Day 3 of #LoveWeek starts here! I’m really having a lot of fun with these love posts. I wish I could highlight every person who’s ever touched my life for the better.
I have four sisters, and they are dearer to me than I can say. For now, I’m going to mention my older sister, Maura. She has taught me many things, one of which was how to make buttercream frosting. That’s today’s recipe, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Oh, big sisters. A built in best friend. Someone to laugh with, to cry with, and who will punch you in the gut when you sit on her face. Not that we do that anymore. But we did. When we were kids. Now we just text each other “ugly faces” and laugh until we cry. Our husbands hate it when we get late night giggles. Did you know those are contagious? Even from 12 hours away?!
My sister sees me for who I am and loves me anyway. Right back at ya, Didder.
One of my sister’s many talents is cake making. She’s amazing! She’s like a cake whisperer. Unfortunately for me, she lives 700 miles away, so I’m always asking her, “What kind of frosting should I use for this?” “How should I make that?” “Do you think I could…” You get the idea.
A few months ago she shared a secret with me. I’ve been given permission to share it with you. I give you now, the best tasting buttercream you will ever encounter.
My first experience with buttercream was when I went cake testing for my wedding cake. When they gave me the buttercream and fondant combo, my eyes rolled back into my head and they had to wheel me out on a gurney.
It was shortly thereafter that my sister began her love affair with making cakes, and she took me down with her. Every time I’d visit her, she’d make me a giant cake with butter cream and fondant, cut it into little pieces and individually wrap them. I could then freeze them and I had single size servings of cake any time I was missing my sis. And her cake. But mostly my sister.
Over the years, her recipes and techniques have changed.
When my son turned five last fall, Maura finally threw me a bone and gave me her famous buttercream recipe with a secret ingredient.
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ - 1 cup whipping cream, divided
- Beat the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar.
- Add in vanilla and almond extract.
- Slowly add in whipping cream until you’ve reached the desired consistency. (You may use more or less depending on how thick you want your frosting.)
The secret ingredient is the whipping cream. You’d think it would make your frosting thick and heavy. In fact, it does the opposite. As you whip it, the cream aerates and turns your frosting light and fluffy.
It gives it a rich flavor, and you won’t feel like you’re licking a stick of butter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I happen to like that kind of heavy, dense buttercream. But I couldn’t stand to eat it plain on a cake. It would have to have the overly sweet fondant to even out the flavors. Not this buttercream! It’s absolutely delectable on its own.
For the cake featured here, I made a simple cake mix in two round pans. I frosted the bottom cake, then layered with thinly sliced strawberries. Then I frosted the whole cake and garnished with strawberries and blueberries. This is such a great cake to let kids decorate. My daughter asked for this specific cake for her 3rd birthday because she wanted to do a pattern.
This is now my go-to frosting. You can color it with food coloring, or flavor it with any extract you want (Butter, coconut, lemon, almond, etc.). You can even turn it into chocolate frosting by adding in ½ cup of cocoa powder. Just know you’ll have to increase your cream to balance the consistency.
Do you have a go-to frosting recipe?