Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Accidental Frosting

The Accidental Frosting

At first glance, it looks like meringue buttercream or whipped white chocolate ganache, maybe even cream cheese frosting - but it's not. I was experimenting in the kitchen (as always) and made this by accident. It was one of those days when my multitasking got the best of me and for a moment, I forgot what I was doing (oh yeah, I'm not perfect, what's new?). I measured the wrong amount of milk or butter or something (I can't even remember anymore) and voila! I made a frosting that looked smooth like meringue buttercream, but it was made with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk, just like classic buttercream. It was not as sweet as classic buttercream but the mouthfeel was almost as silky as meringue buttercream.

After making this "hybrid" several more times, I decided to add whipping cream to lighten it up a bit. I've used this to cover cakes, pipe borders and scrollwork and make swirls on top of cupcakes. I LOVE meringue buttercream (Swiss method because it's the easiest to make and doesn't involve hot sugar), but it's nice to have this as an alternative when I need something that doesn't involve cooking egg whites.

Hybrid Buttercream Frosting
Allergy Note: contains dairy

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 1 cup cold whipping cream

Beat the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract at low speed until combined. Slowly add the warm milk. It will separate at first, but don't worry - give it a few minutes and it will start coming back together. Increase the speed a little to whip it up a bit. Slowly pour in the cold whipping cream. Whip for a few more minutes and it should start to look smooth. It may curdle or separate again when you pour in the whipping cream, but give it some time and it will smooth out again.

Here are some cakes I've made where I used this hybrid buttercream.

Jason's 3rd Birthday Cake

Macie's Birthday Cake - Side 2

Julliette's Cake - sides



Jody's Baby Shower Cake
Curious George Cake

38 comments:

Cakes By Shara said...

Fabulous post!

Anonymous said...

Hello from Australia!
Thankyou for sharing your frosting recipe, it looks fantastic!
May I ask what nozzle you used to create that beautiful swirl please? I love it!

Art of Dessert said...

Hi Australia! I used an Ateco Closed Star/ French Star Pastry Tip. It comes as a set of 10 and I like to use the #844 and #845 size.

Couture CupCakery said...

I am going to try this recipe. Thanks

Anne said...

Everything here is so stunning! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

Susan said...

It doesnt mention how much powdered sugar...how much did you use ? Thank you...

Art of Dessert said...

Ooops! Thanks for catching that. I used 2 cups of powdered sugar :)

I dream of Cakes said...

Your cakes are so original and beautiful!
I can'wait to try some of your recipes especially this frosting. Only one question, does it crust at all? Or do you thinkadding a little crisco would change it to much to make it crust?
Thank you for sharing you talent!

Art of Dessert said...

Hi I dream of Cakes! No, this isn't a crusting type of frosting, but you can try replacing some of the butter with butter-flavored crisco and adding a bit more powdered sugar to get it to crust.

The Food Librarian said...

Wow! This looks great. Could you tell me if I should use the paddle of my KitchenAid or the whisk attachment?

Art of Dessert said...

Hi The Food Librarian! I used the whisk attachment on mine :-)

Christie said...

The piping on that cupcake is perfect! I came through via Foodgawker, I just couldn't resist clicking on that pic!

Such an easy recipe too. I'm looking forward to trying it. Thanks for the inspiration.

Christie @ Fig & Cherry

Joeli said...

Frosting looks great! Do you remember how to make it without the whipped cream? Could I just increase the milk to 3/4c?

Art of Dessert said...

Thanks for stopping by Christie! Let me know if you like it :-)

Hi Joeli! The original recipe is just minus the 1/4 cup whipping cream. You can start with 1/2 cup milk and then add a little bit more if you want.

Giorgie said...

the BEST buttercream i've ever came across!!! yayy! i'm glad i found you!

it has a name now for me...

Rianne's Buttercream!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you ever refrigerate this icing? If so, how do you recommend bringing it back to normal consistency after it has been in the fridge?

Anonymous said...

I looks beautiful on that cupcake! Can it be frozen?

Art of Dessert said...

Yes you can refrigerate or freeze this frosting. To bring it back to normal consistency, let it soften to room temperature. You can whip it up a little bit if you want once it has softened.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Thanks for sharing your recipe, can't wait to try it. By the way, does this Hybrid Buttercream Frosting need to be refridgerated as it has dairy ingredients? Thanks.

autumn klare said...

Hello !

Beautiful cakes and a tasty recipie, however we found that the frosting was rather thin. So we added more powerderd sugar, we followed your directions exactly. Could we have done somthing wrong?

Thank you for sharing!!

Art of Dessert said...

Hi Autumn Klare! Hmmm...the frosting may have gotten too warm from mixing too long. You can let it cool in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes and then whip it up again.

djavellana said...

Hello, will the icing hold its shape even if the cupcakes have been sitting out for 3-4 hours? I am worried that it will soften and melt.
Thanks.

Art of Dessert said...

Hi djavellana! Because I only use butter in this recipe, this buttercream frosting does not hold up well in hot weather. It would probably hold up for one hour, maybe two, before it will soften. In temperate weather, it will hold up longer.
You can try replacing 1/4 cup of the butter with shortening to help it hold up better, but it will affect the taste slightly.

Contact details said...

How long can this icing be left at room temperature?

Art of Dessert said...

I wouldn't leave it out at room temperature for more that two hours. Then again, I don't think you'll have much cake left by then :-)

swt_tooth said...

Help! I tried to make this buttercream but it isn't stiff enough to hold its shape even immediately after whipping. This was even before I tried to add cream. Could this be because the milk was too hot? I microwaved it, hoping it could dissolve the icing sugar so I don't get that powdery feel. However, the buttercream still has that feel- how can I make it creamier?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if you can give me the equivalent wilton tip of Ateco #845 or #846... Cheers!

Art of Dessert said...

The closest thing would be a Wilton 1M Star Tip (#2110)

Zain said...

Is this a good frosting for a MM fondant covered cake? My friend wants a whipped cream frosting, but that doesnt work with fondant so I am looking for a compromise that is light, not too sweet but strong enuogh for MM fondant. What do you think?

suma said...

You have a beautiful blog here, love ur recipes and the the way u beautify your cakes with swirls. Tried ur egg free pancakes and kids loved it!!

Would this frosting hold its shape at room temperature? I need to make cupcakes for a celebration at kids' school..

Art of Dessert said...

Hi Zain! This frosting will hold up better than whipped cream frosting, so it will work with MM fondant. You can put the cake in the fridge first and let the frosting set before covering it with fondant.

Thank Suma! This frosting will hold its shape at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending on the weather. You can try replacing 1/4 of the butter with vegetable shortening to help it hold its shape longer.

SweetToothTherapist said...

Lovely looking swirl - I'd love to know how to do it! Also, does the warm milk and cream make a much firmer frosting than just milk? Just wondering, for time's sake. Thanks a bunch for sharing this.

Art of Dessert said...

Actually, the cream gave the frosting the lightness that I was looking for. If you want a firmer frosting, you can just omit the cream :-)
As for the swirl, I start at the center, then go out towards the edges of the cupcake and then work my way inward till I'm back at the center.

mjkids said...

The Icing is wonderful! Can you add coco to it to make chocolate?

Art of Dessert said...

Thank you! You can reduce the powdered sugar to 1 1/4 cup and then add 1/4 cup cocoa powder :-)

Lara said...

What a magnificent discovery!!! Can this icing be frozen and kept for sometime or should you use it immediately?

Anonymous said...

how did u colour the buttercream in gold colour for swrils ?

Art of Dessert said...

I painted the buttercream with a mixture of gold luster dust and vodka (the alcohol evaporates and all that's left is the gold). I let the cake set up in the fridge for a couple hours then used a soft paintbrush to paint over the design. It was a little tricky because the buttercream started to soften in room temperature and i started to drag some buttercream with the paintbrush. Good thing I started at the top and worked my way to the bottom.

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