Follow these instructions exactly, and your fluffy white frosting will be perfect.
Keyword: buttercream, frosting, gluten free, Italian Buttercream, vanilla frosting, white frosting
Author: Chef Sara Furcini
stand mixer with whisk attachment
4largeegg whitesroom temperature
1/4tspcream of tartar
1 1/3cupsgranulated sugardivided
16ouncesunsalted butter (2 sticks)room temperature
1tsppure vanilla extract
Completely clean and dry your stand mixer bowl and separate the yolk from the whites, being careful not to mix the 2 together (fat inhibits meringue).
Whip: Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt over medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly sprinkle 1/3 cup of sugar and continue whisking on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Boil: Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 cup sugar in a small pot with 1/3 cup water over medium-low heat. Stir and cook until the sugar melts and becomes clear. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until temperature reaches 235 to 240°F. Tip: Use a spoon to drop some of the liquid into a cup of cold water. When the sugar can be formed into a soft ball, it's ready for the next step.
Drizzle: Immediately pour the hot sugar into the meringue in a slow and steady stream while mixing on medium. Continue mixing until the bowl is no longer hot to the touch and the meringue is cool.
Butter: Use a butter knife to cut the butter into the meringue in small pieces, incorporating as you mix. Add the vanilla and mix until combined and silky smooth. Use the frosting right away or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Consistency: If your frosting is too soft, pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. You will need to re-whip the frosting a bit, too, the longer it sits in the fridge. I usually just do this by hand with a whisk.Spreading: I recommend dipping an offset spatula into warm water to smooth the frosting as you spread it. I also really enjoy using this frosting with a piping bag and tips for cupcakes and cake decorating.