Friday, May 11, 2012

Very Basic Powdered Sugar Frosting

I generally like to use Swiss meringue buttercream for cakes and cupcakes.  It’s fluffy, smooth, and not overly sweet.  However, when I’m making them for kids, I like to use a powdered sugar frosting.  Kids tend to prefer the super sweetness of powdered sugar frosting over the more moderately sweetend meringue buttercream.

There are many variations of powdered sugar frosting.  The variations come in the fat used (usually butter and/or shortening), the liquid (usually water or milk), the ratios, and the flavorings.  This is one is about as basic as it gets, with only three ingredients.

One negative thing about powdered sugar frostings is that they are messy.  Even if you start the mixer on low, you’re bound to have some powdered sugar flying around the kitchen.  To keep the sugar dust down, I lay a damp tea towel over the mixer.

If you choose to add flavorings, add them before the liquid.  Though added in small amounts, liquid extracts such as vanilla, peppermint, or almond will add to the total liquid of the frosting.  If you get the proper consistency before adding the flavoring, you may end up with a frosting that isn’t stiff enough for your intended use.

Very Basic Powdered Sugar Frosting
½ c. butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
Boiling water

Beat butter on medium until light and fluffy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well after each addition.  Frosting will be dry.

Light and fluffy butter

Dry after mixing in powdered sugar

Add boiling water a teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.  

Can be refrigerated or frozen.  Bring to room temperature and beat before using.

I recently used this frosting to make the boys’ rocket ship cake for their fourth birthday.  It was my first sculpted cake!!

Keanna and I also made these dirt cupcakes.  We dipped chocolate cupcakes in ganache and Oreo crumbs.

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