Wilton Buttercream Icing

"A great icing that we used in Wilton Cake Decorating Class. Would produce amazing results everytime. Thinning is done easily by adding water. This recipe makes "stiff" consistency. To make "medium" add one tablespoon milk or water. To make "thin" icing (perfect consistency for decorating a cake with the basic coating) Add two tablespoons of milk or water. If you want pure white icing, which is the perfect base to tint, use the white crisco shortening and any clear vanilla extract (wilton makes a great one). Using any others will give a faint creamy color that may affect the shade you try and tint with. Using water will give you a stable product that needs no refridgeration and the icing will keep indefinately in the fridge if you keep it in a covered container. If it dries out in the fridge you can always just add a bit of water to bring it back to the consistency you need. If you over thin at any time, just add more icing sugar to thicken. Very versatile product!"
photo by Katherine L. photo by Katherine L.
photo by Katherine L.
photo by Meri Beth photo by Meri Beth
photo by Doing it Right photo by Doing it Right
photo by CassieM photo by CassieM
photo by Meri Beth photo by Meri Beth
Ready In:
3 cups




  • Cream butter and shortening with mixer.
  • add vanilla.
  • gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating on medium speed.
  • scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
  • when all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk or water and beat at medium speed until ready to use.
  • refridgerate leftover icing in an airtight container.
  • Rewhip before using.
  • *****For chocolate icing.
  • Add cocoa powder or melted chocolate when adding the sugar.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
  1. lady_di43
    no real question but I followed Wilton's ideas for years. Believe it or not , I forgot how to make the icing. It's been quite a few years since I made a cake. I gave away all my Wilton books to young people that wanted to get started. I'm making a special cake for a friend. I did take one of Wilton's classes , after that I just kept on making cakes, wedding , birthday and all kinds of shapes.
  2. kay w.
    shiny icing for cookies
  3. carter112457
    When do you add coloring and what brand is recommended? I am guessing there must be a Wilton brand for sure. Sorry, I am new at this


  1. OutnumberedByPeanuts
    Dannygirl's right - the recipe from the Wilton cake decorating classes also calls for (1 tbsp) Wilton Meringue Powder. Adding that was the only change I made to this. The order of the steps was slightly different too - the directions I have call for creaming the shortening, flavoring, and milk/water together prior to adding the confectioner's sugar and meringue powder, instead of adding the milk/water as the last step. After getting everything mixed together I just went back and added the extra milk to get the various consistencies (thin and medium) that I needed for my particular cake. It has a good flavor and works great for covering cakes as well as piping decorations. I used it to decorate a My Little Pony themed cake for my 3 year old's birthday. She loved it! Thanks for posting and reminding me to dig out this recipe from class! ;-)
  2. Meri Beth
    My grandmother taught me to decorate cakes years ago and this is the recipe she gave. Tastes great- highly recommend!
  3. canyoncmajdalka
    This buttercream is absolutely horrible. It tastes like vegetable shortening, I had to add another 3/4 cup butter, and it is barely sweet, and I had to add another cup if sugar! When decorating my cake, it caused so many problems. The icing melts SUPER fast making it hard to decorate with. This is probably the worst buttercream recipe I have used by far. I would NEVER reccomend this to ANYONE. Do not use this recipe. Use a different one!
  4. UmmBinat
    I change it but it worked for what I wanted. I wanted a thinner icing. I used just sweet butter (unsalted) because that is all I had, rose water in place of vanilla & milk.
  5. Chef amfox
    I must say, the only reason I chose this recipe was because the picture was of the Georgia G! However, I'm so glad I did, because it's a great recipe & works wonderfully for decorating. Thanks to Shandibear for posting and Meri Beth for the bulldog pride!


  1. UmmBinat
    I change it but it worked for what I wanted. I wanted a thinner icing. I used just sweet butter (unsalted) because that is all I had, rose water in place of vanilla & milk.
  2. jenny_grant28
    i have used this recipe for years after i took my wilton class. i can't stand the feeling in my mouth that shortening gives so i replace the shortening in its entirety with butter. so unhealthy but much better than just butter flavor!
  3. Dwynnie
    This is a great icing for decorating, though I thinned it with corn syrup instead of water--water would probably be better as the corn syrup does make it even sweeter! Thank you for posting this recipe so I didn't need to!



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