Extra Special Buttercream Icing

"This is the best buttercream icing I have ever tasted. I used it for my daughter's wedding cake. I made a double batch, which was enough to ice, border, and pipe small decorations on the sides of the cake for a 14" x 10" x 6" tiered cake. I think the whipping cream is the secret to making this icing special."
photo by robingracejohnson photo by robingracejohnson
photo by robingracejohnson
photo by carolsch photo by carolsch
photo by carolsch photo by carolsch
photo by carolsch photo by carolsch
photo by carolsch photo by carolsch
Ready In:
7 1/2 cups




  • Cream butter and shortening until fluffy.
  • Add sugar, meringue powder, about half of the cream, and continue creaming until well blended.
  • Add salt, flavorings and enough whipping cream to make the consistency you need.
  • Beat at medium speed until icing is fluffy.
  • You may substitute all shortening for the butter, which will give a pure white icing, but the flavor will not be quite as good.
  • I used butter and real vanilla and the icing turned out a very pale ivory, which I personally prefer to a stark-white icing.
  • The meringue powder gives the icing a light crust, but it remains soft underneath.

Questions & Replies

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  1. You do not have to look any further for a butter cream icing recipe... I use this on all of my wedding cakes, special occasion cakes, etc. In the summertime, I reduce the butter to 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) and add the additional 1/2 in extra Crisco (vegetable shortening). It holds up in the extreme humidity we have here in our state, and keeps the icing from melting. I add 2 tablespoons of meringue powder and use only 8 oz. of cream... it whips up, does not get "aerated holes", and has a slight crust... that makes it perfect for the design work I use on the professional cakes. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, as it is one I have used for years... it is one which will give you a great reputation as a baker of lovely cakes.
  2. I'm a pro cake decorator, and this is a good icing for beginners, practice or "informal" cakes. I made a few changes to use for a wedding cake. First, add 1/2 tsp. extra meringue powder for a stronger foundation to decorate on. I also added a little more flavoring, 1/2 tsp. extra of each. If very white icing is desired, use Wilton's White White Icing Dye, it "bleaches" out the ivory color, also I used clear vanilla. Oh, and PLEASE use a stand mixer if you don't want to buy a new hand mixer each time you make icing! A food processor can work, but a stand mixer makes a much smoother icing.
  3. Absolutely yummy and great to work with! I used an organic trans fat free shortening and it came out perfect!! Used this on your sour cream wedding cake.... holy cow......THANK YOU! *** Edited to add *** I just had to add that I made 2 diff. buttercream recipes tonight. This one and another one that is posted on youtube, cakecentral, etc....this one blows that one out of the water. It has a better taste and a much smoother, bubble-less consistency. This will be my go to from now on.
  4. I was researching different frosting recipes to use for my friends upcoming wedding...the task at hand was 150 cupcakes & a 2 layer, 1 tier 8" wedding cake for a cupcake tree display. I decided to use this one. I am SO pleased with the results. This is a bakery style sweet frosting that frosts & pipes well & crusts up enough for the piped borders, etc. to hold their shape. I am not trying to change the recipe here, just trying to offer tips to anyone looking for a great frosting who may not have the merengue powder or butter flavoring...I did not use either one. I did double the vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste). Mainly because I did not want to make an extra trip to Michaels. Everyone Loved the frosting. It still crusted up just fine. I quadruped the recipe to ensure I had plenty, but I made each batch separately. It is very important to whip the heck out of the shortening & salt together (4-5 min). That is key! To ensure a light colored frosting (not white but not yellow) I whipped the butter for a good four minutes on its own too, then whipped them both together. I have since made it again for my office & 1 batch was enough for four dozen heavily frosted cupcakes.
  5. For the love of all that is holy, please quit putting fake stuff in BC icing. And no shortening. GAG!!


  1. I made this for my husband's birthday and I have to say it just didn't do much for me. First, I made the mistake of not sifting the sugar, so there were little white flecks (which would be fine unless you add food coloring. But my main complaints were the ingredients, compared to other frostings I have made: Using shortening instead of all butter in the recipe really takes away from the flavor. It makes it taste less rich than 100% butter. Next time I would replace the shortening with butter (yes, I'd be adding butter to my butter). Also, if I made it again I would omit or greatly reduce the teaspoon of almond flavoring. I love almond and thought it would be delicious, but the flavor was way too prominent. When I taste the recipe, the flavor reminds me of watered down marzipan. Not what I was looking for.
  2. I used 1/2 cup of butter, and 1 1/2 cups high ratio shortening (makes all the difference). I flavored it mexican vanilla and Loran Oils Butter-Vanilla Emulsion to taste. At the end, I added Americolor Soft Gel Bright White food coloring to get it the whiteness I wanted.
  3. I just made this using suggestions of others below. I used a total of 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Meringue Powder, a total of 1 1/2 tsp almond extract, and a total of 4 oz Whipping cream. Then i added Wiltons Icing color White White to get a truly white buttercream. Also, for the vanilla, I used clear vanilla instead of the traditional brown vanilla extract. If you don't want to use white-white and want to stick with shortening only instead of butter, I recommend adding in 1 tsp Butter flavored extract to maintain that "butter" flavor without the off-white discoloration butter makes.
  4. GREAT just how it is, but I have substituted some of the whipping cream with liquid coffee creamer (flavored) and it got rave reviews!



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