Making and using buttercream

Overview

with Paul Bradford
Skill level: Easy
HD Lessons: 8
Decorating time: Varies on design

Learn how to use buttercream

It's vital for any cake maker to know how to use buttercream for decorating a cake.Buttercream is very popular in cake decorating and is often used to replace ganache.

In this free cake decorating tutorial, Paul gives you his take on buttercream as well as everything you need to know about using buttercream in your cake decorating.

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Grams to lbs

Inches to cm or vice versa

other US to metric and Metric to US

  • 8” (20.3cm) Round cake
  • 500g (1 lb 1.6oz) Unsalted butter
  • 1 Kg (2 lbs 3.2oz) Icing sugar
  • 800g (1lb 12oz) Sugarpaste
  • White and Milk chocolate ganache
  • Ice Blue food paste
  • Food bag

 

  • Serrated knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Microwave
  • Mixer
  • Flexible scraper
  • Palette knife
  • Sharp knife
  • Small cranked palette knife
  • Turntable
  • Smoothers
  • Metal scraper
  • Large metal ruler
  • Cocktail stick

 

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford´s mission is to ‘Empower people to achieve their cake decorating dreams’ by providing a range of cake decorating courses and online tutorials through their website, which currently teaches 195,000+ students.  

Comments

  1. maisy

    i like your recipe for buttercream Paul. i’m gonna try it. for your white ganache, what amount of white chocolate and cream did you use to make it. Or was it left over white ganache that you had in the fridge.

  2. Helen

    After having my cakes in the fridge setting with butter cream/ ganache I cover them with sugarpaste but find that after a few minutes they start to sweat making it hard to smooth any help would be great thanks Paul

  3. beckangela

    Hi guys! I’d like to know if this combination of buttercream ganache and fondant would resist to high temperatures and humidity. Thank you!

  4. Coll123

    Hi can you tell me if the buttercream/ganache has a chocolate taste to it ,
    say them that dose not like chocolate x

  5. marvscakes

    I used a Ganache the once for a cake i made for my husband, when i cut it there was this white liquid oozing out, all i could think was the cake was cold and the fondant sweated . Do you think this is what happened?? how would i stop this from happening again?? Just so pleased i hadnt given to a customer.

  6. Deane-Mae

    Hi there,

    What’s the best way to cover the hole made to release an air bubble…perhaps not so noticeable on white sugarpaste, but definitely more so with a coloured sugarpaste. I was hoping Paul would show us that with the pink icing he used over buttercream in the tutorial.

    Many thanks……. fantastic tutorials I could watch all day!

  7. Tatiane

    I wonder if this silver spoon icing sugar is what we call açúcae cold here in Brazil?
    Thank you very much

  8. Carla Sussa

    Lol, 28 degree heat wave, I’m in Perth Australia. Try icing a cake when it’s 38 degrees 🙂 Best to avoid buttercream in summer here.

    • debr

      Ha ha I was thinking the same thing. I’m in Central Queensland and our summer is usually between 35 and 45 degrees. Now that is a challenge.

  9. elainecjs22

    Hi Im making a sponge cake for my brothers 40th. and covering all over with buttercream then covering with a layer of fondant, could I get away with not putting it in the fridge to set , im concerned that the sponge cake will go hard and dry , during the setting of the buttercream process .please help thankyou x

  10. Sweetsensations10

    Hi Paul said you can add milk to the buttercream but I didn’t see him add any …. If so how much milk and can you still add the white chocolate Grenache or should I leave milk out? Thanks

  11. Sweetsensations10

    Can I ask the size of the cake and how much buttercream I would use? Is this just one batch of butter cream I.e. 1kg of icing sugar & 500g of unsalted butter? Thank you

  12. Dayanale

    Hi! thanks very much for all the videos.
    I was wondering Why two layers of buttercream? Isn’t that too much?

  13. Shirley

    Should you keep the cake in fridge after it’s made or a cake box and what are ppl talking about when they say their cake is sweating / how do you stop this from happening .

    • Andy (Staff)

      Hi Teresa,

      I’ve just google translated the Ingredients section here :

      8 “(20,3 cm) Torta redonda
      500 g (1 libra 1,6 oz) de mantequilla sin sal
      1 Kg (2 libras 3,2 oz) Azúcar glas
      800g (12 oz 1 libra) pasta de azúcar
      Blanco y ganache de chocolate de leche
      Pasta alimentaria Blue Ice
      bolsa de Alimentos

      Hope this helps in some way!

  14. Janny

    Hi, Paul love your videos! Questions, what’s trex? It’s a Tipe or shortening? This buttercream with ganache it would crust?

    • Andy (Staff)

      Hi Janny,

      Yes trex is a vegetable fat (shortening) and commonly known as crisco in the USA and some other countries. x

  15. kmo145

    Hey. Is it essential to add both white and dark ganache? If I wanted chocolate buttercream for instance can’t I just add the dark ganache and get both flavour and structure?

    Thanks

    • Andy (Staff)

      As long as you can achieve a similar consistency that would be fine! If you wish to discuss this further or need any more advice pop over to our Q&A here.

  16. javajunkie

    Love this video.. Paul makes it look so easy lol… just a quick question. How do you get rid of the little hole that’s made after getting rid of an air bubble?
    Thanks so much!!

    • Andy (Staff)

      Hi Javajunkie, Thanks for your kind words, getting rid of the hole is usually as simple as a little rub using a cake smoother or finger! x

    • Andy (Staff)

      You can opt to cover a cake in just buttercream if you like however your designs will be limited due to the softer properties of buttercream. x

    • Danielle

      Hi!

      Thank you for your question! I would recommend leaving your crumb coat in the fridge for approximately 20-30 mins before adding the second layer.

      Hope this helps! D xx

  17. folakemi

    Hi Paul, I can’t open the video at all and I have downloaded Google chrome still the same problem. thanks and I await your response

    l

  18. cupcakeboss12

    I feel like the butter cream is going to be watery and weird consistency because he kept getting it wet when he was dipping his knife back and forth into the container while making it smooth!

    • Danielle

      Hi Elizabeth, Thankyou for the lovely feedback, I am so glad that you enjoyed the tutorial. Yay! Let’s Bake! D xx

  19. texasproud61

    Thank you…for the instruction. I make alot of cakes and cupcakes for church, and I hate using store bought frosting. Iam ooking forward to tring this recipe on my next batch…..thank you…….

    • Danielle

      Hi Texasproud61, fantastic news! I am glad that this tutorial has helped you. Hopefully your church will find your cakes and cupcakes more enjoyable with your own buttercream! D xx

  20. nat501

    Hi, can you please let me know exactly how much ganache was used for the buttercream amount mentioned in the recipe?
    And what cake this recipe will cover?

    I was planning to use it for a wedding cake (underneath the fondant) and was wondering whether this will set hard and hold the fondant (I live in Perth, AUstralia so it’s quite warm here)

    • Danielle

      Hi Nat,
      Thank you for getting in touch. This amount of buttercream should be able to cover an 8 inch round cake.
      I also found some helpful tips on our Q&A section of our site where individuals can post questions and cake friends can answer any queries they may have.
      Our cake expert madeitwithlove, provided great advice for dealing with covering a cake in warm temperatures. You can read it here – http://www.designer-cakes.com/questions/hot-and-humid-country/
      I hope this helps!
      Cheers,
      Danielle x

    • Danielle

      Hi La28ki,

      I am glad you are enjoying the tutorials and I hope you continue to enjoy them all! 🙂
      Thanks D xx

  21. Stefpram

    Hi, thank you for the videos. I am not sure if you mentionned what kind of fondant you use. It seems to be very smooth

    • Danielle

      Hi Stefpram,

      Thank you for getting in touch. Paul uses different kinds, however he mostly uses Renshaw’s fondant. I hope this helps:) D xx

  22. Nado

    Quick question, whenever I make buttercream for cupcakes, for example, my buttercream starts to melt! I don’t understand why this happens? All my quantities for butter and icing sugar are correct, and cakes are all cooled before application.
    If you can help me out here, will be great. Thanks
    Nadia

    • Danielle

      Hi Prshus,
      Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the industry! Ganache is a combination of Chocolate and Cream and can be used in cake decorating to help shape a cake, decorate it, and can be used as a filling before covering the cake in sugarpaste/fondant. I hope this helps! x

  23. missljayeg

    Hi

    Like a few others I’m in Australia and would to know once the cake is covered either with buttercream or ganache then fondant how should I store it without the buttercream just melted and ruining the fondant? Any suggestions?

  24. Gail

    Any chance of buying actual cd’s as I get so frustrated with the streaming, takes an hour to watch 10 minutes! I’m in Australia (the backward part!) and I would love to have solid copies that I could play over and over again. If you don’t, then it would be good if you did 🙂

    • Danielle

      Hi Gail,

      Thank you for getting in touch and I am terribly sorry to learn that you are having difficulty streaming our tutorials. If you are still having difficulty, can you please let us know by emailing us at our email address – [email protected]
      Many thanks! Danielle x

  25. Gail

    Do you sell actual CD’s? It takes me an hour to watch just 10 minutes with the streaming, very frustrating. I’m in Australia (the backward part!) and I would just love to be able to watch you over and over again without having to wait forever. If not, thats a shame 🙂

    • Danielle

      Hi Gail, thank you for getting in touch and I am sorry but we do not have CD’s available unfortunately. I am sorry you are having difficulty watching the tutorials – it must be so frustrating! x

  26. DeSire

    Hi there what is icing sugar and sugar paste. Is one of them considered confectioner’s powder sugar which is what I have in the USA. New cake baker for my grands. Thanks

    • Danielle

      Hi DeSire, Icing sugar is confectioner’s sugar and sugar paste is fondant!
      I hope this helps:) If you need help with any cake related questions, feel free to check out our Q&A section on our website where we have lots of cake superheros there to offer their help and support! 🙂
      http://www.designer-cakes.com/questions
      I hope this helps:)
      Thanks D xx

  27. Inez

    I have a question: is it possible to cover the cake with ganache first and than buttercream over instead fondant? thank you in advance.

  28. [email protected]

    Sorry I knew you guess use differnt measurements then we do in the USA. For some of us that doesn’t knew can you please give us cheat sheet so we can us recipes.