Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cook's Illustrated Easy Vanilla Buttercream

I went back and forth on whether or not to create a separate post on a frosting recipe, but I wanted to share with you my favorite vanilla buttercream post. I've tried quite a bit of buttercream recipes: Gale Gand (too sweet), Magnolia Bakery's buttercream (even sweeter than Gale Gand's), and Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue buttercream (love the taste but hate the process). 

Not only is this an easy vanilla buttercream frosting, but it is easy to work with and looks great on cupcakes and frosts well on cakes. Once, I ran out of heavy cream so I substituted in milk and it definitely did not have the "whipped" buttercream texture (that I love about this recipe), so I would definitely recommend using heavy cream in this recipe. Make sure to whip it well at high speed for several minutes. I am convinced that this gives it its nicely whipped texture.

  • 20 Tbsp (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2½ cups Confectioners’ sugar (10 ounces)
  • 1/8 Tbsp table salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream

1. In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. 
2. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. 
3. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Yield: 3 cups
Source: Cook's Illustrated


Jessy said...

Beautiful and looks really tasty too!

Anonymous said...

1/8 Tablespoon of salt? I am venturing a guess that should read 1/8 tsp or 1/8 teaspoon of salt, not TBLS or Tablespoon. 1/8 Tablespoon of salt is about 1/2 teaspoon (there are 6 half teaspoons in a TBLS), and that would make for some salty frosting!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous: The recipe indicates 1/8 tsp of "table" salt--not a 1/8th tablespoon.

Sara said...

You are right- it is 1/8 Tbsp of salt. I've corrected in the original recipe. Thanks for pointing this out!

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