I know, it’s been some time since you’ve had anything new from me but this is one that I’ve been working on for awhile now, ever since my Tardis Cupcakes. Since then, I’ve had a few opportunities to make massive amounts of cupcakes and of course since we’re appealing to the masses for parties we go buttercream and since we are trying to do cute decorative things for various party purposes we go vanilla buttercream.
Let me just put this out there, while I really like the idea of a pure butter buttercream the truth is it really only tastes like sugar and butter. The texture can bug me too sometimes. So, here goes…(dun dun duh!)
I add in a bit of shortening. It changes the flavor just a bit and the texture too. It makes the frosting easier to work with. When added to a traditional recipe for buttercream it adds a little more volume which allows for the little extra you might need when trying to go for that “professional” look without having buttloads left over. I needed the extra volume for these two particular cupcakes because I was going for a ball effect. Going for the look without adding too much extra frosting (I really HATE too much frosting and overall prefer a ratio of 1/3 frosting to 2/3 cupcake) requires a cupcake that bakes up into a nice dome. For the baseballs I made Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes from Glorious Treats and for the soccer balls I made Simple Vanilla Cupcakes from the Joy the Baker Cookbook. The “perfect” ones call for buttermilk and have a slightly bigger dome when baked. The “simple” ones call for vanilla bean and so have a more pronounced vanilla flavor and a lovely dome. Both are awesome recipes that I will be using again.
So, here is the long and short of it. I use some salted butter. Then I add the shortening. I ALWAYS switch milk to cream because c’mon, it’s a party. And then I add even a tad more salt. Now, here’s the thing. When you make this frosting and are tasting it as you go, you’ll be like, “Eh, it’s alright, nothing special” but once you stick whatever you frosted in the fridge to wait for party time, they transform. The flavors really come together as it sits and well, it’s my favorite party vanilla buttercream! If you are eating cupcakes from me topped with vanilla buttercream it is going to be this one. This has been a real labor of love for me since it will be a real family recipe, one that will be used for our parties for years to come. When you come across those recipes, those are the ones you treasure. I hope it was worth the wait for all of you.
My Geekylink is just that I hope I get to see Star Trek Into Darkness at some point this weekend. The Doctor Who‘s season ender is also this weekend. Those lovely worlds will meld for me on Monday when the new Traveling the Vortex is released because they will be covering the finale and the Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 crossover comic books. I have them but haven’t yet read them. Thanks to those guys for giving me the kick in the butt to read them before then. My daughter heard they’d be covering them and she said she wanted to read them too. I told her no because I want her to watch a few episodes of Star Trek:TNG first and she said OK. I’ve been waiting almost 10 years to hear that from her. I’ll be looking for a good Netflix night for us to get started…eek!
My Favorite Party Buttercream
adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened (don’t use both salted, trust me)
1/4 cup shortening
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cream (I guess you could use milk, party pooper)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt (I go heaping but that’s me)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the shortening and beat until fully incorporated.
Scrape the sides of your bowl and add 4 cups of powdered sugar. Carefully turn your stand mixer on low and increase to medium as the sugar becomes incorporated. Slowly add your cream and vanilla extract and beat on high for 1 minute.
Scrape down your mixer again and add 1 more cup of powdered sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. For a thicker frosting you can add up to a cup more powdered sugar (I typically use about another 1/2 cup).
Makes enough frosting to frost one 2 layer 8 or 9 inch cake or 24 cupcakes.
I did need to make extra frosting for the details on each cupcake. If you’re just doing a nice piped swirl though, you’ll have plenty.