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My Favorite Buttercream Frosting

For the longest time I struggled to find a buttercream recipe that :
A) didn’t taste like I was sucking directly on a sugar cane 
B) didn’t get hard as a rock when it dried and 
C) didn’t turn to melty goo when I started decorating with it. 
I was looking for the perfect balance–sweet, but not too sweet. Buttery, but not greasy. Sturdy enough to hold up to decorating, but soft and fluffy when it hits your tongue. Well folks, I think I’ve finally found the winning recipe. 
I’ve used this to frost and decorate two different cakes now and have been very impressed. It’s easy to work with and tastes delicious. I usually make my initial frosting a little thinner to frost the cake then add extra powdered sugar to thicken it for the decorating. You can easily adapt the sweetness and consistency to your own preferences, and flavors can be added simply by switching different extracts or stirring in jams, fruit purees, or cocoa. The flavor combinations are endless! But of course I’m not going to let that stop me from attempting to try every last one! 
Here’s a little snippet of the decorating extravaganza that’s been happening around here as of late. Pictures of the finished product to come!
Best Buttercream Frosting
Yield: Enough for an 8″ 2 layered cake or regular 9 x 13 cake (I would double or at least make one and a half of the recipe if you are planning to fill, frost, and decorate a 9 x 13 or 8″ layered cake)
Recipe by
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
4-6 cups powdered sugar (I like my frosting more buttery and less sweet, but you can adjust it to your liking. You can also always use powdered sugar as a thickener if needed.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Up to 4 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream (I usually use 4 for general frosting and 2 for decorating)
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. 
2. Add 3-4 cups sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 3-4 minutes. 
3. Add milk, one Tablespoon at a time along with additional cups of sugar until desired consistency and taste is reached. 
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  • sheila @ Elements May 15, 2011, 1:56 PM

    I’ll have to try it sometime! It sounds just perfect! I can’t wait to see pictures of the final product! 🙂

  • Anonymous July 21, 2011, 3:55 PM

    My first attempt at making buttercream…RIGHT NOW! Success!

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