There are two main kinds of buttercream frostings: cooked and uncooked. The uncooked buttercream is also known as American buttercream, and it is made simply by beating butter and confectioners’ sugar (along with milk and flavorings) until it is thick and creamy. The cooked buttercreams start with a hot meringue, which has butter (and flavorings) beaten into it after it has cooled. The meringue-based buttercreams are lighter, richer and tend to be preferred by frosting enthusiasts, but the fact that they take some extra time to make can deter many bakers from using them regularly.
Fortunately, I can save you a lot of time with this fantastic No-Cook Meringue Buttercream. This frosting takes a HUGE shortcut by replacing the hot, marshmallow-y meringue with a container of marshmallow fluff/cream. The fluffy marshmallow cream is airy and sweet – and it subs in for the freshly made meringue beautifully in a batch of frosting. Simply take the marshmallow and combine it with softened butter, then beat the two together (with the flavoring of your choice) until the frosting is thick and creamy. You’ll be amazed both by how much this tastes like “real” buttercream and by how easy it is. It is my new favorite frosting recipe.
I’ve already used marshmallow cream in a delicious Two Ingredient Cream Cheese Frosting with great results, so I wasn’t entirely surprised that this cheater’s buttercream recipe worked, though I was impressed by how tasty it was. The marshmallow buttercream can easily be flavored with extracts, zests and spices, just like any other buttercream recipe. It pipes well onto cupcakes and spreads easily onto layer cakes. This recipe makes enough for a batch of 12 cupcakes, so you’ll want to double it if you’re planning to frost a two-layer cake. The frosting will keep at room temperature (covered) for a couple of days if you don’t use it all at once.
No-Cook Meringue Buttercream
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 7-oz container marshmallow cream
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the butter and marshmallow fluff. Beat with a mixer at high speed for 2-3 minutes, until very smooth and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract, if using.
Spread onto cake or cupcakes.
Frosts 12 cupcakes or 1 8-inch cake.