Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fluffy Vanilla-Almond Buttercream

I blog my life--and today, my life involves helping pull off a cub scout Blue & Gold Banquet for 200 cub scouts and dads. Since life is what you make it, I figured I'd make it extra fun by blogging my favorite butter cream frosting recipe that I used to frost 4 dozen cupcakes for the banquet.

There are lots of good butter cream recipes out there. This is just my own way to do it, a hodgepodge of what I've liked about my favorite recipes over the years. I don't know that it's perfected--but it's pretty darn good! It's more of a step-by-step than a recipe, but here you go. Enjoy for your next kid gathering, birthday, or I-need-some-good-butter-cream-to-lick-off-a-spoon days. (We all know they exist).

Fluffy Vanilla-Almond Butter Cream
{This recipe will frost 48 cupcakes}

Begin by setting out 2 cubes of salted butter to warm to room temperature. It should still be solid--no melting!
Put the room temperature butter in an electric stand mixer and start beating it at medium speed. Once it is looking smooth, add:
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Keep beating the butter and extracts, and add in a few drops of food coloring if desired. (My picture shows yellow food coloring, about 8-10 drops. If you use gel coloring, it takes less). Once the color is incorporated, stop beating. Add:
2-3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 T. milk
Slowly mix in powdered sugar until incorporated, then turn the speed up to medium again and whip for 2 minutes. Once again, stop beating. Add:
another 1-2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 T. milk
Again, slowly mix in the sugar and milk, and then turn the speed up to medium-high. Whip for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stop beating and check the consistency. You want it spreadable, not loose but not too thick. Too thick? Add a teaspoon or two of milk. Too loose? Another 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Just right? Turn the mixer back to medium-high, and let it goooooooo. We're talking about 5 minutes. I really just beat the heck out of it, until it's really fluffy and especially yummy looking. (Translation: the point where you think you could just devour a couple spoonfuls and who would know the difference?)   At this point, frost your cake/cupcakes/sugar cookies however you like. For the cupcakes pictured above, I put all the frosting in a gallon-sized ziploc bag with about 1/4-inch of one bottom corner snipped off. Then just squeeze all the butter cream down into that corner and go to town.

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