Easy Buttercream Icing Recipe
Buttercream is the perfect choice for icing cupcakes and a lot of different cake decorating techniques. It's great for icing naked cakes, as a base for applying fondant icing to your cake and of course to make delicious cupcakes.
- 125g Softened Butter
- 95g Vegetable Shortening (optional, makes the buttercream stiffer, particularly in warmer weather - replace with more butter if you prefer)
- 4 cups Icing Sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Butter & milk can be replaced with dairy free alternatives to make a dairy free buttercream.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter & shortening in a bowl until smooth.
- Add half of the icing sugar and mix through
- Add vanilla essence and milk, and mix through
- Add remaining icing sugar and mix through
- If necessary, add more milk until ideal consistency is achieved
Vanilla essence can be swapped out for different flavours if desired. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup cocoa powder with another small amount of milk for chocolate icing.
Colouring Your Buttercream Icing:
To colour your buttercream we recommend Wilton icing colour concentrated gel. These highly concentrated gels can be used to colour buttercream, fondant and even your cake batter (which does not fade when baked unlike other food colours). As you only need to add a small amount with a toothpick, it does not change the consistency and also works out to be a lot more economical than supermarket brand colours.
If you are using the darker, more difficult to achieve colours such as black or red, we recommend that you start off by adding some cocoa powder. This will give you a dark base to work from, meaning you won't need to use as much gel to achieve the desired colour.
We also highly recommend Wilton White White Icing Colour which when added to your buttercream icing makes it a bright white colour. The more butter used in your buttercream, the more White White is needed. It's also helpful if you want pink instead of apricot. Pink, when added to your buttercream, may have an apricot hue due to the yellow of the butter. White White will allow you to acheive a true pink colour.