Easy-to-make buttercream so scrumptious everyone will think you got it from a bakery!
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Oh. My. Gosh! I am still flabbergasted about this buttercream recipe. I’ve tried various recipes for buttercream and didn’t love any of them. I don’t want my icing to taste too buttery. I don’t want it to be so sweet that it makes my teeth ache. Finally after tweaking with recipes, I’ve done it. I’ve created the best buttercream! Even better is that it really is easy enough for anyone to make. If you have been intimidated by making your own buttercream before, don’t be! This is completely doable for anyone with some basic ingredients and a mixer (handheld or stand).
I’m an icing lover. LOVER! I love cake and cupcakes, especially if they are moist and delicious. I told you a couple of days ago about the four tweaks I use to make cupcakes (and cakes) better than the bakery. But all that yummy cake needs something special on top of it. I have eaten icing from so many bakeries and so many different types. Some are so super sugary. Some are greasy. This one is just right.
Now I’m going to guess you’re thinking that of course I love it because I love icing. And that’s true to an extent (I have tasted some mediocre icing, to say the least!), I have even more proof: My husband loves this buttercream icing! I have never, ever, ever made an icing that my husband likes or encountered one from a bakery that he likes in the 20-some years I’ve been baking for the guy. (If you’re keeping track, we have only been married 19 years, but I did some baking for him before we were married.) I am beside myself with joy! My husband is a nice guy and doesn’t say things to be mean, but he is also honest and will tell me if I make something he doesn’t care for. The fact that he not only told me the icing was the best he’s ever had but then proceeded to eat a few cupcakes with it on top has made me swoon!
So, of course, I’ve got to share the recipe with you. You already know how to make yummy sponge (as they say on all the baking shows!) thanks to the tweaks I’ve shared. Now you can make yummy icing for the top with just a few ingredients. While you can top your cupcakes with the icing by smearing it on with a butter knife or spatula, I use a pastry bag and star tip. It used to intimidate me, but it looks pretty and it really does take less time to frost cupcakes. I have no cake decorating skills and I can make them looked swirled OK. You can do it, too!
While I whip up this icing using my beloved Kitchenaid stand mixer, you can also make it with a handheld mixer. The recipe below makes plenty of icing for one cake or 24 cupcakes. (And if you have a bit extra and want to lick it from the bowl, I won’t judge you because I totally did the same thing!)
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 1/4 cup shortening (trust me on this!)
- 4-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- Food coloring, if desired
- Cream the butter and shortening together with your hand mixer or paddle attachment on your stand mixture. Beat it up it is smooth and fluffy.
- Gradually add in the confectioner's sugar until it's fully incorporated.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Add the milk and once it's incorporated a bit, beat on medium to medium-high for 3 to 4 more minutes.
- If you're adding food coloring, drop it in and mix until the color is even and smooth.
Be sure to also check out my 4 easy tweaks to make cake mix cupcakes taste better than bakery ones!