'frosting' on Serious Eats

Flour Buttercream

This buttercream is light, fluffy, and delicious. It is made by first cooking a simple pudding made with milk, sugar and flour. Once this pudding base has cooled to room temperature, you add it to beaten butter by the spoonful. The result? A super smooth, light buttercream with a pale ivory color. More

Italian Buttercream

Italian buttercream is creamy, velvety, and delicious. Because it's made with Italian meringue, it's a lot lighter in color than most buttercreams and it looks almost pure white against a dark chocolate cake. It also holds up pretty well in warmer temperatures, so if you're planning a summer party outside, this is your go-to buttercream! More

German Buttercream

This German buttercream is incredibly smooth and delicious. It's made with a custard base, which gives it a natural yellow color. And although this buttercream contains a fair amount of butter and three egg yolks, it is surprisingly light, both in texture and taste. More

Classic American Buttercream

This classic American buttercream is deliciously creamy, super sweet, and incredibly fluffy, and one of the easiest buttercreams to master. It's just a matter of beating softened butter until it's fluffy, adding powdered sugar, cream and a little vanilla and whipping it all together. No cooking required! More

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

My favorite recipe for making sugar cookies with royal icing comes from the venerable Martha Stewart. It's a classic recipe for perfect sugar cookies, the kind that are light and crisp and perfect for decorating. I recommend using brandy or cognac, which adds a butterscotch note to the cookies. More

Sweet Technique: Piping 101

Decorating cakes the way the pros do takes years of dedication and practice, but knowing a few cool tricks can definitely make the difference between a boring cake and a cake that looks elegant and special. With just a basic set of metal piping tips, there are many impressive designs that you can create to jazz up a cake. More

Swiss Buttercream

This recipe is extremely versatile and can be used with any flavored extracts. Or, if you prefer to make a natural vanilla bean buttercream, use the seeds scraped from the inside of a vanilla bean. If your flavoring does not impart color, this recipe is great for adding color too. I recommend gel color instead of liquid food coloring, because it contains less liquid and you don't need much to get the results you want. More

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