Cupcake Secrets: How to Make Flawless Frosting Every Time
My kids love cupcakes. My daughters requested pink. I have written the recipe for Basic Vanilla Buttercream and just so you know, I am NOT a fan of food coloring at all, but after the pink request and realizing white doesn't photograph as pretty, just a couple drops of red food coloring and Pink it is. Sprinkles just makes everything better.
Image: Courtesy of Taylor Made Market
I'm a chef.. not a pastry chef. But after making over a hundred cupcake flavors, I quickly mastered the basic frosting. I've tried many recipes for buttercream before but this is my hands-down favorite...I use this recipe all the time and add X or Y to it depending on the flavor cupcake I am going with. You can “TaylorMake” this recipe to whatever flavor you want. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Add cocoa or maybe a key lime buttercream with lime zest. Just use this recipe as a base.
For the Buttercream--butter, sugar, vanilla, and cream, whats not to love? The texture is incredible and it spreads very easy. Great to decorate with as well. I have used it to frost cookies, cakes, cupcakes and it plays well with fondant, even though I don't
The key is whipping it for as long and as fast as you can to get it nice and light and fluffy! For a silky smooth frosting, Sift your powdered sugar. Make sure you use UNSALTED Butter and have it at room temp. DO NOT MICROWAVE IT!! (I had a pastry chef friend tell me to lay butter out on the counter the night before and it will be perfectly softened in the morning.)
For the cupcakes - This recipe will make exactly 24 moist & delicious standard size cupcakes
Make sure to beat the butter and sugar for the full 5 minutes because that really is the difference between light and dense cake. If you don't have buttermilk, you can use regular milk with a tsp of lemon juice OR mix 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 cup sour cream for the same effect and flavor.
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute milk + 1tsp lemon juice)
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter. Mix until just combined.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla and whipping cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed.