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Butter Cream Icing For Your Sweet Heart

Instead of buying a can of butter cream icing to top your Valentine's Day brownies, make your own this year.

Box of “Chocolates” Mini Cupcakes

Photo: Natalie DeWitt

You can use this butter cream icing to create some mini cupcakes. It will be the tastiest "box of chocolates" your sweetheart has ever received!

Butter cream icing will last for weeks as long as it is well sealed. Set it out on the counter for a couple of hours before using again after taking it from the fridge.

This recipe makes about 3 1/2 pounds of butter cream Icing, which will ice one 3 layer cake, but you can easily divide the recipe in half for smaller baking projects.

If you’d like chocolate icing, just add unsweetened cocoa powder until you get the taste you desire. You will probably need extra hot water to make sure the icing doesn’t turn into paste. You won’t be able to get a super dark chocolately color with just the cocoa alone, so you may need to add some brown food coloring to achieve that look.


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) organic butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups Spectrum Organic All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 pounds powdered (confectioners) cane sugar, sifted and divided*
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional but the texture will be smoother)**
  • Water or milk as necessary (I usually add about 3-4 tablespoons but you may need more or less depending on the humidity where you are)

* 2 pounds unsifted powdered sugar = about 8 to 9 cups.
** You can purchase meringue powder at your local grocery store under the brand name of Just Whites.


  1. In the electric mixer, combine butter, shortening, and salt together to incorporate, about 5 minutes on low.
  2. Add vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix together well. Add about 1 pound (4 to 4 1/2 cups) powdered sugar and the meringue powder; mix until incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining powdered sugar, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time, and mix until you get the consistency you want. You may not need to use all the powdered sugar.
  4. Add a little water or milk, a teaspoon at a time, if necessary to thin the frosting. Blend well on low for several minutes. The icing will get fluffy and creamy and grow in size. If it starts to try out as you’re whipping it, just add a little more water. (Adding too much water can always be remedied by adding more powdered sugar, so don’t be afraid if the consistency gets wonky.)
  5. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.
Natalie DeWitt

Natalie DeWitt has degrees from Indiana University in Secondary Health Education, School and College Health Programs, and is now a PhD student minoring in food studies. Her primary research areas focus on virtual food, food identities, and school food environments. She is a self-taught baker and cook.

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