I tend to be somewhat inconsistent with my icing and frosting recipes. For buttercream, the recipe is pretty standard: take some butter (hence the name) and powdered sugar, whip it up with a mixer, and voila - buttercream icing.
From the many, many recipes I have tried, these proportions of sugar to butter seemed to work best.
I also have a few tips for making your frosting more delicious:
1) Let your butter first sit out until it is soft but not too squishy. If you decide to microwave your butter, start out with small intervals to prevent your butter from softening too much.
2) Whip the butter first and then add the sugar in sections.
3) After adding the sugar in parts, just keep whipping and whipping because this is how you get the best consistency
4) If you think your frosting is too thick, just add milk!
See, pretty easy. This is a recipe anybody can perfect!
Standard American Buttercream
Total time: 15 minutes
Yields: 2 cups of buttercream frosting
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 stick (4 oz) butter, softened (I used Kerrygold unsalted butter, but salted works too)
1 tbsp milk (adjust based on preference)
1 tsp. vanilla
1) Let butter soften for a few hours.
2) Beat the softened butter with a mixer (I used a hand mixer) for about 5 minutes
3) Add the sifted powdered sugar in about 3 parts to prevent a mess.
4) Once the icing is very thick or looks crumbly, add milk to your liking and vanilla extract. I used about 1 tbsp of milk for my desired consistency.
5) Serve on cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more! Store in the refrigerator.