Makes more than enough for 24 cupcakes –
350g of unsalted butter
500g sifted icing sugar
50ml milk at room temperature
1tsp vanilla extract or extract of your choice
Ensure that the butter is very soft. You can either leave the butter out of the fridge overnight, or zap it 20 seconds at a time in a microwave. The butter should be as soft as possible without melting. Using a paddle attachment in a kitchen mixer, whip the butter until it is pale in colour. This takes about 2 minutes. Sift the icing sugar. Cover your mixer with a damp kitchen towel to prevent the icing from spreading all over you kitchen. Add around a third of the icing sugar and the milk to the butter on low speed. Mix well. Add another third and then add the vanilla extract. Finally add the remaining icing sugar. Keep mixing until a uniform consistency is achieved. . Colour the butter-cream using gel or paste colours rather than liquid colours.
This type of butter-cream can stay un-refrigerated for more than a day because of the high content of sugar which inhibits the growth of bacteria. If you have a cake that you need to work on for a long time or that will be kept un-refrigerated for the entire day, this is the butter-cream to use.