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Vanilla-Almond Buttercream Recipe

I planned on posting this right after my Mother’s Day cupcakes post but I started feeling blah this week. I suffer from a lot of joint pains and sometimes when I’m having a flare up it just knocks me down. I’ve been getting questions about what buttercream I use so I wanted to share my recipe with you.

Please do not send me hate mail because my recipe contains vegetable shortening. I think there are some that will not consider this a true buttercream recipe. I live in Texas where it gets blazing hot in the summers. The shortening gives me piece of mind that my cakes and cupcakes are not going to be a hot mess. I do not like recipes that contain all shortening so mine is a 50/50 mix. You can use this recipe as is or use all butter. The choice is yours. I will tell you that everyone that has had my cakes and cupcakes loves this buttercream and says it is so good. As long as my friends and my family love it that’s all that matters to me. It’s not like we’re eating it everyday. It’s something for special occassions.

Another baking no no is probably the use of salted butter but I guess I’m a rebel. I love to use salted butter because it cuts the sweetness. I’m not a fan of overly sweet icings.

Finally, I love flavor so you will see that I use quite a bit of vanilla and some almond extract. I think you will love the flavor. At least I hope you will. I double this recipe when I’m making cakes. Most of my cakes are 8″ round 2-layer cakes and it is plenty to ice and decorate them. You can freeze any leftover icing for up to 3 months.

Simply Sweets by Honeybee Vanilla-Almond Buttercream
{makes approximately 3 cups, adapted from}
{This is a crusting buttercream}
Print Recipe
Print Doubled Recipe

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening {I use Crisco}
1/2 cup {1 stick} salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract {I use Wilton’s}
1/8 teaspoon almond extract {I use LorAnn’s almond emulsion}
4 cups powdered sugar {approximately 1 lb}
2 tablespoons milk

I like to keep things simple so this is how I mix my icing.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the shortening and butter. Next, add the vanilla and almond extracts. Finally, add all the powdered sugar {I don’t sift} and pour the milk over it. Start mixing on low until the sugar starts to get incorporated. To keep the sugar from going everywhere you can cover your bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap. I simply turn my mixer on and off a few times until the sugar starts to get incorporated and then I crank it up to medium speed {number 4 on my KitchenAid}. Mix the icing for about 6-8 minutes until it becomes smooth. You can stop and scrape the sides of the bowl if needed during the mixing process.

This recipe makes a medium consistency buttercream. The consistency may vary based on weather conditions, etc. If it is too thin for your liking add more powdered sugar. To make it thinner add water or milk.

Place a damp cloth over your bowl as you are working with it to prevent it from crusting.

Leftover icing can be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks. You can freeze it but I would recommend freezing it for no more than 3 months. Mix the icing again before using.


  1. Thanks for the recipe. I halved it for awhile, but up here in Canada I can get away with all butter most of the year. I have to say I’ve done a recipe with 1/2 cup of unsalted just because I ran out of unsalted, and I really liked it!

  2. I follow you on instagram so I just had to check out your page. I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes. I love buttercream made with all butter but I do agree that it is so hard to keep buttercream “set” in the summer. Even today making cookies, I noticed that my butter had “softened” more than usual and I was worried it would throw off my cookies. I have a feeling I am in for a heat wave this summer! 馃檪

  3. Perfect! I like salt in my buttercream also! It’s the only way…and I’m not a shortening hater, lol, cupcakes + 113 degree weather really DOES NOT mix, lol!

  4. Sounds yummy! I’m adding it to my favorite recipe list for the next time I need to make buttercream. Where in TX are you? I spend my winters in New Braunfels. ~karen

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just found your site (like 2 days ago). I love your work…thanks for the inspiration!!! Jan S.

  6. Brittany says:

    I have been looking for a recipe that uses shortening as this is what I was recommended to use by a professional baker. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!!

  7. since the recipe has butter and milk does the cake/cupcakes have to be refrigerated after being iced? (new to baking world) Thanks for posting! I have been looking for a recipe that isn’t too sweet and I can’t wait to try yours!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    What type of coloring do you use for your icing?

  9. jellybean says:

    Everyone loved your recipe I made it for cupcakes I used a raspberry flavoring instead but turned out great….thanks

  10. Thank you so much, I live in Phoenix Arizona and have not baked during the summers because of being afraid that my frosting will melt on my way to take it over to my family’s home. Have you ever had to transport your cupcakes or cakes when its really hot? it can get up to 115 degrees out here, once it even went up to 119… anyway just wondering how long the frosting can stand the heat for, or really, how long will it take for the icing to melt?

  11. Anonymous says:

    this frosting was just gross. im sorry but i was counting on this recipe and wasted all the ingrediant i had. it tastes way too much like shorting and i followed the recipe to point.. just dissapointed.

  12. Can you make this an Almond Buttercream by just using the almond extract? Or does it need the vanilla and taste super vanilla-y? I am looking for an Almond Buttercream to use on cupcakes… Thank you!

  13. Hi i am going to try your recipe soon can you tell me why my buttercream is always melting on my cup cakes ?

  14. I made this but it came out very grainy. Why?

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  16. Thank you so much for mentioning the Texas heat. I was just trying to find a recipe for buttercream and was worried because I鈥檓 making a 4th of July cake in Texas and was worried about the flowers melting. I will definitely be using your recipe

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