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With a month to spare, I have finally completed #3 on my 31 before 32 and made the last of the 12 recipes from my Sweet & Vicious cookbook! There are so many great recipes I still can’t wait to try out, but I am happy to have the ones I “had” to do behind me. Since I’d done a few of the main recipes and a couple of the extracts, I wanted to try something from the back of the book. The frosting area seemed as good as any so I decided to tackle Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
So light and wonderfully fluffy! It made for some very pretty cupcakes.
I took some pictures of the process, just so you’d have an idea of how things were going to look as you went along. I find that sort of thing helpful whenever I’m trying out a new recipe.
The egg white/sugar mixture when I put it on ⇑ and took it off ⇓ the double boiler.
How the meringue looked when it was ready for the butter.
- I think the thing I liked best about this was the sweetness. I like sugar as much as the next pudgy American, but I hate frosting that is sickly sweet. Standard buttercream is easy to make, but usually it’s a bit much and has ruined many a cupcake for me. It’s really nice to have this in my back pocket for future baking.
- This recipe also pipes like a dream; I had wonderful frilly frosted cupcakes with minimal piping bag manipulation, and it held its shape and didn’t dry out overnight.
I went a little crazy at Publix the other day. You see Pillsbury released a special holiday Cinnamon Bun Cake Mix, and I may have bought 3 boxes without even thinking about it. Okay, there was a little thought, but it went something like “Look! Special cinnamon cake! Andy likes cinnamon and cake. I should buy a couple just in case they’re awesome.” Fast forward to me trying to shove the boxes into my all ready jam-packed pantry and realizing that they would be in there forever if we didn’t like them. So, I decided to whip up a batch the week before Thanksgiving, knowing that if they weren’t our cup of tea, I could unload the extra mixes on unsuspecting family members. Plus, it gave me an excuse to try out a frosting recipe from Little City Adventures that I had my eye on.
- 12oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2-4 Tbsp milk
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 2oz can jellied cranberry sauce
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Beat the cream cheese and butter until combined and creamy.
- Add the vanilla and half of the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until combined and creamy.
- Add the remaining confectioner’s sugar and the milk. Beat until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Once combined, continue mixing for at least 3 more minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting.
- I was a tiny bit disappointed that this frosting never got fluffy. I tend to like a “lighter” frosting, but if thick and sinfully rich is your thing, this is the recipe for you.
- While not my ideal texture, flavor-wise this was spot on. The cranberry and orange cut some of the richness, and I found myself eating far more than I should.
- Also, the cake mix was really good. It was very cinnamon-y, and I could even see eating it without frosting. The house smelled amazing while it was baking.
This colorful pastry cream recipe by food blogger Dulce Delight is offered up as an alternative to traditional butter cream frosting. It also has the added benefit of being naturally colored by the berries.
I couldn’t find a written (typed?) copy of the recipe from the video, so below I’ve listed the ingredients and an abridged version of the steps covered in the video. Also, I discovered a new brand of cake mix at the store so I decided to pair it with the blackberry frosting and see how things worked out.
*The cake mix was fine in texture, and it baked up the way it should, but the coconut sugar used to sweeten it left the resulting products tasking less like “golden vanilla” as the box claimed and more coconut.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup berry puree
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- In a pot, combine heavy cream, milk and berry puree, and stir over low heat until it simmers.
- While the mixture is heating, in a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns light yellow. Then stir in cornstarch.
- Once the cream mixture simmers, thoroughly mix a half cup of the heated mixture into the egg mixture (to temper it), then slowly pour the tempered eggs and sugar into the cream, whisking until completely combined.
- Put the pot back on the stove and heat to a boil, allow to boil for three minutes, then remove from heat and pour into a room temp bowl.
- Allow to cool slightly, then carefully place a layer to cling wrap over the top, pressing it gently into the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.
- Cool in the fridge for an hour, and your frosting is ready!
- I am sorry to say that I didn’t like this. I really really wanted to like it too. Beautiful lavender non-butter cream frosting should have been right up my alley, but the flavor was, to me, odd. I can’t be more specific than that; I just tasted it, and it was weird.
- Andy thinks I am crazy; he even asked me not to throw it away so he could eat it with the left over cupcakes. And that from a guy who doesn’t like blackberry.
- You will have to store your frosting in a cool place. I had it out of the fridge for 20 minutes to frost sample cupcakes and take pictures, and it started to soften significantly.
This weekend I finally got around to downloading all of the pictures on my camera. I think the last time this happened was July 2013, so there were quite a few images. Half way through, I found some shots I’d taken of the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes I’d sent to work with Andy back in November. I thought I had posted about these cupcakes already, but since they were no where to be found in the archives, I obviously forgot. The cake recipe is Awesome Chocolate Cake that I use as a base for almost all of my chocolate cupcakes, but the star of these cupcakes is the Peanut Butter Buttercream.
- 4oz full fat or 1/3 fat cream cheese
- 1 stick of butter (soften)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use organic)
- 2-3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream together cream cheese, butter, peanut putter and vanilla extract until smooth.
Slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.
*I didn’t make this recipe up myself, I tweaked one I found online, but when I looked through the notebook I keep all my favorite recipes in, all I could find was the recipe card I wrote the ingredients down on. (Sorry to the original author!)
So to recreate the complete cupcake:
- Make cupcake using the recipe link above. Let the cupcakes completely cool before frosting.
- Make a batch of peanut butter buttercream and frost cooled cupcakes
- Garnish with Reese Pieces.
- Find someone to share with so you don’t eat all the cupcakes yourself.(very important)