Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quick & Rich Vanilla Frosting

See the Devil's Food Cake for a photo of this frosting. It's amazing. I will never make another cake-frosting recipe again. Period.

2 T. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar


Stir the cream, vanilla, and salt together in a small bowl until the salt dissolves. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 30-60 seconds. Reduce the speed to medium-low, slowly add the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth, 2-5 minutes. Beat in the cream mixture. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture in light and fluffy, 4-8 minutes.

There's some sweet variations listed in the ATK cookbook, too. If you want the recipe for Dark Chocolate, Coffee, Peppermint, Orange, or Peanut Butter frosting, just comment and I'll add them!

Frosting a Cake...

This may seem silly, but it was really helpful for me to follow when frosting the birthday cake.

1. Dollop a small amount of the frosting in the center of a platter or cake stand to help anchor the bottom layer of the cake to the plate and prevent it from sliding.
2. Lay the first layer in the center of the platter and cover the exposed platter with strips of parchment paper to help keep it clean.
3. Gently brush away any large cake crumbs, then dollop about 1 cup of frosting in the center of the cake. Spread into an even layer right to the edge. A thin, offset metal spatula works really well but I used a butter knife since I didn't have one.
4. Lay the second layer on top, making sure the layers are aligned. Brush away any large crumbs, dollop another cup of frosting in the center, and spread out and slightly over the very edge.
5. Gather a few tablespoons of frosting onto the tip of the spatula, then gently smear it onto the side of the cake. Use gentle motions and don't press too hard or you'll get crumbs in the frosting. Clean off the spatula with paper towels as needed and repeat all the way around the cake. It's okay if this layer isn't smooth.
6. After you've frosted the sides, gently run the edge of the spatula around the sides to smooth out any bumps and the area where the frosting from the top and sides meet. Don't remove the paper strips until you are completely done decorating.