Decorator's Buttercream

I attended the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC in 2002 and was given this recipe for buttercream when we learned cakes. It is the absolute best-tasting buttercream I’ve ever had, and every one of my customers have said the same thing. It is a crusting buttercream too. You do need a scale for the measurements, though. I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I’m sure you can use a hand mixer, but it might be messier.

Decorator’s Buttercream


  • 1/2 pound shortening (Crisco)
  • 2 TBSPs water
  • 1 pound softened butter (unsalted)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps clear vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract
  • 3 pounds confectioners (10x) sugar
  • 3 TBSPs meringue powder
  • 4 oz whole milk


  1. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, cream shortening and water together until completely blended. Add butter to this and cream until smooth. Add salt. Add extracts. Turn the mixer down to its slowest speed, and while it’s running, spoon the sugar in slowly. (I use a very large serving spoon for this.) After all the sugar has been incorporated, add the meringue powder. The mixture will appear dry. Add the milk. Scrape down the sides and beat on medium speed for 7-8 minutes. Keep this covered if you aren’t going to use it right away. This freezes great and keeps in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 weeks. Just bring it up to room temperature and beat until fluffy.

Comments (5)


I tired this recipe to make flowers but is far to soft, do you have any ideas to make it stiffer? I added more powdered sugar but that did not help. However it is wonderful as just a iceing and will always ues it for this purpose. Susan


I am not a fan of buttercream but this frosting tastes amazing! It is very soft for fine detail. I will definitely try it again and try adding more powdered sugar or possibly less milk to see if I can thicken it up.


This was delicious, easy to make, I was able to pipe roses with it, I didn't have a problem with it being too soft.