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Item# WLRECIP-41

Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Item No. WLRECIP-41
2 Cups
Prep Time
20 min
Skill Level
Total Time
20 min

Vanilla buttercream frosting is the traditional choice for bakers and decorators alike. Quick and easy to make, this delicious recipe is well-loved for its flavor and versatility. Use this vanilla frosting as is, or try other delicious flavor variations like chocolate or strawberry buttercream. Our vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is smooth and spreadable, making it perfect for frosting cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. This buttercream can also be stiffened to hold its shape for decorating treats with buttercream flowers or piped messages. Pair with a basic yellow cake for consistency or a chocolate layer cake for a bit of contrast. If you're after a super white frosting, this homemade buttercream can also be prepared with all shortening, resulting in a pure white frosting.



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  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


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  • Notes:

    • This buttercream recipe is for medium consistency, which is excellent for piping decorations like flowers. However, it will need to be thinned for icing birthday cakes and borders.
    • Use Icing Colors or food coloring to tint frosting to any color without disturbing the consistency of the frosting.
    • If your frosting has air bubbles, let it rest for a few minutes to allow it to deflate. To avoid creating air bubbles, make sure to use the paddle attachment rather than the whisk attachment on your electric stand mixer.
    • Make sure your ingredients are all room temperature to avoid a grainy consistency.
    • This recipe can be easily flavored in a variety of ways using extracts and other flavorings, like almond extract.

    Stiff Consistency: Gradually add additional confectioners’ sugar for a stiffer consistency. Best for dimensional decorations that need to retain their shape when piped. This consistency is generally used for piping upright petals for flowers.

    Medium Consistency: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid (light corn syrup, milk or water) for each cup of stiff frosting. For pure white frosting, add up to 2 tablespoons of liquid. Medium consistency is used for borders such as stars, dots, and shells, as well as other decorations that will remain relatively flat.

    Thin Consistency: Add 2 teaspoons of liquid (light corn syrup, milk or water) for each cup of buttercream frosting. For pure white frosting, add up to 4 tablespoons of liquid. Used for lines, printing and also for icing a cake. If you are making a buttercream intended for writing, use light corn syrup as your liquid. Writing will flow easily and won’t break.

    How To

    Icing Consistency
    Buttercream Frosting Consistency

    Whether you are frosting a cake or piping decorations, the consistency of the icing is key to getting the right results. Too soft and your decorations will droop. Too stiff and your icing will be difficult to spread.

    Buttercream Frosting Tips and Tricks
    Buttercream Frosting Tips and Tricks

    Learn how to fix runny frosting with these buttercream frosting tips and tricks. We’ll help answer your common buttercream questions such as how to fix grainy buttercream frosting and how to make frosting thicker for piping.

    How to Make Black Frosting
    How to Make Black Frosting

    We’ve put our black icing colors to the test to determine just how much color is needed to achieve your desired shade of black. Whether you’re using Color Right base colors or traditional icing colors, you’ll be able to get rich, deep black icing in no time.

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