The Amazing Buttercream Frosting: How Butter Makes Everything Better

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Buttercream Frosting…the fluffy, creamy, melt-in-your mouth goodness that is buttercream frosting. It can make mudpies taste better. It doesn’t matter if your cupcakes come out a mess or you don’t have the amazing ice cream supplies, just apply some buttercream as first aid and you are good to go! It simply is the king of all frostings and beats ganache hands-down. The buttercream frosting can be a little tricky to nail down, even though it is a simple two-ingredient recipe.

So what could possibly go wrong here?

Practically everything.  It can go flat; it can separate into a slimy mess; it can harden on the outside.  It can take a good few tries to get it right, and even then it can be difficult to get it right every single time. Remember — simple does not mean easy.

But fear not!

It can be as easy as 1-2-3 if you apply these hacks that give you airy, perfect buttercream dressing time after time. Each step is time-tested and foolproof, so you cannot go wrong if you follow the directions. So without further ado, let’s go to the step-by-step guide to making the perfect buttercream dressing.

Things you will need:

Butter – 1/3 Cup

Icing Sugar – 3 Cups

Electric mixer or Hand mixer

Vanilla Extract – A few drops

Milk – 1-2 Tablespoons

Now let’s get started.

  1. Use a mixer with a wide whisk attachment. This is crucial to get as much air into the frosting as possible. The air is the first secret to creating a light, fluffy frosting.
  2. Thaw your butter out for at least 3 hours to soften it. Only softened butter will turn into a frosting that stays thick and does not separate. This is super important since butter is the base for your frosting.
  3. Turn the mixer on at medium speed and beat the butter by itself for about 8 minutes. What you want to do is get it as light as possible before you introduce the sugar into it.
  4. While your butter is being whipped, sift the icing sugar on the side. This step is often overlooked by bakers, but it can make a world of difference in the final texture. Sifting separates clumps and introduces air into the sugar.
  5. Check to see if your butter is light and creamy at this point. This is the right texture to start adding in the sugar. Add in the icing sugar gradually by the spoonful. This is important. Slow and steady wins the race. Wait till each spoonful gets completely incorporated into the butter, and then add in your next one.
  6. Set your machine to medium-high speed and continue beating the butter and icing sugar.
  7. While you are adding in your sugar, you may need to go in with a spatula and brush down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the sugar is getting incorporated.
  8. Now that all the sugar has been added it is going to look lovely. But at this point you can add a few more things to help the process along and increase the flavor profile of the frosting.
  9. Add in some vanilla extract for flavor and a tablespoon or two of milk. What this does is lighten up the mixture and make it super-fluffy to the touch.
  10. Beat for a couple of minutes and voila! You will have the lightest, airiest buttercream frosting.

You can add in different flavors if you want to do so, but they have to be added towards the end in order to keep the integrity of the texture. Chocolate, lemon zest, strawberry extract, or nuts are all great additions.

Use the as cake icing, on top of cupcakes, in between whoopie pies, inside custard buns, on pita bread, in soups …uhh, ok, let’s not get carried away here. Let’s say it’s great on desserts and sweets.

So there you go! Now with this iron-clad recipe you can make perfect and decadent buttercream frosting every single time.