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Simple Buttercream

I get a LOT of questions about buttercream.

There is a difference between home-made and shop bought buttercream and it can make an enormous difference to your cake decorating. The stuff you can buy in tubs from the supermarkets can be really moreish and may suit your purposes….however for piping and for cake covering, the brands that they sell in my local shops are just way too soft and really wouldn’t do the job at all.

Here’s what I use. There are other (more complicated) buttercreams Swiss Meringue buttercream for instance is just yummy. But for a simple vanilla buttercream you won’t go far wrong with the following:


250g unsalted butter

500g Icing Sugar (confectioner’s sugar)

A teaspoon of vanilla extract

A touch of water or milk


Mix (in a mixer if possible) until smooth and fluffy. Adding a little water or milk can improve the texture….just a few tablespoons until you reach the required consistency…..but don’t add milk unless you mean to eat it promptly!

If I want my buttercream to crust a little….I simply add a little egg-white powder. This is useful when, for instance, you want to create nice edges or produce a finished buttercream surface.

P.S. Adding raspberries (real raspberries) instead of vanilla extract makes it taste divine. Also try out my cream cheese and chocolate variations which you’ll find on my YouTube Channel


Basic Buttercream

Cream Cheese Frosting

White Chocolate Buttercream

Piping Nozzle Comparisons

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