At first glance, it looks like meringue buttercream or whipped white chocolate ganache, maybe even cream cheese frosting - but it's not. I was experimenting in the kitchen (as always) and made this by accident. It was one of those days when my multitasking got the best of me and for a moment, I forgot what I was doing (oh yeah, I'm not perfect, what's new?). I measured the wrong amount of milk or butter or something (I can't even remember anymore) and voila! I made a frosting that looked smooth like meringue buttercream, but it was made with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk, just like classic buttercream. It was not as sweet as classic buttercream but the mouthfeel was almost as silky as meringue buttercream.
After making this "hybrid" several more times, I decided to add whipping cream to lighten it up a bit. I've used this to cover cakes, pipe borders and scrollwork and make swirls on top of cupcakes. I LOVE meringue buttercream (Swiss method because it's the easiest to make and doesn't involve hot sugar), but it's nice to have this as an alternative when I need something that doesn't involve cooking egg whites.
Hybrid Buttercream Frosting
Allergy Note: contains dairy
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm milk
Beat the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract at low speed until combined. Slowly add the warm milk. It will separate at first, but don't worry - give it a few minutes and it will start coming back together. Increase the speed a little to whip it up a bit. Slowly pour in the cold whipping cream. Whip for a few more minutes and it should start to look smooth. It may curdle or separate again when you pour in the whipping cream, but give it some time and it will smooth out again.
Here are some cakes I've made where I used this hybrid buttercream.
Hello from Australia!
Thankyou for sharing your frosting recipe, it looks fantastic!
May I ask what nozzle you used to create that beautiful swirl please? I love it!
Hi Australia! I used an Ateco Closed Star/ French Star Pastry Tip. It comes as a set of 10 and I like to use the #844 and #845 size.
I am going to try this recipe. Thanks
Everything here is so stunning! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)
It doesnt mention how much powdered sugar...how much did you use ? Thank you...
Ooops! Thanks for catching that. I used 2 cups of powdered sugar :)
Your cakes are so original and beautiful!
I can'wait to try some of your recipes especially this frosting. Only one question, does it crust at all? Or do you thinkadding a little crisco would change it to much to make it crust?
Thank you for sharing you talent!
Hi I dream of Cakes! No, this isn't a crusting type of frosting, but you can try replacing some of the butter with butter-flavored crisco and adding a bit more powdered sugar to get it to crust.
Wow! This looks great. Could you tell me if I should use the paddle of my KitchenAid or the whisk attachment?
Hi The Food Librarian! I used the whisk attachment on mine :-)
The piping on that cupcake is perfect! I came through via Foodgawker, I just couldn't resist clicking on that pic!
Such an easy recipe too. I'm looking forward to trying it. Thanks for the inspiration.
Christie @ Fig & Cherry
Frosting looks great! Do you remember how to make it without the whipped cream? Could I just increase the milk to 3/4c?
Thanks for stopping by Christie! Let me know if you like it :-)
Hi Joeli! The original recipe is just minus the 1/4 cup whipping cream. You can start with 1/2 cup milk and then add a little bit more if you want.
the BEST buttercream i've ever came across!!! yayy! i'm glad i found you!
it has a name now for me...
Do you ever refrigerate this icing? If so, how do you recommend bringing it back to normal consistency after it has been in the fridge?
I looks beautiful on that cupcake! Can it be frozen?
Yes you can refrigerate or freeze this frosting. To bring it back to normal consistency, let it soften to room temperature. You can whip it up a little bit if you want once it has softened.
Hello! Thanks for sharing your recipe, can't wait to try it. By the way, does this Hybrid Buttercream Frosting need to be refridgerated as it has dairy ingredients? Thanks.
Beautiful cakes and a tasty recipie, however we found that the frosting was rather thin. So we added more powerderd sugar, we followed your directions exactly. Could we have done somthing wrong?
Thank you for sharing!!
Hi Autumn Klare! Hmmm...the frosting may have gotten too warm from mixing too long. You can let it cool in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes and then whip it up again.
Hello, will the icing hold its shape even if the cupcakes have been sitting out for 3-4 hours? I am worried that it will soften and melt.
Hi djavellana! Because I only use butter in this recipe, this buttercream frosting does not hold up well in hot weather. It would probably hold up for one hour, maybe two, before it will soften. In temperate weather, it will hold up longer.
You can try replacing 1/4 cup of the butter with shortening to help it hold up better, but it will affect the taste slightly.
How long can this icing be left at room temperature?
I wouldn't leave it out at room temperature for more that two hours. Then again, I don't think you'll have much cake left by then :-)
Help! I tried to make this buttercream but it isn't stiff enough to hold its shape even immediately after whipping. This was even before I tried to add cream. Could this be because the milk was too hot? I microwaved it, hoping it could dissolve the icing sugar so I don't get that powdery feel. However, the buttercream still has that feel- how can I make it creamier?
Just wondering if you can give me the equivalent wilton tip of Ateco #845 or #846... Cheers!
The closest thing would be a Wilton 1M Star Tip (#2110)
Is this a good frosting for a MM fondant covered cake? My friend wants a whipped cream frosting, but that doesnt work with fondant so I am looking for a compromise that is light, not too sweet but strong enuogh for MM fondant. What do you think?
You have a beautiful blog here, love ur recipes and the the way u beautify your cakes with swirls. Tried ur egg free pancakes and kids loved it!!
Would this frosting hold its shape at room temperature? I need to make cupcakes for a celebration at kids' school..
Hi Zain! This frosting will hold up better than whipped cream frosting, so it will work with MM fondant. You can put the cake in the fridge first and let the frosting set before covering it with fondant.
Thank Suma! This frosting will hold its shape at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending on the weather. You can try replacing 1/4 of the butter with vegetable shortening to help it hold its shape longer.
Lovely looking swirl - I'd love to know how to do it! Also, does the warm milk and cream make a much firmer frosting than just milk? Just wondering, for time's sake. Thanks a bunch for sharing this.
Actually, the cream gave the frosting the lightness that I was looking for. If you want a firmer frosting, you can just omit the cream :-)
As for the swirl, I start at the center, then go out towards the edges of the cupcake and then work my way inward till I'm back at the center.
The Icing is wonderful! Can you add coco to it to make chocolate?
Thank you! You can reduce the powdered sugar to 1 1/4 cup and then add 1/4 cup cocoa powder :-)
What a magnificent discovery!!! Can this icing be frozen and kept for sometime or should you use it immediately?
how did u colour the buttercream in gold colour for swrils ?
I painted the buttercream with a mixture of gold luster dust and vodka (the alcohol evaporates and all that's left is the gold). I let the cake set up in the fridge for a couple hours then used a soft paintbrush to paint over the design. It was a little tricky because the buttercream started to soften in room temperature and i started to drag some buttercream with the paintbrush. Good thing I started at the top and worked my way to the bottom.
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