Cake & Cupcake Decorating Basics

This is the most basic buttercream frosting recipe. Don’t let its simplicity fool you as it is super delicious! This buttercream is used extensively in cake and cupcake decoration, from the crumb coat to frosting the whole cake with it, to even having it as the main cake decoration choice and even piping shapes, flowers as well as using it as a decorations binder (glue)… This is the recipe you will need to have as you will use over and over and over!

Even if not for decorating, you can simply spread the buttercream over the top of a cake or cupcake, then it can also be topped with the desired garnish (fruits, chocolate shavings, modelled decorations, marzipan fruits…etc). Finally, the easiest way to add colour, texture, flavour and shape to your cupcakes is by simply placing the buttercream in a piping bag with a large tip, and pipe swirls over the cupcakes. Really there is no limit to how you can use this delicious frosting!

Since we are talking cake and cupcake decorating basics, I have included for you a fantastic video on how to pipe roses over a cupcake to transform it from just a cupcake into a beautiful and irresistible one. The techniques used in the video are basic and with a bit of practice you will master them in no time. They are very useful to know even for creating other designs. This is not limited to cupcakes, this can actually also be done on a large cake.


Makes ½ Kg Frosting

250g butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

1 sachet powdered Vanilla Essence

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl mix using an electric mixer on low speed until well incorporated.

Once incorporated turn the speed up to max and beat for 2 minutes.

The buttercream is now ready to use.

TIP- If the buttercream looks too dry, you can thin it slightly with milk or heavy cream. Mind you, a tablespoon at a time as it does not take much to thin buttercream. If it appears too wet though, a little icing sugar will hold it together.


To Tint Buttercream

All you need to do is add a few drops of food colouring to your icing and mix until you achieve the desired shade. Just note that liquid food colouring will not adhere well to fat-based frosting/icing, so you will have to mix the colouring with icing sugar first and then add to the buttercream. The powdered food colours are the best choice for frostings.

I am always talking to you about health and making healthier food choices. I am also an advocate of organic foods and natural foods, if you are a regular here, you will know that I am completely against synthetic and chemical foods, and that includes food colourings. I do not recommend that you use those, I am not even sure why they are allowed!! They are poisonous. But I do understand our need to decorate food and also the general need for food colouring in specific occasions. So I have put for you a whole article I have written about this, and it also includes an amazing way to make your own vegan 100% natural food colours that will not risk your health. These also include the very elusive blue colour!!

Find the full article on this link.

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