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


  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 c shortening (check alternate method for butter)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (use clear if want white frosting)
  • 1/2 c to 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.
  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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Soigne Gundt

I’m looking for a buttercream that can be refrigerated and remain soft as I have a fruit filled cake to make and the customer wants it frosted with buttercream—not cream cheese nor whipped cream— (as I usually make an all butter buttercream) would this recipe—or subbing all of the butter out for shortening work?

Thanks so much!


How much buttercreM does this make?


Can you use heavy whipping cream instead of milk?


Can I use water instead of BUTTEr… I don’t eat cream either. Bit of a diary thing.

Leah colvin

CAN’T please everybody.. sad u had to even comment about ppl getting mad.. i mean really its fosting whats to get mad over ? =)

Annelies Puranen

Will water work in place of milk? I have a bad dairy protein allergy in the family.

Jennifer liz Buensalida

I love baking but dont have oven

Cathy Gibbons

Can you add sugar water to stiffen this up some or does it need it?

Caren lumba

I need butter cream frosting last longer time..which is affordable…thank and Godbless…