Cupcakes with Buttercream frosting

If you have been buying store buttercream, STOP!

Butter-based frosting or icing as it is popularly known, buttercream is widely used by bakers as a coating, decorating or layering cream on cakes. You can spread it over cakes or pipe it into cupcakes. In whichever way you serve it, buttercream is sure to add that extra oomph to your cake. Professional bakers make their own buttercream. So, if you have been buying store buttercream, STOP! We are here with a guide on how to make buttercream at home.

A classic buttercream is made of 2 main ingredients – butter and sugar. Yes, it is that simple. Professional bakers often add different flavors and colors to the buttercream as per their requirement. To make the perfect buttercream, you need to use these ingredients in correct proportion.

Stirring butter in a mixing bowl

Butter consistency is everything

Butter adds the richness and deliciousness to the buttercream. Getting the consistency of butter right is of utmost importance. Hence, you best friend here is softened butter. Avoid using cold butter as it can become a deterrent when you start whipping and is sure to leave lumps in the buttercream. Bringing the butter down to room temperature will give you a softened texture and hold the buttercream in a fluffy shape.

Mini bowls with variety of sugar cubes and granulated sugar

Size of Sugar matters

You could be using sugar in either of these forms – Powdered, Caster or Granular. Powdered and caster sugar dissolves easily while granulated takes more time and effort. The best choice for buttercream is to use the powdered sugar to avoid leaving undissolved sugar in your frosting. Most importantly, when whipping the butter, sift your sugar to get more air and avoid any lump formation.

A chef pouring milk into a bowl with a whisk

Touch of Vanilla and Milk

Most bakers will add a touch of vanilla and little bit of milk to enhance the flavor of the buttercream. This will also lighten up the frosting.

Bowls with different color frostings

And Other Flavors

There are other alternatives to Vanilla if you prefer, such as – Chocolate, Caramel or Strawberry. Getting the right proportion of these flavors is the key to making a rich, fluffy and smoothy buttercream with the right amount of sweetness.

A stand mixer mixing buttercream

How to make buttercream?

Step 1: Beat the softened butter till it becomes fluffy and light. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness.

A person stirring sugar into the buttercream mixture in a bowl

Step 2: Add sugar, one spoon at a time. Preferably use an electric mixer. If using a hand mixer, let the first spoon of sugar completely dissolve before you add the next. This will allow more air to let in and result in a better consistency.

A person using a spatula to scrape the mixing bowl

Step 3: Some sugar will always find its way to the side of the bowl. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula for a final mixing. This will help eliminate all the lumps.

A chef adding milk to a bowl

Step 4 (Optional): At this stage, if you feel your buttercream is too stiff you can add a tablespoon of milk of heavy cream to retain its fluffiness. On the other hand, if the buttercream is not holding its shape, put it in the fridge to bring down its temperature and then mix it again.

A person mixing buttercream mixture in a bowl with a spoon

Step 5: Add a punch of flavor to your buttercream with Vanilla, chocolate, strawberries, punch fruit etc.

You can store the buttercream in freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure you bring it to room temperature before using it.

So, there you have it. An easy to make at home recipe to get the perfectly creamy and fluffy buttercream. Planning to try it soon? Let us know how it went.