Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream (this is a crusting buttercream)
This is a lighter texture of frosting than the all-butter buttercream version. I love the way that it crusts. It works great with the Viva and Roller methods of smoothing. The shortening makes it more resistant to heat, but if we’re talking “pool party in August” conditions, you may want to use substitute shortening for the 1/2 cup butter.
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar 910 g
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 g ) unsalted butter softened (soften on countertop rather than microwave for best results)
1 1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco or Trex) 286 g. or 10 oz. by weight if using hi ratio shortening, see below)
2 Tablespoons clear vanilla extract 24 g
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring (if you are leaving out the butter and using all shortening)
1/4 teaspoons lemon or almond extract 1 g (OPTIONAL )
1/4 cup milk ( 57 g) any milk is fine but I like milk with higher fat content. You could substitute water too (See below)
Add a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness….we use popcorn salt because of its fine grain…..you should dissolve your salt (if using table salt) in the liquid before adding
Cream butter, shortening and extracts until creamy and smooth. Add powdered sugar and milk. Mix thoroughly on medium speed for approximately 8 minutes. For the last two minutes decrease the mixing speed to VERY SLOW ( number 2 speed on a KitchenAid) until creamy and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally during the mixing process.
***If I use Sweetex (a high ratio shortening) I decrease the shortening amount to 1 1/4 cups (236 g.) and increase the milk to 1/4 cup plus 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk or enough to make it the consistency you like.
***I used to always use water for this recipe, but I switched to milk for flavor & also because when you use a higher fat milk for your liquid, the buttercream still has a nice crust to it, but it doesn’t crust quite so quickly or so hard as if you use water.
**Makes about 6 cups of frosting– you can half it, or freeze the leftovers if you don’t need this much! (One cup of frosting frosts about 12 cupcakes.)