Do you know the major difference between professional bakery and homemade buttercream frosting? I asked a local professional baker and you know what he told me? One simple ingredient: shortening. This one little tip was life changing! All of the buttercream recipes out there call for butter only, but it made perfect sense.
Half butter and half shortening is the key to a perfect buttercream frosting. All butter is often too rich and a little grainy. By using part shortening you will achieve a smooth texture with great taste. Add your choice of extracts, almond, vanilla, citrus, for flavor to complement your sweet treat.
Using shortening also yields a lighter color, allowing for better coloring if you are using food color. For this batch I used a good quality grass fed butter, which was a deep color of yellow to begin with. Better ingredients results in better flavors, however if I were planning to color this batch, I would have opted for a lesser quality, and lighter color of butter. Use Vanilla Buttercream Frosting for decorating cookies, cupcakes and cakes like my Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream!
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or other extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Place butter and shortening into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until blending thoroughly.
- Add vanilla, 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk and powdered sugar, mix. Slowly add additional heavy cream or milk until the frosting is a spreadable or pipe-able consistency.