Crazy Aunt Lindsey does birthday parties.
This weekend, I helped a gorgeous girl named Simone usher in her 9th year with 9 friends and the best of #STEM in a garage Fab Lab Birthday Playdate. I brought plain cupcakes with me, we did the Fab Lab Emulsion Science project together, and then I did something totally new (for me that is). I took the resulting butter and buttermilk, added it to some powdered sugar and vanilla extract and VOILA! Your girl made cake icing.
Science made the cupcakes, too, but that’s a project/recipe for another day. Below, you’ll find my adaptation of Two Sisters Crafting’s Best Buttercream Frosting recipe and the science behind everybody’s favorite friend, butter.
Buttercream Cake Icing Recipe
4c. Powdered Sugar
1c. Butter (ours is unsalted. if store bought, make sure it’s softened)
1-2 TBSP Buttermilk (regular milk, cream, or half and half also works)
2-3 tsp. Vanilla Extract (or as healthy a splash as you like! I go ham on mine 🙂
First of all, you’re not going to mess this up. I’m not much of a baker and have NEVER done this before and it still came out perfectly.
Easy Version: Toss all four ingredients above into a bowl, blend with an electric hand mixer for about 1.5-2 minutes on low until well incorporated. Then on medium/medium-high until smooth, fluffy, and fabulously frosting like. Done. (yes, you can do this without an electric hand mixer…but don’t.)
Slightly More Involved Version: Measure and pour your powdered sugar into a big bowl. Don’t bother sifting the powdered sugar, but use an electric hand mixer on low for a few seconds to break up the lumps if you want. Add your butter and mix on low until well incorporated. I had more than 1 cup of butter since 9 girls shook about 1/4 cup of butter out of heavy cream each, so I added more butter as I went along for a total of about 2.5 cups. I think this helped make the recipe slightly less sweet which I preferred – don’t be afraid to wing it!
Once all my butter was whipped up, I added one tablespoon of buttermilk at a time to the mixture while still mixing on low. When I thought it was time (30 seconds later?) I cranked the speed of the mixer up to medium, then medium high and mixed for about 2-4 minutes. I then doused my beautiful concoction with a health splash of vanilla extract and went for a few seconds more. I tasted it. My socks where knocked off. And I was done.
I gave each girl a small bowl, her own whisk, and a drop of whatever color food coloring they chose and let ’em go to town. They then frosted a sprinkled until their hearts content and the world was good. Here’s the one the Birthday Girl, herself, made just for me.
So friggin cute.
To Make The Butter + Buttermilk