January 15, 2014

classic vanilla buttercream frosting

Don't you just wanna stick your finger in that frosting when no one's looking? There is no-o-o-thing better than classic vanilla buttercream frosting. If you've never tried making your own frosting, listen to me, you can do it. And once you make your own, you'll cringe at the thought that you ever used (or ate) processed, convenience frosting. 

This recipe for vanilla buttercream is a cornerstone for buttercream frostings of all kinds; thus, it deserves it's very own post. Vanilla buttercream is the building block that can be modified to make coconut buttercream, strawberry buttercream, lemon buttercream, chocolate buttercream, and more. So mastering this frosting recipe sets you up for some big, happy, flavorful success for all kinds of goodies! 

Homemade buttercream frosting is also an easy secret weapon that sends boxed cake mixes over the moon. I made I-don't-know-how-many cakes for our high school coaches and a few tailgates this last fall when my son played varsity football. And I often fancied-up a good boxed cake mix by smothering it in a big, tall layer of homemade buttercream. Of course, when there's time, a homemade cake with homemade buttercream is too good to be true.  But when you're in a quick-pinch, homemade buttercream frosting covers a multitude of sins.

In this particular cake {above}, I made a coconut buttercream frosting on a strawberry coconut layered cake. Y'all. So good. I'll share it with you another time. But get ready, because Friday I'm sharing my husband's absolute very favorite chocolate espresso cake with vanilla bean buttercream. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.


1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups of confectioners' sugar
 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1/8 teaspoons almond extract, optional but I do love it

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and salt until well blended. You will likely need to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl a time or two.  Add the vanilla, milk, and optional almond extract; beat until smooth, adding more milk a teaspoon at a time or more confectioners' sugar a little at a time to get the consistency you prefer for piping or spreading on cakes.