There is no kitchen skill more valuable than knowing how to make frosting. People can forgive a burnt casserole but shitty frosting is the worst. The plastic tub of frosting from the store is chemical soup. Make cake from a mix, sure, but a good frosting covers a multitude of sins.
If you have a stand mixer, great. If you’re not a sad mom who actually owns a stand mixer, hand-held beaters work just fine.
Get two sticks of unsalted butter and leave them out for a few hours. If you’re short on time, nuke them at a level 2 or 3 until they just give when poked. Plop butter in bowl. Add two cups of powdered sugar, a splash or milk or cream or whatever, and a tablespoon of vanilla. Now mix it until it’s smooth. Taste it. Add more sugar if you want. Or more vanilla.
This basic recipe works for cakes, cookies, snacking on spoonfuls of frosting by itself, the list goes on. Modify sugar and flavors to suit your taste.
Need chocolate frosting? Same thing except replace 1/2 cup of sugar with cocoa.
Need lemon frosting? add a little lemon extract.
Want color? add a few drops of food coloring.
Want cream cheese frosting? get rid of one stick of butter and add a half block of cream cheese.
Yes, it’s that easy. You will never go back.