Monday, October 5, 2015

Butter Cream Frosting

OK, kitchen confession time:  I admit that I use boxed cake mixes.  They are quick and easy.  Someone else has done all the measuring of the dry ingredients!  I do doctor them up with extras, however.  I add an extra egg, extracts, use milk instead of water, etc.  They work for me and they're tasty.  But, I really hate that gross frosting in a can!  You know, the stuff they sell right next to the cake mixes?  Yuck!  It tastes like the plastic container it comes in.  Ugh!  No thank you!  Frosting should be creamy, decadent and, most importantly, delicious!  When you bake a cake it's usually for a celebration.  Go the extra mile and make real frosting.  It's easier than you think.

This recipe is very versatile.  You can make almost any flavor out of it.  And I have.  Regular butter cream, chocolate, vanilla, almond, peanut butter, just to name a few.  I'll give you the basic recipe, then tell you how you can modify it to change flavors.

Also, this recipe is called "Butter"cream, not margarine cream or partially hydrogenated soybean oil cream.  Butter is what makes it taste fantastic.  Unless you have serious health reasons, please don't use anything but real butter.

To soften the butter, leave it out on the counter until it comes to room temperature.

This recipe yields about 4 cups of frosting.


2 sticks unsalted REAL butter, softened (no substitutes!)
8 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup milk

In a large bowl, cream butter with a mixer (that just means mix it until it's very smooth and a little lighter and fluffier).

Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla on low at first (so it doesn't fly across your kitchen) then on medium.

Add in 1/2 cup milk and mix to incorporate.  If it's not creamy enough, add a little more milk.  Keep adding milk until it reaches your desired consistency.  You may not use it all.  It should be creamy and spreadable, not too thick, not too thin.

That's it.  I told you it was easy.

Now, the variations you can make to change flavors:

CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM - substitute 1/2 cup cocoa powder for 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar.

LEMON BUTTER CREAM - substitute lemon juice for milk and add 1 tsp grated lemon zest.

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING - substitute 1 cup creamy peanut butter for the butter.

ALMOND BUTTER CREAM - substitute almond extract for the vanilla.

PEPPERMINT BUTTER CREAM - substitute peppermint extract for vanilla.

You can tint the frosting any color you like just by adding a little food coloring.

This is my go-to frosting recipe.  It's easy, delicious and always a hit.  Here is a pic of my Pickiest Eater Ever Son's birthday cake.  He just turned 16 and asked for Chocolate Butter Cream frosting on his cake.  He loves it.

Rich, decadent and creamy, the perfect frosting!  If you've never made homemade frosting, please try this recipe.  It's as simple as turning on a mixer and so delicious you'll kick yourself for ever buying that plastic can!

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