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How to Make Buttercream Icing (Wilton Recipe)

This easy buttercream icing recipe is a classic confectionery delight. Whip up this sweet, fluffy frosting to elevate your cakes and cupcakes.

Buttercream Icing Recipe

Do you have someone in your life that is the dedicated cake maker? They just have a talent for creating beautifully decorated cakes and cupcakes.

I can’t say that I am necessarily that person, but I have definitely baked my share of birthday cakes and classroom treats.

And while I am never opposed to mom-hacks, I think homemade buttercream frosting generally tastes better than store-bought frosting. If I have the time, or if I am baking for a special occasion, I want to make my icing from scratch.

Too busy to make this right away? Pin it for later! Pin this post to your favorite board on Pinterest and it will be there when you’re ready!

Buttercream Basics:

Did you know that there are different types of buttercream? American buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream, and Italian buttercream tend to be the most popular options.

But there is also French buttercream, German buttercream, and flour buttercream. You can even make a vegan version.

Each one has its own unique qualities. Today’s recipe is an American buttercream and it is my go-to.

Buttercream Icing Recipe

Buttercream Icing Recipe:

There are plenty of great frosting recipes out there, but this is my favorite buttercream recipe. I use it for cakes, cupcakes, and maybe even a cookie or two. It is really simple to make and tastes delicious.

It is also very versatile. Easily switch up the flavor profile by using different extracts and you have a whole new icing. Whip up a batch of this frosting recipe today.

Buttercream Icing

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Equipment:

  • KitchenAid Stand Mixer – a large mixing bowl and electric mixer works just as well however a KitchenAid stand mixer has been a staple in my kitchen for years.
  • Mixing bowls – glass mixing bowls are my favorite because I can see what is happening while mixing.
  • Measuring cups and spoons – I am forever losing and buying new ones!

Yield: 3 cups frosting

Buttercream Icing Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 
  • 1 lb powdered sugar (3 1/2-4 cups unsifted) (This can also be referred to as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (Use clear vanilla extract if you want a pure white frosting.)
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
Buttercream Icing Recipe

Instructions:

1. Cream shortening and butter together. 

Buttercream Icing Recipe

2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tbsp cream to bowl. 

Buttercream Icing Ingredients

3. Mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. 

Buttercream Icing Ingredients

4. Add an additional tbsp of liquid. 

Buttercream Icing Ingredients

5. Mix on high speed for 3-5 mins. 

Buttercream Icing Ingredients

6. Only add the last .05 tbsp of liquid if it’s not silky and a smooth.

Buttercream Icing Recipe

Tips and Tricks:

  • This recipe will work equally well using an electric mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  • For best results, make sure your butter and shortening are at room temperature before you begin making your icing.
  • I sometimes add a pinch of salt to my buttercream. It provides a nice balance to the sweetness of the powdered sugar.
  • You can substitute different flavors of extract for the vanilla in this recipe. Lemon and almond are my personal favorites.
  • I like to use gel food coloring to color my frosting. I don’t need to use as much, and it doesn’t affect the consistency of the frosting as much as liquid versions do.
  • Leftover buttercream can be stored in an airtight container for up to **.
Buttercream Icing Recipe

FAQ:

Q: Why have you included solid vegetable shortening in this recipe?

A: Butter gives a yellow tinge when used in frosting, but has great flavor. Shortening achieves a clean, white color that serves as a perfect start for your baking. The combination creates the perfect buttercream!

Q: Can I replace it with all butter instead?

A: Yes, you may use just butter however the results will likely not be as creamy and white.

Buttercream Icing

Whether you are just getting started on your buttercream frosting journey or you are already a pro, this simple recipe is perfect for you. It is incredibly easy to work with and comes together in a snap.

Use it to decorate these comic trend cupcakes, Valentine’s sugar cookie bars, gingerbread cookie bars, or this to-die-for raspberry cake.

If you love this buttercream icing recipe, please give it a five-star review and share on facebook and instagram so others can enjoy it too.

Buttercream Icing Recipe

Buttercream Icing Recipe

This easy buttercream icing recipe is a classic confectionery delight. Whip up this sweet, fluffy frosting to elevate your cakes and cupcakes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Author: Heather Painchaud
Servings: 3 cups
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Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 lb powdered sugar 3 1/2-4 cups unsifted (This can also be referred to as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla Use clear vanilla extract if you want a pure white frosting.
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

  • 1. Cream shortening and butter together. 
  • 2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tbsp cream to bowl. 
  • 3. Mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. 
  • 4. Add an additional tbsp of liquid. 
  • 5. Mix on high speed for 3-5 mins. 
  • 6. Only add the last .05 tbsp of liquid if it’s not silky and a smooth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 3mg | Sugar: 37g
about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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