My Best Buttercream Icing Recipe Ever is the single most popular recipe on my site, without a doubt. With almost 300 comments and over 12,000 people who pinned it on Pinterest (Seriously? What do you people DO all day? Just kidding. Kind of.) there have been a lot of people who have weighed in on this amazing icing and almost 100 percent are in love with it.
With that love and adoration however comes a lot of questions. People use my recipe for birthdays, weddings and more, which means that in the past two or three years since I have first published my recipe, there have been a lot of questions. These are important events and everyone wants to get it right.
(if you don’t want to read the FAQ, skip all the way to the bottom for a printable recipe!)
I have been meaning to write up a FAQ or A Buttercream Icing Recipe 101 and here it goes. I have read through all those comments and have compiled the most commonly asked questions about this icing.
What the heck is coffee cream?
Coffee cream here in Canada is a high fat cream, usually around 15-18%. I wanted to use a cream with a high fat content and coffee cream is right between half & half cream and whipping cream. I personally didn’t want to use whipping cream but commenters have let us all know that this icing is just as incredible using whipping cream.
It is NOT a fake creamer. No powders or fake tastes here.
Why Do I Have To Use Salted Butter? Why Not Just Add Salt?
Here’s the deal on why I am so adamant on using salted butter and not adding salt to the recipe. The quality salted butters have had salt added to the point of tasting perfect. This means that when you use it in your buttercream icing, it’s not too salty and not lacking in salt. Buy a good quality salted butter ( I love PC brand Organic churned butter) that tastes amazing by itself.
When you start with a salty, creamy butter that has a fantastic taste off the spoon, so to say, then you are guaranteed to have a fantastic buttercream icing. We are not using precise salt measurements for baking purposes ,we are using it for taste. There is such a huge difference between the two. It is very hard to salt a buttercream to the exact point you will achieve with a perfectly salted, good quality butter.
If you start with a great tasting butter, dilute it with cream, vanilla and 4 cups of icing sugar it’s simply not possible for it to end up too salty. This is what makes this the Best Buttercream Icing recipe, after all, that sweet salty umami!
Icing Sugar is Powdered Sugar And is Also Confectioners Sugar.
All the same thing and make sure it’s fresh! This type of sugar will wick tastes and aromas from the air.
You Can Add Almost Anything And It Still Is Amazing
My talented, inspired readers have added Tenessee Honey Whisky, lemon, lime and I’ve added almond flavoring for a great cherry taste.
How Many Cupcakes/Cakes/Layers Will This Cover?
I simply cannot tell you this. I am a heavy-duty icer so this doesn’t cover 2 dozen cupcakes for me. I can tell you that it yields around 3 cups of icing (now this depends on how whippy you make it as well! Can be closer to 4 if you whip larger amounts of air and add more cream). It will do a crumb layer of a double layered 8/9 inch cake perfectly. I always make extra and freeze the leftovers. Which takes us to our next question.
Do I Have To Refrigerate It? Can I Freeze It?
This icing can stay out as long as butter can and remember, will act like butter as well. This is not a lard icing which is why it tastes so much better but butter melts and softens up easily. I leave out cupcakes/cakes for hours at my parties and they are completely fine at room temperature, creamy and lovely, just like butter. I have frozen it as well and there is no problem when it defrosts. Indeed, I freeze it on cakes all the time.
Can I Pipe Designs With It? Can I Color It?
Yes and yes! Check out my R2D2 birthday cake, Rocket Birthday Cake, Canada Day Cake and Fourth of July Cake, all done with this exact recipe. The Wilton icing gels color this up beautifully. Have fun creating!
And here is the recipe!
- 1 cup of good quality salted butter
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla (clear vanilla if you want a whiter color)
- 4 cups of icing sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons of coffee cream (18% and up)
- Using room temperature butter, place it in your mixer bowl.
- Using a paddle attachment, whip the butter until it’s creamy and fluffy.
- Add in the icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating in completely, until all 4 cups are combined.
- Add in the vanilla and whip again to combine.
- Add in your cream, less cream = stiffer icing. More cream – fluffier icing.
The Icing Happy Magpie