The Perfect Crusting Buttercream


I use this recipe when making my rose cake,


my hydrangea cake,

or any cake that I want the frosting to be able to hold its shape!

This makes quite a bit, but can be refrigerated quite easily.

The Perfect Crusting Buttercream


  • Crusting Buttercream
  • 1 bag powder sugar (two pounds or about eight cups)
  • 1 cup shortening (I used original Crisco)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (use clear if want white frosting)
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup milk


  1. Cream shortening and vanilla in mixer for 2-4 minutes. Add in powder sugar, one cup at a time. If you find your mixer struggling, slowing add in milk. Use more milk for a creamy consistency, use less milk for a stiff consistency.
  2. Alternate Method:
  3. Use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening. Place room temp. butter and shortening in mixer. Put entire bag of powder sugar on top, then add vanilla and 1/2 cup milk. Turn mixer on low and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn mixer up to med-high and mix for 2-4 minutes. Can add more milk to reach desired consistency.
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And yes, I sometimes use half crisco/half butter.  This recipe is SWEET.  Super sweet.  If you dont like sweet, simply use less sugar.



*Some people seem to get very upset that I call this frosting a buttercream. 

I’m sorry.  I dont have a much better answer.  You are welcome to yell at me all you want in the comments. (Some already have!)


See more examples of how I use this frosting on my Rose Birthday Cake and Royal Wedding Cake.


  1. Michele says

    I know this is an old blog but….Can marshmallow fluff be added to this recipe? I need a crusting marshmallow icing for smores cupcakes. I need the icing to NOT melt or slide; i live in GA where heat and humidity kill icing and i really do not like refrigerated cupcakes …. can anyone help?!?!?

    • Judi says

      I’ve ruined too many recipes with little hard pebbles of sugar that simply can’t be removed after mixing. It’s absolutely worth the effort.

      Since the sugar cakes-up into those hard pellets with time and moisture, you might be able to get away with it IF the sugar is really fresh–factory to store to home to use– and IF it has not been exposed to significant temperature changes that would cause condensation in the bag. That’s a lot of IFs to trust to a trucking company, from my stand point.

    • Judi says

      I’m on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I feel your pain! Crisscross stays solid at room temp. It will soften and droop outside on the summer but will be fine if you keep it inside with the air conditioning till ready to serve. You can probably use up to a quarter butter for flavor and still be OK, but 8-9 year olds are easily impressed; use Crisco for presentation.

  2. Lauren Nguyen says

    I’m going to make a cake for my daighter’s 4th bday. I’m going to attempt a frozen buttercream frosting image transfer. Someone mentioned i would be best using a frosting that crusts. I’m also going to try the grass tip “stars” on the sides.
    Do you think I could make a big batch of this frosting and use it for a crumb coat for the cake also? I might use it as filling if I make a 2 layer cake.
    Thank you!!! Love your site!

  3. Yasemin says

    First off… wanted to say that I love your blog!
    Second – do you sift the sugar before putting it in? It is so time consuming to do so and I was wondering if I could not do it. Thanks in advance!

  4. annie aunty says

    thanks for the butter cream recipe. I just want to know is the powdered sugar you are talking about. is it icing sugar of regular sugar which we can powder at home. i would like to know . thanks

  5. Shelia says

    I read through most of these comments and then it became ho…hum… I did like some of the tips. Your recipe for buttercream using shortening is just as viable as using butter. When it comes to taste we do not need technical. It really is a personal thing. I have been using shortening for many years as did my mother, and grandmother. One thing I add to my frosting is I add clear almond flavoring and clear butter flavoring along with clear vanilla extract, and meringue powder, and a pinch of salt to the whole thing and yummy! I always get compliments and never any complaints. I love the white white when I want white. It crust great and can be altered easily for stiff to soft for piping. Some criticism on line is: ooh, how can you eat all that shortening? well, we are only eating a small piece. There you go. Oh by the way, your cakes are decorated beautifully!

  6. Jennifer says

    I’ve finally found a homemade frosting my husband enjoys! The traditional buttercreams are way too sweet for his liking. This is a keeper in our house.

  7. Aisha says

    first of all i’d like to thank you very much for sharing with us all of these great tips and recipes, I have learned so much from you and I am still learning, so thank you very much, I just have one wish , and I hope you can help as I am new to the cake baking world, but am an excellent cook over all, at least that’s what i have been told :)
    anyways, am really intrested in learning about wedding cakes and decorating, and all of the those things, and i was wondering if you could recommend me some books what will help me in the cake field, especially that I love art and I want to try using my skills in cake, and if you could teach bigenners like me, the basics like what type of frostings or buttercreams and so on are out there, or the type of cakes like chiffon or biscket and what’s best for what, so that we have a trusted resource for information, as I love and trust your recipes.
    again I must thank you and I hope I didn’t bother you with my wishes or requests, and I hope to hear from you soon.
    God bless. :)

  8. SarahOT says

    That is the *sweetest*, prettiest cake! I wish i had your skill. I just really need to get over being scared and practice. Then practice some more. And so on ;) Thank you for such great ideas, i appreciate your sharing your creations!!

  9. SarahOT says

    Oh and about the shortening situation!! I am very lactose – intolerant but i love buttercream so much. So i suffer through it, which isn’t always so smart. BUT when i went looking for dairy-free (please don’t anyone bag on me for semantics, this is just faster, i promise! :)) ‘butter cream’, what i found was that a lot of people were doing a combo of non-hydrogenated margarine, soy or rice milk, & non-hydrogenated shortening, which is of course various oils (like your Crisco!!). Then when i read a bunch of stuff from people who had *used* the recipes to frost cupcakes specifically, they had trouble with it sort of staying together.

    SO a lot of bakers were eliminating the soy milk, and eventually some got rid of the margarine as well, so they were just using shortening. AND referring to it as buttercream (BC), ‘cuz why not? I know of vegan bakeries that just use a non-hydrogenated shortening for their frosting, and it is yummy. And heck, a lady i know who won Cupcake Wars uses butter-flavoring in some of her stuff when she uses oil rather than butter, so maybe that would be fun to try as well :)

    (Just add to ad that when i read that some silly people were upset that you call it BC! My stars, we all need to quit the nitpicking and eat cake!! :))

  10. says

    Hi there. I m very new to baking; just began a month back as a hobby and though the cakes have been turning out simply awesome I haven’t been able to come up with a nice buttercream which would hold its shape. I tried the bettey crocker readymade one yesterday thinking that maybe my procedure isn’t right but even it didn’t hold its shape much. I am assuming it has to do with the weather around here (Karachi; Pakistan). Can these ross be made with white and dark chocolate ganache?. My anniversary is coming up and I really want to surprise my husband by baking a cake myself at home.

  11. Alice says

    I live in Europe and cannot find Crisco and the butter seems to have a different consistency here–it turns out almost runny. It is also very yellow in color. I just tried 3/4 margarine and 1/4 butter which seems to work better.

  12. Lisa says

    I am going to make the Neapolitan Rose Cake for my daughter’s birthday. Never done it before…really scare of how it will turn out! lol I was wondering if I can use your “crusting buttercream” recipe and add cocoa for the chocolate part? And if so, measurements please. Thanks!

  13. Kristi says

    This recipe makes enough for a one layer 8 inch rose cake?
    About how many rose cupcakes? (20?)
    Also, do you sift the powdered sugar first? (Please say no please say no LOL)

    • BettyRocker says

      If the bag of powdered sugar has never been opened, and it says “10X”, you don’t have to sift it. The 10X means it’s been sifted 10 times already, but once that bag has been opened, you have to sift the leftovers.

      • Judi says

        The 10X refers to the GRIND–it’s 10 times more finely ground than granulated sugar. And it IS sifted at the factory, but then it’s shipped, stored, shipped again. Exposure to temperature extremes in shipping and storage allows condensation to form inside the bag.

        I’ve ruined too many recipes with rock-hard sugar pellets to take a chance! It’s just not worth ruining a beautiful frosting. Just sift into another bowl before you start; t takes 5 minutes and kids love to help.

  14. Sandra says


    I adore your recipes they are truly fantastic ! Can I ask if this recipe for the crusted buttercream will go hard or does it remain soft –I want to make it but want the roses to be soft —also how long before its eaten can it be stored .

    Thank you


  15. BettyRocker says

    I use the Wilton buttercream recipe, but I do half butter and half crisco for the taste of butter with the staying power of crisco. Also, the Wilton recipe has merengue powder for additional staying power. Another trick I use is frosting the layers and doing the crumb coat in all butter buttercream (or other frosting of choice), and that way the only part that has shortening is the decorations, which people don’t usually eat all of anyway, so that way you have the exceptional taste of real buttercream, with beautiful decorations that will stay even in warmer temps.

  16. Tiffany says

    Should you refrigerate cakes with this frosting because of the milk? Or is it ok at room temperature?


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