Elevate your cake decorating game with this easy Russian buttercream recipe that achieves a silky texture and stunning cake designs effortlessly, all without powdered sugar. Made with butter and sweetened condensed milk, it's a creamy delight that's perfect for your cakes and cupcakes.
Why you'll love this recipe
Russian buttercream is a luxurious and creamy frosting made from butter, and sweetened condensed milk, and often flavored with vanilla. It is known for its smooth, silky texture and delightful sweetness, making it a popular choice for decorating cakes and pastries.
Russian buttercream, a popular choice in pastry, distinguishes itself from American buttercream by its use of sweetened condensed milk, resulting in a creamier and sweeter texture.
In contrast to Swiss meringue buttercream or Italian meringue buttercream, Russian buttercream does not require egg whites and is simpler to prepare, offering a rich and velvety consistency that's easy to work with for cake decorating.
Why choose this buttercream
- Incredible Creaminess: Russian buttercream is exceptionally creamy, with a silky-smooth texture that spreads easily on cakes and pastries, making it a dream to work with.
- Decadent Sweetness: This frosting is delightfully sweet, offering a rich and indulgent flavor that pairs perfectly with a variety of desserts.
- No Eggs Required: Unlike some other buttercreams, Russian buttercream doesn't require the use of egg whites, making it a safe choice for those concerned about raw eggs.
- Endless Versatility: It can be flavored and colored in numerous ways, allowing for endless creative possibilities to match your desired cake or pastry theme.
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Ingredients for this recipe
*You'll find quantities and full instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.
- Butter: Use soft, unsalted butter with a smooth and slightly firm consistency, avoiding overly greasy or melted butter. You can also use a portion of salted butter for a sweet and salty flavor, or brown butter for a delicious frosting.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: Ensure the sweetened condensed milk is at room temperature. Its rich sweetness and creamy texture are essential for the frosting's lusciousness.
- Vanilla Extract: Add a splash of pure vanilla extract to infuse the buttercream with a delightful vanilla flavor, enhancing its overall taste.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is essential to balance the sweetness of the sugar and elevate the flavor of the butter, creating a harmonious and delicious frosting.
How to Make Russian sweetened condensed milk buttercream
- Place the room-temperature butter, cut into pieces, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Whip butter on high speed for about 5 minutes until the consistency is pale and creamy.
- Reduce speed to medium and add the sweetened condensed milk to the whipped butter.
- Continue beating on high speed for at least 5 minutes. (The mixture will first go through a grainy consistency (curdled) and then end up with a creamy texture.
- Change the whisk to the paddle attachment and mix at slow speed for 2 minutes to smooth the buttercream.
How to use this condensed milk frosting
- Classic Cake Frosting: Use condensed milk frosting as a classic and sweet topping for cakes, whether it's a chocolate cake, vanilla cake, or fruit cake.
- Cupcake Swirls: Pipe condensed milk frosting onto cupcakes for beautiful and delicious swirls, adding a delightful sweetness to each bite.
- Cookie Sandwich Filling: Sandwich two cookies together with a layer of condensed milk frosting for a delectable cookie sandwich.
- Brownie Frosting: Spread a layer of condensed milk frosting over brownies for an extra layer of sweetness and creaminess.
- Layered Desserts: Use condensed milk frosting in layered desserts like trifles, parfaits, or icebox cakes for a luscious component.
Storage and Freeze
In the Fridge: Russian sweetened condensed milk frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any odors and flavors from the fridge.
At Room Temperature: It's safe to leave cakes and desserts frosted with Russian buttercream at room temperature for a short period, typically up to 2 days, as it contains sweetened condensed milk, which acts as a preservative.
Freezing: To freeze Russian buttercream frosting, transfer it to an airtight container or seal it tightly in a freezer-safe bag. Ensure there's minimal air inside to prevent freezer burn. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then bring it to room temperature before rewhipping it for a smooth consistency.
Tips for this recipe
- Butter Consistency: Use room-temperature unsalted butter that is slightly firm but not greasy. Proper butter consistency is key to achieving a smooth and creamy texture.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that your sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and any other flavorings are at room temperature. This helps in achieving a homogeneous mixture.
- Chill for Easy Handling: If the frosting becomes too soft or loses its shape while decorating, briefly refrigerate it to firm it up before continuing.
- Re-whip as Needed: If the frosting becomes too soft or separates, rewhip it at a low speed to restore its consistency.
- Smooth Finish: Use an offset spatula or a bench scraper to achieve a smooth and even finish when frosting cakes or cupcakes.
Chocolate Russian Buttercream: Add melted and cooled chocolate to the basic recipe or unsweetened cocoa powder for a rich and creamy chocolate-flavored buttercream.
Coffee or Espresso Flavored: Mix in instant coffee granules or espresso powder for a delightful coffee-flavored frosting. You can also add a splash of coffee liqueur for extra depth.
Caramel or Dulce de Leche: Drizzle in homemade salted butter caramel sauce or dulce de leche to create a caramel-flavored frosting with a hint of sweetness.
Berry Bliss: Fold in freeze-dried berry powder (strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry) to infuse the buttercream with vibrant fruit flavors.
FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make Russian buttercream without sweetened condensed milk?
Sweetened condensed milk is a key ingredient in Russian buttercream, providing both sweetness and creaminess. While it's possible to experiment with substitutes, the classic recipe relies on sweetened condensed milk.
Can I color Russian buttercream with food coloring?
Yes, you can color Russian buttercream with gel food coloring or powdered food coloring to achieve the desired hue. Start with a small amount and gradually add more until you reach the desired color intensity.
What can I do if my Russian buttercream becomes too soft or separated?
If your frosting becomes too soft, briefly refrigerate it to firm it up before using. If it separates, rewhip it at a low speed to restore its smooth consistency.
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