The Icing on the Cake (really!)

24 Sep

Y’all are about to laugh at me, but the truth is…I’d never made frosting before last night.

Oh sure, I’d made royal icing for gingerbread houses and sugar cookies. And I’d mixed powdered sugar with milk and lemon juice to make a glaze for breads and cakes. But real, honest-to-goodness buttercream? Never.

My son’s teacher asked me if I’d make a cake for a class project. She gave me little dinosaurs to bake inside and said she needed them in a chocolate cake with green icing. No problemo. I baked the cake and bought a can of frosting from the grocery store, just like always.

And then the people on my freelance writer’s board had this discussion, see, about icing and cans and how nasty the grocery store stuff is.

Huh. I never thought it was nasty. It was sweet and goopy and filled its purpose. So I was willing to just disagree silently and frost my cake as I’d always done. But DH was away last night and the movie I rented for myself was just horrible, and I wound up with a free evening at home. So I looked on the ‘net and found a frosting recipe that looked easy enough, and figured I’d give it a whirl.

Oh. My. God.

Seriously, gang, such an amazing difference. I will never go back to the canned goo again, swear on my soul. Even for kids’ desserts. Because this frosting took about two minutes to whip up with stuff I already had here, and was absolutely amazing. And I can pronounce all the ingredients, which is really nice.

Give this a shot next time you’re frosting something. Tell me you can resist eating spoonfuls of it alone (not that anyone I know would do that so late at night…*ahem*). Kiss the cans goodbye. You don’t need them anymore.

To make a basic buttercream frosting, you need:

1 stick of butter, room temperature

4 to 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Enough milk to make it all creamy–I’d say three or four tablespoons

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until it’s light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and vanilla and mix until it’s evenly combined. With the mixer running, drizzle in enough milk to get a frosting consistency (you can add more sugar if you go too far). Whip with the mixer until it’s fluffy and holds peaks. Stir in food coloring if necessary. Frost and enjoy.

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3 Responses to “The Icing on the Cake (really!)”

  1. krishna September 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    this is the recipe i use. also good sandwiched between two vanilla wafers! if you color it and let it set in the fridge overnight, the colors become more intense! next, try a good cream cheese frosting!!! you will never go back!

  2. Susan Hendrickson September 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Homemade buttercream is all we do here…yummy! There’s nothing like it.

  3. Mary m September 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m in shock that you’ve never made frosting before! I can’t eat the canned crap….blech

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