When I was growing up, my mom’s go-to chocolate cake recipe was the Chocolate Flag Cake made with coffee and buttermilk. (It was coined ‘Flag’ cake for the flag-like decoration – strawberries and blueberries placed strategically to simulate the American flag).
My mom’s Flag Cake was the most moist chocolate cake ever. But the best part of it was the frosting or icing she topped it with. I didn’t know it when I was a kid, but the secret ingredient was Almond Extract. This buttercream frosting recipe is meant to be a small homage to my mom’s amazing white frosting recipe from my youth. The almond extract in this recipe is what makes a normal chocolate buttercream frosting ‘special.’
- 1 c. butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
- 3½ c. confectioners (powdered) sugar
- ½ c. cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. table salt
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 4 T. milk or heavy cream
- Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed and mix until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter.
- Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.