Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Let’s make some super basic buttercream

This has been the buttercream icing recipe I have been using since I started cake decorating with my Grandmother (Nannie) 40 years ago! This is so basic, super easy to pipe, tastes great, sets nicely and is very versatile with colours and flavourings of your choice! My darling Nannie shared her little book of secret recipes with me before she passed away and I am so grateful to her for that. How many of you struggle to make the delicious buttercream that pipes perfectly every time?

Basic Buttercream - Basic Buttercream

Let’s keep this simple!

When our bakers start with us at The CCC we spend so much time working on buttecrream. Why? Well, it can be a very fickle thing and you need to know how to ‘read’ your buttercream. I’ve had days where the warmth of the mixing paddle actually started cooking the butter so it ended up splitting just as we were piping over 1000 cupcakes! When we first did Valentine’s Day, we made over 3000 red velvet cupcakes and piped them all with red buttercream roses. Sounds simple huh? Wrong! This was a nightmare. The kitchen looked like a massacre had occurred with red food colouring splattered across the ceiling, our staff’s hands and the walls…and then the 20 kg bowl of red buttercream split! So you really do have to take your time to really perfect your buttercream and take every step slowly, tweaking here and there.


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 pure icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of high quality pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (don’t be tempted to add more otherwise it may taste bitter)


  1. Make sure your butter is room temperature

  2. Cream the butter using your whisk or mix master (or lovely Kitchenaid if you have one) until it starts looking more white rather than cream-coloured.

  3. Sift in your icing sugar slowly whilst continuing to mix. Always use pure icing sugar and not the mixture.

  4. Combine your milk and vanilla.

💡Anna’s Tips!

  • Don’t fancy plain ol’ vanilla buttercream, then substitute the vanilla essence with other flavours!
    • Squeeze of fresh lemon
    • Squeeze of fresh orange
    • Tablespoon of blended raspberries
    • Tablespoon of pureed strawberries
    • Shot of coffee
  • Always work with your ingredients at room temperature – you will thank me for this!
  • Use the best quality ingredients that you can afford – cupcakes are a treat so be good to yourself and don’t bake with rubbish.
  • If your buttercream splits then slowly add a little more icing sugar until it comes together.
  • Add melted white, milk or dark chocolate to your buttercream for white choc buttercream!
  • Create two-tone buttercream by filling half of your piping bag with one colour of buttercream and the other half with another colour. Use a Wilton 1M nozzle to get this exact effect on top of your cupcake.

Product Gallery Image - Basic Buttercream

  • Use a glass or cup to help you fill your piping bag with buttercream!

how to fill piping bag - Basic Buttercream

Enjoy our helpful little video

Other easy recipes to give a go

  • Quick Cupcakes for Kids:
  • Nigella Lawson’s Cupcakes:
  • Martha’s Top 5 Healthy Baking Tips from Her Latest Cookbook, “A New Way to Bake”:

More from us

What could be more fun than your very own cupcake party with us at The CCC headquarters in Mosman! Learn more about our kid’s parties HERE

Classic Cupcake Company transparent logo

Join OurMailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and get all exclusive offers, updates and discounts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!