Many students who have attended a Cake and Sip class at Harrison's Corner Market often ask me for my American Butter Cream Recipe-- Here it is!
Yields 1 quart of American Buttercream
1/2 pound of softened unsalted Butter (2 sticks)
2 tsp of real vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 TB water or milk
1 1/4 lbs 10x powdered sugar
Cream butter, vanilla, salt and water or milk until well combined, in a stand mixer. Add sugar in 1-2 cup intervals until you have achieved your desired consistency.
*To keep your powdered sugar from spilling everywhere while you mix, drape a large wet towel over you stand mixer after adding your powdered sugar. Do not use this technique with a hand held mixer.
You can make any of the following substitutions:
Butter can be partially replaced or fully replaced by vegetable shortening or lard. Shortening and lard have higher melting points and are far less likely to breakdown in hot weather. They are both bright white and can allow your frosting's appearance to be whiter as well as brighter when you dye the frosting with food coloring. Be aware that both lard and shortening have a mouth feel thats a bit different from butter-- it coats your tongue and mouth more substantially and may not be ideal for all cake eaters. Vegetable shortening does not bring much to the table in terms of flavor. Add 1-2 tsp of butter flavoring (found in most craft stores) to help add flavor if you use shortening.
Vanilla extract- you may use clear imitation vanilla extract to keep your frosting bright white-- its found in most craft stores in the cake decorating aisle.
Salt- is one of the most important ingredients in you frosting. It helps to offset how incredibly sweet this frosting is and adds some depth to the flavor. If you use salted butter in this recipe you can omit the salt or add only a pinch to 1/4 tsp.
Water or Milk- you may omit these all together if you find the consistency of you icing to be where you'd like. You may add more water or milk to thin your icing to a desired consistency. Frosting consistency is the most important part of cake decorating and often determines the success of any dessert decoration. Stiff for most flowers like roses, medium for most applications-- icing a cake or piping borders. Thin for fine line and writing on a cake. the difference between each consistency can be the difference of only 1/2 tsp of water or milk. Add sparingly.