One basic recipe I always wanted to learn was how to make buttercream. Once I learned how make it, the next thing I wanted to learn was how to make really good buttercream, and by “good” I mean buttercream I enjoy eating. It all really comes down to personal preference, some people like it super sweet, others like it runny and I love it when its buttery and creamy.
The key to making great buttercream is patience. You have to really cream your butter and whip the powdered sugar until it’s nice and fluffy. Unfortunately, most people hate staring at their mixer while the paddle mixes everything for what seems to take forever, but that’s really what it takes to make it smooth and delicious.
Another tip is to taste as you go. Most recipes call for about 4-5 cups of powdered sugar but some may find this to be a bit too much, so if you want it less sweet, use less. Just remember that the more sugar you use, the more stable it will be. I also like to keep my buttercream simple and only use butter and powdered sugar to make it, other people like to add vegetable shortening but it’s all a matter of personal preference.
- 1½ cups (339 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (50 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 4-5 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream, whipping cream or whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Beat the butter and cocoa powder with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl at high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add half of the amount of sugar and mix on high for about 2-3 minutes. Then, add the remaining sugar and mix on high speed for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add heavy cream (for creamy buttercream) or milk (less creamy) and mix again on high speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix again at high speed for 1-2 minutes. Add another tbsp of heavy cream or milk if the buttercream is too thick and beat again until smooth. If it's too thin, you can add more powdered sugar.