Perfect buttercream frosting has a creamy and velvety consistency. To ensure a smooth textured result each time, make sure to let the butter soften before combining it with the rest of the ingredients. Cutting the butter into smaller cubes will speed up this softening process. It should take cut-up butter about 20-25 minutes to soften at room temperature. As a rule of thumb, it is better to wait a little longer than attempt to combine butter that is too cold with icing sugar as the result may be grainy or gritty. Sifting the icing sugar while you wait for the butter to soften also helps prevent any potential graininess and ensures a thick, smooth frosting.
If the buttercream frosting becomes gritty, you have three options. 1) You can keep mixing it if you think the reason for the graininess is that the frosting has simply not been mixed enough yet, 2) if you have the time, you can let it rest and remix it after a few hours when the sugar has had time to 'melt' properly into the mixture, and 3) if you are in a hurry and need to fix it right away, you can add a pinch of liquid like cream or milk and keep mixing. Adding too much liquid may make the frosting separate or become runny so make sure to add only a little at a time till you have reached the perfect consistency for frosting or piping.
With a recipe for buttercream frosting like ours, making tasty, quick frosting is simple. Get started by reading our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this beloved frosting, including how to ensure the perfect taste and texture and how to store it.
The best buttercream frosting has a sweet and rich flavour that complements the flavour profiles of many different cakes and cupcakes well. The whipped frosting has a creamy, velvety texture that makes it perfect for piping. Our vanilla-flavoured frosting is no different. It is thick and fluffy without being dense and with its subtle floral undertones and complex, rich sweetness, you will want to make it again and again.
If reading about this delicious vanilla-flavoured frosting has made you curious about homemade frosting in general, we suggest having a look at our recipe for cream cheese frosting as well. Both varieties of frosting are delicious, and they are different enough that knowing how to make both gives you a wealth of opportunities to frost and decorate all kinds of cake.
Besides providing delicious flavours, homemade frosting can be used in different ways when making a cake. For instance, you can use the frosting for piping decorative swirls or rosettes onto your baked goods. Because of its thick consistency, this type of frosting may also be used between the layers of tiered cakes to add flavour, provide moisture, and secure the cake's stability. Lastly, our easy buttercream frosting has another very practical use: it can make homemade cakes ready to be covered in marshmallow fondant. Frosting a cake with buttercream like this before covering it with fondant helps ensure a smooth surface to which the fondant may adhere. This allows you to serve a cake with a beautiful finish that is sure to delight and impress your guests.
While a simple buttercream frosting tastes great, experimenting with adding different flavours is a very fun way to be creative in the kitchen. Essentially, you can flavour your homemade frosting using almost any flavour like coffee, peanut, coconut, raspberry, cherry, caramel, chai, or pumpkin spice. Below, we delve into three of the most popular variants.
Among delicious frosting recipes, a chocolate buttercream frosting may be the most popular of all. Use cocoa powder or cooled, melted dark chocolate to create a rich and indulgent frosting perfect for sweet baked goods like our banana muffins or cakes with orange or coffee flavours. Using melted chocolate rather than cocoa powder gives you the option of choosing your favourite kind of chocolate, meaning you can create a delicate milk chocolate or a sweet white chocolate buttercream frosting as well.
Whipping up a homemade strawberry buttercream frosting is also a very popular option. Use ground freeze-dried strawberries or a purée made from either fresh or frozen strawberries to create a frosting with a mild strawberry taste. Use about 25 g of purée to make it too ‘wet’ and not compromise on the texture. If it gets too soft, add a bit more icing sugar. This subtle berry flavour will deepen if you prepare the frosting a day in advance. The bright pink colouring of this strawberry frosting looks amazing on a dark chocolate cake like ours but is also very suited to vanilla cupcakes and the like.
You cannot go wrong with a fresh lemon buttercream frosting either. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and a bit of lemon zest brighten the rich and fluffy frosting by introducing a tanginess that complements the icing sugar’s sweetness beautifully. Light-yellow lemon frosting functions great as a surprising filling in sweet layer cakes as well as a frosting for more spicy cakes like moist carrot cake or festive gingerbread cupcakes.