I think I said about a year ago that I was going to post my recipe for buttercream frosting soon. It's still soon, right?
Anyhoo, this is the recipe I always use, and it can be adapted to do almost anything. It's an American Buttercream, because I'm a simple girl with simple tastes. And maybe a little lazy.
The original recipe can be found here. Rick's Special Buttercream Frosting. Rick is my hero.
I have adapted the recipe for my use, and this is the basic formula I use. In this post, I'm making a double batch, so the pictures are going to show more that the text is telling you to use. Sorry, last minute cake request. It was unavoidable.
Mix one cup of shortening (preferably not trans-fat free...that means no Crisco...use a store brand) and one cup of softened butter. Now, it's February here in the Midwest. I left that butter on my counter ALL DAY, and it was still a little cold. But it all worked out in the end.
Mix that all up nice.
See how lumpy it is? (No? Sorry for the picture quality. It's also overcast and rainy today.) Stir in 1/4 tsp of salt and a tablespoon of vanilla. Once that's all incorporated, add two pounds of powdered sugar. No need to sift.
Mix on low until it's all blended in.
Like I said, I made a double batch, so I added the sugar in two stages, so as not to overtax my mixer.
Here's the secret ingredient. Don't tell anyone. It takes the icing up to a whole new level. Pour some into the bowl. I don't know how much, so don't ask. Stop when it looks right.
Turn the mixer up to medium/high and let it go for 5-10 minutes. You'll be glad you did.
At this point, I stop, scrape everything down really well, then give it another spin, just for 30 seconds or so, to make sure everything is nice and mixed up.
Ain't it purty? It's light and fluffy and divine. The double batch completely filled up my 14-cup storage container. I barely got the lid sealed. So a for regular batch count on a generous 7 cups of frosting.
Now the beauty of this recipe is that it's basically a 1:1 ratio. 1 cup of fat to 1 pound of sugar. And one tablespoon of flavoring for each two pounds of sugar. So you can use any kind of fat you want. Don't like shortening? Use all butter. Have a dairy allergy? Use all shortening and replace the cream with water (it's not the same, but it works). Like cream cheese frosting? Use half butter and half cream cheese. Or 1/4 shortening, 1/2 butter, and 1/4 cream cheese. Want to use some other kind of soft cheese? Ditto.
Like different flavors? Add some raspberry puree with the cream (or strawberry or blackberry, etc.). Or use cream of coconut instead of cream for coconut icing. Fold in some lemon curd or jam. Use almond (or any other) extract instead of vanilla. Sub out one cup of the powdered sugar for one cup of unsweetened cocoa powder for a lovely chocolate frosting. Stir in a cup full of crushed Oreos for cookies & cream frosting. Seriously endless possibilities here, folks.
Anyhoo, that's my favorite frosting recipe. You should try it sometime.