Before we can even begin to talk about decorating cakes, we need to talk icing.
I’ve been getting a lot of requests from friends and family for a good frosting recipe. Because who are we kidding, the best part of the cake is the icing. Am I right?
The icing on your cakes or cupcakes can make or break the eating experience. You don’t want your frosting to take away from the cake but enhance the flavors. If your icing is too sweet or you can taste grit of sugar (like in store bought cupcakes) then it can ruin the cake.
Today I’m going to share with you the simplest icing you’ve ever made. It really only involves 3 ingredients. Not only is it the icing super simple to make but it is so smooth that it tastes almost like whipped cream.
Note* It’s the best to use a stand mixer if possible.
What You Will Need:
- 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter
- 3 cups (550 g) of confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- Place your unsalted butter and 2 1/2 cups of sugar into your stand mixer (if you are using a hand held mixer, make sure the butter is at room temperature). Place a towel over top of your mixer to keep the cloud of sugar at bay and turn your mixer onto a low speed (Speed 2). Mix until the sugar is incorporated and you no longer fear the icing cloud.
- Turn the mixer to speed 5 (or the highest speed on your hand mixer) and beat for about 3 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. At this time, take a taste of the icing. Add the vanilla if you would like at this point (use clear vanilla if you want the icing to be whiter) and add some extra confectioner’s sugar if it needs an extra bit of sweetness.
- Then turn on your mixer to speed 5 again and let it beat until you hear a slopping sound. (You’ll know what I mean when you hear it) You will notice the icing will start to turn whiter.
- Every minute or two, stop the mixer and scrape down the side. Take a look at the icing you just scraped down. If it is a more yellowy colour than the rest of the icing, then you need to let it beat for longer. Once the scrapings are the same shade of white as the rest of the icing in the bowl, then you are ready to use it. It should also be about tripled in size from step 1.
- Chocolate Buttercream – add 1/3 cup of dutch process cocoa in the first step.
- Lemon Buttercream – add either 1 tsp of lemon extract or 1/2 cup of lemon curd
- Almond Buttercream – add 1 tsp of almond extract
- Caramel Buttercream – add a good dallop of your favorite caramel sauce (I love the Sheriff caramel sauce the best)
Cover the mixer to avoid the CLOUD of sugar!
Take a taste and add more sugar if needed and the vanilla. You may be tempted to stop here but it’s not mixed enough. Take it for another spin.
Notice it’s a little bit whiter than the past picture. Take a look at the scraping in the next picture.
Notice how the side scraping below. It still has too much of a buttery consistency in places. Keep beating it.
See now, it’s almost tripled in volume.
So creamy and good!
See how beautiful it can look!
I love it for rosettes and ruffles, like as on the cakes below.
I made some cupcakes for a wedding cake trial using this icing.
The white ones are just the pure buttercream icing. My testers said she loved that it had a whipping cream feel to it. After I made the white buttercream, I whipped in some Sheriff caramel topping to make caramel buttercream and then I added some cocoa to some more frosting to make some chocolate buttercream. They were all just delightful.
Enjoy! Stay Sweet!