This buttercream icing is my absolute standby. It is creamy, delicious, fluffy, and not sickeningly sweet. It stands up well at room temperature and you can refrigerate it and stir it up to use again later. It can be flavoured, coloured, and veganized (though not to my liking) with little effort. It is awesome.
- 1 cup unsalted butter – room temperature (you can use 1/2 salted 1/2 unsalted as well. Truthfully I’ve used 1 cup of salted too, I am not too picky about this, myself)
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 tbsp vanilla (use clear vanilla extract if you want a pure white buttercream. Again, I am not too picky about this)
- 1 1kg bag of icing sugar (2.2lbs), about 4 cups
- 4-6 tbsp very cold milk
Cream the butter and shortening in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and combine well. The mixture may not be totally smooth, but this will be resolved. Add the sugar about 1 cup at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, add three tablespoons of the milk, combine very well. Add additional tablespoons of milk until you’ve reached your desired consistency. I find that four tablespoons is good for cakes and the full six is nice and fluffy for cupcakes.
- Drunken Buttercream: Replace 3-6 tbsp of the milk with Irish Cream, Amaretto, Kahlua, whatever liquor you are trying to work into your icing.
- Peanut Butter Buttercream: Replace the shortening with equal amount of peanut butter.
- Vegan “Buttercream”: Replace the butter with vegan butter and make sure the shortening you are using is all veg.
- Chocolate Buttercream: Add 4 tbsp to the finished butter cream. Add more as needed until a rich chocolate buttercream is reached. This does not make a really brown chocolate colour, it is a little grey-brown but tastes amazing.
- I am going to try out a brown butter version and report back the results.