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Vanilla buttercream icing in a bowl

Buttercream icing

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
  • Easy
  • Makes enough to ice 12 cupcakes/fill and cover a 20cm cake

Foolproof cake frosting requires just butter and icing sugar – try out different flavourings and use our guide for quantities

  • Freezable
Nutrition: per serving (12)
HighlightNutrientUnit
kcal284
fat20.6g
saturates13g
carbs25g
sugars25g
fibre0g
protein0.1g
low insalt0.4g
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Ingredients

  • 600g icing sugar, sifted
  • 300g unsalted or salted butter, softened

Optional extras

  • finely grated lemon zest
  • finely grated orange zest
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • few drops food colouring
  • cocoa powder, to taste

Method

  • STEP 1

    Beat 600g sifted icing sugar and 300g butter together with your chosen flavouring and colouring if using, add 2-3 tbsp of boiling water to loosen and beat until smooth.

  • STEP 2

    Fill a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe onto cupcakes or smear in the middle and over the top of a 20cm cake using a palette knife.

RECIPE TIPS

QUANTITIES FOR BUTTERCREAM
A ratio of equal quantities of icing sugar and butter works well unless you’re adding a significant quantity of a liquid (e.g. juice of an orange or lemon or melted chocolate). If you are, you can increase the quantities of icing sugar. You might want to add as much as double. Add gradually, if you like, and make sure it is sifted, to get the consistency you want.

KEEPING THE ICING
If you’re not using the icing straightaway, you can cover it and refrigerate for up to a week. Allow it to come back up to room temperature and beat again if necessary before using.

CELEBRATION CAKE RATIOS
10cm (4 inch) cake: 150g buttercream

13cm (5 inch) cake: 225g buttercream

15cm (6 inch) cake: 300g buttercream

18cm (7 inch) cake: 450g buttercream

20cm (8 inch) cake: 600g buttercream

23cm (9 inch) cake: 750g buttercream

25cm ((10 inch) cake: 900g buttercream

28cm (11 inch) cake: 1.2kg buttercream

30cm (12 inch) cake: 1.5kg buttercream

SHOULD I USE SALTED OR UNSALTED BUTTER FOR ICING?
Choose unsalted butter for a celebration cake. Salted is good for cupcakes.

Goes well with

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A star rating of 4 out of 5.75 ratings
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