A great frosting for cakes and cupcakes alike is buttercream frosting.
I find that the secret to a light buttercream frosting is in the whipping. I'm sorry but a good buttercream requires a mixer. When making my buttercream frostings I whip the butter with the paddle attachment for a good 6 minutes before adding the sugar and flavourings. I mix them for a minute or 2 on low speed to combine the frosting and then I whip it all again for another 6 minutes to get a light texture to my buttercream.
Buttercream is a great frosting as it lends itself to any type of flavouring, be it essences, fresh fruit, crushed cookies or liqueurs. All you may need to adjust is the amount of icing sugar to get the consistency you need.
You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.
YOU WILL NEED
250g butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of water or milk
500g sifted icing sugar
- Cut 250g of butter in to cubes and place in a mixer with paddle attachment. Whip butter on medium - high for 6 minutes, scraping down sides at 3 minutes. Butter will change colour to off white during this process.
- Add flavouring and water or milk at this point and add sifted icing sugar to mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes until combined, scraping down sides.
- At this point if mixture is very stiff and weather is cold you may need to add another tablespoon of liquid.
- Now whip icing on medium - high speed for 6 minutes.
- At this point assess if icing is stiff enough if you intend to pipe icing on to cakes, in most cases it will be however if not add a little more sifted icing sugar and whip again.
- Now mix through any food colouring you wish to use.
One batch of icing will frost approximately 24 standard sized cupcakes.
- orange buttercream frosting: replace water or milk with orange juice and add the grated rind of one orange
- chocolate buttercream frosting: use 2 tablespoons of milk or water and add 1/4 cup of sifted cocoa to the icing sugar.
- Change the type of essence you use to change the flavour, eg. peppermint, almond etc
- Use a liqueur such as Baileys or Cointreau instead of milk or water for a more adult cupcake.