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    • The Perfect Crusting Buttercream

      filed under: Miscellaneous on February 21, 2011


      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.

      5 from 5 votes
      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
      • 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.


      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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    • I have been saving youvrecipes that i know i can try it soon ! No 1 fan here …

    • Does this frosting crust?

        Yes. Same recipe I use for my cakes.

    • If you want butter flavor, add some butter extract. 1 teaspoon is good. You can do this whether you use butter or not.

    • Why shortening is used instead of butter?

        Butter will give it an off white color. Shortening gives a white color.

          Buy butter that doesn’t have yellow coloring in it. Many European butters don’t!

        Shortening also has a higher melting point so it will hold up better in hot and humid weather!

        to ensure that it can crust and dry out as shortening has less water in it than butter

    • How is the mouth feel of this “buttercream”? Is it going to coat the inside of your mouth with a thick oily layer that won’t go away because the shortening doesn’t melt at body temperature? Or does the milk help to prevent that? I feel that the overall taste and eating experience would trump ease of decorating.

        I’ve been using this recipe forever and don’t have any problem with it costing your mouth. It’s not as much shortening as grocery store frosting uses.

        Crisco changed its recipe since the trans fats were banned and now you have to buy high ratio shortening if you want to prevent that greasy layer left in your mouth.

        Most likely the largest variety of cakes you have eaten in your life are basically the same as this.

        I use a high ratio shortening…and I use creme bouquet for flavor. I always use shortening in my icing for cakes and most cupcakes. I have some special recipes (like praline cupcakes) that call for using butter…but you have to be very careful because they cannot tolerate heat. Shortening hold up much better. NO it does not taste greasy…but you must use a good shortening.

          What is an example of high ratio shortening?

    • Should I sift the powder sugar?

        I don’t sift mine and it turns out fine. The mixer helps it to get all in there.

    • Crisco is Hydrogenated cotton seed oil. Extremely unhealthy.

        Don’t eat it every day!

        Ummm…we are talking about CAKE here, aren’t we?

    • Can anyone tell me how long this buttercream takes to form a crust? I’m using it on cookies that I need tomorrow for a party. Thank you for any information you can give me!

    • I have a decorator icing that doesn’t call for milk Have always been hesitant to use a recipe w/milk. Just say’n.

    • I have been using this recipe to decorate cakes and cookies for about 40 years and my customers rave about it. I picked up the recipe in a Wilton class, where they called it buttercreme. I too thought it was ironic, since it contained neither butter nor cream, but go to a sweet shop in New York and order an eggcream. Go figure. I personally

      don’t care what they call it, it has been making me a good livong most of my life.

        hi terry, I habe a question… when do you add coloring or anh flavoring.. do you replace de vanilla?

    • just tried this recipe & your rose cake tutorial and it turned out amazing I love this thank you!

    • Concerned about milk being in the recipe, won’t the milk spoil the frosting sitting out for long periods with-out refrigeration?

        Sugar acts as a preservative towards the milk. All that sugar will allow the icing not to spoil

        I use to worry about that too. The sugar keeps it from going bad.

    • Hi,

      Just wondering if it will taste super sweet? 8 cups of powdered sugar seems alot

    • Can I make this in advance and if so how long will it stay good for in the fridge? Or left out?

    • I just used this recipe for wedding shower cupcake icing and it was PERFECT! It stood up well on a very warm day, beautiful bright white. Thank you 🙂

    • Hello! Thanks for the brilliant recipe! I have a question: because milk is used in the recipe, does this mean the final cake will need to be chilled? I am worried that if the cake was kept out of the fridge for a couple of days the milk would ‘turn’? Or does the sugar preserve it? Thanks so much for your help! x

    • Can I use butter instead of shortening ? If so, how much butter. Would it still be 1 cup?

    • You had me at crusting. Thanks, I’m making it now.

    • Is it alright to leave a completed cake in a cold garage when the temp is below freezing outside?

        As in iced and decorated. It’s for a wedding.

        I do that often! 🙂

    • Is this a good frosting to use under fondant? I’m having trouble finding one that will hold up the fondant and also taste good.

    • I agree that buttercream means some butter. Thanks for sharing, I’m looking for a buttercream that is less sweet and taste like butter.

    • Anyone used it to flood cookies like royal icing?

    • Is powder sugar the same as powdered sugar?
      I am from Denmark😏

        Yes, same thing. Different spelling. (Also called icing sugar in some places.)

    • Buttercream/not buttercream I don’t care what you call this frosting I call it DELICIOUS! Made some today to try out and decided this will be the recipe I use to frost 125 cupcakes for my son’s Eagle Court of Honor next month!

    • HI. I have been searching for a crusted Decorating icing like this for over 30 years now. You have a gold mine recipe here! So simple, but with such great flavor and crusty texture. Your recipe turned my Birthday cupcakes for my twin sons birthday into a non stop raving review of them. I want to thank you so very much, Dale

    • Don't Pass on Dessert!