1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
This basic buttercream recipe is delicious, easy smooth onto a cake, even great for piping. A perfect addition to my VANILLA CAKE.
Place room temp butter in bowl. The butter must be room temp, no way around it! Not melted, just soft enough to press your finger into and make a dent without resistance. Remove butter from fridge about 1- 2 hours before beginning. To reach room temperature faster, you can cut butter into smaller pieces. The smaller pieces will warm up quicker than an entire stick.
Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer or standard beaters of a hand mixer start on low speed. The goal is to reach a smooth consistency before adding in any other ingredients.
In the meanwhile, give your powdered sugar a whisk if you see tiny lumps. If it is really lumpy you may have to sift it for the best result.
Once the butter is smooth and there are no lumps, add salt and add only 1 cup powdered sugar. Start the mixer on the lowest setting until powdered sugar is incorporated. When adding powdered sugar, slow and steady is the way to go. If added all at once your kitchen will look like a scene from FROZEN, also, more chance for lumps. You want a silky dreamy buttercream to top off your luscious cake.
Add in another cup of powdered sugar. Mix on low. Repeat. Continue until the last cup of powdered sugar. Now is when you add your vanilla flavoring, and milk. To avoid a splash of milk in your face, stream the liquid in slowly as the mixer is on low. Add in the last bit of powdered sugar and gradually increase the speed until the buttercream is fluffy and light in color.
Now you are ready to fill and frost your cooled cake. you can use an offset metal spatula or even the back of a spoon, just have fun! Add sprinkles while the buttercream is fresh. Once the frosted cake is refrigerated, sprinkles won't adhere as well.
Buttercream can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for up to 24 hours. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator. To use again, just allow the buttercream to come to room temperature on the counter.
Can buttercream be over-beaten? Yes, the taste will be the same but too much air will take away from the ideal silky texture.
- Milk can be substituted with half and half or heavy whipping cream.
- If using vanilla sugar, you'll have to warm up your 2 tablespoons of milk a bit then dissolve the vanilla in it. Make sure to allow enough time for it to cool to room temperature before adding to the buttercream.
- I do not recommend replacing butter with margarine.