I rarely order a birthday cake from a bakery, simply because I never like the frosting. I'd rather make my own creamy butter style frosting simply because it's hard to find a really good frosting that's creamy and not too sweet.
Good news. I think I've found the recipe for the mother of buttercream frostings.
Making buttercream frosting isn't really rocket science (although it is more molecular science). I mean, really, everyone's done it from Wilton to Martha. But this, particular frosting is a combination of both method and ingredients and it's so good.
Now, I have to warn you that this frosting is not your quick whip it up recipe with your room temp butter and confectioner's sugar. This one's going to take a little heart, but I'm thinking that maybe that's just the nature of something good, it takes time.
The entire process took us about 30 minutes in actual preparation time and another hour of idle time. So, if you're looking to
(Side note - Joy is my go-to cookbook for so many things, that I've actually gone through several, and currently own two, one of which is taped together because I refuse to get rid of it.)
The general gist of the recipe is to combine sugar, cream of tartar and water in a bowl, like we did here.
You heat this mixture to a soft ball stage. Then you put the eggs into a separate (metal) bowl to whip them using a double boiler method, after which the candy liquid (sugar mixture) is slowly poured into the eggs.
Then your muscles come in (unless you cheat and use an electric mixer). You'll whip it and whip it until you get a thick mixture. It may need to be refrigerated for a bit (ours was refrigerated for about an hour) so that it will thicken up more. Here's what I ended up with.
This is one amazing frosting, well worth the extra effort. If you're interested in trying this for yourself, try this recipe or grab The Joy of Cooking on Amazon.