Vanilla Buttercream Icing is classic! It's the best for birthday cupcakes and wedding cakes alike.
This vanilla buttercream icing recipe is quick and easy, but makes a great way to turn your cakes into extra special treats!
Its texture is perfect for piping, which gives a lovely, professional look to your creations.
Tips for making perfect vanilla buttercream icing
- Always ensure your butter is at room temperature before you start, so that it is soft enough to get that nice, creamy texture you need once its blended with the butter.
- Make sure you use unsalted butter. You can always add a little salt if you want to - it's a great way to offset the sweetness of this icing - but by using unsalted butter you can control just how much salt the end product will contain.
- Be sure to use confectioner's sugar and don't try to substitute it with any other variety. This is because confectioner's sugar is very fine and will blend well. Other types of sugar will give your buttercream icing a grainy texture.
- Use pure vanilla extract and don't accept any imitations! Pure vanilla extract is a high quality ingredient that has to meet certain standards, which ensures it has the wonderful depth of flavor you'd expect. Imitiation vanilla is made with synthetic products and often has a bitter aftertaste. There is really no comparison!
- If you find that your vanilla buttercream icing contains air bubbles, try blending the butter and sugar by hand instead of using a mixer. It is easy to overwhip the butter with a mixer, and that's what causes the bubbles, They won't affect the flavor of your icing in any way, but bubbles do affect the texture and make the mixture seem less creamy. They can also cause problems when piping on designs.
How to make your own piping bag using a zip-top bag
If you'd like to have a go at piping this vanilla buttercream icing on to a cake but don't have the right equipment, then you can improvise with a zip-top bag. This won't be any use for intricate designs and certainly won't be perfect, but it's fine for creating simple patterns on a sponge cake or drizzling over a bundt cake, for example.
All you need is a thick resealable bag - a freezer bag is ideal. If the bag you use it too thin, it might pop as soon as you start squeezing it!
Spoon in your buttercream icing and seal the bag, making sure you've squeezed out all the air first.
Push the icing down into the corner of the bag you plan to squeeze it from, then snip off a tiny bit of the corner with a sharp pair of scissors. Have an experimental squeeze to see how much icing comes out - if you want to pipe thicker lines then snip off a little more.
Hold the bag over your cake and start piping. You won't need much pressure and the icing will probably flow out fairly quickly, so take care.