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Cake with Buttercream Decorating Frosting

This sweet creamy frosting made with real butter is easy to blend together and holds its shape nicely when used to decorate a special layer cake. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour
  • Makes
    10-12 servings


  • 1 package cake mix of your choice (regular size)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 12 cups confectioners' sugar (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk
  • Blue, yellow and green gel, paste or liquid food coloring


  • Prepare and bake cake according to package directions for two 9-in. round baking pans. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, salt and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency.
  • Place 1/4 cup frosting each in three small bowls; tint one blue, one yellow and one green. Set aside 2-1/4 cups of remaining frosting for basket weave decoration and shell border. Spread remaining frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
  • To decorate, cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert medium basket weave tip. Fill the bag with reserved white frosting. Decorate sides of cake using basket weave pattern (see diagrams at right). Change to medium star tip to pipe shell border along bottom and top edges of cake.
  • For writing, use medium round tip and blue frosting to pipe desired greeting off-center on top of cake. Use medium round tip and green frosting to pipe vines around writing. Switch to medium leaf tip to pipe green leaves along vines. Use small flower tip to pipe yellow and blue flowers along vines. Leftover frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Editor's Note
Use of a coupler ring will allow you to easily change pastry tips for different designs.

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  • peeperburger
    May 23, 2014

    very easy to make and decorate with, just make sure it is not too hot in your kitchen, or chill it some before you use it, it did separate some

  • Lois Hickey
    Feb 9, 2013

    No comment left

  • s_pants
    Nov 14, 2011

    I made this dairy free by substituting Crisco butter sticks for the butter and using soy milk. It turned out fine and this is going to be my go-to decorating frosting.

  • sladphie
    Dec 23, 2009

    This frosting is wonderful, and we use it several times throughout the year for birthday cakes. We also make 1/3 recipe to decorate cutout cookies at Christmastime!

  • aliciab26
    Apr 11, 2009

    No comment left

  • cdcrane
    Jan 31, 2009

    add 1 tsp butter extract1/2 tsp almond extractsubsitute milk for water and add 1/2 cup powdered creamer