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Buttercream frosting

Let's face it, cupcakes are fun. Familiar, colorful and oh-so-cute, these whimsical little cakes are famous for full-on flavor and mile-high frosting. And don't forget the decorations. Best of all? They're small enough that you don't have to share. It's ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes | Makes about 6 cups, enough for 2 to 4 dozen cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 5 egg whites
  • 3 cups (6 sticks) butter, cubed, room temperature

Step 1In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with one-half cup water and mix together to wet the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until a candy thermometer inserted reads 238 degrees. Immediately remove from heat to stop the cooking process.

Step 2While the sugar is cooking, beat the eggs to soft peaks in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer.

Step 3With the mixer running, beat the sugar syrup into the egg whites to form a meringue and continue beating until the meringue cools to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes. (It is important that both the meringue and butter be at room temperature or the buttercream will separate.)

Step 4With the mixer running, beat in the butter, 1 to 2 pieces at a time, until all of the butter is incorporated. The buttercream can be made and refrigerated, covered, a few days in advance but should come to room temperature before it is used (beat the buttercream once more just before using to make sure it is emulsified).

Note: This recipe works best with a stand mixer; the large whisk allows the buttercream to achieve better volume and stability than with a hand mixer.
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