Sunday, 18 November 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes with Low-fat Butter Cream Icing

I was searching for a low-fat butter cream icing recipe .... and I couldn't find one .... 
I know it's a bit silly to look for  low-fat "butter cream" as the whole point of using butter is the "full-fat", isn't it?   There were some recipes that use baking margarine or low-fat spread to make a butter cream substitute. However, I heard that the "margarine cream icing" has never tasted good. 
Well, in that case, I thought to myself, why not use a small amount of butter to keep some flavour of butter and add something to reduce the total amount of fat.   So, I made butter and crème fraiche icing. This was my first attempt and I loved it.   My cream keeps the lovely butter flavour and yet is very fluffy and light.    It has a slightly cream cheese flavour which is a great.  I made this cream with 50g butter and 100g crème fraiche.   I like the soft and light texture, but it is a bit messy to eat.   So, for good solid piping, I would recommend 50g butter and 50g crème fraiche. Then you can add crème fraiche little by little until the texture becomes how you like it. 

Ingredients (for 7-8 muffins) 

  • 110g/4oz butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs, (I used learge eggs) lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g/4oz self-raising flour 
  • 1 tbsp milk (optional) 
  For low-fat buttercream icing
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 50g-100g half-fat crème fraiche
  • a few drops of food colouring and vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a  muffin tin with paper cases. 
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little milk to make a dropping consistency if needed. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the butter cream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  6. Then add the remaining icing sugar with crème fraiche, adding more crème fraiche if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  7. Add the food colouring and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  8. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cup cakes in a large swirl.