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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I’m a huge fan of vanilla buttercream, so much so, it’s become a family joke. A few years ago, our daughter-in-law sent me a refrigerator magnet that says, “I would like to think I’ll die a heroic death, but more likely I’ll trip over my dog and choke on a spoonful of frosting.”

A good basic vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is a baking staple. As simple, or basic, as vanilla buttercream frosting may sound, there are as many versions as there are bakers. Our family recipe, which I got from my daughter-in-law, has the perfect consistency and texture for decorating. I think the meringue powder makes the difference. If I have fresh vanilla bean, I’ll decrease the vanilla extract one teaspoon and add the bean seed scrapings.


1 two-pound bag powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. meringue powder (I prefer Wilton)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 stick Crisco Shortening Baking Stick

4 Tbsp. milk


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat Crisco and softened butter until well incorporated.

  2. To the butter/Crisco mixture, add the powdered sugar, extracts, meringue powder and milk. On low speed, stir in ingredients until combined.

  3. Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for two minutes or until fluffy. If needed, add an additional tablespoon of milk. Store any leftover frosting in the refrigerator.


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