My most requested recipe, finally. Though you’ll find a lot of variations on this recipe, this simple buttercream (also called American buttercream) recipe came from my mom, and in my recipe book, it’s called “Wedding Cake Icing.” I grew up having it on birthday cakes and holiday cakes, and it’s a great all-purpose icing that can be flavored or colored, and is great for decorating.
Here goes! This recipe makes A LOT. I’ve used it to ice and decorate an 8″ two layer cake, and have quite a bit left over (which lives happily in the refrigerator until I need it next). I’ve often made 1/2 the recipe if I’m just doing a single batch of cupcakes.
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter (or vegan margarine)*
1 1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
9 cups confectioner’s/powdered sugar
2 tsp butter flavor**
In a standing mixer, cream together butter, shortening, salt, water, vanilla. Add sugar 1 cup at a time and beat on high speed until smooth. Depending on desired consistency, you may need to add additional sugar. Add desired color or flavoring
*if you’re making a cake that has to be super-white, buy a colorless vanilla and white margarine/butter from a cake store or specialty shop.
**Available from cake stores/Michael’s/JoAnn Fabrics