Crusting Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (for Decorating)

  • Author: Rose
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x


  • 2 cups real butter (4 sticks), softened
  • 2 cups vegetable shortening (14 ounces)
  • 4 pounds of confectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (use Wilton’s Clear Vanilla if you want a whiter frosting, although the “tint” that regular vanilla adds is not noticeable to me)
  • 2 teaspoons of Wilton butter flavoring
  • 68 tablespoons of milk or cream


  1. 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.
  2. Add the vanilla and butter flavors and mix again.
  3. Slowly add in the confectioners sugar, a little at a time until completely incorporated.  This will take time and might make a mess.  Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl often.  I use this Kitchenaid Mixing Bowl Shield to help keep the sugar in the bowl, although I typically still end up with a thin dusting of sugar all over my kitchen!  When all the sugar is added, your frosting will be super thick and dry.  Again, I don’t think a regular hand mixer could handle this.
  4. At this point, 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.
  5. 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.
  6. *Chocolate Buttercream: Add about 3 cups of cocoa and an extra 5-6 tablespoons of milk to this mixture to make chocolate buttercream.  I didn’t measure exactly the last time I made chocolate, but that should be close.