There are many versions of “Buttercream” icing. Some are made with eggs and all butter. Some varieties, you have to cook your sugar to a softball stage. Others are 100% shortening or a combination of shortening and butter.
Each decorator has his or her favorite. I personally think that the best taste and textured recipe is the one that has you cook your sugar, add to whipped eggs and use pounds of butter per batch.
The recipe of Buttercream Icing
Makes about 3 ½ pounds
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 cups Crisco shortening
1 teaspoon butter flavoring (Wilton’s makes the best flavored version)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Wilton’s Clear Vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 pounds powdered (confectioners) cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional but the texture will be smoother)*
Water as necessary (I usually add about 2 tablespoons but you may need more or less depending on the humidity in your neighborhood)
* You can purchase meringue powder at your local grocery store under the brand name of Just Whites.
In the mixer, mix butter, Crisco shortening, and salt together to incorporate, about 5 minutes on low.
Add almond, butter and vanilla extracts. Mix together well. Add about 1 pound of powdered sugar and the meringue powder and mix.
Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time and mix until you get the consistency you want.
Add a little milk, a teaspoon at a time, if necessary to thin the frosting. Blend well on low for several minutes.
Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.
NOTE: Buttercream Icing will last for weeks as long as it is well sealed.
This icing is used for icing cakes and cookies as well as for borders and art work on cakes. It also makes a good tasting filling between layers of the cake and under a Fondant Icing.
You can make roses, but the drying time is 3 or more days depending on the humidity.