• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• About 4 cups powdered sugar
• Pinch salt
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 4 to 5 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
1. Cream butter in a mixing bowl. Add about one cup of powdered sugar and salt and beat well. Mix in vanilla and another cup of sugar. The frosting will be thick so add about 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk to make it creamy. Add the remaining sugar along with vanilla powder, if you have it, and another 2 tablespoons of milk, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The frosting should be creamy, but slightly stiff. Add a little more milk if necessary. Beat at high speed until fluffy.
2. Frost the cake immediately or keep frosting covered until ready to use. You can refrigerate this frosting for a couple of weeks but it won’t be as fluffy; allow it to sit at a cool room temperature before using.
Susan Belsinger is a culinary herbalist and author of several cooking and gardening books. Her most recent contribution to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s All-Region Guide is now available in Designing an Herb Garden (Sterling Publishing, 2004).
Click here for the original article, The Queen of Beans: Vanilla Recipes .