DIY: How to Make the Perfect Buttercream Frosting


Whether you’re a baking novice or an old-hand in the kitchen, perfecting the holy grail of indulgent icing — buttercream — can be tricky business. Lucinda Larson, the Icing Diva, has the secret in this DIY tutorial for this workhorse of the cake decorating world: buttercream frosting.

Versatile, easy-to-customize, and oh-so-delicious, buttercream frosting isn’t nearly as hard as it seems, and it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, either. From cupcakes to giant, layer cakes, buttercream is the dream frosting for almost all occasions.


Here’s what you need:

–2 cups of butter at room temperature
–2 cups of high-ration shortening (like Crisco)
–12 to 16 cups of powdered sugar
–4 or more tablespoons of evaporated milk or whipping cream
–1/2 teaspoon of salt
–3 to 4 tablespoons of merengue
–2 tablespoons of vanilla extract


Beat butter in a standing mixer until well mixed, about 2 minutes.
Add shortening and mix. It is very important these two are completely mixed.
Add powdered sugar, popcorn salt, merengue powder, and milk to the mixture.
Pro Tip: Cover the bowl with a clean towel to keep the sugar in the bowl.
Add vanilla.
Give the mixture one last mix and enjoy!

Check out Lucinda’s complete process in the video below:

For more cake decorating tips and techniques, check out Lucinda’s class, Cake Decorating: Buttercream Basics.

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Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.