Video Transcript

Before we start decorating, and I know you’re excited to get started, we need to talk about the medium and the medium is buttercream icing. There are lots of recipes out there that you’re going to want to try and I encourage you to experiment, but the Wilton buttercream icing is great for beginners because number one it’s delicious and it’s also versatile. You can adjust the consistencies for piping and also for icing cakes. Making icing is simple so let’s get started!

I am going to put a half a cup of solid vegetable shortening in my bowl and also a half a cup of butter. The first thing we’re going to do is cream the butter and the shortening on medium speed. I’m using a paddle attachment and if you’re using hand mixer use beaters. We’re using pure white vegetable shortening because it gives the icing structure and it makes it nice and fluffy. So we’re going to go ahead and mix this up on a low speed until it’s all incorporated. We need to beat the butter and the shortening until it’s light and fluffy. And I think it looks pretty good.

I’m going to go ahead and add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Turn it back on and we’re going to go ahead and incorporate this back in. I think I need to scrape the bowl down a little bit again. I just want to make sure that the flavoring is well mixed in. In case I haven’t mentioned it, we’re using medium speed to mix this together. Okay. One more whirl and then we’re going to start adding our confectioner sugar.

So, I’m going to start adding the confectioner sugar or also known as powdered sugar one cup at a time. Here I have four cups of confectioner’s sugar. You do want to start this slowly because the powdered sugar can kind of pop up at you and go ahead and turn this speed up a little bit. Okay, I’m going to add another cup. I need to lift up my mixer here a little bit. And slow. You’ll have powdered sugar all over your kitchen if you don’t start this slowly. I think its time to scrape down the bowl a little bit to make sure that everything is incorporated nicely. Because I have some powdered sugar that’s sort of working itself up and sometimes the powdered sugar will also sit on the bottom of the bowl, so you want to make sure that you’re scraping it down that you’re making sure that there’s nothing just sitting down there. We’re going to add our last cup of powdered sugar. A little bit more in here that I can’t get out with my measuring cup so I’m is going to pour it in. Now you’re going to notice that this icing gets pretty stiff but don’t worry about it because when we add the liquid it’s going fluff up really nicely. I’m going to stir it down one more time before we start adding the liquid. Okay. One more little spin here because I just want to make sure the powdered sugar on the bottom of the bowl is mixed in with the shortening and the butter. And I think it looks pretty good. It looks like I have a few scoops or maybe like a tablespoon of powdered sugar here yet so I am going to just add it in. I want to make sure that you don’t waste anything and besides just a little bit of powdered sugar can make a difference in the consistency of your icing. We’ll talk about that in just a little bit.

Alright, so it’s time to add the liquid. I have two tablespoons of milk here which I’ll be adding to my recipe but I’m going to add it a little bit at a time because it’s possible I’m not going to need it all. Turn it up to medium speed so it’s nice and fluffy. See how it’s whipping up and looking really good. You could also use water as your liquid but milk has more fat so it makes it more flavorful and creamy. I’m going to add a little bit more. I’m going to scrape down my bowl. I want to make sure that it’s getting mixed in well and also this is going to give me an opportunity to check the consistency and I’m thinking that it’s about right. I may not need to use all that liquid. I think this buttercream is done but there’s one more thing I wanted to tell you about.

If you are using a hand mixer you may want to add your liquid a little bit sooner because the icing is pretty stiff and it could exhaust your mixer and we don’t want that to happen. So as you are mixing up the icing, a combination of your butter and your shortening and your powdered sugars, if you notice that your mixer is starting to run a little bit slower or sound like it’s struggling you might want to go ahead and start adding your liquid a little bit at a time at that point. Just realize that after you’ve made the icing it might be just a little bit thin and you might have to add a little bit more powdered sugar to stiffen it up.

So I think this icing looks really great. It looks like about two and a quarter cups of stiff consistency icing which is great for piping but if you plan on piping say like stars or dots or rosettes you’re probably going to need to thin it down a little bit we’ll learn more about that in the buttercream icing consistency video.

Since we used butter and pure vanilla extract you can see that this icing is just a little bit yellow. If you want to make pure white icing that’s really easy to do all you have to do is substitute the half a cup butter with the pure white vegetable shortening. You can add the butter flavor back in by using a half a teaspoon of clear butter flavor. You’ll also want to use a teaspoon clear vanilla flavor versus the pure vanilla extract if you want a nice brilliant white icing.

Just a few other things to keep in mind. Depending on the weather your icing could actually crust over a little bit so you’ll always want to keep it covered with plastic wrap when you’re not using it.

Depending on the humidity or the climate in your area you might need to adjust the consistency of your icing; if it seems a little bit stiff you can add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon additional liquid. If it’s kind of thin you can add one tablespoon of powdered sugar but just add a little bit at a time.

If you like an all-butter recipe, that’s really easy to do too. You just substitute a half a cup of butter for that half a cup of shortening. It’s a really yummy icing but just keep in mind that it’s softer and more fragile and if you have hot hands it might melt a little bit as you’re piping and it also could soften up and melt a little bit more if you’re in a warm room.

If you think the buttercream icing is just a little bit too sweet, you can add a pinch of salt to your liquid and make sure you let it dissolve before adding it to your powdered sugar-shortening mixture. You can also use salted butter as part of your butter to cut the sweetness a little bit. Some decorators use popcorn salt because it’s very fine granule and you can actually just put it directly into your buttercream icing. Whatever you do just make sure you’re adding a small amount of salt at a time.

Let’s talk about flavorings; if you want to go beyond vanilla this recipe is a perfect base for your favorite extracts or flavorings and flavorings to taste but be mindful that it might then down the consistency of your icing. So you could substitute some of your liquid with your flavoring. So you have a few flavor options you can use the clear flavorings which don’t add any coloring to your icing and then there are extracts which are really concentrated and tastes really great and then there are the Treatology flavors which you only need a few drops of and you can actually combine the flavors to make new flavors.

If you have leftover icing after you’ve completed your project, you just need to use an airtight container to put it in prior to refrigerating it or freezing it. You can freeze it for up to six weeks. All you have to do is bring it back to room temperature and put it back in your mixer with your paddle attachment and whip it back up to the appropriate consistency. I think we got it all in there. Seal it up and we’re ready to go.

While this buttercream icing is perfect for icing cakes and piping – you’re going to want to try other icing recipes as well like Swiss meringue buttercream, chocolate buttercream, peanut butter frosting and even cream cheese icing you can find those recipes and others on Wilton.com.

Learn how to make buttercream frosting with this easy and delicious recipe. Great for piping, spreading, filling, decorating and more, this homemade buttercream is certainly one of our favorites!

Unlike other buttercreams out there, this recipe allows you to adjust the consistency of your icing. You can make a stiff or medium consistency for piping flowers or boarders, or you can thin the buttercream down to make a silky frosting, perfect for icing a cake. This buttercream also works as a great base for adding different flavors or colors.

A simple recipe for beginners to add to their wheelhouse, this homemade buttercream frosting will have you ditching store-bought stuff and going for the real deal.

Learn how to make buttercream frosting with this easy and delicious recipe. Great for piping, spreading, filling, decorating and more, this homemade buttercream is certainly one of our favorites!

Unlike other buttercreams out there, this recipe allows you to adjust the consistency of your icing. You can make a stiff or medium consistency for piping flowers or boarders, or you can thin the buttercream down to make a silky frosting, perfect for icing a cake. This buttercream also works as a great base for adding different flavors or colors.

A simple recipe for beginners to add to their wheelhouse, this homemade buttercream frosting will have you ditching store-bought stuff and going for the real deal.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This recipe is for stiff-consistency buttercream, which can be used to pipe flowers and borders. If you want to ice your cake or use this buttercream as a filling between cake layers, you’ll need to thin it down. Check out the Buttercream Icing Consistency Guide for details on how to adjust this recipe to suit your needs.

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup solid vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 cups (1 lb.) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water
  • Salt, to taste (optional)

If using table salt, let salt fully dissolve in milk or water for 15 minutes before making buttercream

Tools:

  • Electric mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer with beaters)
  • Large bowl (if using hand mixer)
  • Silicone spatula

Instructions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer with a paddle attachment (beaters for hand mixers) on medium speed until light and fluffy.

2. Beat in vanilla.

3. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time. Start the mixer on low speed to avoid puffs of sugar. Gradually increase to medium speed until sugar is incorporated.

4. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl periodically with spatula to ensure that all ingredients are incorporated. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.

5. While mixer is running, gradually add half the milk or water (with the dissolved salt, if using). Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

6. If icing appears dry, add more liquid to achieve desired consistency*.

Hints:

If you have leftover buttercream in the bowl, keep the bowl covered with plastic wrap until you’re ready to use it.

Leftover buttercream can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Buttercream can also be frozen for up to six months. Before reusing, bring buttercream back to room temperature and rewhip using a paddle attachment until it’s back to the correct consistency.

If using a hand mixer, beat shortening, butter (if used) and liquids first, then add sugar, as above. Make one batch at a time to prevent hand mixer from burning out.

*Depending on the humidity and climate, it may be necessary to adjust the liquid and the sugar in your icing. If icing looks dry, add small amounts of liquid (¼ to ½ teaspoon at a time). If icing is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time. The key for both adjustments is adding small amounts until you achieve the right consistency.

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