Buttercream icing is one of the easiest and tastiest cake topper recipes to make. Because it goes well with many different cake flavours, buttercream is also the most versatile and commonly used icing recipe. Often a recipe for buttercream icing makes a lot more than you need. So when you want to make a small batch, simply cut the original recipe in half.
Cream butter and shortening in a medium mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and beat the mixture until smooth and creamy.
Slowly mix in icing sugar by adding 1/2 cup at a time. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed together well. When finished the icing will appear dry and possibly even crumbly. Don't worry as this is normal.
Add milk and continue mixing until the icing is creamy and forms peaks. You may have to adjust the amount of milk depending upon how well the icing sugar is sifted. If you want to add food colouring, simply add a few drops and mix until the icing is the colour you want.
Cover the icing with a moist towel until you are ready to ice the cake or cupcakes. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups -- ideal for a single layer cake or a dozen cupcakes.