I’ve had a lot of requests for my buttercream recipe, so today I’m sharing step-by-sep instructions for how to make a decorator’s buttercream. Last week’s post talks in more detail about the differences between buttercreams, but this recipe will make a delicious all-purpose buttercream fit for any cake project – from a simple cupcake to an elaborate wedding cake.
The basic recipe can be customized to make almost any flavor. The pictures are of chocolate buttercream, but the process is the same regardless of flavor.
Start with powdered sugar (brand doesn’t matter here), meringue powder, softened butter (not melted), shortening, salt, vanilla, water, and flavoring of choice (cocoa powder here).
Combine the butter, shortening, and salt on low speed until smooth and creamy…you don’t want any lumps of butter remaining. Don’t let the amount of salt scare you - it really makes this recipe. Salt amplifies the natural butter flavor and takes away the sometimes overly sweet taste of the powdered sugar.
Next combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cocoa powder. Then combine the water and vanilla in a measuring cup too.
If making chocolate buttecream, sift the dry ingrediant together so there are no clumps (or whisk really well if you’re feeling lazy!).
Alternately add the powdered sugar mixture and liquid, keeping the mixture on LOW speed. You’ll end up with a cloud of sugar dust if not. Not that this has ever happened to me! J
Once all the sugar and water are incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer up to medium high speed for about 30 seconds. You should have smooth creamy buttercream…..delicious!
You can omit the cocoa powder to make vanilla buttercream. Or try some other flavors…the possibilities are endless! Lemon zest, lime zest, cinnamon, peanut butter, coconut extract, Kahlua or other liqueur, strong coffee, almond extract…… What flavors can you come up with??
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
¾ cup shortening
¾ tsp salt
2 lbs powdered sugar
3 tbsp meringue powder
Approx 6 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder, optional
Combine the butter, shortening, and salt on low speed until smooth and creamy.
Sift together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cocoa powder if using. Combine water and vanilla in a measuring cup.
Alternately add the powdered sugar mixture and liquid, mixing on low speed until combined. Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium high speed for about 30 seconds until fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to one week. Soften gently in microwave to use.
Happy baking (and eating)!