This is the simplest of all the buttercream recipes. With just a couple of ingredients and a good beating, everyone is a winner. Well-made buttercream has always been my favourite part – the rich, sweet naughty creaminess is hard to beat. When I had my bakery we would always use the same quantities for the vanilla buttercream: half butter to sugar, plus flavourings. This makes enough buttercream to cover a three-layer 20cm cake.
Place the butter and vanilla together in a large bowl or stand mixer. If you are using a hand-held electric whisk, then add the icing sugar little by little as you whisk so that the icing sugar does not fly everywhere, and whisk well between additions.
If you are using a stand mixer, fit it with a paddle attachment, then add the icing sugar in one go and carefully place a tea towel over the machine, taking care not to get it anywhere near the paddle. Start mixing slowly at first, and then beat it for a good 5–7 minutes. Remove the tea towel when the icing sugar is all mixed in.
When the buttercream is super light and fluffy, use as desired. It keeps at room temperature for 3 days, or up to 2 weeks in the fridge covered with cling film. It freezes really well – defrost it at room temperature or overnight in the fridge (not in the microwave), then beat it again until light and fluffy before using.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.