If you are an expat wanting to make an American-style cake, you will probably be frustrated to find that frosting is unavailable in your local supermarket. This lack of frosting is actually quite surprising, considering how trendy cupcakes have become over the past two years. Sure, you can find Betty Crocker frosting in some specialty shops, but expect to pay up to 6€ per can. Some online cupcake supply sellers offer tubes of decorating icing (but no frosting!), but there again, it can be pricey – about 4€ for 4¼ oz. tube, before shipping.
When you want to frost your cake, but you don’t want to spend a small fortune or have to wait three days for it to be delivered to you, your best bet is to make it yourself. Frosting is easy to make and can be whipped up in a jiffy while your caking is cooling. You may try several different recipes before finding the frosting that suits your taste. I have tried many over the years, some of which were too sweet, too thick or too stiff. This chocolate frosting, however, has never let me down. Be sure to sift the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder. It may take a couple of extra minutes, but the frosting will have a lighter, fluffier texture.
½ cup butter, softened
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
½ cup cocoa powder (sifted)
6 Tablespoons heavy cream
1½ teaspoons vanilla
Cream the butter in a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cream and vanilla.
Beat with an electric mixer until the frosting reaches the desired consistency, occasionally scraping the sides and bottom of bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are well blended. If the frosting is too thick, add a little extra cream a few drops at a time, and continue beating until the desired texture is achieved.
The recipe yields enough to frost a 2-layer cake (and lick the beaters and sides of bowl !). For the purposes of this post, I simply made a 1-layer chocolate snack cake (without the ganache), and divided the frosting recipe in half.