How to Make Buttercream Frosting

2 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Halloween Parties

This is a versatile buttercream that you can use to decorate your Halloween jack o’lantern or skating rink cake, but keep this recipe on hand for other cakes as well! It spreads and pipes wonderfully, and because of its lustrous, white appearance, you can tint it to exactly the color you want. As if that weren’t enough, this recipe requires no cooking!

Buttercream Frosting

Tools: Electric mixer, paddle attachment

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-3⁄4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1⁄4 cup milk

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and vanilla on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

  2. Gradually add half the sugar, beating well.

  3. Beat in the milk, and then add the remaining sugar. Continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy and reaches the desired consistency.

If the frosting is too thick, add milk in 1 teaspoon increments, beating each addition well, until it reaches the desired consistency.

For chocolate buttercream, beat in 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder in Step 1. For almond buttercream, substitute 1 teaspoon almond extract for the vanilla. For orange buttercream, substitute 1⁄2 teaspoon orange extract for the vanilla.

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The Essentials of Halloween Parties

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