butter based icing, 5 ways

This post is going to be quick and dirty. Maybe I’m letting my freak flag fly a little bit here, but I believe there are few things more pleasurable than a simple buttercream. I’m too much of a prude to name those few things but you probably have a good imagination.Scan0001

The book, thankfully, has several variations on the classic frosting. On three pages in a row. Hallelujah! While I use my fancy colored post-its to flip through the book again and separate the wheat from the chaff ( like the Dutch apple pie and Rugelah from the peanut butter soup and “impossible’ bacon pie), I’m going to put these beauties up for you. If the phrase “homemade icing” makes you a bit jumpy, don’t fret. I promise, it’s simple! For some great tips on preparing yummy buttercream, I found this list from Polka Dot Socks.  From classic buttercream to a decadent mocha icing, these recipes are straightforward and timeless and are sure to taste great on your cakes, cupcakes and brownies- homemade or not.


Note: While the instruction on the following recipes is vague, I find that this type of writing was common of the time because women were more apt to know the basics and use these recipes to riff on a classic and share. I never saw my grandmother use a stand mixer, either. Everything was done by hand with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer.  You can follow along by beating your butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes until combined. Add your wet ingredients and beat until fluffy, watching closely so that the mixture doesn’t separate.

 From Pickle’s Blue Book

Basic Butter Icing

2 1/2 tbsp soft butter
1 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cream
3/4 tsp vanilla

Blend butter and sugar together.  Stir in cream and vanilla until smooth. Makes icing for 4 dozen. [ 4 dozen whats? Who knows…]

Marie’s Chocolate Icing

1 tbsp butter
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 cup sifter confectioners sugar

Melt butter and chocolate over hot water. Beat in confectioners sugar until icing spreads loosely

Mocha Butter Icing


2 1/2 tbsp softened butter
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp powdered instant coffee or brewed coffee, cooled
1 tbsp hot water if using instant coffee

Blend butter and sugar together. Stir in coffee. If icing is too thick, add water or milk

Browned Butter Icing

2 1/2 tbsp soft butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp cream
3/4 tsp vanilla

Follow the above instructions for Butter Icing except brown your butter in a saucepan over medium heat until delicate brown. Blend with sugar.


Peanut Butter Icing

  • 2 tbsp chunk style peanut butter
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Stir [blend] all ingredients together until creamy.









One response to “butter based icing, 5 ways

  1. Reblogged this on Cukoos Nesting and commented:
    I posted this back in June on my recipe page dedicated to my grandmother. Enjoy!

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