Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
This is not the familiar Buttercream made with either egg whites or egg yolks, nor is it as refined as classic Buttercream. This is an easy Buttercream frosting that is a quick and delicious alternative to the classic; less temperamental, not too sweet, and undeniably as creamy and luscious as the best whipped cream.

Don’t be put off by the thought of adding a flour mixture to a frosting recipe. The flour and milk is cooked, as in a thick white sauce, removing any raw flour flavor. In fact there is no taste of flour at all, but instead the most delicious frosting you have possibly ever tasted.

This makes about 6 cups of frosting, enough to generously fill and frost a 9 inch layer cake or frost at least 2 dozen cupcakes. Leftover frosting may be refrigerated.
Recipe type: Frosting
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Recipe Notes
Equipment: Electric Mixer Method: Stovetop Storage: Refrigerate or Freeze

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Ingredients
Frosting (Makes about 6 cups or enough for 24 to 30 cupcakes):
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Or
Frosting (Makes about 4 cups or enough for 16 to 24 cupcakes):
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 1⅓ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Or
Frosting (Makes about 3 cups or enough for 12 to 15 cupcakes):
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
Frosting:
  1. In a medium heavy saucepan, add the flour, and using a wire whisk, slowly whisk in the milk, whisking until the sauce is smooth and free of lumps. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Boil and whisk for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature, or a tepid temperature. While cooling, whisk frequently to keep the sauce smooth. Tip: If the sauce is too warm when added to the creamed butter mixture it will melt the butter. If the sauce is too cold it will not blend smoothly.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the butter and sugar when the sauce is almost cooled to the right temperature, In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking about 3 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  3. Gradually add the cooled sauce, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating about 20 seconds between each addition. Add the vanilla and continue to beat for another 1 to 2 minutes to thoroughly blend and the frosting is somewhat fluffy.
  4. The frosting should be used immediately, or refrigerate until needed.