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How To Make Simple Buttercream Icing

Updated on November 15, 2014
A Beautiful Buttercream Icing Cake Made For A Compeition By Maha
A Beautiful Buttercream Icing Cake Made For A Compeition By Maha | Source

If you are not familiar with the classic and versatile buttercream icing, it has a rich and sweet flavour along with being easy to work with and use for many aspects in cake decorating. It is easy to change the consistency of this icing and that is exactly what makes it great to work with.

Looking for something like Buttercream Icing?

For recipes on how to make marshmallow fondant or chocolate cake (how to assemble a cake included) see these:

My Favourite Way to Make Fondant

How To Make Authentic From Scratch Chocolate Cake

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 1.5 cups of stiff icing


  • 125mL solid vegetable shortening
  • 125mL butter/margarine
  • 5mL vanilla extract
  • 1000mL powdered sugar, (sift then measure)
  • 30mL milk/water
  • 15mL meringue powder


  1. We need to start the icing by mixing the cream, butter or margarine, and shortening with an electric mixer at a medium pace. Finally we need to add vanilla and continue for mix until it is blended as well.
  2. Continue on mixing and gradually add powdered sugar. I would say add about 250 mL ( 8.5 oz ) at a time, but depending on your electric mixer and bravery, you can see what amount suits your situation.
  3. The icing will appear dry once you have added all the sugar, but don't step on the trash can and toss it out yet! Next we will add some liquid ingredients. Let's add milk or water and beat until light and fluffy.

After Making The Basic Icing

When finished refrigerate the delicious icing in an airtight container until ready to use. Furthermore, you may consider hiring bodyguards or at the minimum keeping a keen eye for fingers that want to steal free samples. Put a lock on the fridge door so you can protect the icing from people try to steal it also obviously.

More Advanced Tips

As mentioned before when baking and using buttercream icing as an ingredient for decorating, you will want the consistency more stiff as to hold shape. You will most likely want to use a cake decorating set and pipe the decorative elements on the cake to ensure professionalism.

For example: Doing petals of roses, decorative designs, see more example (Always Updated From Google)

If you want to take your cake decorating to the next level you need to purchase cake decorating equipment and follow instructional videos on cake decorating. To make our buttercream icing less stiff for designing icing stars, borders, and petals that lie flat, add 5 mL ( 1 teaspoon) of water for each 250 mL ( 1 cup ) of stiff consistency icing.

Finally, If you want to create writing, vines, frosting cupcakes, or frost a cake smoothly add 10mL ( 2 teaspoons ) of water for each 250mL of stiff consistency icing.

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