The perfect frosting recipe has eluded me thus far. I have tried several different recipes for buttercream frosting, but HELLO? How hard can it be? Butter, sugar, a little milk, a little vanilla and lots of whipping. I CANNOT make frosting. I’ve tried several times. It all started with the Christmas Gingerbread houses. I promised the Monkey and Puppy that we’d make gingerbread houses, and it seemed that I could definitely make something much tastier than the boxed sets sold at Michael’s. Seriously. I made FOUR batches of frosting that Saturday. I tried butter. I tried margerine. I tried regular granulated sugar. I tried confectioner’s suger. None of them turned “light and fluffy” like the recipes said. I even tried a recipe that involved cooking flour and water to make a paste to add to the frosting. Nothing light and fluffy happened in my mixing bowl. One batch actually started to liquify into little beads of butter when left to warm to room temperature. I broke down and bought a couple of containers of the Duncan Hines frosting.
But a few days ago, I came across these pictures of luscious cupcakes on BunnyCakes that made me swoon with the cuteness of it all. The perfect swirls of frosting on these little cakes. I don’t even like eating cupcakes that much. But my kids love them, and I want to make these luscious little cakes that will be envy of all the moms at preschool. It even made me ecstatic to know that she wasn’t even baking the cake from scratch, but was using boxed cake mixes. My kind of girl! But the most IMPORTANT part was that she shared her secret for the ICING.
Turns out the icing is the recipe used by Georgetown Cupcakes, a gourmet cupcake bakery in Washington, D.C. Their recipe was featured on Martha Stewart and includes using cream cheese for this incredibly smooth frosting. I love cream cheese frosting. So, I will definitely be trying this recipe this weekend and making some cupcakes with boys.
UPDATE: I did definitely try this recipe and it is my go-to recipe for icing. Here’s the recipe which makes enough for about 12 cupcakes.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (I pop mine in the microwave for a few seconds to soften – but not too much!)
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted if you’re fancy and have that kind of time)
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Put all the ingredients into a nice-sized mixing bowl and use your electric mixer to combine all the ingredients until well-combined and smooth. Add food coloring and mix until well-blended and desired color. Paste food coloring works best if you want a vibrant color and it doesn’t affect the consistency of the frosting.
P.S. The BEST boxed cake mix that I’ve used so far is Pillsbury’s Funfetti. The kids love the color spots and it is a soft, moist, yummy cake for less than a dollar per pox. I love this cake, and I don’t even like cake.
Cupcake photos by Bunny Cakes.