This buttercream icing is a sweet, thick, and creamy icing that a joy to work with. This icing recipe is simple to execute and pairs well with many baked goods!
When I found this recipe, I was done buying cakes from the local bakery for our celebrations as it was everything I loved in a buttercream icing. It was just the right amount of flavors: sweet but not too buttery. Plus, this buttercream icing is easy to make and customizable for all our baked goods.
How to make buttercream icing
When making this icing there are really only three steps. First, you cream together the shortening and butter. Make sure that all lumps are out before preceding on. Starting with a room-temp butter or slightly warmer butter helps! This helps create smooth icing. Second, add the extracts and then the powdered sugar slowly scraping the bowl frequently. While it can be tempting to dump and go, slowly adding the powder sugar one cup at a time is less messy and helps you create consistency in your icing. Third, add milk to thin and beat the icing until fluffy. You can always add extra milk to thin it out so add it one tablespoon at a time. Beat the icing to incorporate air. There’s a story of how my grandma got an amazingly light and fluffy icing on accident. She was in the process of making this icing when she had to take a call and completely forgot about it. When she came back several minutes later she had a perfectly fluffy buttercream icing!
Tips and Tricks
We love to pair this simple buttercream icing with our sugar cookies, birthday cakes, and cinnamon rolls. This recipe doubles and even quadruples like a dream. You really can make as little or as much as you need. For a 9×13 cake, you will need a single recipe amount; the three cups. Now when I did the half sheet cake like above and two dozen cupcakes, I quadrupled the recipe. With that cake, I did a crumb coat and a thick top layer with a border around the bottom and many piped flowers. Then I decorated two dozen cupcakes. I doubled the recipe for a couple of pans of cinnamon rolls. It really depends on your project.
I find it easier to have more icing to work with than go back and make more later. This is especially true when dealing with trying to use many colors. Just remember, you can also use up the leftovers by creating the sweet snack of iced saltine crakers. It’s good. Trust me.
Make sure to put a towel over top your buttercream icing while it’s sitting in the bowl to be used. This keeps it soft. This icing recipe will harden a bit on the outside as it sits out in the open air. I let my birthday cakes sit out the day before the party and it hardens just enough to have a crust, about 12-24 hours before eating. Then I put leftover cupcakes and cake in an air-tight container and crack the lid so they don’t get too soggy.
You can keep this creamy buttercream icing in the refrigerator for up to two-four weeks so leftovers can be easily saved for the next baked good. Just place it in an airtight container. Then simply take the icing out at least 30 mins before you want to work with it so it can return to room temperature before you try and spread it or pipe with it.
And that’s it! Enjoy!
Simple Buttercream Icing
- ½ cup shortening I used crisco.
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Cream together shortening and butter.
- Add extracts.
- Slowly add powdered sugar one cup at a time scraping the sides frequently. – When the sugar is all incorparated icing will appear dry.
- Add milk and beat until icing is fluffy. -You can add more milk to achive a thinner spreading consistenacy.