There are many different recipes for buttercream. This is a quick and easy recipe that simply uses double the amount of icing sugar to butter. You do not need to add the vanilla essence if you don’t want to but personally I think it just adds a little something special to the taste.





  • 250g (8 oz) soft butter
  • 500g (1lb) icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Place everything together into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.


There are a couple of different ways to flavour buttercream with chocolate

  1. You can melt chocolate and mix it it into buttercream. Any type of chocolate – milk, plain or white chocolate will work.
  2. Mix about a tablespoon of cocoa powder into a paste with hot water and then stir this into the buttercream.


Mix a couple of tablespoons of instant coffee into a spoonful of hot water and mix into the buttercream.

Obviously the more you add of any flavouring, the stronger the flavour. If your mixture becomes too soft or runny, add a little more icing sugar.

Colouring Buttercream

WS Piped Buttercream Roses

Food colour pastes and gels will add colour quickly and easily. Just stir them in. Be a little wary of liquid colours as too much will alter the consistency of the buttercream.

Chocolate and coffee will add colour naturally as will a spoonful of jam. A spoonful of jam mixed into plain buttercream will create a sweet pink spread.

Storing and Freezing


Store unused buttercream in a lidded plastic food box in the fridge for up to a week.

Alternatively you can freeze buttercream for up to a month. Defrost before use and do not refreeze once defrosted.

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