What is Buttercream Frosting?

Many home bakers can ask what is Buttercream Frosting. A simple definition is the following: Buttercream is a sweet type of frosting and as its name implies, it contains butter as well as sugar. It is easy to flavor with fruit, fruit compote, melted chocolate, peanut butter, or extracts like almond or orange. Add cocoa or melted chocolate, smooth peanut butter, fruit compote, or extracts, like vanilla, almond or orange.

What is Frosting?

Frosting is the larger category that includes various types of buttercream but also types based on cream cheese etc.

All Buttercream is frosting but not all frosting is Buttercream.

What is buttercream frosting?

🍥What is Buttercream Frosting?

Types of Buttercream Frosting:

There are a few types of frosting, but the most common ones are the following:

🗽American Buttercream Frosting

If you live in the States, this is the quintessential buttercream that you have been leaking since you were born. It is said to be one of the easiest to make. t’s literally just softened butter and confectioner’s sugar with a bit of milk or water (or any liquid really) to thin it out.

Consistency: creamy, easy to flavor

Uses: everything baked really. Cupcakes, cakes – you name it

How to make the American Buttercream Frosting

  1. Cream the unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl with a hand-mixer until perfectly smooth
  2. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing until smooth
  3. Add the vanilla and mix to combine
  4. Slowly add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time, while mixing until reaching the desired consistency.
  5. This buttercream recipe is ready!

What kitchenware you need to make the Buttercream Frosting recipe

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • measurement cups
  • Hand Mixer (or stand mixer if you prefer)
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It is a bowl with butter and sugar mixed and a teaspoon of vanilla next to the handheld mixer to make the Buttermilk Frosting
This is a bowl with a mix and milk added. What is Buttermilk Frosting

🇮🇹 Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting

This frosting is considered to be one of the most complex meringue buttercream to make. It starts with a base of whipped egg whites, to which you add hot sugar syrup (121º C/ 250ºF); then you add softened, room temperature butter until the Italian meringue buttercream frosting is glossy and fluffy.

Consistency: fluffy, glossy

Uses: frosting cupcakes and layer cakes

More recipes? Learn how to make Italian Meringue Frosting? Check out the recipe here

🇨🇭 Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting begins by warming egg whites and sugar in a double boiler. The meringue is then heated to 75ºC (170ºF) and tested with a sugar thermometer before it is removed from the heat. The meringue is then whisked again to form soft peaks and vanilla essence, or vanilla paste is sometimes added. Whisking continues until the meringue is glossy and forming stiff peaks. Then you beat in softened room temperature butter.

Consistency: light and creamy

Uses: perfect for piping and decorating

🗼French Buttercream Frosting

French Buttercream Frosting:  You start by cooking hot sugar syrup and pouring it carefully into whipping egg yolks, which required a sugar (or candy) thermometer. You simply cook the yolks and sugar over a double boiler (as you do the with Swiss Meringue Buttercream), then whip the cooked yolk mixture, and add butter.

Consistency: rich, luscious

Uses: for any cake really

🇩🇪 German Buttercream Frosting

This recipe combines two main ingredients: delicious pastry cream or custard and plenty of butter. The texture of this buttercream is super-rich and velvety.

Consistency: silky, super creamy, like a mousse!

Uses: for any cake, cream puffs. Not good for piping as it is delicate and softens quickly

Frosting that is not Buttercream

  • The Whipped Ganache does not contain butter but it is as thick. It is mostly used as cake filling or piped onto cupcakes
  • Cream Cheese Frosting is made with cream cheese instead of butter. It is usually softer and less thick compared to buttercream. Who does not know the famous Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting?

Learn more about Buttercream here

FAQs about Buttercream Frosting

What type of butter I should use to make the Buttercream Frosting?

You should use a good quality butter as the flavor of the buttercream depends on the butter. If you go with an American type of butter, it is less fat, so the buttercream will be soft enough and the color may well be a nice bright white. On the other hand, If you prefer European butter, which is higher in fat and tends to be yellow in color, the texture may be a bit softer and the color of the buttercream will come out off-white color.
Brands like Kerrygold and Plugra are some of the best suggested.

More baking? Try the Classic White Layer Cake here

What temperature should the butter be?

The most important thing is to make sure your butter is the right temperature, so it holds air and has some structure. All bakers agree that the appropriate temperature should be at room temperature, around 68-70 degrees F. You should be able to press your finger through the butter without using great force.

If your butter is too soft, the buttercream will not have enough body and will be too soft to cover a cake. If your butter is too firm and the buttercream may end up with lumps of butter because it won’t easily whip into the sugar base.

What flavors I can use to flavor the homemade Buttercream Frosting?

Buttercream is the perfect vehicle for adding flavor to a cake. You can add spices, nut butters, chocolate, chocolate chips, nuts, preserves, citrus zest and juice, fruit powders, coffee powder, vanilla beans, and even alcohol. You can also add gel food coloring. The rule of thumb is to add enough of the ingredient to flavor the buttercream without changing the consistency too much. Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of the favorites!

How can I store the Buttercream Frosting?

You can store buttercream at room temperature for 24 hours. However, I personally do not recommend it as it contains eggs. You can refrigerate it for up to 5 days in an airtight container. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. Put the soft buttercream in plastic bags all wrapped up, mark with the date and chill.
When you decide to use it, let the wrapped frosting defrost for at least a few hours or even better, overnight at room temperature before remixing.

Did you make this? Capture a snapshot of your dessert and share it with us on Instagram by tagging @theistravels or using the hashtag #wedesserts. We can’t wait to admire your creation!

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What is buttercream frosting?

American Buttercream Frosting

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American Buttercream Frosting is a sweet type of frosting and as its name implies, it contains butter as well as sugar. It is easy to flavor with fruit, fruit compote, melted chocolate, peanut butter, or extracts like almond or orange. Add cocoa or melted chocolate, smooth peanut butter, fruit compote, or extracts, like vanilla, almond or orange.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 141 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar sifted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup whole milk

Instructions
 

  • Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl with a hand-mixer until perfectly smooth
  • Sift in the confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing until smooth
    A bowl with butter, and sugar in sifter with a handheld mixer
  • Add the vanilla and mix to combine
    It is a bowl with butter and sugar mixed and a teaspoon of vanilla next to the handheld mixer to make the Buttermilk Frosting
  • Slowly add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time, while mixing until reaching the desired consistency
    This is a bowl with a mix and milk added. What is Buttermilk Frosting

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 0.3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 4mgPotassium: 13mgSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 481IUCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.01mg
Keyword American buttercream frosting, buttercream frosting
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