Buttercream is one of the most delicious toppings and simplest fillings for a cake. We’re all about keeping things easy over here! Whilst there are different types of buttercream, a simple buttercream frosting consists of just two ingredients: butter, and icing sugar. Obviously you’ll add flavourings to make it taste even more delicious, but how do you get rid of that yellow tinge? Here are a few tips to help you get white buttercream using real butter.
It can be frustrating to need a coloured buttercream eg blue, only for the yellow of the butter to make your colours go green. Starting with a whiter base of buttercream means you’ll get a truer colour, more in line with your design.
My first tip is to use Lurpak butter. Lurpak seems to be lighter than other butters and comes up lighter in buttercream. My next tip is to put it in a stand mixer and mix until it’s light and fluffy before you add your icing sugar. Doing this means you’re well on your way to a whiter buttercream.
Some bakers like to add a tiny touch of purple food colouring to try and counter balance the yellow from the butter. I could never get this to work well, so I never bothered using this method.
When I made wedding cakes, the most popular type of cake was the semi-naked cake – you know, the one which is cake with a thin layer of buttercream on the outside. This thin buttercream layer stops the cake from drying out, and means you can have different flavours of cake without it looking a mish mash as the buttercream gives it a more uniform finish. It’s great. Obviously, my brides wanted a whiter shade of buttercream, so as well as using Lurpak and whipping the chuff out of it (as we say in Yorkshire) I used Wilton White White. This is an amazing food colour which, when mixed in with your buttercream, makes it lighter and more white in colour. I can definitely recommend it if you want to get a whiter buttercream. You can also use Colour Mill White, which is another brilliant icing whitener.
Recipe of Buttercream
This is a recipe for a basic buttercream. To get a white buttercream, you’ll need:
- 250g butter (usually one block in UK supermarkets)
- 500g icing sugar
- Flavouring of your choice – usually vanilla, but depending on your cake flavour you may want to use lemon, orange, chocolate – whatever you like!
- Wilton White White or Colour Mill White colouring.
Make sure your butter is at room temperature and add it to a stand mixer. Beat for around 5 minutes until light, fluffy and pale in colour. Add your icing sugar carefully, taking care not to get it everywhere – maybe turn your mixer down for this bit! Mix for another 2-3 minutes to make sure it’s all incorporate. Add your flavourings to taste, and your colouring of choice. I just add a splosh, I never really measured, but you can judge by eye and add more if needed. After a couple more minutes mixing, your buttercream will be ready!
Use this buttercream as a filling for your cakes, or as a coating for buttercream covered cakes. It’s also perfect as a cupcake topping.
To make the buttercream easier to pipe, mix in a tablespoon of boiling water. This will make the buttercream softer, and easier to pipe into beautiful swirls on your cupcakes.
Almost forgot – don’t use things like Trex for your buttercream – whilst it will go white, the taste will be awful! Stick to real butter (or a vegan baking block alternative) and follow these top tips to get white buttercream.
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