Buttercream recipes come at you from every direction. Seems like everyone and their mama has the “perfect” buttercream recipe. The “ultimate” buttercream recipe. These people are lying to you. They are sensationalizing their buttercream recipe to get clicks, sorry to say. I won’t do that. The truth is there is no “perfect” or “ultimate” buttercream. There are very few ways to mess up a buttercream in fact. As long as it’s not too sweet or grainy, you’re already on your way to decent buttercream. For those of you who don’t know what I’m rambling on about, buttercream is just a form of icing or frosting made from a butter base. Thus, why it’s called “buttercream.” There are typically four different types of buttercreams. One is the Swiss Meringue style. This style produces a nice light, typically less sweet buttercream. The next is the Italian Meringue buttercream, which also produces a similar taste and texture, but with a slightly different method. There is the French Meringue buttercream and lastly, the American style buttercream. This is the one we’re all used to. Typically slightly sweeter and easiest to make.
The recipe I’m going to share with you is a great base recipe. You can adapt into your own, by making it slightly sweeter and adding more sifted confectioners sugar to it. You can also add any flavorings you like to make it any flavored buttercream you’d like. It’s very easy to make. I’ve developed this recipe as a mixture of techniques for the buttercream we make at my job and from a buttercream recipe I got from the chef at school. In the end, it yields a smooth mouth feel, great taste and a very pipeable buttercream. For my batch, I’m making a vanilla bean version, but you can leave the vanilla bean paste out and exchange it with vanilla extract, then add any flavorings you’d like from there. Also, add the coffee creamer in the flavor that you want your batch. Mine is a vanilla bean flavored batch, so I added French vanilla creamer. Get it. Good.
To start out with, you want to ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature. I’m not saying melting point, but when you press your finger in the butter, it should leave an indentation. Lastly, this recipe is a scaled recipe. Invest in a $10 scale if you bake a lot. Or even if you don’t. It’s going to be more accurate and just easier to measure your ingredients out.
Start by pouring in half of the liquids from your cup of liquids in the bowl of your mixer. Add in all of your confectioners sugar at once. Turn the machine on low and mix for a few seconds until the sugar is incorporated. Then, add in your flavorings at this point. Give it a mix on medium speed for 10 minutes.
Scrape the bowl well.
Turn the mixer back on low for a moment and add the butter a stick at a time, letting the butter absorb, before adding the next one. Turn it up to medium speed to let it mix properly for a minute. Then, add in the shortening in chunks and allow it to mix for seven minutes.
Scrape the bowl well. Turn the mixer back on to very low and slowly add in the remaining liquids. Give it a minute to absorb the liquid, then turn it up to medium and then high to mix for two-three minutes.
That’s it! You see how quick and easy that was? Taste it and if it’s not sweet enough for you, sift in some more confectioners sugar and keep mixing it until it’s as sweet as you’d like.
Store it in a container, covered, in the fridge for a couple weeks or outside the fridge for a week.
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup coffee creamer (in flavor of buttercream)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 lb sifted confectioners sugar
- 8 oz unsalted softened butter
- 8 oz hi-ratio shortening
- Start with half of the liquids in a bowl of the mixer.
- Add in all the confectioners’ sugar at once.
- Mix on low to get started and once absorbed, turn it up to medium speed.
- Add your paste or flavorings at this point. Let it mix for 10 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl.
- Turn it back on low to medium-low and add the butter a stick at a time. Let the butter absorb, before adding the next stick. Turn the mixer to medium speed.
- Add the sweetex or hi-ratio shortening in chunks.
- Let it mix on medium to medium-high speed for 7 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl.
- Turn it down to the lowest setting and slowly pour in the remaining liquids.
- Once sort of absorbed, turn up the mixer to medium and then to high.
- Mix for 2-3 minutes.
- Scrape well and taste for sweetness.