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Author Notes: A yummy frosting that starts with pastry cream, it's great for filling cupcakes (even doughnuts!) and for filling "naked cakes". —Erin McDowell
Makes about 4 cups
For the pastry cream:
- 9 1/2 ounces (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) whole milk
- 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) cornstarch
- 4 ounces (about 2 large) eggs
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the final buttercream:
- 1 pound (2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces (1 cup) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a small pot, bring the milk and half of the sugar to a simmer over medium heat. While the milk heats, whisk the remaining sugar with the cornstarch. Place the eggs in a medium, heat-safe bowl.
- When the milk is hot, whisk the sugar/cornstarch mixture into the eggs to fully combine. Gradually add the milk to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Don't dump the milk in too fast, or you risk scrambling the eggs!
- Return the mixture to the pot and cook until the mixture comes to a boil—large bubbles should emerge from the center of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a shallow bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap. Chill the pastry cream in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Transfer the cooled pastry cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip for 1 to 2 minutes, to aerate. While the mixer is running, gradually add room temperature butter in 1/2-tablespoon chunks. Continue adding and mixing until all of the butter is added and the buttercream is light and smooth.
- Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla, mix to combine. The buttercream can be used immediately or refrigerated in an airtight container.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
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