There are numerous techniques for decorating cakes, from the classic American buttercream used on cupcakes to the trendy mirror finish that has become an Instagram sensation. This comprehensive resource will teach you how to decorate cakes with a wide variety of fillings, icings, and glazes and provide you with numerous recipes to get you started.
Here is everything from making American buttercream and Swiss meringue buttercream frosting to how to decorate your delicious works of cake crafting art.
Ideas for cake crafting
American buttercream, the most well-known type of cake frosting, is made by whipping equal parts butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Most often used at baking classes to embellish cupcakes and sponge layer cakes because of its smooth spreading and piping consistency. It develops a crispy exterior when let dry.
- Beat the butter for about 2 minutes on medium speed using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract when the mixer is on low. Turn up the tempo and keep it up for three full minutes. If the frosting is too runny, stir in up to a half cup of extra confectioners' sugar; if it's too thick, add another tablespoon of cream. If the frosting tastes overly sweet, try adding a little salt.
- Refrigerate for up to a week if covered well.
Italian Meringue Buttercream
Unlike its American counterpart, Italian meringue buttercream uses egg whites to lighten the texture without altering the flavour. Cooked meringue is the base for the frosting, formed by slowly pouring the boiling sugar syrup into egg whites while stirring.
- In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Toss the ingredients into a pot and boil, stirring occasionally. When it reaches a boil, remove the spoon and replace it with a sugar thermometer.
- Meanwhile, a stand mixer beats the egg whites into soft peaks. After the sugar reaches 115 degrees Celsius, slowly pour it into the egg whites while the mixer runs at medium speed.
- Turn the mixer up to high to bring the temperature down to room temperature.
- While mixing on medium-high speed, add the butter a few teaspoons at a time. Put in the vanilla extract. Raise the mixer's speed to be high and continue beating until the mixture is completely smooth.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
This is a perfect substitute for Italian meringue buttercream without a stand mixer to hold the bowl steady while pouring boiling sugar syrup. Instead of preparing a boiling sugar syrup, the egg whites for a meringue can be cooked by whisking them with the sugar over a bain marie (double boiler). The professional cooking courses are great if you want to learn by seeing demonstrations.
- Combine the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. So that the egg whites don't start cooking independently, please give them a quick hand whisking until they're incorporated.
- Make a double boiler by filling one saucepan with water (a few inches high) and bringing it to a simmer in another. Make a double boiler by setting the bowl containing the egg white mixture over another. Keep the water at a low simmer, ensuring it never reaches the dish's base. The egg white mixture is heated indirectly in a double boiler.
- Bring the egg white mixture to temperature, occasionally stirring, until a sugar thermometer registers 70 degrees C. It is done when the sugar has dissolved and the mix is quite hot to the touch.
- After the egg white combination has reached the desired temperature, remove the bowl from the heat and set it on a heatproof surface, covering it with a kitchen towel to catch any dripping moisture. Blend the ingredients for around 8 minutes with a hand mixer on high speed. The finished meringue will be room temperature and have glossy, medium-firm peaks.
- To incorporate the butter, turn the mixer's speed to low and add the butter a few teaspoons at a time. The butter must be at room temperature to fully combine with the meringue.
- After the butter is incorporated, sprinkle in the vanilla bean seeds and pour in the extract.
- Set the mixer up to medium speed until the ingredients are well combined and smooth.
No hard and fast rule states that you must use only one method to complete your cake; try something new and exciting! Want to use Swiss buttercream to frost a cake filled with American buttercream to frost cupcakes that you will subsequently drizzle with chocolate ganache? Go after it! These are just the building blocks; experiment with different ingredients and techniques to make cakes that are one of a kind. You can also join at cake making courses to learn more.Contact us to learn more about our baking classes today!