Makes about 3 cups

If you prefer not to use the raw egg in this recipe for safety reasons, substitute 3 tablespoons of milk. Keep in mind, however, that the texture will be less smooth.

1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg, beaten, or 3 tablespoons milk (see note above)

1. Dissolve coffee in water and add vanilla in small bowl; set aside. Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add sugar 1 cup at a time, beating 15 seconds between each addition. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as necessary.

2. Add coffee mixture and egg or milk; beat on low speed to combine. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. (Buttercream may be covered and kept at room temperature for several hours or refrigerated in an airtight container for a week. Bring to room temperature before using.)


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