|One of these things is not like the other. Haha. Gotta love the random green fish.|
Yields: About 2 cups (the original recipe said it yields 3.5 cups, but I definitely got less and ended up needing to make a second batch). Two batches will be enough to cover approx. 24 cupcakes with a nice thick swirl of frosting)
Production Time: 10-20 minutes
Special equipment: Electric mixer
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (sifting removes lumps that would clump up in the frosting)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3-4 tbsp. milk
Put the butter in the mixer bowl and, using the paddle attachment, blend it on low for about a minute until the butter is a little creamy. Turn off the mixer and add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to the bowl. Blend the mixture on low for about a minute, until the powdered sugar is incorporated into the wet ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and whip until the mixture is completely blended and looks thick and creamy. If you find it's not holding its shape or seems to be "melting" on top of the cupcakes or cake you're putting it on, add just a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up (don't add too much, because it'll make your frosting gritty and dry-tasting). The frosting can be spread on cupcakes or cakes with a knife, but I used one of my "fancy" frosting tips for my culinary classes, fashioned myself a pastry/piping bag out of a Ziploc back, and piped the frosting in a simple swirl on top of of the cupcakes. Turned out great!
This is a great basic buttercream that can easily be altered to suit your needs. Add food coloring, mix in a flavor other than vanilla (like orange extract or cocoa), or mix in finely chopped ingredients (like nuts or chocolate chips) to make it perfect for any cake. For my Caribbean-themed cupcakes, I just added a few drops of blue food coloring to achieve a pretty pale blue color. That, topped with blue sugar and fish decorations made for some fun and tasty cupcakes!