Ok so I may be biased because this is the recipe I love to use but it gets compliments every time it's tasted and people are always asking for the recipe so here is my go to guide for the easiest buttercream you'll ever make.
1 part butter : 2 parts sugar + flavouring
It doesn't matter how much you need to make, this simple formula will ensure it tastes great every single time.
Before I share the recipe here are some top tips you might want to consider when making your own buttercream.
I ALWAYS use salted butter because I don't see the point in using unsalted butter and adding in salt later on.
My preferred butter is Lurpak slighty salted. This is because Lurpak is a whiter butter than other butters which tend to be more yellow in colour. This is something to consider if you plan to colour your icing. Starting with a whiter base colour will allow you to create better colours. (eg yellow buttercream will be hard to turn blue as it will have a green tint)
Make sure you butter is room temperature before you start to mix it. If you forget to take it out of the fridge in time never put it in the microwave! Instead use this great Mary Berry tip
Once you have made your buttercream, if you find it is too stiff for piping use boiled water to loosen it up. BUT be careful and only add a small splash at a time, adding too much will make it too thin and you'll have to either add more sugar or pop it in the fridge to firm it up.
Don't add milk! Many buttercream recipes call for milk but by adding anything with a short shelf life you are reducing the length of time you can store your buttercream. Without milk you could keep this in the fridge for several weeks (check the use by date on the butter) but add milk and you've got a matter of days before it'll be unusable.
Want a white buttercream? The longer you whisk your buttercream, the whiter and fluffier it will go! I sometimes turn my mixer on and go and do the hoovering while I wait for it to whiten.
You could also whiten by adding a tiny amount of purple food colour - purple neutralises yellow (which is why blondes use purple shampoo) but add too much and you will get a purple tinge so be careful!
You can flavour your buttercream in many ways but one simple way would be to replace your usual icing sugar with a flavoured sugar from Sugar & Crumbs
Vanilla Buttercream Recipe:
500g salted butter (room temperature)
1kg Icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Use a stand mixer or hand whisk to mix your butter until lovely and soft.
Add half the sugar, cover the bowl and mix until it has all combined.
Add remaining sugar and repeat.
Add vanilla extract and mix for as long as possible.
Add a splash of boiling water to loosen for piping if necessary.
It's pretty impossible to say how many cupcakes this recipe will cover because that depends on how much you are using to flat top them and how big your piping nozzle/ swirl is. But if you are only baking a dozen cupcakes you could probably half this recipe and have plenty.