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Perfect Buttercream Icing

Whether it be for piping onto cupcakes, creating a layer between fondant and cake or just to decorate a simple cake in, this Buttercream Icing will have you creating perfect decadent swirls of deliciousness every time!
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 batch


  • 340 grams Unsalted Butter cold and cubed
  • 4 cups Icing Sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Full Fat Milk
  • Gel food colouring of choice


  • Cube the cold butter and set aside in a container in the fridge whilst you set up your stand mixer or beaters.
  • Place the cold cubed butter into the bowl of the mixer and with a paddle attachment beat until creamy. This may take a little while as the butter is so cold.
  • Once creamed, turn up the mixer to full speed and beat for 5 minutes.
  • Add half of the icing sugar approx 1/4 cup at a time, ensuring each additional is well beaten in.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat again for 30 seconds.
  • Add the remaining icing sugar, again a 1/4 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Now turn the mixer up to full speed again and beat continuously for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer off, add the milk and slowly work together. Turn back up to high speed and beat for an additional 3 minutes.
  • If colouring, add your gel food dye now and beat until you reach the desired colour.


  • Cold butter is a MUST here. However it does tend to make it harder to beat down, so don't stress if it takes a good few minutes before the butter starts to cream. It may look lumpy and crumbly up until that point.
  • Treat the icing sugar addition like you would a pavlova! Add it a little at a time for a truly smooth buttercream icing.
  • If it's a particularly hot day and your butter is starting to melt and separate, simply pop the whole bowl straight into the fridge for a few minutesĀ and allow it to harden up. Alternatively sit the bowl in an ice water bath and mix by hand until it resumes it's consistency.
  • Keep your buttercream at room temperature especially once on the cake. It is safe and stable at this temperature for 2-3 days. If you do need to refrigerate it for any reason be sure to cover it in cling wrap and let it come to room temperature again before working with it. (Give it a good mix up before hand too)