Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Recipe [Anniversary Cake]

My husband, in his infinite wisdom, forbade me to bake my own wedding cake. I am so thankful he knew better than me, because it's a lot of work to go about baking cakes. Especially for a perfectionist who wants them to taste delicious and look like a piece of art.

Rock joined the Air Force the summer before our first anniversary. I moved to Texas days before August 29, and sadly, our wedding cake did not survive that summer transition.
For our fifth wedding anniversary, I made a six inch baby cake for just the two of us [this size is perfect for personal birthday cakes as well]. I made the gumpaste flower inspired by my favorite brown headband in the hotel room. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring food coloring so it was more beige than the deep brown I envisioned.

When it came to the flavor I wanted something simple and elegant. I love homemade yellow cake, especially when I use half cake flour and half regular all purpose flour. The crumb is delicate but not too soft. I've made a lot of coffee and chocolate icings this summer, so I opted for vanilla bean icing. It's light, but packs in a lot of flavor that doesn't come off as too sweet.

My original recipe came from Beautiful Cakes Irresistible Cakes and Cookies by Peggy Porschen. I bought it in the bargain section of Barnes & Noble. I refer to this book very often, it's one of my favorites! If you ever see it, buy it. Trust me.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
Makes 2 1/2 cups

2 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened

1 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted

Pinch of salt

Seeds of one Vanilla Bean

Use the paddle attachment to blend all the ingredients on low until combined, then medium until the icing is light and fluffy.

* In addition to her recipe, I add 1 teaspoon or more of Pure Vanilla Extract, depending on the consistency I need. Her recipe omits it, but I like a strong vanilla flavor so I add it. If you need to stiffen the icing for piping, slowly add more powdered sugar.

I like how Ina Garten always says to find the best vanilla you can afford. I save this recipe for special occasions and am never disappointed. The Vanilla Bean Buttercream is reminiscent of ice cream, especially when you refrigerate the cake before serving!

***** If you live in the Dayton area, I make Baby Cakes for $20- $40 depending on flavor choice and design. *****

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