I recently came across a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Lazy Cook’s Frosting and was intrigued. In truth, the “lazy” part was the hook (it’s summer after all), but it was the process that really made me want to try this. It requires only three ingredients combined in a food processor for about one minute; I had to put it to the test. Here’s how it went.
Lazy Cook’s Frosting: The ingredients
This simple Cook’s Illustrated frosting contains just three ingredients: heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. “But that makes whipped cream,” you say. True, but not if you make it in a food processor instead of in a mixer. Then you get frosting with a buttercream consistency.
What the what?!
Just put everything into a food processor — I halved the recipe because I only have a mini food processor — and let it go for 45 seconds. Then pulse it in five-second intervals until you’ve reached frosting consistency. It took me about 15 additional seconds. That’s 60 seconds — one minute — all in. Amazing, at least in theory.
Lazy Cook’s Frosting: Does it actually work?
This recipe does work — sort of. Using a food processor completely changed the consistency of the heavy cream. It went from a whipped cream texture to something thicker and spreadable. Like frosting, but honestly, not as much like it as I’d hoped. If you ask me, this recipe gives you something that’s more of a whipped cream/buttercream frosting hybrid.
Lazy Cook’s Frosting: How does it taste?
As you might guess from the ingredients list, this frosting tastes just like whipped cream, but heavier and more dense — in a good way. I suggest adding a little bit more sugar than the recipe calls for. Additional sweetness made it taste much more like traditional buttercream than whipped cream.
In the end, I think that this frosting is lovely, especially on the light vanilla cupcakes on which I served it. I bet it would also be great on Angel’s Food Cake or on Strawberry Shortcake. My teen agreed — after I added more sugar. My 10-year-old isn’t a fan of whipped cream and didn’t like this frosting, even with the additional sugar.
Lazy Cook’s Frosting: A few tips to keep in mind
If you decide to give this a try — and you should, especially if you are a fan of whipped cream or are making a light white or yellow cake — here are a few tips:
* Make sure that the heavy cream is very cold when you start.
* Add more sugar than the recipe calls for if you want a taste similar to traditional buttercream.
* Use the highest quality ingredients that your budget allows. With so few ingredients called for in this recipe, high quality vanilla and cream can really make a difference in taste.