The Perfect Crusting Buttercream

filed under: Miscellaneous on February 21, 2011

The Perfect Crusting Buttercream is just that…perfect!


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.

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!)

5 from 9 votes
Lemon Frosting Hydrangea
The Perfect Crusting Buttercream
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

The Perfect Crusting Buttercream

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttercream
Servings: 12
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 2 pounds confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup shortening, check alternate method for butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract, use clear if want white frosting
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup whole milk
  • pinch salt
  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.

Alternate Method:
  1. 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.


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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  • Pam says:

    Hi, I am looking for a sturdy enough to pipe cream cheese frosting for my red velvet cake. Have you tried substituting the butter or Crisco for cream cheese before? Or do you have a different recipe that I could try?

  • Becky Hoover says:

    Hey Amanda. I’m making My Daughter a Birthday cake. Your crusting buttercream sounds Wonderful.Is it okay if I add some fresh or frozen strawberries to the mix? Or maybe some strawberry jello? I’m making a strawberry cake. Thanks

  • Veronica says:

    I have used this recipe a few times for my birthday cup cakes love it

  • Sharla says:

    OMG. I love your sass. My spirit sister!

  • Diane says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! It is light, fluffy & delicious. I don’t care what it’s called it’s a great icing. Thanks again.

  • Ellen says:

    I love that you called this buttercream. It’s how I found it through searching. I used it this weekend for confirmation cupcakes that needed to be milk-free & butter-free. I used unsweetened almond milk to sub for the regular milk and it worked great!

    If someone is looking for a vegan frosting – this works well.

  • Catherine Azmi says:

    Cookie Gift Can Queen sells Sweetex Hi-Ratio shorting on Etsy for home bakers in small quantities for professional tasting icing. Just wanted to share with my fellow bakers a great find

  • Amy says:

    Will this crust enough to pipe on sugar cookies and then stack them after it is crusted? I usually do 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening combo…wondering if this crusts better.

  • Camille iannacco says:

    I am making unicorn cake pops. My question is, will this buttercream recipe stiffen up enough to put in cane pop bags

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, it will. You can always try using less liquid to achieve the consistency you want!

  • Mary says:

    Can I put cocoa in this recipe to make it chocolate ? If so how much? I e made this before but wanted it plain this is The Best recipe I’ve tried thus far !!!!!

  • Shannon says:

    I am trying this recipe for the first time. If I am making a 4 layer cake should I double this recipe . The layers are thin and 9” circle in size .

  • Mariadelpilar says:

    Finally I fun You . I was looking since 2013 and I lost contact .

  • ElizaW says:

    You litterally saved me, and not a moment to soon! Day before Thanksgiving and I am making a mini cake for my Niece to give her tomorrow. I was using another recipe from another website tbat is in no way connected with you. Long story short, an epic failure from taste to broken icing! If that wasn’t enough, I didn’t have enough ingredients for another batch.

    Frantically, I searched for another recipe and remembered reading your website before. Clicked on your recipe. What a saver. Even though I didn’t use your recipe, I was able to compare methods and ingredients, which ended up saving the icing! I cannot thank you enough. Creamy, holds together, and is a dream to work with!

  • Naomi Fluharty says:

    I really think I will learn a lot about cooking cookies and icing . Thank you very much for accept
    ing me.

  • Carmela Mastrorilli says:

    I’m trying make Abby Cadabby cupcakes from Sesame Street. Can you please help, this is the only character I’m having a problem with. Thank you

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