For cupcakes. I'm partial to cream cheese but don't have a good recipe.
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Found this on All Recipes.com but couldn't find a link tonight. This is easily convertible for dairy allergies if necessary.
1 c. butter
1 1/2 t. vanilla
5 c. powdered sugar
2-3 T milk (if using non-dairy milk, stop at 2 T)
Cream butter, vanilla, and salt (if using). Add sugar 1 c. at a time, beating at medium speed. Add milk 1 T at a time and beat on high until blended.
Notes: can be mixed well by hand =) (as I did the other night out of necessity). If making non-dairy, use Fleishman's Unsalted sticks and your non-dairy milk sub of choice. I use vanilla rice milk, which gives it a bit more sweetness, but I don't cut back on the sugar. I never put salt in it (yuck) and it turns out fine every time.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
I like the Cook's Illustrated cream cheese frosting - they add a little sour cream to give it a bit of tang.
8 ounces cream cheese , softened but still cool
5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4cups confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 ounces)
It's easiest to make in a food processor if you've got one. You process all ingredients but the sugar until combined (5 seconds or so.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugar, and process again for about 10 seconds. Otherwise use the mixer with the whisk attachment and essentially follow the same process, though mix for 30ish seconds the first time, and a minute the second.
Cream cheese frosting:This makes a fairly large batch.16oz cold cream cheese4oz (1 stick) unsalted butter firm, not too coldPinch of salt1lb powder sugar1 tsp vanillaBeat cream cheese, butter & salt on low for a minute... Increase to med for 2 minutes. Reduce to lowest setting and add powder sugar. Add vanilla. This is a nice, dense frosting. If too thick, add a bit of milk.
Strawberry frostingEveryone seems to love my cupcake frosting and this is super simple. It's basically the "buttercream" recipe on the back of the c&h powder sugar box, but tweaked a bit. 1 to 1.25 lb powdered sugar1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter1/4+ cup puréed strawberries*Pinch of salt1.5 tsp vanillaCombie in stand mixer. Start on low/stir until incorporated (so sugar doesn't fly everywhere), increase to med-high and mix for 5 minutes. (after two or three minutes, check to see if you need to add a bit of milk if too stiff (a teaspoon or two at a time) or more powder sugar.)*I thaw frozen strawberries and purée with my hand blender.
How about an avocado based creamy icing? Mix an avocado or two with icing sugar.
Alternatively, a coconut cream frosting (http://www.abc.net.au/local/recipes/2010/10/15/3039107.htm)