Between all of the Birthdays and Holidays this time of year, I could probably open my own bakery with as many cupcakes, cakes, and cookies that I bake. So I like to make a few batches of this awesome frosting ahead of time and store them for later use. The following recipe is one of the best recipes I have tried for frosting starter. It is relatively easy to make and stores very well.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (2lb.) package of confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons water
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, cream cheese, shortening, and salt. Beat on medium speed until thick. Reduce speed and gradually add extract and sugar. Add water; beat until smooth. Divide frosting into one cup servings so that you can create other color and flavor variations (see below). The frosting will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You may also choose to freeze the frosting for up to 3 months in a freezer bag. However you will need to whip the frosting once it has been thawed.
You can add food coloring to the frosting to create bold colors or mix them for new color combinations:
OR you can create flavor combinations such as: