I decided on a whim yesterday that I wanted to make cupcakes for Canada Day. I didn't have time to buy frosting before getting ready for the fireworks show, so I ended up making my own with ingredients I already had. I was shocked at how quick and easy this was! This basic vanilla recipe makes enough to cover a dozen cupcakes, but feel free to double it (for cakes), triple it, add food coloring or different flavor extracts. If you find this too sweet, you can add a dash of salt to the milk or the vanilla. Personally I like it sweet, and I used salted butter, so I didn't find it necessary.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
total:
15 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
12 servings
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Beat butter and shortening together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Beat the vanilla extract into the butter mixture. Add sugar, one cup at a time, beating on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, beating on high until fully incorporated and you have frosting.

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Nutrition Facts

173 calories; protein 0.1g; carbohydrates 21g 7% DV; fat 10.2g 16% DV; cholesterol 12.9mg 4% DV; sodium 35.4mg 1% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (180)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
08/27/2012
This is a pretty much standard traditional buttercream frosting offering the best of what both shortening (use hi-ratio for best results) and butter have to offer - namely, the stability and pure white color of the shortening and the unbeatable flavor of butter. Splitting hairs, perhaps, but I'd prefer it with a little less butter. Ideally, I like 2 cups of powdered sugar to 1/2 cup (8T.) of fat, be it shortening or butter. Read More
(59)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/30/2014
It was not too sweet for me and it was super easy to make... i added chocolate chips in my icing... id like to try using more of the butter than the shortening next time. Read More
(2)
225 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 164
  • 4 star values: 37
  • 3 star values: 14
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 4 stars
08/27/2012
This is a pretty much standard traditional buttercream frosting offering the best of what both shortening (use hi-ratio for best results) and butter have to offer - namely, the stability and pure white color of the shortening and the unbeatable flavor of butter. Splitting hairs, perhaps, but I'd prefer it with a little less butter. Ideally, I like 2 cups of powdered sugar to 1/2 cup (8T.) of fat, be it shortening or butter. Read More
(59)
Rating: 5 stars
07/02/2012
Just as the name implies, it’s simple and delicious. A good standard buttercream frosting that made the perfect amount for 12 cupcakes using a #2 frosting tip. I added an extra ¼ cup of confectioner’s sugar to tighten it up for piping. Read More
(54)
Rating: 4 stars
08/12/2012
I tried this recipe on a whim and I am very pleased with it. I made it exactly as written and it made enough to frost a 13x9 cake nicely. Read More
(43)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/26/2012
This was very tasty. I made 40 cupcakes for my sister's rehearsal dinner and used this recipe to frost. I got a lot of compliments on how delicious the frosting was. One word of advice - I calculated 48 servings and did not have enough to frost 40 cupcakes. If you are going to 'pipe' the frosting you will need more frosting so calculate accordingly. Great recipe...good consistency, great taste. Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
08/16/2012
I have tried so many buttercream recipes and they were either ok or horrible.. this one is by far the best I have ever made.. I recommend beating the butter and shortening for atleast 10-15 min to give it a nice fluffy and creamy texture.. love it! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
07/25/2012
I made this frosting for my daughter's b-day cake. It was my first attempt at homemade frosting. I will never buy canned again. So easy to make and tastes amazing. Everyone commented how good it was. :) Read More
(17)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/24/2012
this was the most perfect frosting I have ever made. Make sure to beat the butter and shortening for quite a while to get it light and fluffy. It is so worth it. My husband never likes frosting, even he says this is perfect. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
07/09/2012
This is a good basic buttercream. It was super easy to whip up. I had some left over after frosting the cupcakes. It kept well in the fridge for a week. Thanks Denise Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
08/15/2012
I followed the directions for this frosting exactly, until the very last and I added Hershey's Dark Cocoa. The frosting by itself is REALLY sweet, by adding the bitterness of the powdered cocoa, it cuts the sweetness and is an awesome frosting!!! Thanks Denise for sharing this recipe with us. Read More
(8)
Rating: 3 stars
01/30/2014
It was not too sweet for me and it was super easy to make... i added chocolate chips in my icing... id like to try using more of the butter than the shortening next time. Read More
(2)