The Perfect Crusting Buttercream

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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.

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.

I also share this decorating technique and many others in my new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!  I am so honored and touched at the world wide support!  Be sure to let me know if you are baking from Surprise-Inside Cakes!




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  1. says

    Hi Amanda, looovveee your rose cakes. You pipe it prettily, and the tutorial is really help me. Thanks for sharing. Also i do exactly as what you wrote here. My buttercream is a mix of 500gr shortening, 150gr margarine (butter is sooo expensive here in Indonesia), 250gr of sugar boiled with 100cc of water(thick simple syrup), 125cc sweet condensed milk and vanilla paste. Summer all year long here (tropical country). Maybe you can try to whip it up for your summer outdoor cake… It stays good both outdoor and indoor.

  2. Alice says

    Dear Amanda,

    I have a question about your perfect crusting buttercream. You mentioned that it’s very sweet and not as creamy. Do you have a second best recipe for the the rose cake decorating that’s less sweet, more creamy but still let the rose hold its shape?

  3. says

    Hello, Amanda!

    I came across one of your stunningly beautiful Rosette Cakes yesterday and eventually stumbled upon your site/blog. Very nice work, I am baker!!! :) You rock!

    I adore your gorgeous cake creations, the rosette cakes are exquisitely elegant! I love the beautifully done photographs of your cakes as well. Do you do them yourself? Do you have a food stylist who works with you? Your images are so well done – absolute perfection!

    Thanks to your blog, I have found great inspiration for an Easter Cake. I will make a version of your incredible Spumoni Cake. All your cakes are just so amazing! You do a fantastic job on everything, and I wanted to take a moment to tell you that!! I love your wonderful work and very much enjoy the style in which you write, as well.

    You have accomplished what some of us foodie types can only dream about…

    I would love to meet you some day! :) Where in MN do you live? Where did you go to school? Did you go to any culinary type of school? Business School? I saw you have a book out as well, hope my local library has it. Can’t wait to check it out.

    Love, love, love what you do! :)

    With much admiration, appreciation and gratitude,


    … in Apple Valley

  4. Nora says


    I’ve tried this recipe and it’s so delicious! But may i asked, if I’m able refrigerate it? I’ve kept the cake with the frosting outside in room temperature but never in the refrigerator. Will condensation affect the buttercream once taken out of the fridge?

    Hope to hear from you soon!

  5. Julia Conrady says

    I dislike the “raw” taste of confectioners sugar in icings such as this one although it seems a great option to cooked buttercream. Does anyone have a trick to rid the sugar of that raw taste? I think it comes from the cornstarch in confectioners sugar but it is so yucky to me!

  6. Mary says

    I have a recipe for a wonderful white frosted wedding cake from a caterer. It almost matches your wedding cake recipe and this frosting. It uses the almond flavoring in the frosting and the cake. It almost exactly matches your recipe and it is called a buttercream frosting. It is the best cake and frosting ever. I think buttercream is more about texture than butter. Depends on what you prefer. Can’t please everyone, so just delete anything negative and keep on making the rest of us happy.

  7. Belinda says

    Thanks for the recipe! Have you ever experimented with Coconut oil as the shortening? I tried a similar recipe with half coconut oil/half margarine and rice milk instead of cow’s milk(my daughter is sensitive to dairy and soy). Not only did it slide off the sides of the cake in an air conditioned room, the remaining icing (on top of the cake) turned rock hard once refrigerated. I’m trying to determine which substitution caused the most harm. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Ronda says

      I am not a baker, so I am just learning, myself. However, I do know that the melting temperature of coconut oil is very low- like in the seventies. I imagine that any frosting made with it would slide right off at even air-conditioned room temperature, unless it’s meat-hanging cold.

  8. kimberly garcia says

    Do you have a recipe for a cream cheese buttercream that you would recommend for the rose cake? I’m making a red velvet cake and would like a cream cheese frosting?

  9. Angel says

    I want to make a chocolate and cream cheese version of this. Is it possible? If yes, how much cocoa powder and cream cheese can I put in?


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