The Unexpected Ingredient For Better Buttercream Frosting

You see it piped on cupcakes, spread evenly over sponge cakes, and maybe even used to decorate festive cookies. It is perhaps what Humphrey Bogart was referring to when he uttered the famous phrase, "The stuff that dreams are made of." And that sweet stuff may just be the sugary decadence of buttercream frosting. But if dreams are made of buttercream, then what is buttercream made of? According to Spoon University, this wildly popular frosting consists of three basic elements — fat, milk or cream, and confectioners' sugar. Butter is typically used as the fat component, but shortening or margarine may be used as well.

Bob's Red Mill states that there are many types of buttercream frosting, ranging from a whipped German style that utilizes a custard base to a French buttercream that contains pasteurized egg yolks and resembles pastry cream. There are even vegan recipes that use soy milk, coconut milk, or oat milk.

Buttercream frosting also leaves lots of room for a creative mind to run wild, as blueberries, salted caramel, and Nutella may be used to flavor traditional buttercream recipes, explains Country Living. But there's one ingredient that's a little more under the radar that will take your buttercream frosting to a whole new level:

Marshmallow fluff

Marshmallow fluff is comprised of egg whites, cream of tartar, corn syrup, sugar, and vanilla extract. This sweet and gooey spread imparts that classic marshmallow flavor to an array of desserts, and that includes buttercream frosting. TheKitchn explains that the real magic of marshmallow fluff lies in its thick texture, as it provides structure and a stiff shape to the resulting buttercream. This means that it won't slide off cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or pretty much any dessert that needs a pipe of frosting.

And if you're worried about overly sweet marshmallow buttercream frosting, Wilton explains that salt will help to cut right through the sugar. Adding a pinch of salt may do the trick, or you can also substitute some of the unsalted butter for salted butter in the recipe, while food coloring may also be added for a pop of vibrancy.

So next time you're making buttercream frosting, add a little bit of marshmallow fluff — or the whole jar! Either way, this fluffy stuff will add that classic marshmallow taste to frosting recipes and help to elevate the resulting textures.