On the Basics: Buttercream
Yes, buttercream is a basic. Haha! I love buttercream. It is one of my favorites. I think fondant is overrated, and after my cake decorating class where I learned how to make buttercream really smooth, I don’t see a need for fondant-covered cakes at all. I did enjoy making flowers out of fondant. I even bought a bucket of fondant to practice my flower-making skills. Maybe one of these days, I’ll get around to trying it out and post some pics!
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1b. 10X powdered sugar, sifted
1-3 teaspoons milk, half and half or cream
- Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.
- Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula if needed. (TIP: I use my KitchenAid mixer to make this. To avoid a cloud of powdered sugar in the air, I place a kitchen towel around the top of the mixer and around most of the sides. They make a plastic guard for this purpose, but I find that the towel works just fine.)
- If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.
- Then, just use icing colors or food coloring to tint the frosting the color of your choice.
This is usually just enough for a 2-layer cake, so I would recommend doubling this for a three-layer. I like a lot of frosting.
*Note: Cooking and baking requires you to plan ahead. This means putting frozen meat in the fridge to thaw ahead of time, allowing time for bread or pizza dough to rise, and setting butter (and other ingredients) out of the fridge to come up to room temp. Thankfully, sometimes there are short cuts for those of use who are prone to forgetting. Check out this trick to softening butter in the microwave without melting it from Real Simple magazine.