Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Icing

Let's get this straight! If you're from West (Almost Heaven) Virginia, the verb for putting a creamy, sugary substance on the outside of a cake is called, "frosting", but the delectable goo itself is called, "icing". So many folks, including Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, get this wrong. It says, "frosting" on the sides of those little plastic cans of preservative-infused sweet coating. Well, where ever you were reared and what ever you like to call it, cake just isn't as delicious without the swirls of creamy spread on the outside. I think most of us agree on this point! That's why children who are tempted by mama's cake sitting on the table, swipe their fingers through the icing instead of trying to pull a hunk of cake from the middle. Over the years, I've been "homeroom mom" enough to know that little ones also lick it off the top of their cookies and cupcakes and throw the crumbly baked goods in the trash. Icing is important stuff!
Today I want to post a recipe for a pure and simple buttermilk icing that takes your cake-eating experience to another level. While we enjoy a chocolate-buttermilk icing on my mother-in-law's Johnny Hoosier Cake (see my archives), this plain version is a nice change and is especially good on pound cake. This is the same kind of icing that the Amish in Ohio use to top cookies and pumpkin bread; I've bought it at roadside stands there.

Buttermilk Icing
1 C sugar
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4-1/2 C butter
1 TBSP white Karo syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Boil to soft ball stage on a candy thermometer (like you would for fudge) and pour over cake immediately.
Note: This came from an elderly person's personal kitchen file that I bought at an estate sale in Ohio.

******Happy Birthday Ben!!! 18 this week!!!!******

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  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds so yummy! Thanks for sharing! Hopped over from Permanent Posies.

  2. Oh, yummy! You had me at Karo syrup ;)

  3. Yep, it's called icing here too in Florida and yours sounds fabulous no matter whatever you call it.

  4. This would be great on the sheet cake we featured. Thanks so much for sharing on Momtrends!

  5. Well, funny you should say that about frosting and icing, I just took a fun test online about whether I was a Yankee or a Rebel...according to how I pronounced different words or described different things. Frosting vs icing was one of the differences. Down in Texas....it is icing all the way. Here is the website: http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/yankeetest.html
    It is kind of fun. I had one answer that put me outside of Texas and that was how I pronounced caramel.

  6. It is Icing all the way with me and this "Icing" looks great,wonderful Post Marcia! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Well...I've NEVER heard of buttermilk icing before. But I'm game! ;)

    And happy, happy 18th, Ben!!!

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Hope to see you again this week.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage