About Me

My photo
Hi all! My name is Becca and I am a 21 year old from Berkshire, England with an interest in all things cake. I have only been baking for the past couple of years and if someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be a passionate cake maker at the age of 21, I'm afraid to say I probably would have laughed in their face! I have had many cake disasters in the past (including a Barbie cake for my friend's 16th Birthday that was still raw in the middle when she cut into it...) However one Christmas I opened my stocking to find a Giant Cupcake making kit, and hey presto, my love for all things sweet emerged. I have developed this blog as a way of sharing my baking experiences with others. I love to read other baking blogs, you can learn so much from them and discover some great new ideas. Plus I just love looking at photos of yummy scrummy cakey goodness ;) (possibly a touch of 'food pornography' going on there!) Whilst I am still on a massive learning curve with my baking, I will share any tips I have with you as well! Thanks for popping by! Love Becca xxx

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The icing on the cake...

This post is dedicated to buttercream frosting. It comes in a variety of flavours, colours and styles and some people argue it's the best part of a cake. This post will look at 2 main things: how to make buttercream frosting and how to pipe it onto a cupcake.

Yummy scrummy vanilla buttercream frosting, coloured baby pink

People are always asking for the frosting recipe I use on my vanilla cupcakes. Vanilla is a favourite because it's simple; most people like it; it can be easily coloured; and it compliments lots of different flavour cakes. The recipe I use is from the Primrose Bakery book. It's yummy and holds it's shape well when piped on top of a cupcake! Here's how to whip up a batch of creamy buttery goodness...

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting- Recipe from the Primrose Bakery
(The recipe says it's enough for 15-20 cupcakes but I find that if you want big swirls on top of your cupcakes then it's enough for about 12)

What you will need...

110g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml semi-skimmed milk

Stand mixer or electric hand mixer


Beat the softened butter in a bowl with the vanilla extract. 

Sieve in half of the icing sugar and add half of the milk and beat until well incorporated. Then add the the rest of the icing sugar and milk and beat for a good few minutes until the frosting is soft and light. 

By adding the icing sugar a bit at a time it helps to avoid the dreaded clouds of icing sugar that plume up into your face and gets EVERYWHERE. I really really don't like this bit, I feel like I need to shower just to get the layer icing sugar off my face and out of my hair! You can also minimise the plume by gently combining the icing sugar into the rest of the ingredients with a spatula before using the mixer. But at the end of the day, baking isn't meant to be a tidy hobby!! ;) 

Test whether the frosting is stiff enough to hold its shape when piped by seeing whether it stays on the spatula. If it's too runny add some more icing sugar. However you don't want it too stiff either otherwise you will really struggle to pipe it onto your cakes. You want a nice smooth texture :-) If it is too stiff just add a little bit more milk.

freshly whipped vanilla buttercream
Step 2 is piping the frosting onto your cupcakes. I like to use a large open star nozzle. I bought a "professional piping set" from Lakeland that had 7 different large nozzles in and I use the open star tip for all of my cupcakes, as it creates such a nice soft swirl. 

To apply the frosting to the cake, fill a piping bag with the frosting using a spatula. I prefer to use disposable piping bags as I find them easier to use and it means you don't have to faff around cleaning them out after you have used them! Only half fill the piping bag otherwise you will have buttercream all over your hands by the end of it (which means you can lick it off your fingers but there may not be enough to ice your cupcakes!!!)

Piping chocolate frosting onto chocolate cupcakes- sorry it's not vanilla but the method is exactly the same for both!

Start at the edge of the cupcake. It is nice if you leave a little bit of the cake showing so people can see what type of sponge lies underneath the frosting. Gently squeeze the top of the piping bag and work your way around. When you reach the other side keep going and pipe another swirl on top. Finish by releasing your grip on the piping bag and pulling away from the frosting.

This technique should help you achieve deliciously indulgent looking cupcakes that you can decorate in any way you want. Add chocolate, sweets, sprinkles, cookies, letters/numbers, chopped nuts, fruit, sugarpaste decorations...the list is endless!

I hope some of you find this helpful. Keep your eyes peeled for Baking Challenge number 2 over the next few days (I promise I WILL do another post on that soon!)

In the meantime, Happy Baking!

Love Becca x

No comments:

Post a Comment