Emily’s Pinterest Pick: Basil Buttercream

When planning our wedding, we knew we didn’t want just any ordinary cake and frosting flavor. We wanted something completely different; something that would shock and pleasantly surprise our guests. I searched through board after board on Pinterest, just dying to find the perfect flavor that would catch my eye.

That’s when I saw it: basil buttercream frosting. Wait, I thought. Basil-flavored frosting? When it comes to food, my husband and I are huge fans of peculiar, unexpected flavors. I knew we had to test the recipe out.

I really enjoyed making the frosting. It involves steeping the basil in heavy cream and letting it sit overnight to lock in the flavor. We had another foodie friend over the next evening to try out the cake with us. I used Ina Garten’s chocolate cake recipe to pair with the sweet basil buttercream, as suggested on the Bleubird.

We each took one bite of the cake and looked at each other, chewing slowly. “This is amazing.” Rich said, in a serious tone. My then fiancé and I both looked at each other and said, “Wedding cake.” And that was it. We knew what we wanted and that’s what we had! I’m so excited to share this delicious recipe with you all, featured on Bleubird blog as their “Sunday’s Cake” a little over a year ago.

Basil Buttercream (from bleubirdblog.com)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (three sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream and basil. Heat until simmering but make sure it doesn’t boil. Remove from heat. Let the basil cream cool and then refrigerate for at least two hours and up to overnight. Remove basil leaves from the cream and discard.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk the flour and sugar together. Add in the basil cream and cook over medium heat, whisking every now and then until the mixture thickens. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat on high until cool for 7-9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in the cubed butter, mixing until combined. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is fluffy and doubled in size. About 1-2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.

Full recipes for the Ina’s Chocolate Cake and Basil Buttercream can be found here: