I used this recipe for C2’s wedding cake and the guests seemed to like it. For this wedding cake, I did a lot of research and testing. When researching buttercream frosting and cake decorating, I found that many professionals use all shortening in their buttercream frosting so that it will be pure white. I find all-shortening frosting to be too greasy feeling, but I wanted something creamier than the all-butter frosting I usually make (my mom has always used half Crisco and half butter), so I kept searching.
From multiple cake-decorating sources I found reference to “high-ratio” shortening (Sweetex is one brand), but could find that only at Cash and Carry in 50-pound boxes. Don’t tell anyone, but I ended up using Wal-Mart brand shortening because one of the ingredients is “meat fats.” I made my choice based on nothing more than that using lard in biscuits makes them taste way better than using shortening. I don’t anticipate ever needing 50 pounds of shortening, but if I ever come across a smaller quantity of Sweetex (and don’t have to pay high shipping charges), I’ll try that to see how it compares.
Because of the vanilla and butter, this is not bright white. Because I’m not interested in shortening-only or imitation vanilla, I’m happy with it being slightly off-white. Besides, I’m constitutionally incapable of not using food coloring in frosting.
This is creamy rather than greasy.
Cream the butter and shortening together.
Add powdered sugar and cream together. I added a little green food coloring here.
Add milk and vanilla (or whatever flavoring you’re using) and cream together for about 3 minutes.
- 1-1/2 cup butter (Many recipes call for unsalted butter, but I found that left the frosting too bland.)
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- dash salt
- 4 tablespoons milk (preferably whole milk or cream)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla (or other flavoring, but adjust amount to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- Cream butter and shortening together until fluffy, a few minutes.
- Add powdered sugar, milk, salt, and vanilla.
- Cream together until smooth, 1 – 3 minutes.
- Add more milk if too stiff, more powdered sugar if too thin.
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