Basic Italian Buttercream

21 Dec

This buttercream recipe is a staple in my cupcake making adventures. I’m not a huge fan of buttercream, but if I had to choose one type I would defiantly choose this one over the kind with butter, shortening, and confectioners sugar. You really can do soooo much with it!

Unfortunately, the ingredients are listed in ounces, but next time I make this I will convert it to cup measurements.

Ingredients:
2.25 oz hot water
9 oz granulated sugar
3 oz fresh egg whites
10.5 oz butter
Vanilla extract to taste

Some notes about the ingredients:

-Make sure when separating the egg whites you do not get any yolks or any other kind of fat in them and that you are using a clean bowl. These things will prevent the yolks from whipping.
-You butter needs to be very soft before adding it. Not melted though, so please don’t put it in the microwave. Just leave it out for a few hours before using.

Put the hot water and 2/3 of the granulated sugar into a pot. I often add some lemon juice or a tablespoon of corn syrup when cooking sugar. This prevents it from crystallizing. Also make sure that the pot you use is big enough, sometimes sugar boils up. Heat the sugar to 250 degrees F. Before using your thermometer, put it in a glass of ice water. If it doesn’t read 32 degrees- it’s time to get a new one, or if possible, calibrate it. The instructions that came with it should tell you how to calibrate it so it’s working properly.

Once the sugar reaches 230 degrees, this is your cue to start whipping up the egg whites. Once they are frothy, you can slowly start adding the sugar. Make sure to add it very slowly. If you don’t, the meringue won’t be at a full volume.

If your like me and start whipping the whites too soon, don’t fear. Just keep the mixer on low until your sugar is at 250 degrees. Once the sugar is ready, slowly pour it into your mixer, and have it on medium speed. There should be just a thin stream of the sugar drizzling into the whites. Pouring too fast will result in sugar chunks in your frosting. No one wants that! Mix this until the bowl feels room temperature, it will take about 15 minutes

Once the meringue has cooled, add the butter in small pieces. It should be very soft, and incorporate into the mixture well. Once the butter is all in, add the vanilla extract. And voila- you’ve got delicious Italian buttercream!

This is just a base recipe, you can add other extracts, fruit purees, chocolate, and many other things to flavor you icing!

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4 Responses to “Basic Italian Buttercream”

  1. Dionne Baldwin December 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    This is a very important recipe!!! I love buttercream. MM MM MMM! Thank you for sharing this.

  2. fifteenspatulas December 24, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    YAY for real buttercream!

  3. Green Girl December 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    I always have problems with butercream, I have to buy a sugar thermometer otherwise I’m going to ruin lots till I get it right.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you’ll have wonderful holidays

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes « It's a Cupcake World - December 21, 2010

    [...] for the strawberry frosting. You can check out this link to the Basic Italian Buttercream to make the base frosting recipe. To make it taste like strawberry, you could add strawberry [...]

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