Sunday, October 23, 2011

Professional Style Buttercream Frosting

The other day it was my sister Nemo's 20th birthday.  TWENTIETH I TELL YOU! She's practically old.

For her party, she requested a white cake with real buttercream frosting. As honored as I was that she wanted a Yammie cake instead of a cake from our amazing bakery in town, I was still quite traumatized by the time all was said and done. Firstly because the cupboards were in such disarray that it took me about five hours to find matching cake pans and I never did find the candy thermometer. Secondly because the whole time I was making it, Boots was hanging on my legs, whining, "Yammie, can you pleeeeeeease watch X-Men with me now? I've been waiting for you to get home all day so we can watch it together!"

In case you haven't heard, Boots is my six year old brother. He's pretty much the coolest super jedi transformer ninja spy the world has ever seen. Plus he's an artist.

Anyway, I was like, "Okay, dudeski, first I gotta change out of my workclothes, then I have to frost this and then you can help me take pictures of it, and then we can watch X-Men."

He was quite helpful in the photography department. Well, he got a nice one of the trees anyways.

As I said, he's an artist.

The best part of Nemo's birthday was her birthday present from Boots. First of all was a card that only said, "I hope you have a". I guess he got bored of writing it. Then there were five dollars stuffed in the envelope which he had "found".

" my purse." Mom added.

Then he gave her a really nice ring.

Which he had found on the counter.

"Oh, that was mine." I said, "Uh... happy birthday."

And finally there a was a box of half eaten chocolates. This box also had holes poked in it with a pencil. I guess chocolate needs to breathe too.

Anyways, about this frosting. It's kind of hard to make, but it really is quite phenomenal. It's really creamy and smooth and not too sweet. It's really nice for frosting a cake because it spreads on so smoothly.

Professional Style Buttercream Frosting
From Baking by James Peterson

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
6 egg yolks
1 lb. COLD butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Beat the egg yolks for about 8 minutes until they're more than doubled in size and very pale. 
Meanwhile, heat the water and sugar in a medium sized saucepan on medium high heat. Once the bubbles in the sugar start getting bigger you can start checking the temperature. It needs to be 234º-240ºF on a candy thermometer. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can just take a spoon of it and dip it in ice water to cool it quickly so that you can check it. Once you can form a "soft ball" in your fingers with the syrup, then it's ready. Now, turn on the mixer that you were beating the eggs with and carefully pour a thin stream of the syrup between the beater and the side of the bowl. If you get it on the side it will just harden. Once all the syrup is mixed in to the yolks, just continue beating it until when you touch the bottom of the bowl, it's just slightly warmer than room temperature. Now take a small handful of your cold butter at a time and beat it in with the mixer on full speed. Do not add any more until the last handful is all combined. Beat it all until it's smooth and fluffy. The end.

"Oh my goodness! For me? Twenty candles?! Time sure flies when you're a ninja!"


  1. Your family sounds awesome! And this buttercream looks perfect. :)

  2. love the cake! and of course the buttercream, I've never made a buttercream with egg yolks, is this something I can make ahead of time and refrigerate and then use the next day?

  3. If you make it ahead and refrigerate it for the next day, it will become congealed, but it's not too hard to reconstitute it. Just place the bowl of buttercream over some simmering water for about 20 seconds until a little melted buttercream collects in the bottom of the bowl. Then work the buttercream with the paddle attachment on you mixer until it's smooth. Beat it for at least five more minutes with the whisk attachment on your mixer until it's smooth. Then you should be ready to frost your cake.

  4. 'Time flies when you're a ninja.' That's stinken EPIC!!!! And so is this cake! Love it!

  5. This frosting sounds amazing! For some reason I always have trouble with buttercream that I have to cook. I guess I need to just keep practicing!

  6. HELLO?? Boots is invited to my birthday party next year for sure!!! :)

  7. haha, i can't see the pictures but this is a funny post! Your little brother is too funny!

  8. Beautiful cake and icing. Did you use salted or unsalted butter? With this kind of buttercream, should I keep the cake in the refrigerator or will it be okay sitting in room temperature. We don't have an airconditioned house.

  9. I used salted butter. I think it would probably be safer to keep it in the fridge. It tastes great cold, but if you want to take a chance, it does taste awesome at room temp too!

  10. this is used with egg yolks correct? not egg whites? excited to try this frosting!