My favorite thing to make with my Kitchen Aid mixer is homemade buttercream! I’ve tried so many different recipes, tools and methods until I finally found a combination that I liked. I killed a cheap hand mixer trying to make buttercream during my first few attempts. I went and bought a nicer one with more power but honestly nothing matches the power of my Kitchen Aid Mixer. For my basic Vanilla Buttercream I use a variation of the fluffy buttercream recipe from the cooking classy website. I love this buttercream! I use it on every type of cake possible.
Here is my version of the recipe
1 ½ cups of unsalted butter i.e. 3 sticks at room temperature
32 ounce bag of powdered sugar i.e. 4 cups
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Almond extract
up to 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
I use the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer when making buttercream. First I whip the butter. The cooking classy recipe is the only one that recommended whipping the butter and I must say it makes a HUGE difference. Whip the butter for about 7 minutes until it is almost white. I personally think the sugar blends better when it’s mixed this way.
A good example of “whipped butter”. My kitchen lighting is horrible so it looks yellower then it actually was.
Then I add the powdered sugar in increments. Add about ¼ of the bag or 1 cup and then blend. Repeat until almost all of the powdered sugar is mixed in. I keep a little extra for the next step as a “just in case”. In between make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and scrape the bottom of the bowl. Little amounts of powdered sugar tend to get trapped under there in my machine.
Then I add the almond extract and vanilla Extract. Do not forget the almond extract. It is a must! Ever since my wedding cake baker told me that was her secret ingredient, I don’t make any buttercream without it.
Finally I add a 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream at a time. If you like more of a whipped consistency with butter cream, add all 3 tbsps. I prefer a more traditional buttercream. If it becomes a little too “whipped” I add the last little bit of powdered sugar to even it out. Again, if you like whipped buttercream add all of the heavy whipping cream and continue whipping until it is the consistency you like.
Kind of messy but that’s how it looks in the end!
The finished product, Vanilla Buttercream (with red food coloring)
Few other things
-When I am not going to use the buttercream right away I keep it in the refrigerator. It tends to keep well for a few days. I leave it out until its room temperature before applying it to cakes. This recipe creates a great buttercream that is easily spread on cakes when it’s at room temperature. I also leave leftovers in the fridge and snack on it.
-I added a little bit of cream cheese the last time because I was making a red velvet cake. I am fan of the more sugary cream cheese icing so I only added a few spoonfuls from the small container of Philadelphia Cream Cheese after mixing all of the other ingredients, it came out great. I did notice that after adding the cream cheese my buttercream looked more like what I like to call whipped buttercream.
Buttercream after the cream cheese was added. Looks different doesn’t it??
And my final cake with the cream cheese version of the icing! Again my kitchen lighting is horrible just know it looks better in person, LOL.
-I use real butter and not Crisco when I make buttercream. The Crisco version is more like faux fondant and I imagine you can mold it better than regular buttercream. Problem is that this version is very greasy and many recipes even have you add imitation butter flavoring to get the real butter flavor. I prefer real butter.
– Also if you like that salty sweet contrast, salted butter is a good way get that taste. I prefer pure sweetness so I stick to the unsalted.