Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Buttercreams

Since my birthday fell on the first day of spring break this year, I knew I had lots of time to get creative in the kitchen! I get really excited to bake my own birthday treats, which makes my mom happy. It makes it a lot easier for her to take a break once in a while. Looking through various recipes on Pinterest, I discovered a few delicious sounding recipes for buttercream frostings. I knew I wanted to start with a simple boxed Raley's brand vanilla bean cupcake mix (it was so good!) because vanilla is a good blank slate. I found an easy strawberry buttercream and a salted caramel buttercream. They both use a unique idea of adding no milk for moisture. In the berry frosting, strawberry jam served as the liquid, and in the caramel one, well, caramel was the secret ingredient! Below are the recipes I used, with the only tweak of using regular vanilla extract instead of almond because I had none on hand.

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
¼ cup strawberry jam

In a stand mixer bowl, with the mixer on medium speed, whip the butter for 2 minutes until it is almost white in color. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla , strawberry jam and a drop of red food coloring. Beat on low speed for 3-5 minutes. If the frosting is too stiff for spreading, you can add in a tablespoon more of jam or a tablespoon of milk.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
Caramel (reserve about a tablespoon or 2 for drizzling)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used 1 teaspoon, but I suggest starting low and adding as needed to taste)

For the icing, Combine 3/4 cup softened butter with 2 cups confectioner's sugar and at least a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in a mixing bowl (If you are using salted butter you can omit the salt). Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is fluffy. Slowly add the cooled caramel and mix in until the frosting is smooth. I reserved about a tablespoon of the caramel to drizzle over my iced cupcakes. If piping the frosting, you may need to chill in the fridge for a bit to stiffen.

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