Buttercream Icing Recipes

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Buttercream Icing Recipes

Peggy Weaver
Peggy Weaver

 

Peggy Weaver, author of Peggy’s Baking Corner, has generously answered all the above question on cake baking during the last 15 years.  Peggy will not be able to continue with the Question and Answer pages in the future.  She thanks you for all your interesting questions.

 

 

Chocolate Buttercream Icing Recipe:

Chocolate Buttercream Icing Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 Cups

Ingredients:

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup Dutch Cocoa or three 1-ounce semi-sweet chocolate squares, melted*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cup sifted confectioners’ (powdered) sugar (approx. 1 pound)
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Light corn syrup**
Optional:  Add 1 teaspoon chocolate extract and/or teaspoon almond extract.

* I prefer to use chocolate squares over the cocoa powder.  The texture is smoother to me.

** Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of a light corn syrup per recipe to thin for icing cake.  Start with 3 tablespoons and see if you like working with it

Instructions:

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the shortening and room butter together.  Add cocoa and vanilla extract.  Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.  NOTE: When all the confectioners’ sugar is mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and continue beating at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Keep buttercream icing covered with a damp cloth or in a sealed container until ready to use.  Do not refrigerate it if you are going to be icing your cake within a few hours.  Do refrigerate the icing if you are making the icing for future use.  You will need to bring the icing back to room temperature before icing your cake.

Refrigerate your icing in an airtight container.  It can be stored for up to 2 weeks.  Please rewhip on low before using or Spoon Smash it in a large bowl.  Move a large spoon back and forth or side to side to smash the sponge.  Do this until all the icing is an equal, smooth consistency.  Icing often gets a spongy look to it and the “bubbles” need to be diminished.  You will be glad you did when you get compliments on the look of your decorated cake!

Dark Chocolate Icing:  Add 3 or 4 more unsweetened chocolate squares (up to a total of 7, or a scant cup sifted cocoa powder).  You will probably need to add a tablespoon of milk to thin out the Chocolate Buttercream for ease of spreading.  Use your own judgment for this.  I personally like a softer icing for spreading and piping.

YIELD:  3 cups - Makes 1 small batch enough for covering an 8-inch cake.

https://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/ButtercreamRecipes.htm

 

 

Strawberry Buttercream Icing Recipe:

To make this recipe less sweet, you can add up to another 1/2 cup of Crisco.   Please make the recipe one time before you make the change so that you can make a knowledgeable, taste decision.

I do not strain the strawberry juice to take out the littlest strawberry “hairs” and seeds.  I personally like to see the imperfections in the icing because that says homemade and real.  Please go ahead and strain the juice if you wish.

Defrost a package of frozen strawberries.  Use the juice only (about 1/2 cup)*
8 ounces of butter (2 cubes), room temperature
1 1/2 cups Crisco vegetable shortening (10 ounces)
2 pounds of powdered sugar

* Optional – 1/2 teaspoon Strawberry Extract (McCormick or Watkins makes an imitation extract).  For a richer flavor add up to a total of 1 teaspoon of the Strawberry extract.  The strength of the flavor is up to you.
In a mixer, blend the butter and the Crisco shortening together until soft and well combined.

Add the powdered sugar, strawberry juice, and the extract to make the soft buttercream.

 


 

QUESTION:
hanks for providing such a great website.  It is has been very helpful.  I have always enjoyed baking, and would like to venture into the cake decorating world now.   I have done a few basic cakes using the buttercream icing recipe in my Wilton Course 1 book.  Recently, I was asked to do a cake with whipped icing.  The person did not like the sweetness or the hard texture of the buttercream.  Do you have a good recipe for this?  Or, would you recommend a buttercream icing that isn’t so sweet & hard? – Julie (2/7/06)

 

ANSWER:
Have I got a recipe for you!  It is delicious, and so smooth. My daughter said that it is the Buttercream Icing version of Egyptian Cotton 500 Thread Count Sheets.


Buttercream Icing- Classic Recipe:

Recipe from: Sweet Celebrations: The Art of Decorating Beautiful Cakes by Sylvia Weinstock with Kate Manchester (Simon & Schuster)

3 1/2 cups sugar
13 large egg whites
3 pounds (12 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into half sticks
6 tablespoons clear vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and 3/4 cup water, mixing with a wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly dissolved.  Place the pan on the stove, and use a clean pastry brush to paint the area just above the water line with water.  Turn the burner on to medium and heat, watching the sugar mixture to be sure it does not caramelize or burn.  Lay a candy thermometer in the pan and simmer the sugar-water mixture without stirring until the thermometer reaches 240 degrees F (soft-ball state); this will take about 5 to 7 minutes.

As the sugar nears the required temperature, place the egg whites in the large bowl of an electric mixer.  Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they turn from opaque to white and begin to hold soft peaks.  They should be at least double in volume in about 3 to 5 minutes.  Do not overbeat.

Turn the mixer on high and very carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture in a very thin stream near the edge of the bowl and into the stiffly beaten egg whites.  Beat for 20 to 35 minutes on medium to high speed.  The egg whites will lose some of their volume and the mixture should resemble a very thick meringue.  The outside of the bowl should be moderately warm to touch.

At this point, reduce the speed to medium or low and add the room temperature butter pieces, one at a time.  The mixture will break and begin to look like cottage cheese, but don’t worry.  Keep the mixer running, continue adding butter, and let the mixer whip the buttercream until it begins to get smooth once again; this could take up to 10 minutes.  Once the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla and beat for five minutes more.

The buttercream is now ready to be colored or chilled. (If the buttercream is too soft, chill for 10 minutes and then whip again.  If this doesn’t work, cream 4 tablespoons of chilled butter, and then gently whip the creamed butter into the buttercream, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat until the buttercream is smooth and there are no lumps.)

Use with Classic Yellow Cake.

Makes about 12 cups, more than enough to ice and decorate most cakes;  Leftover buttercream can be frozen for up to three months.

 


 

QUESTION:
Thank you for your recipe on buttercream icing.  I am looking a buttercream icing that is hard to describe.  It is utterly delicious, smooth, creamy, white in color, the kind you find a an old style bakery, it does not taste like Crisco and has a smoother, very sweet taste.  A bakery back home in New Jersey we used makes it they were an old German bakery if that helps.  I live in Tennessee, and you can not find a bakery here.  I love to bake and make cakes, however, have not been able to find the right buttercream icing.  Would you please lead me in the right direction. – Robin (8/9/05)
 

ANSWER:
Without tasting the icing, I can’t be totally sure but it sounds like you were eating a Buttercream that is made from butter, eggs and sugar, not powdered sugar.

Following is a recipe that is a Classic Buttercream Recipe.  Silvia Weinstock published the recipe in her book: Sweet Celebrations The Art of Decorating Beautiful Cakes by Sylvia Weinstock with Kate Manchester (Simon & Schuster).

 

Buttercream Icing Recipe:

3 1/2 cups white sugar
13 large egg whites
3 pounds (12 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into half sticks
6 tablespoons clear vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and 3/4 cup water, mixing with a wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly dissolved.  Place the pan on the stove, and use a clean pastry brush to paint the area just above the water line with water.  Turn the burner on to medium and heat, watching the sugar mixture to be sure it does not caramelize or burn.  Lay a candy thermometer in the pan and simmer the sugar-water mixture without stirring until the thermometer reaches 240 degrees F. (soft-ball state); this will take about 5 to 7 minutes.

As the sugar nears the required temperature, place the egg whites in the large bowl of an electric mixer.  Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they turn from opaque to white and begin to hold soft peaks.  They should be at least double in volume in about 3 to 5 minutes.  Do not overbeat.

Turn the mixer on high and very carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture in a very thin stream near the edge of the bowl and into the stiffly beaten egg whites.  Beat for 20 to 35 minutes on medium to high speed.  The egg whites will lose some of their volume and the mixture should resemble a very thick meringue.  The outside of the bowl should be moderately warm to touch.

At this point, reduce the speed to medium or low and add the room temperature butter pieces, one at a time.  The mixture will break and begin to look like cottage cheese, but don’t worry.  Keep the mixer running, continue adding butter, and let the mixer whip the buttercream until it begins to get smooth once again; this could take up to 10 minutes.  Once the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla and beat for five minutes more.  The buttercream is now ready to be colored or chilled.  (If the buttercream is too soft, chill for 10 minutes and then whip again.  If this doesn’t work, cream 4 tablespoons of chilled butter, and then gently whip the creamed butter into the buttercream, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat until the buttercream is smooth and there are no lumps.)

Makes about 12 cups, more than enough to ice and decorate most cakes;  Leftover buttercream can be frozen for up to three months.

 


 

QUESTION:
I have been looking for a recipe for high humidity buttercream frosting made with dream whip.  I had it at one time but seem to have lost it. Can you help me locate it? – Warren (6/05/05)

 

ANSWER:
I am sorry, I have never used Dream Whip so I have complete lack of knowledge on this recipe.  Here is the only recipe that I have found after a quick search, using Dream Whip. Since I have never tried it, I can vouch for it’s value.

 

Dream Whip Frosting Recipe:

1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 envelope Dream Whip
1 small box instant pudding, desired flavor

Beat all on low speed until well blended. Increase to high speed and whip until soft peaks form — 4 to 6 minutes.

 

 

Comments and Reviews

2 Responses to “Buttercream Icing Recipes”

  1. Patty

    I made the original butter cream frosting. turned out great. I put in refrigerator overnight. I got it back out and misread the instructions to make it creamy again. I but it in my kitchen aide mixer. It separated. Is there anything I can do to salvage this to make it creamy again?

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      Always remember that cooking is a science and sometimes things just go wrong and you have to start over.

      Reply

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