Gale Gand's quick vanilla buttercream frosting on FoodNetwork.com is a delicious recipe for light and fluffy buttercream icing. The recipe features four simple ingredients: 1 cup of butter, 3 cups of confectioners' sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Quick vanilla buttercream frosting makes 10 to 12 servings and takes about 10 minutes to prepare.
To make quick vanilla buttercream frosting, mix butter and confectioners' sugar on low speed until well blended, and then increase the speed to medium and beat for three minutes. Add the vanilla and cream, and beat for an additional minute. If needed, add more cream to achieve a good spreading consistency.
Wilton offers another variation on buttercream icing. To make 2 1/4 cups of Wilton's buttercream icing, beat 1/2 cup of solid vegetable shortening and 1/2 cup of softened butter or margarine until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract, and beat well.
Gradually add 4 cups of confectioner's sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well with each addition. Add 2 tablespoons of milk, and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy. To make thinner icing, add an additional 2 tablespoons of milk, water or corn syrup.