This makes it well worth your while to learn how to create great tasting and performing buttercream. You will find you can use it to fill and cover a cake (providing a canvas for a number of cosmetic work), pipe decorative borders, and create icing flowers and other decorations. Buttercream can even be rolled like fondant.
You’ll find many varieties of buttercream, such as crusting and non-crusting, strawberry (made with fresh strawberries is best!) Crusting buttercream dries to a semi-hard consistency, but not cement tough like royal icing. Those who prefer a less sugary icing can use a less-sweet-buttercream recipe.
If you have ever made a wedding cake, then you already know the need to turn out a velvety, fondant-like buttercream icing. As any cake decorator will tell you, producing a creamy buttercream icing and then smoothing it into a wrinkle and crack surface on your cake can be tricky. No worries. There are several tried and true methods that will help you to consistently create smooth buttercream icing with each new cake.
Among our favorites is the”Paper Towel Method.” This works only with crusting buttercream. One that you’ve iced your cake, enable your buttercream to sit for around 15 minutes, enabling it to form a crust.
Use a smooth paper towel (such as Viva) for this method. Also be sure the paper towel is white so there is no chance of color’s bleeding onto you cake.
Step 1. Press the clean, dry paper towel on the surface of your cake with the goal of pressing out any lumps in the frosting.
Step 2. The natural warmth from your hand help’s smooth the frosting under the towel.
Step 3. Continue to gently glide the paper towel and press out bumps and wrinkles on the entire surface of your cake till the surface is perfectly or near perfectly smooth.
And to provide you with a great buttercream to try this out with, here’s one of our favorite buttercream recipes.
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon of clear vanilla flavor
1 teaspoon of crème bouquet flavoring (optional)
1/4 cup water or milk (add more as needed or for thinner consistency)
1 pinch salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon meringue powder
2 Pounds of sifted powdered sugar
Mix the shortening and butter until well mixed. Insert milk/water and flavoring and continue mixing. Once well blended, turn off the mixer.
Add salt, meringue powder and sugar. Adjust mixer’s setting to the lowest speed, and mix just until the ingredients begin to come together. A stand mixer will require about 2 minutes, while a hand mixer will need 5 minutes or longer.
If the icing is too stiff and you can tell the mixer is straining, add more liquid to obtain the ideal consistency. If it becomes too soft, add more powdered sugar.