German Buttercream was introduced to me when I was born, basically. My grandmother would bake all birthday cakes with this buttercream, and so, it is the one I originally know! This is probably why I despise Publix (big box retailer) shortening based "frostings" that are so sweet your teeth hurt! My American Buttercream recipe is less sweet than traditional buttercream, as well, and I believe that is because I was so used to German Buttercream, I didn't want to make an overly sweet mixture.
German Buttercream is even less sweet than how I make my American! It is custard and butter based HEAVILY and is for those of you who want a rich, full buttercream without the toothache! My recipe calls for making pastry creme first! My grandmother used vanilla pudding from the box. You can totally do this! It was what I grew up on, after all. You could even buy whatever flavor you're wanting in pudding. Be aware, if you do this, utilize about 1/2-2/3 of the liquid that the pudding calls for on the box preparations. I highly recommend making this with pastry creme, though, as it's DELICIOUS! And you can use the extra for filling or make choux pastries!
PASTRY CREME FORMULA
Milk - 480 grams (2 cups)
Sugar - 100 grams
Cornstarch - 30 grams
Salt - pinch
Vanilla Bean Paste - 1 TBSP
Egg Yolks - 6 Large
Unsalted Butter softened - 3 TBSP (approx 45 grams)
PASTRY CREME FORMULA
Add the milk in to a medium/large sauce pan and bring to a simmer on med/high heat. Right before it starts to go to a rolling boil is what you're aiming for!
While you're waiting for the simmer, combine the sugar, yolks, cornstarch, vanilla bean paste and 1/8 tsp salt into a large heat proof bowl together.
When the milk comes to the precipice of a rolling boil, remove from the heat and pour half of the milk in to the bowl with the mixture. YOU MUST whisk this CONTINUOUSLY while doing this.
Once the eggs are tempered in to the milk mixture, pour that mixture back in the saucepan and heat over med/high heat. Whisk constantly until the whole mixture thickens. This takes upwards of 2-3 minutes. The custard will start to bubble up.
Put the heat to low/med and continue to whisk for another minute. Watch to make sure this doesn't burn on the bottom.
Remove from the heat and add in the butter chunks. Whisk until combined.
In a heat proof bowl, pour the mixture and cover with saran wrap immediately, to prevent a crust from forming.
Let the custard cool and set in the fridge overnight before use in the buttercream.
Unsalted Butter - 232 grams (4 sticks) ROOM TEMP
One recipe worth of the pastry creme above! ROOM TEMP
Powdered Sugar - 1/2-1 cup SIFTED
Place the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment and beat the butter on medium speed until it's light in color
By the 1/4 cup, add the creme in to the butter with the mixer on medium speed
Stop to scrape down the bowl after each couple additions
Once all the pastry creme has been added, add powdered sugar to desired taste
NOTE: The two components MUST be at ROOM TEMP. I messed up a batch because I was impatient. They must be the same temperature or the custard will not operate correctly! This buttercream is not stable to stack a cake. This is for smaller, less intricate ordeals or piping on to cupcakes/filling of cakes. Delicious, but not for stacking for custom orders.