Make a simple buttercream frosting using butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and use it to decorate your cakes. Adding baking chocolate and increasing the amount of vanilla and milk makes chocolate buttercream frosting.
To make vanilla buttercream frosting, combine 3 cups of powdered sugar and 1/3 cup of butter in a mixing bowl. Blend with a wooden spoon or hand mixer. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk and mix until smooth. Add more milk a few drops at a time, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency.
For chocolate buttercream frosting, increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons and add 3 ounces of melted and cooled baking chocolate. Stir until the frosting reaches the desired consistency, adding milk as needed.
A simple cooked frosting recipe uses 2/3 cup of half-and-half, 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and cook completely.
In a mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup of sugar, 2/3 cup of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until creamy and add the cooled flour mixture. Whip the mixture until fluffy.