Whether it's a cake or cookies, you want a recipe that is the best! Let me show you how to make this fluffy buttercream frosting that can be any color you choose and is ready to use in 5 minutes!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Perfect for frosting Sugar Cookies or your favorite cake!
- Easy homemade frosting recipe with the perfect buttery taste!
- No Fail! I've been making this recipe for decades!
- Shortening - people often want to use all butter instead of adding a little bit of shortening. You can do this, but remember that shortening has a purpose. It maintains it's shape and doesn't soften or melt at room temperature, which is why it's in this recipe. The decorative frosting needs to maintain its shape and not melt.
- Butter - I always use salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter as well; just add an extra pinch of salt. You will also want to use real butter. Plant butter and margarine may not result in the kind of buttercream you want.
- Milk - Any percentage of milk will work for this recipe. You can even use evaporated milk, half-and-half, heavy cream, or even almond milk.
- Vanilla Extract - Use pure vanilla extract if you've got it; otherwise, imitation is fine!
- Food Coloring - My preference is to use gel food coloring. It achieves vibrant colors without thinning down the frosting.
Step by Step Instructions
- This frosting can be made in a mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment. If a paddle attachment is all you have, just make sure to mix really well and scrape down the sides of the bowl more frequently.
- The butter does need to be softened or at room temperature for this recipe. Cold butter does not cream or blend well. Melted butter makes a soupy mess.
- Cream the room-temperature butter, shortening, salt, and vanilla well.
- Add the powdered sugar, aka confectioners sugar, a cup at a time at a medium speed.
- Beat in the milk.
- Whip frosting at a high speed until it's light and fluffy.
- Color frosting however you choose.
- Fill a piping bag to decorate or spread on with a frosting knife.
- This easy recipe makes 3 cups of frosting, which should be enough frosting to frost 2 dozen cupcakes, 3 dozen sugar cookies, or a double-layer cake.
- Store leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
There are many types of buttercream. This one is an American buttercream recipe.
An American buttercream is the same as frosting. The frosting is different, however, from icing. Icing does not have a butter base.
Related Buttercream Recipes
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Best Buttercream Frosting
- ½ Cup Butter Not Margarine (softened)
- ¼ Cup Shortening
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla clear vanilla if you want white frosting
- 3 Tbs. Milk
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- Gel Food Coloring
- Beat the butter, shortening, salt, and vanilla together in a mixing bowl.
- Beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each cup.
- Add the 3 TBS milk.
- Beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in food coloring.
- Frost your cookies, cakes, or whatever else you want!
- Freezes well.
- Don't substitute margarine for the butter.
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