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Sweet Celebrations Buttercream (Less Sugar)

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“I developed this recipe as an alternative to the usual super-sweet buttercream. I use about half the sugar of Decorator Buttercream, half the shortening, some butter for its light color and smoothness and some margarine for its lower cost and body. If you whip this buttercream it will gain air and lighten in color, making it more cost-effective than traditional buttercream -- and much lighter in weight (critical when you're covering a 16" cake with an additional layer of fondant)!”
8 cups

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12 cups vegetable shortening
  • 34 cup softened margarine
  • 34 cup softened butter
  • 12 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 12 teaspoon clear butter flavoring
  • 12 teaspoon almond flavoring (optional)
  • 12 teaspoon lemon flavoring (optional) or 12 teaspoon raspberry flavoring (optional)
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder (optional)
  • 14 cup cornstarch (optional)


  1. Options: Use salt if using unsalted butter; use almond flavor to add richness; use lemon OR raspberry flavor to cut sweetness. Use meringue powder and/or cornstarch if cake is being displayed in hot weather.
  2. Mix shortening, butter, margarine and flavors together in electric mixer with paddle attachment (hand mixer is okay, too) until light and smooth.
  3. Add half the sugar and mix at medium speed until smooth and lump-free.
  4. Add remaining sugar (and cornstarch, salt and meringue powder, if using) and mix on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping sides at least once. Low speed can be used to reduce air bubbles for smoother icing, but yield will be less. A couple of teaspoons of milk may be added at this point if the icing seems too stiff.
  5. Use immediately to ice cake or pipe directions, or store at room temperature overnight. Decorated cake may be kept at room temp 48 hours. Icing may also be refrigerated up to 4 weeks or frozen up to 3 months -- thaw to room temperature and stir to use. Look for more recipes and decorating tips from Laurie Clarke at!

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