Growing up, my mom always made our birthday cakes. This is something I've carried into my own home. With eleven birthdays a year, homemade is much more economical. I used to enjoy the challenge of a creative idea for the cake, and I still enjoy the homemade flavor over a storebought cake. Over the years, this is the buttercream recipe that has evolved. I really like to use Mexican vanilla for flavoring too.
1 butter stick (not margarine) softened
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
2 pound bag powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract (or vanilla)
Mix butter, Crisco and extract.
Gradually, add powdered sugar and milk to desired consistency.
Add color paste for desired color.