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Easy, Never Fail Buttercream

This is my standard crusting buttercream recipe and I have never had it fail me. You can add any flavoring you want. To make chocolate just add 1/2 to 3/4 C cocoa to it. For maple substitute real maple syrup for milk. For orange substitute orange juice for get the picture. Also, for an exceptionally good chocolate/orange make the chocolate buttercream using orange juice for the milk and add orange zest. Yummy!


  • 1/2 C Butter 1/2 C Shortening (make sure it has trans fats!) 8 C Confectioners Sugar 2-3 Tbsp Milk 2 Tsp Meringue Powder


Cream butter and shortening. Add the meringue powder and continue to cream. Add the sugar and milk alternating. Beat until light and fluffy. If icing is too thick add a little more milk, if too loose add more sugar.

Comments (78)

How much does this yeild?
yield* I before E except after C :p
A good "guestimate" would be probably around 4 cups.
how about for lemon buttercream? just substitue lemon juice for milk? i guess i'm worried about it being sour?
For lemon- I know I have used a product called True Lemon. I usually find it in the section where the sugar is/ artificial sweeteners etc. (It comes in a box- there is a bunch of little packets inside- it isn't just a full box. And there is lime and orange versions too) It is a natural product derived from dehydrated lemon juice and zest etc. I have also, in a pinch used natural lemon extract, but that can be awful strong, and if you put too much it can taste a little funky. Depending on the tartness/strength, you can add more fresh zest, but no, I wouldn't use lemon juice because it can change the consistency, and doesn't have as much potency as the True Lemon. Good luck!
i have problems when i make any frosting. it always turns out like a glaze! any pointers?
I just made this recipe today and it was awesome. I don't think I will ever go back to using any other type of buttercream frosting. It was a total hit I had 3 orders of 2 dozen each of cupcakes today and everyone wanted more. Thank you so much for posting the recipe.
Can you use this recipe for decorating or is it more of a frosting?
is it ok to add color to this frosting?
Do you have to use the Meringue Powder?
just made the buttercream! and it has the perfect amount of sweetness to it! so yummy! going to put it on cupcakes today for an order!making some chocolate buttercream too now! thanks!
SO glad ya'll have liked it! It has always been a great icing for me. I use the meringue powder to help it to crust but no, you don't have to use it. Makes between 4 and 6 cups. I've never really measured the finished amount. **Also I forgot to add 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of almond extract.
Oh! It takes color very well too!
Hello! I really need a good buttercream recipe, and this one has definitely been well-reviewed! However I am a bit confused. I am in the UK so some of these terms are foreign to me. I searched for a definition of 'shortening' and got: 'fat such as butter or lard used in baked goods'. So can you just use 1 cup butter? What is the benefit of using half and half? Also, mentioned in previous comments is that the meringue powder is optional - do you recommend just omitting it, or what would you sub it with? I'm gonna try it one way or another! Thanks for the recipe and if you could answer my Qs I'd be so grateful!
Hey there VaNellaCakes! I'm not sure if you have anything that is a substitute for vegetable shortening in the UK. You might want to look for Crisco, which is one of the more popular major brands in the US. The main reason to use half and half is because butter has a much lower melting point than shortening and the shortening helps the frosting keep it's shape and consistency. You can of course use all butter, but I can't guarantee the outcome as far as consistency goes. Meringue powder is totally optional. The reason I use it is because it makes the frosting crust nicely. Hope this helps! I'll keep looking for something you could use in place of the shortening.
Ok I think I may have found something in your area VaNellaCakes - It's called White Flora and also called Trex in the UK....let me know if that helps! :)
Ahhhh OK! Brilliant thanks for your help - I know what White Flora is. OK fab. I tried the recipe with 1 cup butter and yes, it was very runny! I can see how 'shortening' would help. Thanks so much I shall try it next time! =)
Hey VaNellaCakes! Let me know how it works out next time with the White Flora....You've got me really curious now! :)
I'm confused about the amount of butter and shortening. I used 1/2 cup of each, as you recipe says, but 4 cups of sugar made it very thick and your recipe call for 8 cups of sugar?
CarolDianne did you also add the milk?? The milk is what thins the mixture. It's very important though to add it in small increments at a time, and also the 1-2 tsp vanilla will help to thin it as well. Let me know how that works out!
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