Homemade Buttercream Frosting
There are literally hundreds of recipes for buttercream frosting in all flavors and ingredients. Some, like the Wilton Buttercream, don't even contain real butter. Some buttercreams are more difficult to make than others but with a little practice consistantly perfect results are achievable for almost anyone.
You will need a good mixer, and the ability to follow directions closely. For Swiss meringue buttercream you will need a strong arm and a good balloon whisk. For those that might be concerned about the use of raw eggs in the traditional butter creams it is important to remember that extremely hot sugar syrup is added to the mixture and any bacteria present would effectively be killed off. Just be sure to add the syrup slowly or you will end up with scrambled egg frosting.
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
This buttercream has the light texture of traditional buttercream without the eggs. Use it for Devils Food, fudge Cake, or a yellow cake. You can omit the coffee and use the same amount of cream if you like. This makes enough to fill and frost two 8-inch cake layers.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 15 oz jar marshmallow cream
- 2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
- 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon strong coffee, cooled
- Cut the butter into one inch squares and allow it to come to room temperature without letting it get so soft it loses its shape.
- In a large mixer bowl beat the butter and marshmallow cream at high speed until fluffy and well blended.
- Switch to low and carefully stir in the cocoa, making sure there are no lumps. When the cocoa is totally mixed in switch back to high and beat in the chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. If the buttercream is too thin chill before using.
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
|Serving size: 1/10 cake|
|Calories from Fat||198|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 22 g||34%|
|Saturated fat 14 g||70%|
|Carbohydrates 43 g||14%|
|Sodium 175 mg||7%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
The WIlton Buttercream is similar to what you will find on the cakes from most bakeries. It is generally made with shortening to keep it white, and will a little almond and vanilla flavoring.
Wilton Style Buttercream
- 1 cup solid white shortening (or half unsalted butter)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond flaving
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream or half and half
Beat shortening, or shortening and butter, until light and fluffy. Add the extract and beat well.
Beat in the confectioners sugar. Add cream as needed to make the product smooth.
This can easily be made vegan by using corn syrup or soy milk in place of the cream.
Bitterweet Chocolate Buttercream
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
Melt the chocolate and the butter together, either in the microwave or in a double boiler.
In a large bowl mix the confectioners', vanilla, and 1/2 cup cream.
Beat in the warm chocolate mixture.
Add the remaining cream little by little until the desired consistancy is reached. Let stand until it thickens up enough to spread.
Silky Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the sugar and egg whites in a heat proof bowl over simmering water on the stove. Whisk contantly until it feels hot when you put your finger in it. This should take about three minutes or so.
The sugar will be dissolved and the mixture will resemble marshmallow cream.
Take bowl off the heat. Beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool. This will take about five minutes.
Add the butter A few squares at a time, beating until smooth.
When all the butter is in the bowl beat on medium high speed until it is veryt thick and smooth. This could take as much as ten mintes.
If the buttercream curdles or seperates during this process just keep beating it. It will come back together.
On medium speed beat in the lemon juice a little at a time and finally the vanilla. The buttercream will be silky smooth and very white.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon almond
- Add 1 tablespoon rosewater
- Add 1 cup of coconut
- Add 2 tablespoons Gran Marnier instead of the lemon
- Substitute brown sugar for the sugar for a praline type, add either almond or butternut flavoring
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup water
Mix the egg yolks until thick and pale lemon-colored.
Put the the sugar, one-fourth cup water and corn syrup in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, wiping down the sides at the beginning, until the syrup registers 215 degrees on a candy thermometer,This will take about five minutes.
Remove from heat.
Turn the mixer to low and pour the hot syrup into the eggs in a slow stream. When the syrup is completely poured in whip at hight speed until the bowl is just barely warm.
With the mixer on low, carefully pour the hot syrup into the eggs in a slow stream. Add the cubes of butter, a few at a time. Whip until all the butter is incorporated.
Beat a few more minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Substitute strong coffee for water.
- Substitute Bailey's for water
- Substitute Maraschino cherry juice for the water
- Substitute rum for the water
Your Best Cakes Ever
Fantastic cakes are impressive but not that difficult. Here are some tips to help you along:
- Spend some time practicing new techniques before you try to make something big like a wedding cake.
- If you use one of the egg based buttercreams remember that you must store the cake in the refrigerator.
- Almost any flavoring or fruit puree can be added to butter cream with good results.
- If the cake will be standing on a table on a hot day (like in a summer wedding, for example) use a recipe that calls for all shortening. This will keep the butter from melting off the cake.
- Making cupcakes is a great way to practice the techniques.
- A good mixer is a must for great buttercream.
- Always use unsalted butter.
With a little practice anyone can make beautiful, delicous buttercream covered cakes.
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