Even though this vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is good enough to eat by itself, there are few things I would rather have for dessert other than cake. Skip the fancy stuff, my first choice is a big cupcake with mounds and mounds of buttercream frosting. I knew Sophia took after me when she tasted David’s whipped cream frosted birthday cake last May, with a total look of disappointment on her face. David scrapes the frosting off cake, while to Sophia and I, well, it just isn’t a cake without buttercream. Cecilia is still at the point where she is happy that a one year old is getting cake.
So, I wanted to make something special for labor day weekend, and thought I might try my hand at my Nona’s vanilla buttercream frosting recipe. I’ve failed miserably at it before. Buttercream is a talent that few posses. This last batch came out pretty darn good, and I thought I would share the recipe before I forget what on earth I did to make it great. By the way, did I mention that there is nothing better to my three year old than cupcakes made from a jumbo cupcake pan? I scored extra points with my little girls by making this buttercream their favorite color (of the week)… PINK.
This frosts about 12 cupcakes, or a two layer cake with heavy tops of buttercream. The trick is to keep the butter from getting too warm. Don’t try to microwave it or let it sit out in the heat to get it to room temperature. The passing point happens too quick. It’s a tricky proposition – if it is too chilled, you get lumps of butter when you try to mix it. If it is too warm, and you’ll end up with a soupy frosting. Remember, when you mix, it will increase the temp.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
- confectioners sugar - 4 cups
- butter, softened…slightly cooler than room temperature - 1 stick
- milk - 3.5 tablespoons
- vanilla - 1 teaspoon
- your favorite food coloring (optional) - drops
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla, and beat at a slow speed to incorporate. Go slow – the powdered sugar can go flying everywhere at first!
- Increase speed to medium, and beat for two more minutes. If it a little thick, add a tablespoon more of milk, one at a time. Add food coloring (optional) and mix until blended.
- After you frost your cake, refrigerate.