This is pretty much the basic buttercream that your mother made. (Yes, even my Chinese mother made this...because it's printed on just about every package of powdered sugar.*)
I only made a few minor tweaks and doubled the recipe. Plus, I think the important part about a good buttercream is technique. You shouldn't just plop it all together and mix...especially when you start to deviate from the basic recipe. Trust me, separated frosting is just not appetizing.
*BTW, I just looked on a package of C&H powered sugar and instead of the traditional stick of butter they suggest a 2/3 stick. WTF! This is called "Buttercream" for a reason.
- 2 pounds powdered sugar (a.k.a. 2 boxes)
- 2 sticks butter, softened (a.k.a. 1 cup)**
- about 1/2 cup half & half or milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 pinches of salt
- **if your butter is still cold, you can nuke it -- one stick at a time -- in the wrapper for 10 seconds.
- ***or frosts about 2 dozen cupcakes
With your mixer, cream the butter for about 2 minutes.
Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dry ingredients. Once incorporated, add splash of the wet ingredients -- just enough to get the texture to your desired frosting consistency. (I usually start with the vanilla then follow it with the cream.)
Repeat until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the frosting is at your desired textured.
Spread on your cake or eat it straight off the mixer blade.
NOTE: You may not use all your cream/milk...and that's okay. :o)