Icing- American Style Buttercream (Easy)

This is an easy-to-make icing that can be flavored with flavor extracts and colored!


  • 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 Tablespoons milk or light cream
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter* at room temperature, or high-ratio vegetable shortening
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (helps cut the butter taste)
  • *If your cake will be displayed in a hot environment, replace some of the butter with part vegetable shortening so the icing doesn’t melt. 


Cream butter in a mixing bowl or standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add vanilla and salt. Reduce mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Add milk and lemon juice, and once incorporated increase speed to high for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy and creamy. For a sweeter icing, add additional powdered sugar and milk to taste. Use the icing the same day or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months. Return icing to room temperature and re-whip with a little milk or sugar to achieve proper consistency before using.