Even though I did make my Grandmama boxed cupcakes, I did make awesome, homemade frosting to go on top. Chocolate buttercream. And really the name says it all: it’s chocolate and it’s butter. And cream and sugar. For some reason, I was slightly intimidated by it, maybe hearing it when I watch cooking shows or competitions and thinking it was some long and involved process. Not so at all.
I’d never made buttercream before, but it is really simple and the results are worth the few minutes it takes to make it. And by “worth it” I mean, as opposed to opening a jar of frosting-you know, the accompanying B-Crocker kind that they so cleverly market together. First just sift powdered sugar and cocoa together. Even if the sugar bag says “sifted” re-sift the sugar and cocoa together to get all the lumps out. The frosting is supposed to be really smooth, and this is the first step to making sure that happens. The next is beating beating beating.Cream the sugar (beat it vigorously for a few minutes, or better yet have the standing mixer do it for you) then slowly (I repeat: slowly) add in the sugar/cocoa mixture. If you dump it in all at once, or throw the mixer back on high you will end up wearing your chocolate sugar. Which may not be an entirely bad thing, but probably not the goal when making frosting. It will look clumpy and you might be distressed that this is not the way beautiful frosting should look-I was. But no worries, it will all be just fine, it just takes patience, and not even much of that.When those are all incorporated, clumpy though it may be, add salt and vanilla-or almond-extract. Then dribble in cream/milk/half and half and beat the heck out of it for 3 minutes. It will seem like an eternity to have the mixer on that high for those 3 minutes, but trust me, just do it. Time it if necessary. This beating is what makes it fluff-ily smooth.Voila! Beautiful and delicious frosting to adorn whatever screams for a rich and thick coating of creamy chocolate. Which you may find happens more frequently than you thought possible.Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
2 sticks of softened butter (NOT melted. Soft.) 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup cocoa 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 4 tablespoons milk or cream
Pipe, spread, or lick off the spoon as necessary:)