What Is Buttercream?

Buttercream is a versatile frosting that can be flavored and colored with extracts, or other ingredients like fruit purees, chocolate, coffee, and more. Some recipes may also incorporate milk or cream for a lighter consistency.

Using room-temperature ingredients will help prevent separation 주문제작케이크 and curdling during mixing. If the frosting looks separated or curdled, pause the mixer and place it in the refrigerator for several minutes; mix again.

Butter

The key ingredient in buttercream is, of course, butter. It gives the frosting its lush texture and rich flavor. However, many recipes for the popular cake coating can be made without it. But buttercream that doesn’t include butter will have a much different texture and may be less stable, not as fluffy and definitely not as delicious.

There are many kinds of buttercream, often assigned to a specific country (Swiss and Italian are two examples). Each has its own distinct personality and function.

Buttercreams with more liquid ingredients—such as sour cream or cream cheese—will have a thinner texture and are more suitable for piping decorations. They are also easier to make since they don’t require beating air into the frosting, which is important for making smooth and fluffy frosting.

There are some recipes that use condensed milk for a very rich and creamy buttercream. But be aware that this type of buttercream can be a little difficult for beginners to master because it requires more precision with the mixing and is more likely to melt in warm temperatures.

Sugar

There are a few different kinds of buttercream. Depending on the recipe, they can vary in their sweetness, texture and ease of use. Most of them will call for icing sugar (also called powdered or confectioners’ sugar) and some kind of liquid, such as milk, cream, or water. Some of them may also have salt added to cut the sweetness and add flavor.

Using the best quality icing sugar is very important when making a buttercream, as is ensuring that it is sifted before using. If the icing sugar is not sifted it can contain clumps of granulated sugar that can make your frosting lumpy and dry.

When you are ready to add the sifted icing sugar, gradually mix it into your butter and shortening mixture. Beat until your buttercream is light in color and fluffy in texture, about 1 to 2 minutes.

If your buttercream is still too dry or the consistency isn’t right, you can try adding more icing sugar. This will help to loosen it up and soften it so that it is easier to pipe. You can also try beating the buttercream longer or warming it slightly to help the icing become softer and more workable.

It is also possible that your butter was not at room temperature when you started to make it, or it may have been over-beaten, which can cause the icing to become grainy or curdled. To prevent this, always use room temperature butter and beat it well.

Eggs

The eggs that go into buttercream aren’t just used for flavor – they actually help it hold its shape and texture. The four main types of buttercream – American, Swiss, Italian and French buttercream — vary slightly in the amount of egg whites they contain. This difference affects color, texture, and shelf life.

Egg whites have special specialized membranes that are super strong and transparent, designed to prevent bacteria from invading the albumen inside the shell. These membranes, along with the outer shell, create a protective barrier to keep out dust and pathogens that can cause food-borne illnesses like salmonella.

If you’re making a frosting that calls for egg whites it will likely ask you to bring the eggs to room temperature before whipping. This helps to ensure they’re fluffy and able to stand up to the whipping of the frosting.

There are a few other ingredients that can be added to buttercream to alter its flavor or texture. Some recipes use milk, which adds a creamy, light flavor and is also a great thickener for frosting. Other recipes may call for shortening, which is more stable than all butter and gives a smoother, more glossy texture to the frosting. This type of buttercream is ideal for decorating cakes because it holds its shape well. Then there’s the custard-based buttercream, which uses a mixture of pastry cream and butter, but doesn’t include any egg whites.

Vanilla

Vanilla is one of the world’s most popular sweeteners and a favorite flavor for all kinds of baked goods. The flavor comes from the aromatic extract of the beans, and can be purchased in either pure or imitation form. Vanilla is also available in a paste, which has the benefit of being more stable than the extract and easy to work with for frostings.

The Angry Bakers are big fans of using vanilla bean paste for the rich, intense flavor it brings to desserts. It’s important to choose the right kind of vanilla. All of the sources we spoke to warn against using imitation vanilla because it does not contain any real vanilla. In fact, the FDA defines a natural flavor as “a spice, fruit or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, root, bud, flower, seed or similar plant material.” Most imitation vanilla contains only vanillin, which is derived from wood pulp, eugenol and other chemicals.

Another option is to use vanilla sugar, which is made by mixing vanilla beans into sugar and allowing it to steep. This can be a good substitute for vanilla extract in recipes, but the sugar is more likely to clump up over time. Depending on the recipe, vanilla sugar can be found in a range of brands and at different price points. If you do decide to use it, all of our bakers recommend using it with a light hand in order to avoid overwhelming the dessert with too much flavor.