Frosting Basics

Frosting basics1A couple weeks ago I had a reader write in and request a recipe for a slightly less sweet butter cream frosting recipe. She had used some of our cupcake mixology recipes and she said they were great but she wondered if there was a way to make frosting that wasn't quite so sweet. And this got me thinking that perhaps it could be fun to share some of my favorite basic frosting recipes. Today we are going to learn to make: cream cheese frosting (great for Red Velvet cakes!), chocolate butter cream, and a (slightly less sweet) white butter cream frosting.

Creamcheese1Creamcheese2Cream Cheese frosting, makes 3-4 cups (enough for a dozen cupcakes).

Needed: two 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, 1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 3-4 cups powder sugar.

You need the cream cheese and butter to be slightly softened, so you can either leave it out on the counter for a few hours or nuke it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds. Now start adding the powder sugar 1 cup at a time and beating in between each addition.

Chocolate1Chocolate2Chocolate Butter cream frosting, makes around 3 cups (enough for a dozen cupcakes)

Needed: 2 cups (4 sticks) softened butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3-4 tablespoons cocoa (dutch processed is what I usually use) 3-4 cups powder sugar.

Again, you need the butter to be softened so either leave it out or nuke it. Cream the butter and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Add in the cocoa and beat for 30 seconds, scrap down the sides of the bowl as you go so everything gets well mixed. Now add the powder sugar 1 cup at a time, beating in between each addition until you have a thick frosting.

Buttercream1Buttercream2Less sweet (but amazing) White Butter cream frosting, makes around 3 cups (enough for a dozen cupcakes). This recipe is slightly adapted from here

Needed: 1 cup milk, 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup (two sticks) softened butter, 1 cup (granulated) sugar and 1/4 cup powder sugar.

In a small sauce pan heat together the milk and flour, whisking as you go until you have a thick paste. Set this aside and let it cool. In a bowl cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar and vanilla for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is well incorporated and (almost) not grainy at all. Now add the flour paste to the bowl and beat for another 2-3 minutes until it begins to get fluffy like whipped cream. Add the powder sugar and beat until well incorporated. There's quite a bit of mixing for this recipe as the ingredients are quite nontraditional for a frosting-but it's totally worth it!

Happy baking! xo. emma and elsie

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