoons of milk at room temperature

As previous posters have said, the key is really beating the butter well - with an electric mixer if you have one. I'm not sure that it makes much difference, but I mix just the butter first and then add the icing sugar in 1/3rds of a packet!! When adding the final 1/3, this is when I add the milk.

It looks and tastes good smile

LizzieMint Fri 07-Nov-14 17:47:24

I use a ratio of 1:2, butter to icing sugar. And like everyone else says, beat beat beat and beat some more. I put my butter in the mixer and whip that for 5 mins or so, add the icing sugar and beat for at least 10 minutes.
Then, the real secret to getting beautifully smooth buttercream is to just add a splash of water at the end. It makes it so lovely to pipe.

Stopmithering Fri 07-Nov-14 18:01:56

Thank you all!
I think that must be it.
I am very much guilty of only beating it in processor for a couple minutes with a sort of 'looks alright to me' cavalier attitude.

TotallyHumiliated Fri 07-Nov-14 18:11:24

Definitely also use lurpak. It tastes the best.

ZingOfSeven Fri 07-Nov-14 21:40:13

yes. Betty Crocker ready made tubs

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 07-Nov-14 21:44:56

So to derail very slightly, how do you stop your kitchen looking like the box of icing sugar has exploded from mixing it in the mixer? I love buttercream, no problems making it, happy to pipe the stuff, but always feel ill at the prospect of the cleanup.

Bunbaker Fri 07-Nov-14 22:18:58

My food mixer has a lid so my kitchen doesn't get too messy. I add a drop of milk at the beginning of the mixing process as it helps blend in the icing sugar without spraying it everywhere. I use two parts of icing sugar to one part butter, plus a drop of milk. Any more sugar makes the icing too sickly IMO.

BobsTaintedLeftLeg Sat 08-Nov-14 09:47:44

Tea towel or muslin or something, over the mixer helps to stop the poof of the icing sugar.

JustAShopGirl Sat 08-Nov-14 09:49:54

Betty crocker tub here too... no faff.

IvyMay Sat 08-Nov-14 09:57:16

The butter really does need to be room temperature. If I've forgotten to take it out of the fridge or if it's just cakes for the school bake sale, I do sometimes use Stork margarine instead of butter. Tastes just fine (especially if you're adding vanilla or cocoa powder) and very easy.

tigerdog Sat 08-Nov-14 10:02:36

Definitely go with the humming bird recipe suggested above as even works (with a lot of effort) when mixing by hand due to the milk. Pipes effortlessly and everyone compliments it.

Bunbaker Sat 08-Nov-14 10:15:43

I find the hummingbird recipe to sickly sweet because of the ratio of sugar to the butter and milk.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 08-Nov-14 11:12:55

No such thing as too sweet IMHO. I find Hummingbird recipe perfect grin

Bunbaker Sat 08-Nov-14 11:16:50

"No such thing as too sweet IMHO"

Oh yes there is grin

divingoffthebalcony Sat 08-Nov-14 11:18:12

The key is a stand mixer. Full whack for at least 7 minutes. It's the addition of air that makes buttercream really light and delicious. Before I discovered this, I used to think buttercream was sickly, greasy and horrible.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 08-Nov-14 12:54:58

<throws a cream cheese buttercream cupcake at bunbaker>

Stopmithering Sat 08-Nov-14 12:56:04

You see I have a Magimix. Will that do?
(Am slightly confused too as to which ratio of butter to icing sugar is best, so many slight variations!)

Stopmithering Sat 08-Nov-14 12:58:31

Bunbaker, if you are making a chocolate buttercream, what quantities do you use?
I'm making 30 ish cupcakes...

Bunbaker Sat 08-Nov-14 13:02:24

For a chocolate one I tend to make a chocolate fudge icing because when you mix the buttercream up for 5 minutes it goes very light in colour because of all the air whipped into it.

This makes enough to ice and fill an 8" cake, so for 30 cupcakes you might want to double the quantity

2oz butter
3 tbs milk (45ml)
8 oz icing sugar, sifted
2tbs cocoa powder, sifted

Melt the butter with the milk. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat until well mixed. Leave to cool before using.

Stopmithering Sat 08-Nov-14 17:41:31

So this is what I made.
No piping bag so very amateur in appearance!
Still not 100% sure I got it right ...

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