Perfect Piping Buttercream is the absolute best recipe for frosting cakes and cookies with a great consistency just right for piping your beautiful designs. This luscious buttercream frosting is light and airy with added flavor from vanilla and almond extract.
Frosting cookies for holidays is both my favorite and most dreaded activity. I LOVE frosting the first couple dozen cookies with beautifully ornate piped designs. I am alone in this process though because no one else in my family is willing to help. They claim they “can’t do it as well” and therefore are unwilling to even try. Total cop out!
So 5-6 dozen cookies and hours later I am completely burnt out. The cookies are beautiful and taste amazing, but man oh man are my hands tired and eyes weary. Frosting cookies should totally be a family affair and it would be much more fun. When I have children, I will happily let them slather on the frosting in the ugliest of designs, mostly because that means I won’t have to frost as many cookies! 😉
Over the years my mother and I have perfected the recipe for frosting. We were looking for a balance of taste and how it piped. We used to use a royal icing, but it didn’t taste as good. We later moved to buttercream for flavor but our original recipe was too thick to get nice piping shapes from. We altered that recipe over the years and finally landed upon this recipe that is absolutely perfect. It is our go-to frosting for everything from cookies to cupcakes!
I could pretty much lick a bowl of this buttercream and be one happy woman. The addition of vanilla AND almond extract gives it a great flavor that we all love.
It is important to only use gel or paste food dye when making your frosting, because the liquid dyes will alter the consistency a surprisingly great deal. Liquid dye will take your luscious buttercream from the perfect consistency, to a runny consistency that won’t hold it’s shape in a quick hurry.
I separate my batch of buttercream into 5 or 6 bowls and dye each bowl of frosting to my desired consistency. I have never found a dye that will get me a true red, so if you have any secrets for a rich Christmas red, I would love to hear them!
- 1 c. shortening (butter flavored)
- 1 c. butter
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- 7½ c. powdered sugar
- ⅓ c. heavy whipping cream
- gel or paste icing dyes
- In a large bowl, beat the shortening and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, almond extract and cream and mix until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time, mixing well between each addition. Beat the frosting for an additional 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Using a toothpick, add the tiniest amount of dye at a time to the bowl of frosting to control your color. These dyes will color the frosting quickly, so there is no need to add too much.