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Buttercream Basics

Demonstration and recipe by Rachel de Ridder


American Buttercream (Makes 500g)


  • 125g unsalted butter, diced, room temperature

  • 125g salted butter, diced, room temperature

  • 250g icing sugar, sifted

  • 1tsp vanilla essence or other flavouring (optional)

  • Gel food colouring of your choice (optional)

  • 2x recipe (1kg) used to decorate the 6” cake pictured

  • Tools & equipment for buttercream:

  • Scales to weigh ingredients

  • Sieve for icing sugar

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer with bowl, using a beater attachment.

  • Spatula

  • Toothpicks for adding gel food colouring




Buttercream recipe
1. Add diced butters to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
2. Add icing sugar a little at a time whilst beating. Take care to not add too much or beat too fast
as sugar will spill out of bowl.
3. Scrape down sides of bowl to ensure everything is evenly mixed.
4. Add vanilla essence or other flavouring and mix followed by adding colouring (a little at a
time) and mix.
5. Use spatula to press and smooth buttercream, pushing out air bubbles that might have


• Use room temperature butter so ingredients incorporate easily.
• If you store buttercream in the fridge return to room temperature and beat again before
• Use a small amount of icing when piping to increase your control.
• Always allow cakes to cool completely before icing.
• Use a pint glass to hold piping bag for you when filling.
• Mix large batches of each colour as it is hard to match colours if you run short.
• Leftover icing can be stored in the freezer for your next cake.
• Add small amounts of colour at a time, wooden toothpicks can help to control the
amount you add.

Equipment list for decorating a cake with flowers:

  • Offset spatula or pallet knife, bench scraper

  • Turntable, silicone disk/ grip surface for turntable, cake board

  • Piping bags and couplers

  • Petal tip (no.104), leaf tip (various numbers), large round tip (for stacking and icing cake)

  • Flower nail and squares of parchment paper

  • Chopping board to transfer finished flowers to freezer

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