Buttercream Frosting Recipe

The traditional choice for flavor and versatility. Vanilla buttercream frosting is softer and more spreadable than most icings. Use for icing cakes, piping borders, writing, flowers, etc. Buttercream can also be prepared with all shortening, resulting in a pure white icing.
Makes: 2 1/4 Cups
Skill Level: Beginner

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Step 1

In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Step 2

Gradually add 4 cups sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.

Step 3

Gradually add 2 tablespoons of milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Helpful Hints:

  • For thin spreadable icing: Add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
  • For pure white stiff buttercream icing: Omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.
  • Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  • If using a hand mixer, beat shortening, butter, if used, and liquid first, then add sugar, as above. It may be necessary to add additional sugar for the correct consistency.
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solid vegetable shortening

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

butter or margarine

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine (softened)

sifted confectioners' sugar

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)


2 tablespoons milk

How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Watch: How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Ideas With This Product

Buttercream Frosting is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 818.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's a Keeper! I'm not a baker and I don't even like icing when eating cake but this is the best icing I have ever eaten and the easiest recipe to make for this beginner! I followed the recipe except I added a tsp of butter flavoring along with the vanilla. I also beat my icing for a good 10 minutes or more to really mix the Crisco and butter. It spread wonderfully and it tasted marvelous! 5 stars from MommaJo!
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible recipe Tastes exactly as you would expect...extremely sweet and sickeningly artificial thanks to the shortening
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome So easy first time making it! Read the reviews and was nervous to make after reading the negative ones. Turned out perfect!
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Buttercream recipe how about making this recipe so you can print it on 1 page. i tried to print it and all the garbage but the simple instructions with the supplies printed. You have a print button how about fixing it.
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So easy! I made this buttercream frosting for my daughters first Birthday cake. I couldn't believe how easy it was to make. I was able to frost my cake effortlessly. As well as pipe the design. Not to mention how delicious it tasted! My husband and I will definitely be using this recipe in the near future.
Date published: 2017-07-23
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