Best Buttercream icing

Basic Buttercream Icing

Today, let’s just take out to time to talk about the “abc”of Butter-cream icing. There are so many inquires about this topic,  I thought I will be nice to just set the records straight.

First, basic Butter-cream is not the same as Swiss meringue butter-cream.

Swiss meringue butter-cream is very silky, smooth, light and delicious, it is made out of sugar, egg whites and butter, but it is very temperature sensitive and has to be stored in the fridge. Basic butter-cream however consists of just 2 main ingredients which are Butter or margarine and icing Sugar.

Our Basic butter-cream recipe is stable in room temperature without going off depending on whether you use water or milk in it.

So what’s the trick for stability? Now using half Shortening along side with the butter is recommened.

Shortening is vegetable fat but when used alone, can be very chunky in the mouth quite grainy and not very flavorful, but when combined with butter gives a fantastic blend, getting the best of both, making it richer in taste and very stable to use.

Go the recipe table below to get the full instructions.

Easy Vanilla Butter-cream

Creaming is very important so you want to mix the Shortening and Butter very well until it’s pale looking and  almost doubles in size.

Next is to add in the sifted icing sugar bit by bit and on low speed.

Easy Vanilla Butter-cream

Once it’s all combined, add your flavoring and water or milk, then crank up the speed of your mixer to medium high and let it go of about 1o more minutes.

Easy Vanilla Butter-cream


Compare the image above with the one here to see the look we are going for.

Easy Vanilla Butter-cream

and that’s it. Use immediately or store in room temperature covered airtight for up to 2 weeks only if you have just added water. If stored, make sure you rewhip in the mixer totally again for another 10mins.

Easy Vanilla Butter-cream


Easy Vanilla Butter-cream


Things to note when working with Butter-cream

  •  As will all things, use good quality ingredients
  • If you like, you can add a pinch of salt to bring down the sweetness if you have used unsalted butter. Skip this totally if you have used salted butter
  • Adding Water instead of milk will allow the butter-cream stay in room temperature without going off for a while
  • Do not place your finished cake decorated with this butter-cream in the fridge. If you do, condensation will take place and ruin the cake design. Leave boxed in room temperature
  • Have fun with your designs, color, airbrush or paint the surface of your buttercream once dry to the touch
  • You can also use edible frosting sheets over your butter-cream design to add a more unique finish


Easy Vanilla Butter-cream
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4.67 from 3 votes

Basic Butter-cream Recipe

Great tasting simple butter-cream recipe that's not temperamental. Super easy to make and tastes great.
Author: Lolade Ogunjimi


  • 115 g Unsalted butter Softened
  • 100 g Shortening
  • 500 g Icing Sugar Sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt Important
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla Essence Tablespoon
  • 2-3 tbsp Water, milk or whipping cream Optional/ Teaspoon


  • Measure out your ingredients
  • Place the shortening into your mixing bowl and allow it to mix till it's creamy
  • Add the butter and cream together for another 2 mins on medium high speed
  • Reduce the speed of your mixer and pour in already sifted Icing sugar in 2 additions
  • Add the water, milk or cream
  • Allow to mix until the icing sugar is completely combined
  • Add flavoring of your choice and crank up the speed of your mixer to medium high and let it go for about 5 more minutes

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