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1) Using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine 1 cup room-temperature butter and 6 cups powdered sugar at low speed.
2) Slowly add ½ cup half-and-half and seeds from ¼ of a scraped vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste). Once combined, increase the speed to medium-high until whipped and fluffy.
3) If you want a softer buttercream, slowly add additional half-and-half in tablespoon increments until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. To make additional flavors, substitute liquids such as fruit purée, Baileys Irish Cream, or melted chocolate for the half-and-half and vanilla.
5280.com Exclusive: Watch her make a batch: