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How to make the perfect buttercream icing for cake decorating

Icing is a dark art. Just when you think you've got it mastered, your kitchen gets too hot or your hands get too sweaty. Or, somehow you manage to split the frosting and get those annoying curdled chunks going on. Eww.

Icing disasters, nobody needs them!

So, we're going to share with you our favourite cake icing recipe which has never let us down! Don't reach for that store-bought frosting with all the nasty chemical additives, this is easy and pretty much foolproof.

Best Buttercream Icing 

Takes: 5-10 minutes
Makes: 2.5 cups
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter - make sure it's soft, but not melted
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar (aka. confectioners or powdered sugar) - sift this WELL to get any clumps out
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Up to 4 tablespoons of cream or milk (or use half cream and half milk). We find using cream gives a better result
How to:
  1. Beat the softened butter for 30 seconds with a cake mixer (or hand mixer) on medium speed.
  2. Turn off the mixer and add the 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar.
  3. Turn your mixer to the slowest speed and mix until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Your icing will be looking a bit weird and lumpy at this point, but that's okay!
  4. Increase your mixer speed to medium and add the vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of cream. Beat for 2 or 3 minutes until it is fluffy and pale in appearance.
  5. If your frosting needs to be stiffer (e.g. for piping flowers), add the remaining sifted sugar.
  6. If the frosting needs to be thinned out, add the remaining cream gradually until you reach the required consistency.


Now, the piping can begin! Check out our range of Russian piping tips and nozzles that can help you create the perfect swirls, grass icing, and flowers of all kinds. 

Tag us on Instagram @cake_magicians - we'd love to see how your icing turned out!



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