Basic Wedding Buttercream
1/2 cup butter, well softened
1/2 cup natural vegetable shortening
generous pinch salt
1 pound (2 cups) powdered sugar 2 Tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, shortening and salt together until thoroughly combined and fluffy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add powdered sugar; beat on low until mixture starts to come together. Add cream and vanilla; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat until fluffy, at least 30 seconds. Makes 3 cups frosting, or enough to fill and frost one 9" layer cake.
Variation: Chocolate Espresso Buttercream
To basic buttercream, add 1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp espresso powder, and 2 Tbsp cream.