by Katherine Walton on May 2, 2022 47 Comments
American buttercream is possibly the most widely used frosting for cake decorating. It’s very simple to make and colours beautifully in the brightest of shades you can find. It also tastes amazing when combined with just about any flavour. Nonetheless, it can be very sweet in flavour and gritty in texture, two qualities which can sometimes be disliked by some.
My Silky Buttercream has fifty percent less sugar than my regular Smooth Buttercream, which makes it a lot less sweet and hardly gritty in texture. It also pipes beautifully and because of its silky texture it’s perfect for frosting a smooth cake. You will find that this buttercream also doesn’t crust as much as a regular buttercream or even crust at all. This makes it perfect for those wanting a smooth frosting.
This silky buttercream only needs three key ingredients typically found in a traditional American Buttercream. A ratio of 1:1 of salted butter to icing sugar or powdered confectioner’s sugar and flavouring of choice. This ratio of ingredients makes this buttercream a soft to medium consistency frosting. It is stable in warm weather and perfect for those making it in cold winters where my Smooth Buttercream has been too stiff and thick to work with.
Now, you may wonder how can this simple buttercream be silky, stable, and taste delicious. The secret lies in the way I make this buttercream from the moment the butter is placed into the mixer bowl. Continue to read on and watch my full Step by Step Silky Buttercream Recipe video tutorial below and read along with the full written recipe below.
How are the ingredients measured in this recipe?
In this recipe and in all of my recipes I provide all ingredients in grams and in mL (millilitres) where applicable. I also provide the ingredient quantities in METRIC cup measurements. However, be aware that cup measurements and spoon measurements vary in different countries. Therefore, I highly recommended the use of kitchen scales where applicable to measure the ingredients to achieve exactly what the recipe intends.
What is icing sugar and can I substitute it in this recipe?
Icing sugar is also known as powdered sugar and confectioners’ sugar. Not to be confused or replaced with caster sugar also known as super fine granulated sugar. The icing sugar in this recipe cannot be substituted.
What does soft but not melted butter mean?
The butter must be cool to the touch but soft. That means you should be able to press with your finger and make an indentation. If the butter looks like it is melting, you can put it back in the fridge until it feels cold to the touch again and firms up a little bit. Five minutes should suffice.
Why does this buttercream use salted butter and not unsalted butter? Can I substitute it?
In my Silky Buttercream recipe I use salted butter to enhance the flavours in this buttercream and at the same time reduce the sweetness that comes from the icing sugar. You may substitute the salted butter with unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt for added taste. Keep in mind that adding a pinch of salt may not completely dissolve and incorporate into the buttercream if not thoroughly mixed. Make sure the added salt is well mixed in or you may end with an unpleasant salty buttercream.
How to store this Buttercream and what is its shelf life?
Store the buttercream sealed in an airtight container. You may store in the fridge for up to 5 days and at room temperature for up to 3 days. If stored in the fridge bring to room temperature before using again. The buttercream will harden. You may re whip in a mixer or with a metal spoon.
The buttercream is too soft to work with. What can I do to fix it?
In some cases you may find that the buttercream is too soft to work with. In most circumstances this will be due to the temperature of the room the buttercream is being used in. In warm weather, this buttercream should be of a soft to medium consistency and stable enough to withstand warm temperatures but not extremely hot weather. However, if you still find that the buttercream is too soft, you may place the frosting in the fridge for five to ten minutes for it to firm up. Or you may want to try my Smooth Buttercream recipe which can withstand hot and humid weather.
Also, when piping you can place the whole piping bag in the fridge for five minutes at a time. This trick is useful and works well for those that get warm hands when piping.
Watch the full step by step video provided with this recipe for visual instructions. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to guide you through.