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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

vanilla buttercream frosting Dessert
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • Prep 10 min
  • Total 10 min
  • Servings 12

For many people, cake is just the delivery vehicle for the real star of the show—the frosting. If you’re tempted to agree, you’ll love this five-star buttercream frosting recipe that takes any cake or cupcake from good to out-of-this-world. MORE+ LESS-

September 20, 2018

Ingredients

3
cups powdered sugar
1/3
cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2
teaspoons vanilla
1
to 2 tablespoons milk

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
  • 2
    Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.

  • A real buttercream frosting takes little time to make, can be tinted with food coloring (use paste or gel, not liquid food color), and will hold for several weeks if tightly covered.

Expert Tips

  • Use a real vanilla; imitations are not recommended. If you can find a vanilla bean paste it’s well worth the investment. The role of vanilla is not only for its flavor value, it also enhances the sweetness of the sugar, so bumping up the vanilla allows you to decrease the amount of sugar in recipes.
  • Allow your butter to soften at room temperature so it easily beats up smoothly with the powdered (sometimes called confectioner’s) sugar. Boost the amount of butter to as much as 3/4 cup for a rich, decedent frosting and use an unsalted butter if you like.
  • It’s easy to vary the flavor of this core recipe: stir in a dash of almond extract, grated citrus zest, or a little bit of edible lavender buds. Adding finely chopped fresh rosemary is incredible on a lemon pound cake.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
170
Calories from Fat
45
% Daily Value
Total Fat
5g
8%
Saturated Fat
2 1/2g
13%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
15mg
5%
Sodium
35mg
1%
Potassium
0mg
0%
Total Carbohydrate
30g
10%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
29g
Protein
0g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
4%
4%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
0%
0%
Iron
0%
0%
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Four simple ingredients—sugar, butter, vanilla and milk—come together in a homemade frosting recipe that proves the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Hundreds of home cooks and bakers have used this recipe for decorating cakes, filling layer cakes or topping off a pan of brownies. Before you begin, check out this step-by-step tutorial on making frosting. You’ll learn that a perfect buttercream frosting recipe starts with room-temperature butter that can still hold its shape but is starting to soften at the edges. Test it by pressing a finger into the butter; if it gives and your finger leaves an indent, it’s ready to go. Once you’ve mastered vanilla buttercream frosting, expand your skill set with more frosting recipes.

© 2018 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved

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