This Crusting Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe is my go-to for cakes, cupcakes, filling and decorating cakes. This is a large batch that holds up well in warm conditions, tastes amazing and pipes beautifully. Also, it can be stored up to 2 weeks when needed.
Crusting Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Over the years, I’ve made hundreds… no, thousands of batches of buttercream and this is by and far the one I make the most.
Actually, a few years ago my son started making it for me (yay for older kids)! He has the recipe memorized he’s made it so often. Seriously – I’ve made it more than any other frosting ever. Cream Cheese FrostingEven more than my super popular .
And this is not a unique recipe. I probably orginally got it from a Wilton magazine or a church cookbook back when I started doing cakes as a teenager. I’ve tweeked it a tiny bit over the years but not much.
The base 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.
So… here it is, my Crusting Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe. In some circles, this is also called American Buttercream, but there are variations of that too.
A few notes about this recipe:
- I make a huge quantity of frosting because I usually make large cakes and I need lots of frosting. This recipe has 4 pounds of powdered sugar, 2 pounds of butter and yields 8 cups of buttercream.
- By mixing such a 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 was true when I was using a 4.5 quart Kitchenaid. Of course, it may not be true depending on your mixer.
- This frosting will keep in the frig for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
- You can cut the recipe in half or fourths easily for smaller batches.
- I find that about half a cup of milk yields the perfect consistency for frosting a cake.
- Yes, you can skip the shortening and use all butter but your frosting will not be as stable. The all-butter version is softer and melts easier. I share more about shortening vs. butter in this post.
Here’s a video of me making it in my Bosch Mixer… which by the way… means NO huge cloud of powdered sugar in my kitchen:
Anyway, the bottom line is, this is a classic, delicious Vanilla Buttercream recipe that you’ll love and use over and over again.
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:
Crusting Vanilla Buttercream Frosting RecipePrint
This Crusting Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe is my go-to for cakes, cupcakes, filling and decorating cakes.
- 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. UPDATE: Now that I use a Bosch mixer, I don’t have the huge mess or need the damp towel. It’s all kept in the bowl … YAY! See my post about that here.
- 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. Generally using 1/2 cup of milk is my favorite consistency.
- 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.
Keywords: buttercream, vanilla, frosting, vanilla buttercream, crusting buttercream, large batch