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.