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Vanilla Buttercream

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Serves 24 | Prep Time | Cook Time

Why I Love This Recipe

The Big Four: Chocolate-Chocolate, Chocolate-Vanilla, Vanilla-Vanilla, and Vanilla-Chocolate Cuppin' Cakes

I've been in San Diego for the holidays. My mother, who works as an ER nurse, had to work New Years Day and asked me to make some cupcakes for the hospital's buffet celebration. I read somewhere that the most popular cupcake in the world is vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, followed closely by vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. And after that, the same thing but with chocolate cupcakes instead vanilla. So I decided to make two batters, vanilla and chocolate, and two frostings, vanilla and chocolate, and make what I call the "Big Four."

These homestyle-cupcakes are a favorite for a reason. The tried-and-true flavor combination works every time. The vanilla cake was buttery; the chocolate cake was rich and moist; the buttercreams were light and sweet.

Perfect! Who doesn't feel like an eight-year old when eating these?

(P.S: the hospital staff polished off all 48 cupcakes so they must have been good.)

Ingredients You'll Need

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp

5-6 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tsp pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy and lighter in color, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add 4 cups of the sugar and on medium speed, beat until incorporated.

Add milk and vanilla.

On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.

Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. (A good test is to stop the mixer and lift up and invert the beaters. If the frosting stays in place-like stiff peaks-it is ready to spread. I think I only used 1 more cup during this part. )

If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.

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