Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Ode to Buttercream



So simple... there is really no magic behind buttercream frosting. A good glob of butter, powdered sugar and flavoring. Now, does it get mush easier than that?

I had multiple compliments and questions about what was on my cupcakes. Kids gobbled them up and parents were pleasantly surprised. No cans or cartons in my kitchen! Oh, no. The best part is buttercream frosting is super simple. I chose two simple ones, fudge buttercream & a fresh strawberry buttercream frosting.

First off, grab yourself a bunch of butter. Channel Paula Deen if you need to, just bring out a good amount of butter. This requires softened butter, not melted. Be sure to take it out about 30 minutes before you need to make the frosting. Don't try to cheat, it won't work. Melted butter won't hold up. So be sure to wait it out. I know, patience is not my strong suit either!

Let's start with the fudge buttercream:
You will need:
1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, (at room temp.)
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
6 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted & cooled
4-6 Tbs. whole milk
1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Grab your mixer. A stand mixer makes quicker work of this, but a hand mixer will work also. Cream up the butter and start adding in the powdered sugar. I like to add about half and then add in the wet ingredients. Then add in the rest of the powdered sugar to get it into the right consistency to frost.

I do have to admit, my secret weapon came from my Wilton Dessert Decorator Plus. Have you seen this tool? It made piping the icing a breeze. I just put on a star tip, loaded the cylinder and squeezed away.

After frosting I just sprinkled the top with some lime green sanding sugar. It looked fabulous against the brown frosting.
Then I tried a strawberry buttercream. This was especially for my little birthday girl who loves strawberries:

You will need:
1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 - 4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. smashed & drained strawberries


These beauties were some we picked earlier this year and frozen. I just put them into a strainer and drained off all the extra juice for a few hours... the dryer the berries are, the less chance you end up with a runny buttercream. I wanted the flavor, but not any soupy-ness.

Cream up the butter in your mixer and add the powdered sugar. When it is good and stiff, add a 1/4 c. of your strawberries. I lightly mashed mine knowing I wanted some texture and not completely liquefied. Now don't get too excited about the strawberries... less is better here. If you go overboard, it will be too runny. I promise, 1/4 c. is plenty for flavor, color and consistency.

Then frost away! I didn't have any fresh berries, but slices for the top might have been a nice touch. If I make these during season, I would try the slices and a mint leaf or two.

Okay, do you want the recipes for the chocolate & vanilla cupcakes? Stay tuned for another post with those fabulous recipes.
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