I haven’t made American buttercream before as I started off with the French buttercream and loved the taste of it. This weekend I made some vanilla and coconut cupcakes, so I decided to try American buttercream to top my cupcakes. I think it is a good option when you need to be vegetarian or when making an eggless dessert. Surely, whipped cream is a good filler but if you want to do a fancier decoration with pipings, whipped cream can’t hold up very well for more complicated piping.
Since I only had nine cupcakes, I made a small amount of buttercream to use in one go. The basic recipe is as below and I made a third of the recipe. The result is as seen in the photo above, a slightly off- white appearance, smooth buttercream. I have to admit, it is very simple and quick to do. The downside is though: too sweet for my preference. In addition, I found this buttercream although appear smooth, it tastes grainy, I feel like I was crunching through very fine sugar grain. Having said that, this is my first attempt at American buttercream, and there may be ways to improve its texture that I am yet to learn.
3 cup icing sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk (can also use water or cream instead)
- Cream the butter and whip until it’s lighter in colour, smooth and fluffier thanks to more air incorporated
- Slowly add icing sugar and whip well to combine and make sure all sugar has been dissolved. A good whipping from this step ensures a whiter and fluffier appearance at the end due to more air got incorporated
- Add the milk to thin out the buttercream.
- Add vanilla extract. Flavours or colour can be added at this step.
- This recipe is quite flexible. The buttercream can be thickened by adding more icing sugar or thinned down by increasing amount of milk used.
- Some or all of the butter can be replaced by vegetable shortening for a whiter and less sweet buttercream. I am yet to test this.