Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Perfect Buttercream Frosting

I've searched and searched for a good recipe for buttercream frosting that can be piped, and not melt or lose it shape. I've had many mishaps, near successes and downright failures. One Easter, I spent over an hour making Swiss Meringue Buttercream from a complicated recipe that had hundreds of rave reviews. My family wouldn't eat it. Maybe I did something wrong, but it was gross. I don't have time for finnicky frosting. After much trial and error, I have found a recipe that is easy, doesn't require a ton of ingredients, comes together quickly, holds its shape, and my family enjoyed. My Mom even asked for the recipe.

3 sticks unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup Shortening
1 small pinch of salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
8 cups (1 bag) Powdered Sugar
1-3 TBS Milk, if needed

Note: If you are not piping the icing, just frosting with a spatula, omit shortening and up the butter to 4 sticks instead. The shortening helps stabilize the frosting so it holds it's shape when piped. This small amount of shortening does not affect flavor, but using all butter makes for a silkier frosting. It is delicious both ways. I don't usually need the milk called for, but if I will be frosting a large cake, I add it.

Cream butter, shortening, salt, and vanilla in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment at medium - high speed until light and fluffy.

Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl every so often. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, beat until light and fluffy. I usually make this right before I have to use it. It can be stored int he fridge, but I find that it needs to be re-whipped in the mixer to have the right consistency. Extra frosting can be frozen, but again, just has to be re-whipped to be nice and fluffy and smooth.

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