Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cooking With The Girls Tutorial: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I have a confession to make -

I used to use store-bought frosting.

Phew - it feels good getting that off my chest! I feel like a new woman!

But seriously, homemade frosting is comparable or cheaper to make than store-bought frosting, and even if it cost just a little bit more to make it would still be worth it because it is SO. DANG. GOOD. It will put your store-bought frosting to shame and you will wonder why you never made your own before. Really, have you ever compared the flavor of canned cream cheese frosting to homemade? You will never buy store-bought again!! {My one exception is Funfetti frosting - I just can't seem to recreate the awesomeness of those little rainbow colored goodness!}

This past weekend was my son's 4th birthday. I usually let me kids scour the internet for pictures of a cake they want me to make, and I try to appease them with my substandard cake decorating skills. Usually they turn out decent (I try not to compare mine to the pictures my kids find!) but this time my son wanted a "treasure chest"cake. Sure. No problem.

It didn't turn out exactly like the picture, but really, who cares! The frosting was delicious, and when your frosting is delicious no one remembers what your cake looked like!
Your ingredients. The shortening will help the frosting keep its shape.
Cream the butter and shortening together.
Mix in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder a little at a time, scraping the sides so it all gets incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until creamy.
My treasure chest cake! The frosting is so good, and even though I'm no professional cake decorator, it sure helped being able to stuff all that candy to hide the mistakes!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
by Celeste - Girls in Aprons

*This recipe makes 6 cups of frosting, which is a little more than you'll need for a two-layer cake or if you are piping frosting on 24 cupcakes (piping always uses more frosting than if you are just spreading some on with a knife). It is easily halved to 3 cups if needed (or you could make 6 cups and eat the leftovers).

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening (I used Crisco butter-flavor)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder if I can find it)
4 cups powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
4 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Start by creaming your butter and shortening together. Cream it to death. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time (or you will have a huge white mess in your kitchen). Add cocoa a little at a time, scraping the edges often. Add milk and vanilla and mix until creamy. Refrigerate leftovers. It spreads best when at room temperature.

Hint: To make it fudgier add 1 to 2 cups of hot fudge topping. Mix to combine.

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