This easy homemade American buttercream frosting recipe is the best ever! It's velvety smooth, full of creamy, buttery flavor, and perfect for decorating cakes, frosting cupcakes, filling sandwich cookies, and so much more! Go classic with vanilla, or add your favorite flavorings to make other incredible, rich flavors like chocolate and raspberry!
It’s the end of January, and while many people are wrapping up Whole30, I’m over here like ‘I love cake’.
Did you make a resolution to have an extra healthy January?
I’ve given up on trying to be extra healthy each January because I can never stick to my resolution. After a few days, I’m craving sweets so badly that I could eat an entire batch of cookies by myself! I’ve found that, for me, balance is best. My snacks and meals are mostly healthy, I exercise a few times a week, and I enjoy indulgent desserts. It’s a balance that keeps my feeling healthy and happy.
And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, you know I’ll be eating all. the. chocolate!
But today, I want to talk to you about frosting! And not just any frosting… the best buttercream frosting EVER! It is so decadent and silky smooth it will take all your self control not to eat it with a spoon. Which I’ve done and have absolutely no regrets about, by the way.
And the best part? Once you know the classic vanilla buttercream frosting recipe, you can make an infinite number of variations! I’m sharing two of my favorites, chocolate and raspberry, but the possibilities are truly endless.
How to Make American Buttercream Frosting from Scratch
This buttercream frosting is easy to make from scratch and takes just 10 minutes!
- Combine butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer) and beat until smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat well.
- Slowly add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, beating the mixture on medium speed until the sugar is combined. The mixture will be a little bit dry.
- Add milk and beat on high speed. This small bit of milk will moisten the frosting, making it creamy and fluffy.
- That's it! You made vanilla buttercream! See the recipe at the bottom of this post for two of my favorite flavor variations: chocolate and raspberry!
Why Use Vegetable Shortening (Crisco) in Buttercream Frosting?
Vegetable shortening (commonly known by the popular brand name, Crisco) is a solid fat used in baking that has a consistency similar to butter. This recipe uses both butter and shortening to create a creamy and flavorful buttercream frosting. While butter provides delicious flavor, shortening provides two benefits when used to make buttercream:
- Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, so buttercream frosting made with shortening will hold up better in warm temperatures. (If you're serving a frosted cake in the summer, this frosting will be less likely to melt off your cake than an all-butter buttercream frosting.) This frosting will also hold decorations like piped roses a bit better and is less likely to become melty in a piping bag from the warmth of your hand holding the bag.
- Shortening is white in color, so a vanilla buttercream frosting made with shortening will be white, unlike all-butter buttercream, which has a pale yellow tint from the butter.
You may have seen me use this frosting before here and here, but I wanted to share my 3 favorite variations of this frosting in one spot so that you can easily find this recipe any time you’re making a cake, cupcakes, sandwich cookies - you name it! Next time you're baking, the only buttercream frosting recipe you'll need will be just a click away!
Love this American buttercream frosting recipe? Leave a review and be sure to check out these other dessert recipes that include this frosting!
- Neapolitan Cake from Scratch
- Valentine Heart Sugar Cookies
- Browned Butter Vanilla Snack Cake with Robin Egg Speckled Frosting
This post was updated in August 2020 to provide an improved user experience.