This butter icing is one of my favourite cake icings and often use for my cakes. I recommend this icing for customers who do not like fondant on their cakes. With the right consistency, this icing can result in very smooth finish on cakes, just like fondant.
The main difference between this icing and my buttercream icing recipes is the consistency of the icings. This icing is much stiffer than the buttercream icing, as the proportion of sugar to butter is much higher, and there is no shortening added to it. Buttercream icing, on the other hand, just like the name suggests, is more fluffy and creamy as it contains more butter and/or shortening.
You will note below that the way I apply this icing on cakes is also different than buttercream icing. In fact, I personally find it easier to achieve a nice and smooth finish on cakes with this icing as compared to buttercream.
Butter Icing Recipe
560 icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
food coloring (optional)
Sieve icing sugar to break lumps.
In a separate bowl, cream butter till soft. Add icing sugar, a little at a time, beating continuously. Add vanilla and continue beating until butter and icing sugar are well combined.
Color as you wish.
At this point, the icing should be quite stiff, and it should not be sticking to your finger when lightly pressed.
Cake Decorating Frosting – Covering Cakes with Butter Icing
Fit a star nozzle into your icing syringe or piping bag and pipe out long lines of icing on the cake. Flatten the piped icing by pressing the icing down gently with your fingers.
Alternatively, you can take lumps of the icing with your hands (fingers are better) and press it gently to the cake, covering the cake with a thin layer of icing. Pls note that the icing will not be smooth at this stage.
Once the whole cake is covered, use a spatula to gently stroke the icing to smoothen it. This is best achieved by applying strokes to the icing in the same direction. I sometimes use fondant smoothers to smoothen the icing. Simply cover your buttericing covered cake with a thin plastic (to avoid the icing from sticking to the fondant smoothers) and smoothen gently with the fondant smoothers, until the icing is smooth. If you seen any obvious dents on the icing, dab a little icing and smoothen again.
Sometimes, it is easier to cover and smoothen the icing in smaller sections on the cake.
This method is able to give a smooth finish to your cake and is considerably easier for beginners as compared to achieving a smooth finish with buttercream icing.
Please note that the texture of the icing used to cover cakes should be firm but not too hard. Like I mentioned earlier, one way of checking on the right level of firmness would be to lightly press it with your finger. Icing of firm consistency should not stick to your finger when pressed lightly. If it does, add more icing sugar until the right consistency is achieved. Avoid adding too much sugar as it will be extremely difficult for you to pipe the icing onto your cake.
More icing and frosting recipes and step by step instructions:
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