Classic Buttercream

I use buttercream for every cake/cupcake recipe I do. It’s my go-to because it’s so delicious and so easy to make. So here’s the recipe below!


  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk*


  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
  5. For pure white icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Colour butter flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.


  • If the icing is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  • If you don’t have clear and you just have the regular, it will darken your icing a small amount so keep that in mind. It won’t be ugly or anything, but you won’t get that white buttercream look if you were to use the clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your icing sugar. No one wants any lumps of sugar in their icing!
  • To know when your icing is at a good consistency, scoop a small amount of icing onto a spoon and flick your spoon as if you were trying to get the icing off. If it’s hard to do (but not too hard) then you’re good!
    • Another trick is to dab your knuckle into the icing and if some icing sticks onto your finger then you’re good!
    • Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.


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