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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1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract, 4 Oz.



In Stock (ships in 1-2 business days)

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 4.6 out of 5 by 821.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Flavor and very spreadable The texture of this buttercream is perfect for covering a cake, cookies and frosting cupcakes. The new Decorators Preferred recipe is amazing. It keeps well refrigerated, but you don't have to, and remains fluffy once it comes to room temperature.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Doesn't Stick Well I made this frosting for cupcakes, and it had a weird consistency to it. I put it in a Wilton Frosting bag with a decorating tip, and as I squeezed it out on to each cupcake, it didn't seem to stick properly. I've never seen anything like this before. It's almost like it was missing an ingredient, or maybe too much or too little of an ingredient. I won't be making this again.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recipe change When I first started decorating cakes 35 years ago, I believe the Wilton buttercream icing recipe called for all shortening, and that's what I have always used. Then the past couple years I started having problems with the icing separating..staying wet, not staying on the layers(sliding off), colors bleeding. I kept wondering what I was doing wrong...maybe it was using a cheaper brand of shortening? No..that wasn't it. I have finally concluded, after reading other websites, that Crisco must have changed their formula. I don't do a lot of cakes or I may have figured this out sooner! No more 100% shortening buttercream for me. I do not know if/when Wilton changed their recipe to 1/2 butter. And I don't know when Crisco changed either.
Date published: 2017-10-28
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
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