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Basic Buttercream

Everyone should have a buttercream recipe up their sleeve -- and a little extra to lick from the mixing bowl.

  • yield: Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

      In this step:

Source
Martha Stewart Living, February 2008

Reviews (17)

  • 14 Mar, 2012

    Awesome recipe! (:

  • 14 Mar, 2012

    Awesome recipe! (:

  • 22 Jan, 2012

    I used this with the one-bowl chocolate cupcakes. Very good. The bad part was that my arm got tired mixing in the sugar incrementally. Seems like to took forever (I followed the directions exactly)!

  • 19 Dec, 2011

    love it

  • 10 Jul, 2011

    j8

  • 25 Sep, 2010

    Oops...not muffins, the chocolate chip cupcakes!

  • 25 Sep, 2010

    This is a super easy recipe, but not even close to the best buttercream I've had or made. The powdered sugar doesn't make it grainy but it's not a totally smooth frosting either. it is EXTREMELY sweet...I paired it with the chocolate chip muffins and it's almost too sugary to enjoy.

  • 12 Apr, 2010

    Try a couple tsps. of cream instead of water.

  • 20 Mar, 2010

    I added 1tsp of vanilla and 2-3 tsp of water for consistency. I piped onto cupcakes, definitely enough for 24 cupcakes as I only used about 1/2 for the 12 I did. Also, 4 cups of confectioners sugar to a pound is correct. Also, they have nifty 1lb boxes of confectioners sugar as well.

  • 20 Mar, 2010

    I added 1tsp of vanilla and 2-3 tsp of water for consistency. I piped onto cupcakes, definitely enough for 24 cupcakes as I only used about 1/2 for the 12 I did. Also, 4 cups of confectioners sugar to a pound is correct. Also, they have nifty 1lb boxes of confectioners sugar as well.

  • 14 Mar, 2010

    i think it's 4 cups for confectioner's sugar to the pound...

  • 3 Mar, 2010

    how many cups equal a pound?

  • 28 Feb, 2010

    Where is the chocolate in the recipe? The picture shows chocolate frosting.

  • 25 Mar, 2009

    No liquid??

  • 25 Mar, 2009

    This recipe is delicious! I have received nothing but compliments. And my frosting was very smooth and creamy -- no "grainy" issues.

  • 16 Feb, 2009

    Confectioner's sugar is POWDERED sugar - how did it get grainy???

  • 30 Jan, 2009

    Grainy from confectioners' sugar and I even used less than recipe called for (and sifted it). Not very buttery. Good but not as great as I expected it to be.