Once you’ve had real buttercream, nothing else is ever good enough. Ever. It’s light, creamy and magically melts in your mouth. It doesn’t at all fit into my ‘healthier’ cooking style but, hey, a girl’s gotta’ have a few crazy good indulgences, right?
Buttercream also solves one of the big problems I’ve had since going refined sugar-free – and that’s decorating cakes and cupcakes. I can make an amazing chocolate frosting, a to-die-for nut-butter frosting. But if I want to make something with some color to it, I’m out of luck unless I opt for a cream cheese based frosting but that always the flavor I want. I have seen some palm shortening-based frostings but any shortening can have the tendency to coat the top of your mouth. Often times they use coconut butter too, which is great if you want a coconut flavor for your frosting. It’s not what I’m going for here. Buttercream solves all of those problems – and it pipes beautifully too.
We celebrate birthdays and half-birthdays with our boys – and we’d had too many chocolate-topped treats lately. So I opted gor this refined sugar-free frosting for Nate’s 3 1/2 birthday shin-dig. He wanted a caboose on his cake – and that’s what he got.
A traditional buttercream uses egg whites, sugar, butter, a pinch of salt, and butter. This recipe is based on Italian buttercream and varies from the traditional slightly but it’s crazy delicious. Because this recipe uses yolks and honey as opposed to egg whites and white sugar, the resulting buttercream is a little darker in color than a traditional recipe. I’d call it a rich ivory.
If you’ve never made buttercream, it’s important to note that you should let each piece of butter incorporate fully before adding the next. At some point, the buttercream will look curdled. I increase the speed a little on my mixer and wait until it smooths out before adding more butter.
You’ll find other recipes like this one in Covered in Honey by Mani Niall. I’ve got every single one of his cookbooks. He’s brilliant in the kitchen. And, y’all, he was writing refined sugar-free recipes 12 years ago. Way before it was cool. If you have a chance, check out his cookbooks. He doesn’t write gluten-free recipes but his ingenious mind will inspire you.
We don’t resist the urge to eat this right off the beaters. It’s a twice a year treat at our house. And we enjoy every last bite.
What’s you’re favorite way to top a cake?