Lindsay Ann Bakes: {VIDEO} Buttercream Frosting Recipe (in over 2 dozen flavors!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{VIDEO} Buttercream Frosting Recipe (in over 2 dozen flavors!)

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This classic American buttercream frosting is my absolute favorite frosting ever! It is a traditional, party cake frosting, great for kids and adults alike, with a sweet, buttery flavor, perfect for icing smooth cakes, topping cupcakes, brownies or cookies and piping fun decorations on top of cakes and desserts.


I could eat this stuff by the spoonful! It is soooo simple to whip together and you can toss in just about any ingredient to create a ton of flavor variations, from creamy coconut, to cookies & cream, whipped espresso, and more.


You can make this frosting with a hand mixer in a large bowl, or in a stand mixer, so you don't have to do any of the work ;) This is the recipe I use for my classic chocolate and vanilla buttercreams, but under the ingredient list below, I give dozens of additions to create tons of fun flavor variations that you can pair with just about any desert to really jazz it up!


This recipe has only a few basic ingredients. The fat mixed with sugar creates the base of the frosting. Salt cuts the sweetness creating a perfect balance. I like to use extra fine popcorn salt to avoid any grittiness. The vanilla adds flavor to round out the ingredients. I always like to use pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste for the best tasting frosting possible. And lastly, the cream creates the smooth, light, fluffy texture.


I like to use half butter and half shortening (I prefer hi-ratio shortening for a creamy consistency and superior flavor and texture) when making a vanilla buttercream because the shortening gives more stability to the frosting so it will hold up better, will not melt as easily and create a perfect consistency for piping on decorations, but you can use all butter if desired, for a more rich buttery taste. With a chocolate based buttercream, I love using all butter without shortening, for a really rich tasting frosting, without being too "buttery" tasting, like in a plain vanilla buttercream. Try it out and decide which option you prefer.


 Adding cocoa powder to create a Chocolate Buttercream frosting is so simple and soooo good. The unsweetened cocoa powder makes the frosting a little less sweet than the vanilla buttercream, if you prefer a not so "sugary" icing. My favorite way to use it is by spreading a big ole batch of chocolate buttercream onto a  classic yellow cake, bringing sweet nostalgic memories with every bite. To me this simple combination is absolute perfection!


Even fill your strawberries with this frosting for a fun party treat. I love whipping the chocolate buttercream until it is really light and fluffy, to create a whipped chocolate mousse-like texture.


 The consistency can be thick and smooth or soft and airy depending on the amount of liquid added and how long the buttercream is beaten. For an extra light and airy texture, I like to beat the butter and shortening together for 3-5 minutes before adding the powdered sugar, to really whip some air into it, and then, when all the powdered sugar has been added I like to use heavy whipping cream and beat it again for a few minutes until it is really fluffy and perfect for spreading on top of a cake...


...or piping a little dollop on top of desserts, for a little extra cloud of sweet, airy heaven on top.


The absolute best part about this recipe, is how versatile it is! You can add in just about anything you can think of to create a ton of different flavor combinations, to create gourmet cupcakes, cakes and desserts with one simple recipe.


Try beating in some crushed cookies, strawberry jam, espresso powder, orange zest, peanut butter, or even flavorings like mint extract and some green food coloring, to the classic vanilla buttercream base recipe and add some fun toppings and garnishes to create bakery style desserts right from home!


Or simply color the vanilla base with food coloring!




Vanilla Buttercream Base

Yield: About 4 cups (enough to fill and frost an 8-9" layer cake or 24 cupcakes)

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (may sub 1/2 butter instead if preferred)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups (1lb) powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar), sifted
2-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half, milk or even water if necessary)


Flavor Variations (If using a flavor variation below, you may reduce the vanilla in the recipe to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • Flavor extracts: Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon flavor extract of your choice (coconut, almond, mint, maple, etc.) 
  • Chocolate: Sift 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar and add an extra 2 tablespoons cream or milk 
  • Cream Cheese Buttercream: Add half of an 8oz block of room temperature cream cheese 
  • Cappuccino: Add 1-2 tablespoons espresso powder or instant coffee granules 
  • Cookies & Cream: Add 1 cup cookie crumbs (about 12 Oreos) 
  • Fudge Supreme: Add 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup in with the vanilla and 3oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled 
  • White Chocolate: Add 9 ounces of melted white chocolate 
  • Mint Chip: Add 1/4 teaspoon mint extract, 1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate chips and a few drops of green food coloring 
  • Peanut Butter or Nutella: Add 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter or nutella 
  • Strawberry or Raspberry: Add 1/3 cup seedless fruit puree or preserves of your choice (raspberry, strawberry, etc.) and a few drops red food coloring if desired 
  • Orange (or any citrus fruit): Add 1-2 teaspoons of zest from the fruit and replace 2 tablespoons of the cream with juice from the fruit, food coloring to match color of the fruit is optional 
  • Lemon Cream: Add half of an 8oz block of room temperature cream cheese and add 1-2 teaspoons of zest from the fruit and replace 2 tablespoons of cream with juice from the fruit, yellow food coloring is optional 
  • Caramel: Add 1/2 cup caramel sauce/ice cream topping 
  • Spiked: Replace 2 tablespoons of cream or milk with flavored liquor, such as Chambord, Kahlua or Irish Cream 
  • Cinnamon: Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • Maple: Add 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (reduce liquid) 
  • Peppermint: 1 tablespoon finely crushed peppermint candies 
  • Mocha: Sift 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar and add 2 extra tablespoons cream or milk and 1-2 tablespoons espresso powder 
  • Chocolate Mint: Sift 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar and add 2 extra tablespoons cream or milk and 2-3 teaspoons finely crushed peppermint candies or 1/4 teaspoon mint extract 
  • Chocolate Orange: Sift 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar and add 1-2 teaspoons of zest from the fruit and replace 2 tablespoons of the cream with juice from the fruit 
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter: Sift 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar and add 2 extra tablespoons cream or milk and 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
  • Chocolate Amaretto: Sift 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar and add 2 tablespoons of Amaretto liquor 
  • Spiked Chocolate: Sift 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar and add 2 tablespoons of flavored liquor, such as Chambord, Kahlua or Irish Cream 

Directions
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and pale in color, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in vanilla, salt and any flavor variations. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, a little bit at a time, until fully incorporated. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for about 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy.



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Classic Vanilla American Buttercream
Smooth and fluffy classic party cake frosting with a sweet, buttery flavor. Control the consistency by adding more liquid or more powdered sugar to make your icing thinner for spreading or thicker for piping decorations. Easily substitute half of the butter for shortening for a more stable frosting. Used for icing smooth cakes, borders, writing, and most decorations with a stiffer consistency, or add a little more cream for a great cupcakes, brownie or dessert frosting. A perfect base for over a dozen flavors.



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Classic Chocolate American Buttercream
Light, fluffy and creamy chocolate frosting perfect for anything from cupcakes to cakes, brownies, cookies and more. A little less sweet than the vanilla buttercream, and oh so rich. You will not be able to keep your fingers out of the bowl. This is one of my personal favorites.



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Cream Cheese Frosting
Smooth, creamy, dreamy vanilla cream cheese frosting that doubles as a luscious, sweet yet tangy filling for lemon cakes, red velvet cupcakes, pastries and more!

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