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.
You’ll find many varieties of buttercream, including crusting and non-crusting, strawberry (made with fresh strawberries is best!) Crusting buttercream dries to a semi-hard consistency, but not cement hard 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 understand the need to turn out a velvety, fondant-like buttercream icing. As any cake decorator will let you know, producing a creamy buttercream icing and then smoothing it to a wrinkle and crack surface on your cake can be tricky. No worries. There are several tried and true techniques that can help you to consistently produce smooth buttercream icing with every new cake.
One of our favorites is the”Paper Towel Method.” One you’ve iced your cake, allow your buttercream to sit down for around 15 minutes, allowing 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’s no risk of color’s bleeding on you cake.
Step 1. Press the clean, dry paper towel on the surface of your cake with the objective of pressing out any wrinkles in the frosting.
Step 2. With the palm of your hand flat on the paper towel, gently glide the towel in a circular movement. The natural warmth from your hand help’s smooth the frosting under the towel.
Step 3. Continue to gently glide the paper towel and push out bumps and wrinkles on the whole surface of your cake until the surface is perfectly or near perfectly smooth.
And to give you a excellent buttercream to try this out with, here’s one of our favorite buttercream recipes.
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon of clear vanilla flavor
1 teaspoon of crème bouquet flavoring (optional)
1/4 cup milk or water (add more as needed or to get 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 blended. Insert milk/water and flavoring and continue mixing. Once well blended, turn the mixer off.
Adjust mixer’s setting to the lowest speed, and mix just until the ingredients start to come together. Then on medium speed and mix for 2 – 5 minutes until smooth and a little fluffy (time will vary depending on the ability of your mixer). A stand mixer will require about 2 minutes, while a hand mixer will need 5 minutes or more.
If the icing is too stiff and you may tell the mixer is straining, add more liquid to get the ideal consistency. If it becomes too soft, add more powdered sugar.