I realized when I posted the Perfect Sugar Cookies a couple of weeks ago that I’ve never posted how I make buttercream. Actually, my recipe is pretty common and similar to other buttercream recipes, but nevertheless, I’ll show you how I do it because I’m often asked.
A couple of notes. I make a huge quantity of frosting because I usually make large cakes and I need lots of frosting.
Plus, by mixing this large quantity at once, the mixer blade is completely hidden in the frosting, therefore not mixing in a lot of air. This keeps the frosting especially creamy and smooth for decorating.
This large quantity recipe will make enough to frost and fill a 2 tiered cake. If you need less, the recipe will easily cut in half, but you may not get the extra smooth and creamy texture if you whip air into the frosting.
I make my frosting in my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer because I make such a huge quantity and for the reasons above, it keeps the frosting super creamy and not airy.
Besides, it would be really hard and take quite awhile to mix this much frosting with my little hand mixer (yep, mine is red!)… and I’m not sure it’s up to the job!
I’d also like to note that I use these Sideswipe paddle blades with myKitchenaid. It allows me to skip the “scrape down the bowl” steps and they really are a wonderful addition to my kitchen tools!
If you’re looking for other frosting recipes, please check out these popular recipes:
- Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Chocolate Buttercream
- Easy Strawberry Buttercream
- Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- and check out my How to Frost a Cupcake Like a Pro video!
Here’s the printable recipe:
- 2 cups real salted butter (4 sticks), softened
- 2 cups vegetable shortening (14 ounces)
- 4 pounds of confectioners sugar
- 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon of butter flavoring
- 6-8 tablespoons of milk or cream, or as much needed to get the consistency you want (not pictured)
- First, add the butter and shortening to the mixing bowl and cream together. Scrape down the sides to be sure that it’s completely mixed together.
- NOTE: I put my bowl on the scale, zero it, then add the shortening and weigh it. I do this for 2 reasons – it’s more accurate than trying to measure messy shortening in a measuring cup AND it’s one less greasy cup to wash!
- Add the vanilla and butter flavors and mix again.
- Slowly add in the confectioners sugar, a little at a time until completely incorporated. This will take time and might make a mess. I like to drape a damp towel completely over the top of my mixer to "catch" the powdered sugar dust. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
- When all of the sugar has been added, start adding tablespoons of milk or cream to “thin” the frosting to the desired texture. I usually use milk unless I happen to have cream in the frig, but either works just fine. I make a fairly thick icing to cover and fill cakes and make it slightly thinner to decorate.
- You can use this immediately or keep in the frig in an airtight bowl for up to 2 weeks. It can also be frozen for several weeks. If you’re using it out of the frig, make sure its completely thawed and rewhip, adding milk as needed to get the desired texture again.