- Makes about 3 cups
This buttercream, in my opinion, is one of the most under-utilized. A bit “old-fashioned,” it was sort of discarded largely by home cooks in favor of the much simpler American buttercream. But pudding-style frosting provides so many options; it’s great for making exciting flavors, like dark chocolate, caramel, or butterscotch: Just start with the pudding and go from there. In general, you will want your pudding for buttercream a bit thicker than you might for just eating, so if you’re using a favorite recipe, up the starch by 5 to 10%.
—Erin Jeanne McDowell
(1 cup) whole milk
(1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar, divided
1 1/2 ounces
(1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
(1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons
- In a small pot, bring the milk (or other liquid) and half the sugar to a simmer over medium heat. In a small heat-safe bowl, whisk the remaining sugar and flour to combine.
- When the milk is hot, pour a small amount into the flour mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pot of milk and whisk thoroughly. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the mixture comes to a boil—large bubbles should emerge from the center of the pot.
- Remove the pot from the heat and transfer to a shallow bowl. Cover directly with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Transfer the cooled pudding to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip for 1 to 2 minutes to aerate. With the mixer 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 vanilla and mix to combine. The buttercream can be used immediately or refrigerated in an airtight container.