If I did a lot of frosting, this would be my go-to frosting. It’s good on cakes and cupcakes, but, of course, I’ve most recently used it to decorate Christmas Sugar Cookies. I was so happy with it there, that I don’t know why I never did such a thing before!
This is a very simple frosting, known as “buttercream” in the book from which I adapted it. While I’ve seen other frostings called buttercream, this is what I usually think of when I’m looking for buttercream. The recipe below makes a fairly small quantity, but it can be easily doubled (and then used to frost a layer cake). It’s sweet and easy to spread when at room temperature, and lasts quite a while in the refrigerator if you don’t want to use it all at once.
I think this frosting could be flavored just about any way you like with different flavored extracts or liqueurs. You could also add cocoa powder or melted chocolate to make a rich chocolate frosting. Citrus juice or instant coffee crystals would also be good additions. Of course, the plain frosting can be tinted with food coloring as desired as well.
I loved this frosting plain and simple on my Christmas cookies. I decorated them with pretty sprinkles on top the frosting (I put mini M&Ms on some, too). The toppings will stick well to the frosting when it’s first applied, then will hold on as the frosting dries ever so slightly (it stays light and fluffy if the cookies are well wrapped). This quick and easy, creamy, sweet frosting is just the thing to make simple cookies into festive treats for the holidays.
Simple Butter Frosting
Adapted from Pillsbury: The Complete Book of Baking
This recipe is easily doubled.
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until very well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Add the milk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Refrigerate any unused portion.