I’ve posted before about my favorite frosting, which is an Italian Meringue Buttercream, but today I want to talk about what is perhaps the easiest buttercream ever: sometimes called American Buttercream, it’s based on a fluffy mixture of butter and powdered sugar, and is particularly popular for cupcakes. Yeah, I said cupcakes… mmm.
The problem with most recipes of this type is that the resulting frosting is gritty or too sweet. Believe me, I’ve tried many, many of these recipes- until I found this one.
Now, American Buttercream isn’t for everyone. It’s good for sweet-tooths, a dream to pipe because it crusts, and is perfect for hot weather. The cupcakes pictured above, for example, were made for a party at an orphanage with kids of all ages- and I didn’t want to risk using raw eggs. Besides, with all those sprinkles and colored sugar- they loved them!
Vanilla Buttercream, American Style
4 oz. (about a stick) of unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use the good stuff- you can totally tell with this recipe!)
Cream the butter and salt until creamy (but NOT melty). Add half of the powdered sugar and all of the milk, and beat again just until combined. Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined. Scrape, scrape, scrape the bowl again- and now beat on high speed for about three minutes, or until it looks nice and fluffy.
And that’s it. Delicious, not-too-sweet Vanilla Buttercream. Color with food color gel or paste, and use in your next cake. Or make cupcakes and spread some joy.