I love making cakes and cupcakes for my family and friends but whenever I try and create a buttercream the colours are never quite right and always seem dull. How do I get a bright buttercream? Is there a fool proof way?
(LK, 7 May 2013)
Buttercream icing is one of the most common ways to ice and decorate your cake and it gives a great effect as well as tasting yummy. Buttercream icing is not only used as a topping but also as a filling and to crumb coat cakes before fondant icing is applied.
Make Perfect Buttercream
To create a delicious buttercream icing that will not only taste good but give a vibrant colour we suggest the following recipe. This amount of buttercream will be enough to fill and crumb coat an 8" cake or decorate 12 cupcakes (with a bit left over).
250g of unsalted Lurpack butter
500g of icing sugar
1tbsp of milk
1tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
Beat all of the ingredients together thoroughly until you get a smooth buttercream. Now is the time to add your colour and produce the buttercream you desire! We recommend using gel/paste colours as they provide the best and brightest colour, you will only need a small amount (we just use a knife tip to measure) and one pot will last for quite a while. The longer you leave the buttercream and gel to mix the deeper the colour will be.
What our bakers think...
That's how we make our buttercream, but what do our Cakebaker facebook fans think...
Lurpack definitely, beat it until it's white. If it's red you're after, get sugarflair red extra, as the others just come up pink and make it a day ahead and wrap the bowl in clingfilm, the colour will deepen over time.
Gel colours like sugar flair.
I use President Butter, it's whiter than most butter. Beat it to death, before adding icing sugar, then beat it to death again after, then add your colour.
I use Wilton gel colours and a stand mixer. Just let it whip up to white before you add any colour!! Also use a clear vanilla extract if you can.
If you beat your buttercream for 4/5 mins using ordinary unsalted butter, it will turn white, and I always use sugar flair or Wilton colours.. Leave for an hour to deepen.
Try starting with a really light coloured butter - Lurpack IMO is pretty good and beat the heck out of it and then beat it some more before you add icing sugar, then add your colour.
Put the gel colour in after your buttercream is finished, as the longer you beat the colour the paler it gets.
Lurpak, President and even Lidl's butters make for a whiter buttercream and Sugarflair paste colourings are fantastic.
Sugarflair or Wilton gel colours and always leave it a while as the colours deepen over time.
The new gel colours from Dr oetker are fab and also the sugarflair paste colours such as ice blue are really good too.
Sugarflair colours everytime. And one pot will last you a long long long time.
I always use Lurpak and sugarflair and beat it for at least 15mins.
Sugar flair gel colours work really well, add it after the buttercream has been beaten.
I use gel colours and they always give a lovely vibrant colour.
I use trex, as it's white the colour doesn't get lost in the yellow of the butter, also use gel colours. Works super everytime.
The longer you mix your butter before adding icing sugar the whiter it will get. Gel is best for colouring too.