When I was a little kid, my mom taught me how to make buttercream frosting. Back then, in the early ’70s, this was just how frosting was made. My Grandma Ruth taught my mom how to make it and she taught me. By the time I was in middle school, we switched to those cans of pre-made frosting that you can buy at the supermarket.
Here are the ingredients in Betty Crocker’s Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting:
Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Water, Wheat Starch, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Contain 1% or Less of Salt, Distilled Monoglycerides, Colored with Artificial Color, Yellows 5 & 6, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Nonfat Milk, Freshness Preserved by Potassium Sorbate (Source)
That’s a whole lotta chemicals to put in frosting! Most alarming, though, is the fact that they’re using partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil. These are not foods; they are industrial waste products.
Hey, I’m not saying frosting is a health food. It isn’t. It’s way too high in sugar. We eat frosting a few of times a year. On birthdays and on Christmas cookies. But if you’re going to eat frosting, you might as well eat a healthier version of frosting.
And oh by the way, it tastes a billion times better! I can’t even eat what most people call buttercream frosting anymore. Not even on a cupcake from a fancy bakery. It’s all made with that crappy soybean oil and it tastes like chemical-laden wax.
Join me in my quest to bring back REAL buttercream frosting! You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make. And I guarantee, you will NEVER go back to the fake stuff.
Please keep in mind that if you use unrefined sweeteners, your frosting will not come out white. If you want white frosting, or you want frosting that you can add food coloring to (for Christmas cookies or a cake), you will want to use refined organic cane sugar. I normally do not recommend white sugar. I use it only for very special occasions because in my mind, it is a non-food.
Coconut sugar or sucanat, or you can use organic cane sugar (3 cups) — where to buy unrefined sweeteners
Butter, from grass-fed cows, raw if possible (1 cup) — where to buy butter
Vanilla extract, homemade if possible (1 tsp) — how to make homemade vanilla extract
Cream, from grass-fed cows, raw if possible (add until you get the consistency you want) — where to find grass-fed cream
1. Put the sugar in the blender. Blend until it is the consistency of powdered sugar. Be sure it’s very well mixed to a fine powder — otherwise, you’ll have grainy frosting.
2. With a handheld mixer or stand mixer, mix together powdered sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
3. Add vanilla and cream by the tablespoon. Continue to beat on medium speed until you get the consistency you want.
4. Use a butter knife or pastry piping bag to decorate cakes or cookies.