Keys to Perfect Buttercream

Hey, Hey DIY Cake Girls, I Found the Secret to Perfect Buttercream!

OK, before I get to the tips and tricks part, I want to say briefly that the camp wedding post is on it's way. I feel so badly for dropping a Camp Wedding sneak peek this weekend and leaving you hanging, but an unexpected delay caused, well, delays. Look for it tomorrow!

Final Cake: portrait details 4
Hindsight Bride's DIY Wedding Cake

Yesterday I wrote about lessons learned from making Swiss meringue buttercream in warn weather. Today I'm going to let you in on the secret for perfect Swiss meringue buttercream everytime.

I generally toggle between two Swiss meringue buttercream recipes. The Nutella buttercream one on Confessions of a Tart, and the regular one on Smitten Kitchen. I have also seen the same recipe in Martha Stewart's Cupcake book. However, my buttercream isn't always as firm and fluffy as I would like it. This drives my nuts because I'm generally baking a cake for someone else when buttercream FAIL rears it's ugly head.

Cupcake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Image from My Sweet and Saucy

To make Swiss Meringue buttercream, you basically, you cook egg whites and sugar. Whip them into a meringue, and slowly add butter whilst continuing to whip, whip, whip. The concoction will lump in the midst of the butter adding process, but with patience and a little luck, it will whip up into smooth, not-to-sweet, dreamy buttercream.

Thankfully I had no buttercream issues when I made my own wedding cake. However, since then, it has been hit or miss. That is until this weekend when I found the perfect tutorial for the perfect buttercream.

Eggs whites
Image from Smitten Kitchen

There are several key tricks that make buttercream perfect.

  1. Use correct proportions. 1 part egg whites; 2 parts sugar; 3 parts butter. One, Two, Three! For example, if you have 2 oz of eggs, use 4 oz of sugar, and 6 oz of butter.
  2. Add a pinch of salt to the eggs and lightly beat the eggs before adding the sugar or putting on heat. This helps break up the protein in the eggs and makes for perfectly fluffy meringue. One might also say that it intensifies all of the flavors.
  3. Switch to a paddle when adding the butter. Rather than continuing to use a whisk attachment, switch to a paddle to incorporate the butter. I don;t know why, but when I did this, I got the smoothest, most easily spreadable buttercream ever. I had nearly pulled my hair out trying to get my frosting perfectly smooth. While I still believe it's part technique, it also seems to matter how you make your buttercream.

And without further adieu, here is the You Tube video for making perfect buttercream: