If you’re looking for our rustic, kinda chunky and not so subtle Blueberry Buttercream recipe, click here. If you’re looking for our fancy, light and buttery Bakery-Style Italian buttercream recipe, click here. This is our smooth variation of American-style buttercream that’s a little more refined because we sieve out the pulp and seeds. It’s a little more subtle than the rustic but not quite as fancy schmancy as the Bakery-Style.
Due to popular demand, which means I received 12 emails, I’m separating this recipe from our Blueberry and Lemon Hot Milk Cake post. This American-Style (aka Simple) Blueberry Buttercream marks our third Blueberry flavored frosting, an indication that I’ve officially got “a thing” for it. I so do. I love blueberries. Our Basset Hound is actually named Blueberry…really. This version is the middle ground between the really chunky, rustic version I like to put on cupcakes and the refined and fluffy Italian/meringue version I make when I want to make a cake all fancy-like.
A couple of tips: don’t be afraid to whip frosting for a while. Too often, bakers will cut this process short for fear of over-whipping. You want the butter and sugar nice and fluffy before you start to add the sugar, and you want the sugar to incorporate thoroughly before whipping it for several minutes more. A few minutes at each stage is totally normal and acceptable.. necessary even. I’ve specified time ranges to help you out. Add the vanilla as the last step in vanilla buttercream recipes, letting it incorporate at medium speed before turning the mixer up a little higher to do your final whipping. When you’re adding juices or additional flavoring, vanilla is the second to last step. This recipe is a really good example of the process. Let’s get our frosting on….
Soundtrack: I was listening to Billy Joel’s-The Stranger album on vinyl. Like Paul Simon, The New York Dolls and the venue, CBGB, there’s a “New Yorkness” about Billy Joel that’s transporting. Great lyrics, great composition and a voice I’ve always thought would have fit just as well in a punk band. Not my typical music taste, but I’ve always had room for a great album.
3/4 Cups organic, unsalted butter at room temperature
3 1/4 Cups sifted icing (powdered) sugar)
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Cup fresh blueberries (you’ll need more for the curd-see below)
First, make the blueberry juice by placing 1 Cup of blueberries and 2 Tbsp of water into a small sauce pan, slightly mash the berries and bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat to low and let simmer. In 10-15 minutes, the berries will be mostly liquid. Remove the berries from the sauce pan and pour them through a fine mesh sieve and into a heat proof bowl. Use a whisk in a gentle circular motion against the screen of the sieve to force through as much juice as you can. Set aside to cool completely. Clean out the sieve for later. You will have a little less than 3/4 of a Cup of juice.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and salt at medium speed until it’s light and fluffy and slightly lighter in color. Slow the mixer to medium-low and gradually add the icing sugar until incorporated, then return the mixer to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as needed. Return the mixer to medium low and add the vanilla. Mix until the vanilla is completely incorporated. Lower the mixer speed slightly and add the cooled blueberry juice 2 Tbsp at a time, letting each addition completely incorporate before adding the next. When the last of the juice has incorporated and the color is consistent, turn the mixer up to medium and beat for 1 more minute.
I suggest 6 Tbsp because I prefer a subtle berry taste in most cases but it depends on the cake. Be careful not to over add juice as you’ll loosen the frosting. If this happens, add 1 Tbsp of additional icing sugar at a time until the frosting returns to a spreadable consistency and then beat for 2 additional minutes at medium-high.
This recipe is entirely scaleable so feel free to adjust the quantities up and down as needed for the size of your cake. It stores in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer.
To use from the fridge, remove to a countertop and let stand until it’s at cool room temperature. Rewhip for one minute on medium in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
To use from the freezer, place in the microwave on microwave on high (in the bag) in 10 second intervals, turning the bag each time and kneading it to test. Once it is flexible again, but still slightly frozen, place on the counter and let warm to cool room temperature. Rewhip for one minute on medium in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.