Russian Buttercream Recipe
Russian Buttercream – the addition of Sweetened Condensed Milk makes this buttercream one of the best-tasting buttercreams you will ever have tasted! Use it in place of any buttercream in your favorite cakes and cupcakes.
Also check out my Dulce de Leche buttercream which uses cooked sweetened condensed milk instead of raw.
What is a Russian Buttercream?
Russian Buttercream refers to the buttercream that’s made with only two ingredients and is very commonly used in many Russian cakes. The two ingredients are butter and sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche. The addition of sweetened condensed milk gives the buttercream a very pleasant taste and acts not only as of the flavor enhancer but also the sweetener. The Russian Buttercream is very simple to make, given that you follow certain rules.
Pro tips for making the Russian Buttercream
- Start out with room temperature butter. This means that you will need to remove your butter from the fridge several hours before you plan on using it. The butter must have some yield when pressed with your finger, but should not be so soft that you don’t meet any resistance when pressing on it.
If your butter is too soft to begin with, it will not be able to hold onto the condensed milk when it is added, and make the buttercream separate.
If you have softened your butter too much, just put it back in the fridge for about 10-20 minutes, checking on it occasionally.
HOW TO QUICKLY SOFTEN BUTTER:
TIP #1: If in a hurry, you can use your microwave to soften the butter. To do this you will need to set your microwave to the lowest power and microwave each stick in increments of 20 seconds, then 10 seconds and then 7 seconds, continuing in 7 second increments until the butter is soft, but not melted. Each time the time expires, you will need to rotate the stick of butter to get an even and gradual temperature increase.
TIP #2: Cut butter into small pieces or use grater to grate butter to expedite the softening process.
- Whip butter for the full amount listed in the recipe. As you whip, the air bubbles will go from big to small. After one minute the butter might look fluffy enough to add the condensed milk, but don’t. Those bubbles are too big to support the extra liquid introduced into the butter and therefor will collapse as soon as you add the full amount. Continue whipping for 5-7 minutes with a stand mixer or even more with a hand held mixer to ensure that the butter is stable enough for adding the condensed milk.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk in thirds. Also, after each addition only minimally whip must be whipped (minimally) into the butter before next addition. Again, this will prevent the buttercream from becoming runny, or separating.
- Start with ingredients that are the same temperature. Make sure both butter and condensed milk are room temperature or the same temperature. If you try adding cold condensed milk to whipped room temperature butter, most likely the butter will cool down too much and become hard, preventing it from being smooth, or worse yet – separate.
What do you do if your sweetened condensed milk buttercream starts to separate?
- Do you toss the whole thing out? NOPE!
~To solve this, you will need to take away about 1/2 cup of buttercream, put it into a microwave-safe bowl and slowly, in 3-5 second increments heat it and carefully mix it after each increment, until it becomes smooth, but not runny or soupy. Then you would add this to the rest of the buttercream and fold it together. If the buttercream doesn’t come together still, take away another half cup and microwave it again. Follow the above steps until your buttercream comes together.
If at this point your buttercream is too soft, just put it in the fridge for 30 minutes, and mix it every 10 minutes until it is proper consistency.
This is it. If you think you can manage following the above rules, you will definitely be successful! Now read on to see how to make the Russian Buttercream.
Ingredients for the Sweetened Condensed Milk Buttercream:
- unsalted butter, room temperature
- sweetened condensed milk, room temperature
- vanilla extract or emulsion (emulsion has vanilla seeds in it, so your buttercream will be speckled with vanilla beans throughout)
How to make Russian Buttercream:
- In a bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip room temperature butter, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times, until it has tripled in volume, and is light and fluffy, about 5 – 7 minutes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or emulsion to the whipped butter. Now add the sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche in thirds, whipping for about 5-10 seconds after each addition. Don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the bowl after each addition.
- At the end you should have very light, delicious Russian Buttercream that is ready to be used to frost and fill your cakes, cupcakes or whatever other endeavors you have come up in your kitchen.Stay creative my friends!
How to Make a Chocolate Russian Buttercream:
If you’re looking to make it into a chocolate version, just whip the butter with 2-3 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder before adding the condensed milk. To intensify the chocolate flavor, you could also add 1/2 tsp of finely ground instant coffee in with the cocoa powder.
- In a bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip room temperature butter, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times, until it has tripled in volume, and is light and fluffy, about 5 - 7 minutes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or emulsion to the whipped butter. Now add the sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche in thirds, whipping for about 5-10 seconds after each addition. Don't forget to scrape the bottom of the bowl after each addition.
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