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5 from 1 vote

Cake Decorating Frosting

A rich, creamy homemade butter cream frosting that's easy to work with, but holds up when trying to decorate cakes and cupcakes is an essential part of every home baker's recipe repertoire. This is that perfect base recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


  • 3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 4-5 tbsp milk or half and half for a richer frosting
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract optional


  • In a stand mixer, add all ingredients.
  • Mix on low speed until evenly combined. Do not whip!
  • If the frosting is still chunky add milk, 1 tbsp at a time until it’s mixed smooth.
  • Alternately, if the frosting is too runny, add more confectioners sugar until mixed to desired stiffness.
  • Frost!


If you’re not interested in a plain white frosting for your cake, add a couple of drops of food coloring until your desired color is reached, and then frost.
If the food coloring makes the frosting too runny, like when you have to add a lot (examples being for true red or true black)- add a little powdered sugar just until it firms back up.
If chocolate frosting is more to your taste then simply add cocoa powder, 1 tbsp at a time, until it tastes chocolate-y enough for you.