Cake. It's my weakness. My phone case right now is an adorable kate spade one that says "eat cake for breakfast" oh those are words to live by, right? :) I could eat a piece of cake everyday and if calories didn't matter possibly every meal. I love it, I have such a sweet tooth and there is nothing better, to my tastebuds, than a good cake with delicious icing. This icing is the best, hands down. Don't even tell me that you buy a tub of icing at the store because I might flick you on the head, why waste the calories on bad icing?! This stuff, this is the good stuff that with some tips you can whip up like a pro and everyone will tell you that you should start your own bakery. Thank me later. :)
I took a cake decorating class a few years ago and the instructor was a former bakery owner and so she imparted her secrets for making perfect icing to her students. The first step is to make sure your butter is soft- sometimes if I don't set it out in time I'll put it in the microwave for 10 or 15 seconds. You then want to beat the heck out of it and make the butter nice and fluffy and smooth. The biggest tip she gave us was that once you add powdered sugar be sure to stay on low speed, a lot of problems occur because people over mix their frosting.
Have you ever used a towel over your Kitchenaid mixer when mixing powdered sugar? Its a great trick- all you do is drape a kitchen towel over the top of the mixer (pictured above) after you add the powdered sugar and you won't get it all over your kitchen. awesome.
Birthday Buttercream Icing
- 1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 2lb bag of powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons almond or vanilla extract
With the paddle attachment on your kitchenaid stand mixer mix your butter until its light and fluffy. Beat it for as fast and as long as you want until it gets to a very smooth consistency. Having your butter at room temperature is very important to get it smooth.
Add half the bag of powdered sugar, the milk and the almond extract to the butter, place a towel over your bowl and mix on low speed. Its very important that once you add powdered sugar you never mix higher than the 1st speed on your mixer.
Once it is all combined add 2 cups more of whats in the bag of powdered sugar. You may need the entire bag, you may not. I like my frosting to be stiff so that when I'm spreading it or piping out it holds its shape. Keep adding powdered sugar until its to your liking and then if it gets too thick add a tablespoon at a time of milk.
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Another trick to know when you are frosting a cake is to never touch your knife or spatula to the cake, plop your icing on and then spread it. Your spatula should only touch the icing, not the cake, which means you won't pick up any crumbs. I also like to dip my offset spatula in hot water while I'm spreading it on my cake because it makes it smoother.