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Cakes & Catering

8 Things to Know About Buttercream Wedding Cakes

Cakes & Catering
Royal Inspiration

Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dined on their buttercream wedding cake, the style has become a quick trend. With a surge of interest in buttercream cakes, expert cake maker Kerry has put together 8 things you should know about Buttercream Wedding cakes.

Centrepiece Cakes By Kerry

If a buttercream wedding cake is something that you’re considering here are some key facts you need to know.
  1. It may be stating the obvious, but in order to be called a buttercream, it must contain a proportion of butter. If it doesn’t contain butter, then it is actually frosting, which is typically made with a vegetable fat.
  2. There are many types of buttercream available; American, Italian meringue, Swiss meringue and French meringue. American buttercream is the most common, containing just butter, icing sugar and flavourings. Italian and Swiss meringue buttercream are very similar to each other. Both are made using a cooked egg white meringue that butter is then added to. It is the specific method for making this meringue which differentiates the two. French meringue buttercream is also a cooked meringue buttercream which uses egg yolks or whole eggs. Each buttercream has its own advantages and disadvantages.
  3. American buttercream is the most stable, followed by Italian, Swiss and French.
  4. The stability of buttercreams can be an issue in warmer temperatures as they are much softer than other coatings such as ganaches. A proportion of the butter in American buttercream is replaced with white shortening to increase the stability when needed.
  5. With many buttercreams it is difficult to obtain a truly white shade due to the natural yellow colour of the incorporated butter, although Italian and Swiss meringue buttercreams are whiter than their American counterpart as they contain just the whites of the egg.
  6. Naked cakes are sponge cakes where the exterior is left uncoated. They are often filled with a buttercream of choice and decorated with fresh fruit and/or flowers. Care must be taken when adding fresh flowers to cakes as many species are toxic. See here for a blog post all about the use of fresh flowers on cakes.
  7. A semi naked is similar to a naked cake but the exterior is coated with a thin layer of the chosen buttercream, so that the cake layers can still be seen. Both naked and semi naked cakes are best assembled as close to the reception time as possible. As these cakes are not covered in fondant they do dry out very quickly.
  8. Buttercream isn’t just for large wedding cakes. Cupcakes topped with your favourite buttercream flavours make great favours or can be served instead of a large cake.

Harry and Meghan’s Royal Wedding Buttercream Cake

Whatever your reason for selecting a buttercream cake, there are so many choices now available offering elegant alternatives to the fondant wedding cake. For more wedding cake tips download Centrepiece cakes by Kerry ebook.

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