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 12 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Kathy Tobacco says:

    What else would you call it? It IS a buttercream frosting. It is like complaining because hamburger contains no ham. It looks delicious. thank you!

    • Amanda says:

      Love that!

      • April says:

        Hi Amanda! this is kind of un related but Ive noticed when you do your crumb coat its barely crummy. I tried frosting a cake this past weekend with the whipped buttercream recipe and it was very crummy and also didn’t harden up well. I don’t know if it was just too warm in my kitchen or what but it didn’t come out like I expected. any suggestions welcome =)

        • Melanie says:

          When I’m frosting a cake that is very crumby, I chill it first- even before the crumb coat. You nay have to refrigerate before steps. I’ve also been known to turn my AC to somewhere around “arctic” when a cake is not behaving.

  • Annmarie Stierhoff says:

    You mentioned that your Crusting Buttercream uses the ORIGINAL Crisco. I had no problem with Crisco until they changed the recipe. I make buttercream flowers and yes it takes 3 weeks for some to dry but now with the NEW CRISCO I can’t get the flowers to dry in months. I’ve tried lard and other shortenings but it won’t crust up. I use meringue powder in the buttercream and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. So where do you find the ORIGINAL Crisco?

    • Holly says:

      Use 1/3 cup of hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons of coffee creamer instead of the milk and I do 2/3 shortening and 1/4 butter and it crusts great as long as you don’t stick too much of the liquid in watch your consistency by adding the liquid in a tablespoon at a time

  • Sexy Lady says:

    Beautiful cake. I’m making my son and DIL’s cake this weekend. I hope the flour icing I’m making holds up. We don’t like the mouthfeel of shortening icings. Just too greasy, oily, idk what to call it but it’s just not that great…to my family.

    • Maria says:

      Same here! That’s why I don’t do this anymore. I can’t tolerate that grease film left in my mouth. 🙁

  • Judy says:

    Do you have a recipe for whipped frosting?
    Not 7 minute. Bakeries use it on cakes and cup cakes etc. Tastes like it has whipped cream in it.

    • Elise says:

      Chemicals 🙁

    • Jasmine says:

      It’s Chantilly cream, you can find it pre sweetened and sold in cartons, just have to whip it up. Or make it yourself. Plenty of recipes online, it isn’t as stable as buttercream, you may need to add powdered sugar to be able to pipe.

  • sherin says:

    Hi a great fan of ur cakes…it luks so yummy..I do want to try I’m not getting shortening aanywhere.want wil I do?can it replace or jst skip?do it affect d buttercream?

    • RANDI Matthews says:

      Shortening is a type of hard, white, vegetable fat, the best to use is Holsum or Wooden Spoon Margarine. In most cases shortening can be substituted for butter.

  • Jessica H. says:

    can we talk about shortening? I am curious about butter-flavored shortening! does it give this crusting buttercream a good taste? or is it the devil & I should stay away from it? LOL I have made this buttercream several times but I was looking for a butter-y taste without having to add some butter because I want to keep the “crusting” not introduce “melting”. also, I have a fear of TOO buttery of a flavor because I know someone who uses an excessive amount of butter in her frosting & it makes me sick every time I eat it 🙁 …sorry for the long story, anyone ever use the butter-flavored shortening??

    • Jenni says:

      Yes, I have tried it once. Personally, I like almond flavoring in my frosting, so the butter didn’t really taste that great to me, but another consideration is that the yellowy color of the butter-flavored Crisco makes the tinting process a little more difficult. You might be better off using regular Crisco and butter flavoring.

    • Brenda says:

      I use it…works just fine. I use half regular, half butter flavor. And I use almond flavoring. Always have. It’s a winner to me 🙂

    • Melinda says:

      Years ago, 25-30, I did catering, mostly wedding work. The butter flavored cisco with clear vanilla extract resulted in a perfect ivory, candlelight color for brides who did not want white white.

  • Ann says:

    If you don’t use it all how long is it still good? and do you store the extra in the fridge or cabinet?

  • Shirley Hvezdosc says:

    I used to make a buttercream frosting for humid weather ,it was 2 pounds of powdered sugar, 2 Tbs of dream whip , Tablespoon of flour ,water , 1 3/4 cups of crisco.

  • Sonia says:

    If I take the refrigerator 3 hours before give to the buyer the butter cream steel hard of they put a little bit soft thanks

  • Pauline Vautour says:

    I made a buttercream frosting tonight and I thought it was to sugary ! The recipy was 250 gram of butter / 4 cups of icing , ect… I don’t really like it …I’m going to put Crisco next time ! Oh yeah ! It was hard to put frosting on the cupcakes with out making a big mess 🙁 lol But me and my Boy had fun 🙂

  • Teresa says:

    I have been decorating cakes as a hobby for 11 years. This recipe is a buttercream. I’m not hating on this recipe. I learned with this icing. However, I’ve moved on. The recipe I use is half unsalted butter and half crisco. It also has meringue powder in it to aid in crusting. Here’s the thing. If you are happy with your results/quality of product when using this icing, then use it. However, if you arent so happy with the greasey mouthfeel, but use it because your Wilton teacher at your local craft store said you had to inorder to get white icing. I’m telling you that if done properly, you can get a white icing with a part butter part crisco recipe. Don’t ever let someone tell you its not possible.

    • Amanda says:

      I totally agree with you.. white icing is possible with your method. 🙂 I have a recipe like that on my site called “decorator’s buttercream” 🙂

  • Brenda says:

    I would like to make a blush pink frosting, should I use a gel or liquid food coloring and should it be red or pink to get the blush pink color.

    • Sharon says:

      Not sure anyone answered you so l will share that l used red liquid food colouring. I made a doll cake and had three borders of varying size swirls and added a drop of food colouring for the first layer and additional drop of food colouring per border which produced 3 different shades of pink. I made a ruffle at the botton to match the first pink layer. Hope this helped.

      • Jen says:

        I always use:
        -CRISCO brand “shortening”- (butter- for cream colored icing –or– regular for white icing)
        -WILTON-or-WATKINS Clear Vanilla AND Butter FLAVOR too!
        -DASH OF SALT
        -powder sugar

  • BummaBee says:

    Errmm…. Why would anyone be upset that you call it Buttercream? Would they prefer Lardcream Frosting? Criscocream? It is in fact considered American Buttercream. There are tons of variations, this one simply does not contain eggs like many other types of buttercream do.
    Psshh.. Antyways, I am excited to use my recipe like this with cupcakes.. Oh! and a little curious surprise taste to go with the vanilla extract, try 1/2 tsp of almond extract OR 1/2 tsp butter extract OR almond and butter..
    I like to make a batch of this frosting, divide it up into several small bowls (or baggies to save dishes), and play around with all types of extract flavors. Make note of the ones you fancy and add them to your recipe book for icing & frosting..

  • Mary says:

    Hi I know you guys are going to be like seriously?but I’m new to baking and was looking for a frosting and found this one however I’m using a kitchen aid and was wondering do you use a beating attachment or the whisk?

    • Joyce says:

      I always use the beater attachment with my Kitchenaid. I bought the beater with the rubber scraper, it works great for frosting.

  • Allyn W. says:

    Do you have a chocolate version of this?

  • Vishnu sahasranamam says:

    Sounds good!

  • louise says:

    sorry im Scottish and am struggling with the word shortening. can you help explain what it is?

    • Annb says:

      Don’t know if you got a reply but all it is is vegetable lard. Crisco is the most common one that’s used

    • Valerie Jones says:

      In the UK, you need to use Trex. It’s the same as shortening and gives me the most consistent results.

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you!

  • Crystal says:

    Is there a substitute for milk? My friends daughter has milk allergies

    • Crystal says:

      Can I use almond milk?

      • Kadamillia says:

        I use almond milk and it works just fine. I do find that I have to add a bit more to get the consistency that I want though. Both my boys have dairy allergies, so we use a nut milk for any recipe calling for milk

        • Lindsey says:

          I make a very similar icing, but I usually do half Crisco and half-store brand shortening. Its seems to crust over better than just Crisco… could be all in my head, something about the different types of fat maybe…. I use water instead of milk, every time, always with no problems.

  • Venus says:

    Hi Amanda, I tried this recipe, and it is super sweet indeed. You mentioned that I can use less sugar, will it affect the consistency of the buttercream? I live in the Philippines and it is really hot here, especially during the summer months. What I want is a crusting buttercream that would not be super sweet that I can use for a rose cake. Hope you can share your inputs. TIA

    • Jennifer says:

      I didn’t see any answers to your question. But I add a dash of salt to cut the sweetness and it works wonders 🙂

  • Kelsea says:

    I am fairly new to baking and I started with this recipe ( all shortening) and it has the tendancy to slide off of the side of my cake? Also the little bit I put ve tween layers sort of buldges out? Is there something I am doing wrong?

  • Karen Magallon says:

    Add a dash of salt to any frosting it cuts the sweetness

  • Dawn says:

    Please help. I live in the U.K. I am simply a home baker. What is the UK equivalent to Crusco. Thanks. Dawn

    • Rachel says:

      Any vegetable shortening should work, Cruso is just a brand.

  • Jackie says:

    What is crusting buttercream? Is it the name the frosting is called when it’s made or is it an actual ingredient ? If it I should an ingredient , would a local walmart carry it?Thank you!

  • Don't Pass on Dessert!