Cake Central › Recipes › Smooth Buttercream With Variations

Smooth buttercream (with variations)

By jennicake

About This Recipe:

I'm sure this site doesn't need yet another buttercream recipe, but am sharing this because I absolutely love it!  This frosting is very smooth, with no air bubbles, and easy to work with.



  • 2 cups - high ratio shortening
  • 1 cup - salted butter (room temperature)
  • 10 tbsp - water (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp - vanilla extract
  • 3 lbs - powdered sugar





  1. Cream shortening and butter together on low until combined and fluffy.  Add water and vanilla, 1 tbsp at a time, until everything is well combined.
  2. Stop mixer and add 1/2 of the powdered sugar.  Cover mixer with a cloth and mix on low until most of the sugar is combined.  Stop mixer again, and add the remaining sugar.  Cover again with a cloth and mix on low for 2 - 3 minutes.




For chocolate frosting, replace half the water with coffee.  Add 200g of melted, cooled chocolate to the butter/shortening/water mixture.  Reduce the vanilla to 2 tsp.   


For fruit-flavored frosting, add 1/2 cup of fruit preserves or jam to butter/shortening/water mixture.  Omit vanilla.


For cream cheese frosting, reduce shortening to 1.5 cups and butter to 1/2 cup.  Cream 1 cup of room temperature cream cheese with the butter and shortening.  Continue as normal.



Comments (12)

Does this have to be refrigerated? And does it crust? Or taste grainy?
Why do you need to cover it with a cloth while mixing?
It's fine at room temperature, but because there is some butter in here I personally wouldn't leave it out for more than 3 days or so. It does crust very slightly (not enough to smooth with a Viva towel for example) but does not taste grainy. If you want no crusting at all I would suggest either cutting down or leaving out the water completely. If you want more crusting, add more powdered sugar and water.

Cover with a cloth so that your kitchen does not end up covered in powdered sugar :). It's just a suggestion though, not necessary.
would you use this for wedding cupcakes
I've used it for cupcakes quite a bit and it's always been great... so I imagine it would be fine for wedding cupcakes too :)
 Is it similar to the wilton one?
How much icing does this make?
This is my FAV recipe!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I have been using it since the summer and everyone loves it. 
Is this recipe good for making roses? 
Oh!  Sorry everyone, I didn't realize there were questions posted here!  
All powdered sugar based frostings are going to be kind of similar to wilton because you will be primarily be tasting powdered sugar.  I think this tastes better though and the proportions are a little different.  
I haven't measured how many cups of frosting this makes, but it does fill my 5 qt mixer bowl close to the top.  
I have not made roses with it so I can't give you a definite answer but I would think it would work.  If the texture is too soft, just add a bit more powdered sugar.
Love this recipe, crusts well and no grainy taste.  The Sweetex makes a big difference!  I frosted one nine inch double layer cake and one single layer cake with some left over icing.
Cake Central › Recipes › Smooth Buttercream With Variations