12 January, 2016

Tips on getting that perfect Buttercream Icing | Baking Tutorials

Tips on getting the perfect buttercream icing

Funnily enough, this was a post that I'd thought about writing and then for some reason, didn't. But last week when I posted my "Tips on getting the perfect cupcakes" post, a few people asked me to write one on getting the perfect icing. So, here I am with my tips on making your icing look fab!

Again, I just want to stress that I am in no way an expert nor am I telling you what to do, I'm just sharing what works for me. 

I'm going to give you my tips for Buttercream icing in this post but I will also be posting another on Royal icing too on Thursday if that's what you're struggling with!

Buttercream is the most popular frosting for cakes (especially cupcakes) and is probably my favourite to use! I'm going to try and pack in a lot to this to help those of you who have asked, so get ready for a bit of a long post!


You will need:
  • 100g softened butter
  • 175-225g Icing sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
1. In a bowl, whisk the butter until it is creamy and soft.

2. Sieve the icing sugar and mix in with the butter until you have a very creamy mixture.

3. Add in your vanilla extract or whichever flavoured extract you would like!

It's really simple to make but here are a few more tips:

Use 225g of icing sugar if you're planning on piping! The icing will need to be thicker and less runny, so I always use 225g of icing sugar if I'm planning on piping the buttercream. (That's obviously if you use my recipe!)

Never use butter straight out of the fridge! Always make sure it has had time to soften before you start mixing it.

Never ice a hot/warm cake! It will make your icing go funny, so always make sure your cake is completely cold before icing (even the bottom of it as the heat will rise!)

Piping Tips!

For buttercream, I use a good old fashioned piping bag and nozzle, you can find them from most places like Hobbycraft, Lakeland, Argos etc.

The type of nozzle you use will depend on how your icing pipes- For example, I always use a star nozzle when I pipe buttercream on my cupcakes, it gives them a cool effect. Just play around with different nozzles, they can all do different effects!

Piping Techniques!

Tips to get perfect buttercream icing every time!To pipe a swirl like on my cupcake above, use a medium sized star nozzle, start from the centre of the cupcake and simply swirl round and round until you reach the edge of the cupcake. Hold the piping bag and nozzle close to the cupcake as you'll be able to keep a steadier hand!

How to get perfect buttercream icing every time!

To pipe icing like on my Salted Caramel Cupcakes or my Christmas Tree Cupcakes, you will want to pipe the swirl as above but then carry on swirling up and up until you get the little "mountain" shape. It's pretty simple but takes a bit of practise not to let the icing go all over the place!

When you do either of these piping techniques, make sure you have plenty of buttercream in your piping bag because you will need to pipe continuously, if you have to stop and refill it won't look as nice.

Colouring Icing
How to get buttercream icing every time! How to get perfect buttercream icing every time!
(Left- Using Wilton's Red Food colouring ; Right- Using Dr Oetker's Red Food Colouring)

Another request- funnily enough I've been doing some research on this because I was having trouble with colouring my icing and was wondering whether to share it on my blog and thought people might find it boring but here goes!

I have always used Dr Oetker's food colouring for my icing. Dr Oetker's food colouring gels come in small tubes and cost around £1.30 (that may differ). However, I found that you had to use the entire tube to actually get a proper colour and it was awful when it came to wanting a "bright" colour. Red came out pink, Black came out grey, Yellow came out... well, it just didn't come out. This REALLY bugged me, so I went on the hunt for some better food colourings.

Wilton's food colouring comes in small pots and costs £2.80 (again, prices may differ). However, when I used their red food colouring, I only needed a tiny blob to get a bright red colour which means that their small pot will last me for AGES, unlike Dr Oetker's. However, their black food colouring took a few blobs to make it go black, but Dr Oetker's needed a few tubes!

PME's food colouring comes in small bottles and costs £1.97 (prices may differ!), a nice middle price of the other two. Like Wilton's, it only takes a small blob to make a vibrant colour and that means the small bottle will last for a long time. However, their pink food colouring takes a few blobs to make it a vibrant pink but still nothing compared to Dr Oetkers.

I don't have any tips for colouring your icing other than it depends on what brand you use. If I want a "baby blue" colour then I would probably use Dr Oetker's, as Wilton and PME's food colourings would make it a vibrant blue. But if I wanted red or purple, I would choose Wilton or PME because they'll do the job perfectly with a tiny dot of colouring. It's a bit annoying to have to pay more, but you actually get a lot more for your money in the long run so is definitely worth it. Hobbycraft are doing an offer currently for a pack of Wilton Food Colouring's for £10!

And that's it! If you have any more questions about icing, please leave them in the comments and I will try my hardest to answer them for you! 

Also if there's anything else you would like me to write about, please let me know that too!

How to get perfect buttercream icing every time!

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