Makes enough to cover a single-layer 9-inch cake; can be doubled

This is no high-falutin’ frosting, but it’ll make you proud (and relieved) in a pinch. This is barely a recipe; it’s certainly flexible enough that you can play fast and loose (up to a point) with quantities. I will note, for those of you tempted to experiment, that I tried melting a bag of marshmallows with a bit of corn syrup to try to approximate the marshmallow creme. The problem: When the melted marshmallows would have been easy to scoop into the beaten-up butter, they were too hot and would have melted the butter. By the time they were cool enough, they had stiffened up again, making it hard to scrape out of the bowl and into the butter. It was so messy that it’s not worth it unless you’re truly, awfully desperate, in which case, go for it, as it did taste good in the end. And that was just with vanilla extract; you could also try adding a bit of orange, lemon or peppermint extract (I did this with the melted-marshmallow version). Or play around; try adding coconut extract and some melted and cooled chocolate, or a little rum, Kahlua or raspberry liqueur.

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

7 ounces, more or less, marshmallow creme (or Marshmallow Fluff)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or more to taste (more vanilla helps balance the very sweet marshmallow creme)

Pinch of salt

Beat the butter on medium-high speed until it’s light and fluffy. Scoop in the marshmallow creme and beat in, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until fluffy and well-mixed. Beat in vanilla and salt; taste and adjust vanilla.

Related column: For Fabulous Frosting, Butter, Meet Marshmallows

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