Today brings good things on this little blog! 1) a recipe for The Best Homemade Vanilla Frosting & 2) A FUNtastic report on my son’s birthday! YAY times two! 🙂
First let’s start with the recipe! This traditional vanilla frosting is made with a mixture of butter and shortening…so yeah…It’s most definitely not healthy (it is gluten-free though! LOL)! But life is about balance, (#amiright?!) and baking for people is an expression of love. Not everything that comes out of my kitchen is perfectly healthy, and that’s ok! I have lots (and lots) of special occasion treats I will share with you…recipes that are good for the heart and soul. Recipes I’ve collected or created out of my desire to share great food with people I love…and this frosting recipe is one of them!
This frosting comes together in less than 5 minutes and is super crazy easy! Seriously, there’s no reason to buy frosting at the store again…ever. You start by creaming together your butter and shortening. Then you add your vanilla & salt (don’t forget the salt!) and mix well. Then comes your powdered sugar! Add it slowly (1-2 cups at a time) and cream until well combined. It should look like this…a little clumpy & lumpy.
Next you add your milk and the magic happens. It goes from clumpy & lumpy to luscious and smooth. Perfect for frosting and decorating any cake! TIP…keep frosting at room temperature if you plan on using it to decorate a cake. Cold frosting is NOT easy to pipe…not at all.
Once your frosting is well-mixed and has reached your desired consistency, you can add food coloring (if you need some color). I like to separate mine into smaller bowls to make different colors. I highly recommend using gel food coloring instead of the liquid variety. Always save some pure white just in case!
This is THE best vanilla frosting. No joke. Every person who tries it always says it’s absolutely delicious…even if they’re “not a frosting person” (shame on them). I love that it not only tastes great but it’s also excellent to decorate with. The mixture of shortening and butter makes it easy to pipe…plus it hardens beautifully!
Once you’ve decorated your cake (the Wilton 1M tip is my absolute favorite), you can toss in the refrigerator so that the frosting hardens quicker. However, we are a room-temperature cake-eating family, so if I do decide to put it in the fridge I make sure to take it out at least 2 hours before serving. TIP: I always freeze my cakes before I frost them! It keeps the crumbs from mixing into your frosting and making it look…well..not pretty! 🙂
This makes a ton of frosting…but it freezes exceptionally well! Even if I know I only need half of the recipe I still make the whole batch so that I can have some on hand in the freezer! When you’re ready to use it remove from freezer and let it come to room temperature (do NOT microwave!!!). Then go about your frosting business as usual.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup shortening
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla*
- 1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar (about 7.5-8 cups)
- 1/3 cup milk
- Cream together butter and shortening until smooth.
- Add salt and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Slowly add powdered sugar 1 or 2 cups at a time until your mixture is thick and a little lumpy (you can always add more later).
- Add milk and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
- If necessary, add more powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
- Use to frost your favorite cakes, cookies and cupcakes!**
*As you can see, my frosting isn’t pure white. This is because I used vanilla extract that is brown. If you want a whiter frosting, use clear vanilla. **If you plan to decorate with this frosting please keep it at room temperature. Cold frosting does not pipe well (or at all)! If you’d like to add color, simply mix it in after your frosting has reached your desired consistency! I usually decorate cakes the night before and let them set up in the fridge. Then I remove from the fridge at least 2 hours before serving so they can come to room temperature.
***This makes a TON of frosting! If you don't use it all you can freeze it to use for later!
This is my son’s birthday cake. As you can see…momma took the easy way out and chose to decorate with figurines instead of frosting. My rockstar of a hubby drew the “Star Wars” on the cake freehand (great job baby)! I just tried to make the frosting as smooth as possible and piped a ring of flowers around the bottom.
Truth be told, we had family in town and I didn’t want to spend hours decorating a cake. PLUS, my little guy is only three. Dude won’t remember this cake anyway, but he will play with those star wars figurines every.single.day.
We had an absolute blast celebrating my little man! We always hang streamers from the stairway so our kids get to make a grand entrance when they wake up in the morning.
The day started with waffles & presents. Then a trip to a dinosaur museum followed by our first ever family train ride! It was so much fun watching my boy soak it all in. Then, per his request, we had tacos and cake for dinner. At night Gabe played with all his new toys and we relaxed after a long day of fun! It truly was an amazing celebration, perfect for my little guy!
I hope you all celebrated “May the 4th” be with you yesterday! You know we did in my house!
Super important question…do you chose chocolate or vanilla cake for your birthday celebration? My daughter & hubby always choose vanilla, my son picked chocolate, and mommy chooses brownies. 😉
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