Kim Morrison's Real Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
enough frosting for filling and frosting 1 layer cake
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 1/2 pounds butter (6 sticks), softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Special Equipment: candy thermometer
Directions

Mix 3 cups sugar with water in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over high heat until syrup reaches 248 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Watch it closely as it gets close to temperature; it will go quickly at the end.

While syrup is cooking, beat egg whites with 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff but not dry.* (Extra- fine granulated sugar works best). Turn mixer off until syrup is ready.

With mixer running, pour syrup into the egg whites in a thin, steady stream, making sure not to pour directly onto beaters. Be careful, as hot syrup can burn if you. Continue to beat mixture until it is no longer hot.

Allow to cool to room temperature and then beat in the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all is incorporated. (Salted butter works fine. If you are using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste.) The mixture will become thin and may look curdled at first, but will then become smooth as it beats. Lastly, beat in the vanilla all at once. (Use the best vanilla you can find. Artificial and white "vanilla" will ruin the delicate flavor.)

If not using at once, refrigerate the buttercream until needed. It will keep for 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. To use, just bring it back to room temperature and re-beat to restore the texture. If you have trouble with the texture, getting it to room temperature and extra beating are the keys to making it smooth. Enjoy on your favorite cake!

*Cook's Note: It is not advisable to eat raw egg whites due to a risk of salmonella contamination, but in this recipe the egg whites are cooked by the high heat of the sugar syrup.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.


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