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Best Ever American Buttercream {a tutorial} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Creamy, silky, light, never gritty, greasy or oily, melts on the tongue and not too sweet…the perfect American Buttercream frosting for cakes and cupcakes! Learn the secret ingredients and easy technique in our step-by-step tutorial complete with photos. You are going to love this one…it tastes just like it came from an upscale bakery! All-natural, egg and soy free.

Best Ever American Buttercream

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 4½ cups

Description

Creamy, silky, light, never gritty, greasy or oily, melts on the tongue and not too sweet…the perfect American Buttercream frosting for cakes and cupcakes! Learn the secret ingredients and easy technique in our step-by-step tutorial complete with photos. You are going to love this one…it tastes just like it came from an upscale bakery! All-natural, egg and soy free.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (480 grams) 100% pure cane confectioners’ sugar, such as C&H® or Domino®, spooned into cup and leveled off, sifting not necessary
  • ½ cup (120 ml) boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure almond extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) salted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (192 grams) organic palm shortening, such as Spectrum®, at room temperature

Directions

  1. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, place confectioners’ sugar into work bowl. Carefully pour boiling water over confectioners’ sugar in a steady stream with mixer on low speed (stir).
  2. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula, until sugar dissolves, mixture is smooth and cooled to room temperature, about 4 minutes. Add extracts and mix until well blended.
  3. Add butter and shortening and beat on low (stir), scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until creamy and almost fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Gradually increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula, about 10 minutes. (Beating buttercream on low and medium speeds will prevent it from incorporating too much air causing too many air bubbles.)
  5. If desired, tint buttercream with food coloring paste as suggested below in the Recipe Notes section.
  6. Yield: Makes about 4½ cups; enough to fill and frost a 9-inch two layer cake, or 8-inch three layer cake, or 18 to 24 cupcakes—depending on amount used to simply ice cupcakes with a knife or icing spatula (in the traditional manner) or pipe elaborate swirls, or decorate with other piping details.

Recipe Notes

Tips:

If not using immediately, keep bowl covered tightly to keep buttercream from drying before frosting cake or cupcakes.

Buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container. Storing longer than this is not recommended due to the dairy content. Before using, bring to room temperature before beating smooth again.

If using the buttercream to pipe details, be sure to use chilled hands when handling pastry bag as warm hands can easily melt the buttercream.

This buttercream will last for up to 3 days at room temperature when on a frosted cake, covered.

Cook Time above simply means Active Time for preparing buttercream.

Variations:

For Extra Thick Buttercream: Reduce liquid (boiling water) by 2 tablespoons (use only 6 tablespoons versus 8 tablespoons in the ½ cup called for). This will create a less billowy and light buttercream allowing for nice piping details.

For Dairy and Soy Free American Buttercream: Omit butter and use natural butter-flavored palm shortening by Spectrum Organics® by measuring 192 grams or 1 cup to replace the butter. Add a few pinches of salt to water and sugar mixture before adding extracts to compensate for the salt in the omitted salted butter.

For Ultra White American Buttercream: Omit butter and use all palm shortening (2 cups or 384 grams) and add a few pinches of salt to water and sugar mixture before adding extracts to compensate for the salt in the omitted salted butter. Add clear butter flavoring and clear vanilla flavoring of your choice. (This, however, will not make an all-natural buttercream.)

For Rich Vanilla Bean American Buttercream: Reduce pure vanilla extract to 2 teaspoons and add the pulp of one large, plump, split vanilla bean.

For Natural “Crème Bouquet” Flavored American Buttercream: If desired, omit almond extract. Add ¼ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (“Flowers of Sicily” vanilla and citrus flavoring extract) by King Arthur Flour. Alternatively, add fine-quality pure lemon and/or orange extracts, about ¼ teaspoon total, or to taste.

For Natural Tinted American Buttercream: Use favorite colors of all-natural, organic and kosher food coloring pastes such as ChefMaster®. I purchase mine from The Baker’s Kitchen.

Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com