The Most Luscious Vanilla Buttercream You Will Ever Put In Your Mouth
Frosting, it is a love-hate relationship for me. I hate frosting when it is thick, overly sweet, and leaves that weird residue on your tongue. Let’s not get into the bright and artificial colors that always stain my kids teeth, tongues, and lips whenever they go to a birthday party! Ok, Ok, I have been guilty of dying my buttercreams for my kiddos, but gee-whiz, the commercial markets can sometimes over do it. You may recall me saying that I am from Chicago, ya know the place that has REAL, old-fashion bakeries. Ugh, that was one of those things that when we moved to Florida I missed the MOST. My little ladies LOVE frosting. Seriously, they would bathe in the stuff if I let them. The sweeter the better and quite honestly whenever we go for a celebration and cakes or cupcakes are involved, all they do is lick off the frosting and leave that poor cake shivering in the wind. I know my stinkers are not alone in this frosting lapping conspiracy.
It has taken me a long time to perfect my basic vanilla buttercream. Not too sweet, not to “shortening-ey” (I like to make up my own words), and definitely won’t leave that weird taste in your mouth. I like it when frosting highlights the cake, not overpowers that sweet little sponge. I mean, you put so much work into that from-scratch cake, why the heck do you want to slather it in a bag of sugar? If I may say so, my frosting is epic. This stuff leaves many people in my life running back for more. It is the base of many flavors and I have never-ever given it out!
But if you want it, you must take the oath!
I solemnly swear to never-ever call this buttercream frosting: ICING! I will hold true to it’s luscious body and ALWAYS refer to it as BUTTERCREAM.
It is mandatory that our terms be correct because in NO WAY can this be confused or substituted for icing. You see, a lot of people use the terms interchangeably but they are NOT the same!!
Frosting is a thick and fluffy coating of butter. Icing is a thin and sugary glaze spread that hardens on cooling. See the difference? This recipe I am giving you will not harden. It will pipe the pretty swirls but it will not make those rock hard roses we all see at the grocery stores.
Ok. Now that we are all on the same page, let us begin. Once you use this fluffy lady, you will never want that canned or grocery store stuff again.
Luscious Vanilla Buttercream
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 tbsp of clear imitation vanilla extract (McCormick has THE BEST vanilla flavor for this)
1-2 tbsp milk (depending on the consistency you want)
6 cups of powdered sugar
1. Beat butter on high with an electric mixer until perfectly smooth.
2. Add in the vegetable shortening and mix on high as well.
3. When bowl is smooth, while on stir add the vanilla and milk.
4. Slowly add one cup of powdered sugar at a time. Incorporating in slowly prevents you from getting a nice cloud of sugar smoke in the air.
5. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes. Whip that yummy baby into an airy buttercream.
6. Place frosting in a piping bag with or without tip. Or store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Now, buttercream does freeze ok, but it will have a very shiny appearance if you chose to do so. I recommend freezing your cakes without frosting and then waiting until the night before or day of event to make the buttercream.
Just a note: buttercream DOES NOT need to be refrigerated. It is perfectly fine sitting on your countertop. But if you are storing for future use, then definitely store in refrigerator. Remember MOST desserts are yummier at room temperature!