Bakery Style Buttercream Icing

As promised, I’m back to share this bakery-style (cough, Publix, cough) buttercream icing recipe.  I can assure you, it earned rave reviews last weekend at Jim’s Birthday Party!

Black Magic Cake with Bakery Buttercream Icing  | Oysters & Pearls

I shared the recipe for the Black Magic Cake yesterday, and it went really great with this buttercream icing… but I’m pretty sure this icing would go well with just about anything.  Including a spoon.  Or a sneaky finger.

Bakery Buttercream Icing (barely tweaked from


– 1/2 pound unsalted butter (two sticks)
– 2 cups vegetable shortening
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 2 teaspoons butter flavoring
– 2 teaspoons almond extract
– 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1 tablespoon meringue powder
– 2 pounds confectioners/powdered sugar


In a large mixing bowl, whisk or sift powdered sugar until all clumps are broken up completely.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the shortening until smooth.

While continuing to beat the mixture, add in the almond and vanilla extract, butter flavor, and meringue powder, and continue to beat until incorporated.

Add the sugar in a tiny bit at a time and beat well after each addition until incorporated.  Once you add the final bit of sugar, turn the mixer off, scrape the sides of the bowl well, and then beat again until everything is smooth.

Cover everything with it.

Now I have to warn you: this is NOT a healthy snack.  This is for occasional use to decorate cakes.  I was a little leery of butter flavor and meringue powder, but I’m a big proponent of the “everything in moderation, including moderation” rule.

Exhibit A: Crisco shortening + butter.

Crisco & Butter for Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

Turn into this.

Crisco & Butter, Creamed for Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

Which with the addition of confectioner’s sugar, turns into this magical goodness:

Bakery-Style Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

It. is. so. good.

That’s it!  Ice anything and everything with it, or eat it with a spoon.  Up to you.

I also thought I’d share a tip I learned at the cake decorating class I took.  To color icing, the best way is to use gel colors.  But they come in little tubes with no easy way to add them to the icing, and they’re very powerful, so you don’t want to add too much.  It can break down your icing if you’re not careful.  Now, I’m not sure this is the best example, because red icing is the hardest to work with, but naturally that’s what I chose.

Using Gel Food Coloring to Color Icing | Oysters & Pearls

Place some icing into a separate bowl, and use a toothpick to dip into the food coloring and then run it across the surface of the icing.  I know it doesn’t look like much, but it colored all of that icing.  Just mix it up and scoop it into a piping bag.  To load your piping bag, drop your desired piping tip down into the bag and cut off enough of the bag tip to tightly fit around the piping tip.  Fold the top of the bag down around your hand, and then scoop the icing in until the bag is about halfway full.  Twist the top of the bag until the icing squeezes down to the tip and the bag is taut around the icing.  Go to town!

Piping Bag | Oysters & Pearls

You can find all sorts of icing tutorials on Pinterest and via Google, so I won’t go into that today.  Most especially because I’m still a beginner and am not fit to teach, but here’s a good spot to find a lot of videos teaching lots of cake baking techniques: {click here}

Now, speaking of celebrating, I’m off to Charleston, South Carolina for the long weekend to celebrate my friend Sara’s bachelorette party!  I’m so excited to be reunited with our group of college girlfriends, see Sara’s high school friends again, and to get to know Sara’s optometry school friends.  It’s going to be a helluva of a weekend!  I’ll be recovering on Monday/Labor Day, but I’ll be back on Tuesday with the long-awaited pepper sauce and hot sauce recipes I’ve been keeping from y’all.  If you can’t wait until then, you can always keep up with me through my weekend adventures on my favorite social media, Instagram. :)

Happy Labor Day Weekend, everybody!


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39 thoughts on “Bakery Style Buttercream Icing

    1. Songbird121

      Putting shortening in buttercream is extremely common. It makes it more stable (so it doesn’t get melty and droop when it is sitting in room temperature). It also makes for a whiter color, as the yellow color to the butter can make the icing more of an ivory. Many high quality bakeries do this. Note that this is referred to in the description as “bakery-style buttercream.”

      And I’m glad it is, because that is the type of icing I have been wanting to replicate. So thank you Oysters and Pearls for the recipe!!!

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    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      Hi there! Ideally, but not necessarily. The meringue powder keeps the icing really stable. It will melt in the hot sun, but kept in a cool place it’s okay to sit out for a couple days! Enjoy!

  2. Kaylee

    Have you ever had sam’s club buttercream frosting? If so, how does this compare? I cannot find a quality frosting recipe that tastes as good as a bakery frosting….
    A lot of recipes are calling for meringue but I have yet to try it

    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      I’ve never had Sam’s Club buttercream frosting, but I’ve had Walmart, and I would imagine they are about the same? This recipe is just as good or better than any store-bought buttercream I’ve had!

  3. Priscilla

    Can I use “Just Whites (100% dried egg whites)” instead of meringue powder? Everywhere is out of stock of meringue powder.

  4. Debbie

    I am looking for a recipe for a bakery-type cake recipe. They are usually white or light yellow and denser than cake mix recipes. Do you have any suggestions. Thank you in advance.

    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      Hi Debbie! If you search over on the right hand side of my site for vanila cupcakes, thats my favorite vanilla cake recipe! It could easily be used for a 3 layer cake rather than cupcakes – just split it between three 9 inch cake pans. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      I’ve never tried making this recipe into chocolate buttercream, but you could start by slowly adding cocoa powder to the frosting until it reaches the desired chocolate flavor you’d like! I would venture to guess that that would be delicious. :) I would start with 1/2 cup and go from there. Let me know if you try it and it works out!

      1. lisa

        Hi! Hate to butt into the conversation, but for starters I cannot wait to try this recipe! It looks like the butter cream I have been searching for for years!! On a side note, in reference to the turning into choco buttercream – when I worked at a bakery, we would turn our buttercream into choco buttercream by subtracting a small portion of the powder sugar in exchange for choco powder and add a bit more cocoa powder plus a bit of heavy cream to combat the thickness and dryness of the cocoa powder. I hope this may help.

    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      Hi there! I’m not sure what you would substitute for those ingredients. Could you order them online perhaps? I’m sorry I’m not more help. But thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. Pingback: Bakery Style Buttercream Icing | Just cook

  6. Rachel

    You can buy gel coloring in little tiny squeeze bottles that make adding it to frosting very easy. It is from Americolor and they are amazing , vibrant colors. I use them over Wilton colors all the time. ( I have both and don’t work for either company) Americolor can be bought on Amazon and I think Hobby Lobby as well. Most decorators use them.

  7. Elizabeth Dean

    I tried this and whipped it for 15 minutes and it got really light and fluffy, but I think it needed salt. Maybe 1/2 a teaspoon? I also added a tablespoon on lemon juice to thin it (instead of milk or water) because mostly all I tasted was sweet and I wanted there to be something more complex. If anyone is making this I’d make it and then consider those two adjustments based on your taste preferences?

    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      That’s probably a great adjustment! This is a really basic, classic bakery style buttercream, so it’s definitely not on the complex side of the taste spectrum. I’ll have to try your adjustments next time I make it! Thanks!

    2. Kristen

      I know this is from a while ago, but did the lemon juice make it lemon flavored out just add a hint of flavor in general?


    This is my fave frosting recipe, I use it on EVERYTHING including my tongue…LOL I have to admit, I did make one change. I never have butter flavoring on hand so I use butter flavored Crisco plus creamery sweet butter. I’m telling you it is the best of the best.


    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      Yes to both! The meringue powder is what gives it structure and makes it safe to leave it out at room temperature and keeps you from having to use actual eggs. Feel free to try it without the meringue powder, but keep in mind it won’t have that bakery consistency.


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