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Easy Family Recipes: Classic Buttercream!

Classic ButtercreamOne of the most fun parts of my job is hosting birthday parties for kids. At every party we bake cupcakes from scratch, which are always well received. But it’s the buttercream that knocks the socks off of everyone — parents and kids alike. If you want to use a packaged cake mix to bake cupcakes, go ahead. But if you’ve got just a few minutes to spare, whip up a batch of homemade buttercream. It’s crazy easy and well worth the time. Just be sure that you’re using real, unsalted butter here. It makes a huge difference in the flavor of the recipe. Besides, you can’t make real buttercream without real butter!

Classic Buttercream

Makes enough to frost 18 cupcakes

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (can substitute the flavoring of your choice, ex: peppermint, coconut, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 good pinch salt

Place butter in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds to one minute. Turn off mixer.

Add confectioner’s sugar and beat on low speed until combined and just beginning to come together, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla, heavy cream or half and half, and salt. Increase speed to high and beat for 5-6 minutes, or until very white and fluffy. Use immediately.

To swirl colors as in the picture, add a tiny bit of food coloring and swirl frosting until just marbled. Pipe using a pastry bag or resealable bag with the corner cut.

Note: If you don’t have an electric mixer but instead have a hand mixer, no problem. You’ll just need to increase your times a little bit to achieve the same result.

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