Using an electric mixer fitted with beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl occasionally.
Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Start by mixing each cup on a low speed then transition to beating well on medium speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each cup of sugar is added. When all the sugar has been mixed in, the frosting will appear dry and stiff.
Gradually add small amounts of cream or milk or water at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Continue to beat at a medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl once more and beat again to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
(Optional) Add a pinch of salt if too sweet and mix until completely dissolved.
How to Store: Frosting should be stored in an airtight container and can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.Substitutes:
Shortening substitute: 1/2 cup butter can be substituted for the 1/2 cup of shortening, although the buttercream will appear more yellow. Keep in mind that frosting with all butter will be softer and more prone to melting if you’re piping with warm hands or in a warm room. Including shortening in your recipe is optimal for giving your buttercream structure and stability, while still maintaining its fluffy consistency.
Liquid substitute: Water can be used as the liquid ingredient, although the fat from milk and heavy cream make for creamier, more flavorful buttercream.
Butter substitute (for pure white buttercream): Substitute out the 1/2 cup of butter for additional white vegetable shortening and opt for clear vanilla flavor extract. To add the butter flavor to the shortening frosting, add 1/2 teaspoon of clear butter flavor.
Air bubbles: To avoid creating air bubbles, make sure to use the paddle attachment instead of the whisk attachment on your electric stand mixer.
Too stiff or too thin: If your frosting is too thin, add small amounts of powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency. If too thick, add small amounts of liquid until the desired consistency is reached.
Grainy consistency: Make sure your ingredients are all room temperature to avoid a grainy or gritty consistency.
To preserve while in use: Depending on the weather and humidity, your buttercream may start to crust over. To avoid this, cover your frosting bowl with plastic wrap.
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WILTON BLOG Best Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting https://blog.wilton.com/how-to-make-homemade-buttercream-frosting/