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Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This fluffy, creamy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, loaded-with-great-vanilla-flavor homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting will have you clamoring for that piled-high cupcake or corner piece of cake!
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Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting ~ Fluffy, creamy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, and loaded with great vanilla flavor! This frosting will have you clamoring for that piled-high cupcake or corner piece of cake.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


You know those people who clamor for the corner pieces of a store-bought sheet cake ... the ones slathered with thick frosting on both the top and two sides?  Or, that immediately claim the piece with the huge rose decoration smack in the middle so they can gobble up that big glob of frosting?

Yeh, I'm definitely not one of those people.

See, I'm super picky about my frosting.  And most store-bought frostings are simply too overly sweet for me.  Or, kind of greasy, know what I mean?  Or, just have no real flavor at all.

But this homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting?  Now, this is a frosting I will clamor for!
It's fluffy, creamy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, and loaded with great vanilla flavor.  In my opinion, just the way a vanilla frosting should be.

This fluffy, creamy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, loaded-with-great-vanilla-flavor homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting will have you clamoring for that piled-high cupcake or corner piece of cake!

There are a few key "tricks" to ensuring great texture and flavor when making homemade vanilla frosting.  And fortunately, they're all super easy to do.

The first "texture trick" involves the butter.

Preparing your butter is important to creating a creamier, fluffier frosting.  First, be sure to take the butter out of the refrigerator at least a couple of hours before you plan to make the frosting, allowing the butter to soften.  You want the butter to be almost room temperature ~ it should be quite soft to the touch, but not so soft that it's beginning to melt or becomes complete mush when you touch it.

Next, once the butter is softened, beat the butter ... all by itself with no other ingredients added yet ... for about a minute until it's fluffy.  This will start your frosting off with a nice creamy base.

This fluffy, creamy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, loaded-with-great-vanilla-flavor homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting will have you clamoring for that piled-high cupcake or corner piece of cake!

The next "texture trick" has to do with beating.

To create the fluffiest, smoothest texture, beat the frosting well at each step in the process.  And by beat it well, I mean beat it very  well.

As said above, start by beating the butter all by itself.  Then, once the confectioners' sugar is added to the butter, beat the mixture for about 3 minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients and ... yep, you guessed it ... beat the mixture for several minutes again.  This thorough beating accomplishes two things ~ it ensures all the ingredients are mixed together smoothly, and it incorporates air into the frosting as it beats.

And air = fluffy texture.

Two "flavor tricks" help produce a homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting that's, well, actually loaded with great vanilla flavor ... while not being over-the-top super sweet.

The first trick is salt.  Just a tiny pinch of salt.

It's amazing how far a tiny pinch of salt goes in cutting the sweetness of frosting's confectioners' sugar.  When I was working on this recipe, I mixed small test batches both with and without salt (and also with varying amounts of salt).  We could definitely tell a distinct flavor difference with the addition of salt!  In fact, when I had my husband blind-taste-test the salted and unsalted versions, he immediately knew the difference ... and immediately cast his vote for the version with salt.  Be careful, though ... a small pinch will do.  Much more, and salt easily becomes the predominant flavor.

Next, vanilla extract ~ lots of it.

This Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe calls for a full tablespoon + a teaspoon of vanilla extract, which is much more than most recipes.  But believe me, it's not too much.  It gives the frosting fabulous rich vanilla flavor.

Bright colored homemade vanilla buttercream frosting recipe

Use a few drops of food coloring ... I use gel or paste ... to make fun frosting colors, if you'd like.  Or enjoy it just plain beautiful white.

Whichever way you choose, this fluffy, creamy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, loaded-with-great-vanilla-flavor frosting will sure have you clamoring for that piled-high cupcake or corner piece of cake!

Homemade vanilla frosting recipe
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Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Frosting adapted from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 T. + 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 T. milk
  • small pinch salt
  • Several drops of food coloring {optional}
Directions
  1. Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  2. Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 15 seconds between each addition. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla, milk, and salt, beating on low speed to combine. Increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides once or twice.
  4. If desired, add about 5 drops of food coloring, and stir in gently.  Add more until desired color is achieved.
NOTE:  Buttercream may be covered and kept at room temperature for several hours or refrigerated in an airtight container for a week.  Bring to room temperature before using.

Frosts one 2-layer cake or about 18 cupcakes.

Enjoy!



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This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.

7 comments

  1. After making your cake or cupcakes, how do you store them? This frosting looks so good. I now need to make some cupcakes, maybe chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This frosting would be fabulous on chocolate cupcakes! Store the cake or cupcakes in the refrigerator, and then let them stand at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

      Delete
  2. My son's birthday is this weekend I can't wait to try this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is such a great tutorial of how to make the icing. Pinning this for when I need it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm one of those people too, Tracey! Thank you for sharing this lovely homemade frosting with us at Hearth and Soul. Scheduled to pin, and shared on the new look Hearth and Soul Facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  5. YUM! Frosting is so yummy! Thanks for sharing at the Monday Funday Party. - Emily

    ReplyDelete
  6. Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident. I bookmarked it. This article is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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