French Buttercream Decorator's Icing

This is a recipe that my Wilton instructor gave me the first day of class. It’s looks good and tastes good and is easy to convert to medium or thin icing.

French Buttercream Decorator’s Icing


  • ¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder (use any brand but Carnation) Sanalac preferred, but I use Wal-mart brand
  • 12 Tablespoons cold water(one at a time)
  • 2 cups white all vegetable shortening ( Crisco, white, not butter flavored)
  • 2 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 teaspoons clear flavoring ( vanilla, almond, butter, coconutâ¦.be creative)
  • ½ to 1 ½ teaspoons salt ( optional)- will cut down on the sweetness and enhance flavor
  • 3 pounds (12 cups) powdered confectionerâs sugar


  1. This recipe yields approximately 6 cups of stiff decorator icing. If you are using a hand mixer, you may wish to make just half of this recipe so as not to burn out your mixer.
  2. Beat dry milk powder in mixer and add one Tablespoon of water at a time making sure no dry milk remains on beaters.
  3. Add:
  4. vegetable shortening
  5. meringue powder
  6. clear flavoring
  7. ½ to 1 ½ teaspoons salt ( optional)-
  8. Beat on low speed just until combined and no lumps remain in shortening.
  9. Add:
  10. powdered confectionerâs sugar slowly
  11. Beat on medium speed just until combined. Do not over beat as this will create air bubbles in the icing. (Beat on high with hand mixer)
  12. This recipe will yield about 6 cups of stiff icing.
  13. For medium icing, add 1 teaspoon water for each cup needed.
  14. For thin icing, add 2 teaspoons of water for each cup needed.

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