Buttercream Icing Recipe

buttercream icing recipe on wedding cake
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Prep time
10 minutes
Cooking time
Total time
10 minutes


This buttercream icing recipe is a kid's favorite and great for covering the cake and piping all kinds of decorations.

You can vary the consistency to your needs whether covering the cake, piping, and creating flowers.

Add more milk to make the buttercream frosting thinner for fine lines or make it thicker with more confectioner's sugar for piping borders, scrolls, etc. To create flowers that need to be stiffer, add vegetable shortening to this buttercream recipe. If you try to use the buttercream as is for flowers, such as roses, the petals will droop and the shape will distort.

* Note: If making thicker icing, a free standing mix master is best. (I've broken 2 hand held mixers making icing. The firm consistency strains the motor and burns it out).

Makes enough to frost an 8 - 9" cake and pipe borders


2 lb
confectioner's sugar
2 t
Vanilla Extract
8 oz
1 lb
butter (If making flowers, replace with same quantity of shortening)


  1. buttercream mixing in bowlPlace softened butter in mixer bowl.
  2. Mix on low until creamed.
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, 1 cup at a time.
  5. Blend on low, scraping the beater and bowl down in between.
  6. Add milk slowly, until you reach the desired consistency.

If you accidentally add too much milk and have no extra confectioner's sugar on hand,the buttercream frosting can only serve to frost the cake. It's better to take your time adding the milk to get the consistency right. If piping decorations with this buttercream icing recipe, do not overbeat. Incorporating too many air bubbles will cause problems during the decorating process. This variation of the recipe is commonly referred to as American buttercream.


You can make a crusting buttercream by using half butter, half shortening and adding 2 teaspoons of meringue powder. (If multiplying the recipe, use 1 teaspoon for every pound of confectioner's sugar). When choosing shortening, be sure to use a hi-ratio shortening which tastes far better than Crisco.

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