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Everyone loves a classic. Yes, it’s fun to go wild and experiment with new flavors and combinations, but it is the simplest flavors that are real crowd pleasers.
Since vanilla frosting is such a simple flavor, it is important to use great, high quality ingredients. I especially recommend using a nice brand of butter and a really good vanilla extract. When I go for basic frosting, I try to use organic ingredients because you can really taste the difference, but as long as you love the taste of each individual ingredient, you will be fine!
I usually make my vanilla frosting in a mixer because it makes fast work of it. Usually, most people use a paddle attachment to make their frosting. This removes all of the air bubbles and creates a smooth, dense frosting that is really nice for frosting cakes. Lately, I have been loving the whisk attachment which actually adds more air into the frosting. This makes it airier and cloud-like. While you would not really be able to use whipped frosting to frost a cake, I love it to pipe decorations on cakes and for cupcakes.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 – 7 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 – 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or whole milk)
- Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Use a paddle attachment for a dense and smooth buttercream that is perfect for icing cakes. Use a whisk attachment for a lighter, fluffier frosting that is perfect for piping.
- Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat the mixture very well between additions of powdered sugar. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you mix to make sure everything is being evenly mixed.
- Add the salt and the vanilla and beat well again.
- Slowly mix in heavy cream to the frosting until it reaches a smooth consistency.