How Do You Make Buttercream Icing?


To make buttercream icing, blend shortening, butter, powdered confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Use an electric mixer for best results.

Buttercream Icing

Buttercream icing is just the thing for topping cakes and cookies. It can be made thicker for specific decorating jobs, like adding decor or lettering to cakes, or it can be made thinner for glazing the tops of sweet breads or Bundt cakes.

Prep Time: 5 min.

Cook Time: 0 min.

Ready In: 10 min.


  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk

  1. Mix the butter and shortening
  2. Beat the butter and shortening together in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Beat the vanilla into the mixture.

  3. Add other ingredients
  4. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time while beating the mixture on medium speed. Use the beaters to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl often while beating. The icing mixture should appear dry when all of the sugar has been added. Gradually add the milk to the mixture.

  5. Beat until fluffy
  6. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it is fluffy and light.

To make the icing thinner and more spreadable, add 2 more tablespoons of milk or light corn syrup. To make the icing stiffer, omit the butter and substitute an additional 1/2 cup of shortening to the mix.