Skip to Content

Crusting Buttercream

Please share

Crusting buttercream frosting is light, fluffy and great for piping.  It forms a light crust making it good for holding its shape, traveling and keeping those details sharp.

Hand holding stainless steel mixer paddle filled with fluffy white crusting buttercream.

If you need a frosting with staying power, crusting buttercream is it! As it sets, it forms a light crust on the outside helping it to keep its shape. 

It has decent staying power in warmer temperatures and can easily be flavored a million different ways.  You can easily adjust its consistency making it perfect for spreading or piping.

It is also great for using with your Russian piping tips. This is a recipe you should definitely have on hand for decorating cakes and cookies.

Why butter and shortening?

We all know by now that I love frosting.  Especially super soft and fluffy frosting. 

Mixer bowl filled with white crusting buttercream ready to use.

Or really dark and fudgy, but that is a whole different subject altogether!  I also love my butter. 

I love the taste, texture and idea of butter.  I love the way butter works in frosting. 

But sometimes you have to do things a little bit different in order to get the results you want.  In this case I wanted my buttercream to form a bit of a crust.  I know, crazy right?

I love everything about butter based classic buttercream and I love white chocolate buttercream even more!   The thing is sometimes you need a frosting that really holds its shape and will also hold up to the elements and have a bit more staying power.  

Pink serving platter filled with deviled egg shaped cake balls.

I was making deviled egg cake balls and I wanted the “yolk” to hold it’s shape while I was taking them to their final destination.

I also was picturing them as being a fun treat for BBQs and picnics during the summer (or for a super fun April Fool’s Day dessert!)  So I wanted them to hold up to a little heat and humidity and maybe even a brief ride in a picnic basket.

This frosting is perfect for applications such as this.  It is also perfect for summer cakes and cupcakes.

Mixer paddle filled with white buttercream frosting.

The secret to getting the enhanced staying power is plenty of powdered sugar and some shortening.  I like to still use some butter for the flavor, but as you increase the ratio of shortening to butter you increase crusting ability as well as some insurance against warmer temperatures.

To me, this frosting tasted exactly like I remember the icing on the clown cones at Baskin Robins as a kid.  YUM!

When to Use Crusting Buttercream

This frosting is great for cupcakes and layer cakes you plan to transport. It pipes great and holds it shape. It also packs well and is very versatile.

I used some to top some devilishly good chocolate cupcakes and turn them into pumpkins for a work bake sale. They didn’t last long and were super easy to do!

Chocolate sour cream cookies topped with crusting buttercream swirls and flowers.

It is also fabulous piped on chocolate sour cream cookies.  I used an open star tip to pipe on big rosettes and Russian piping tips to do smaller flowers.

If you are serving your desserts outdoors when it is warm out, you want to use this style of buttercream. It is great for intricate decorations or for smoothing over the outside of your cake.

This frosting really is super versatile.  There is almost no application it can’t be used for! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a crusting buttercream?

Crusting buttercream is a frosting that forms a light crust on the outside after it sets up. This makes it sturdy and hold its shape well, you can touch it lightly without leaving a mark. It is perfect for a base on your cakes or for intricate decorations.

How do I get my buttercream to crust faster?

If the cake is properly sealed with frosting, but it in the fridge. The cold dry air that dries cakes out quickly is great for setting your frosting. As long as your cake is fully coated in buttercream, that dry air won’t affect the cake inside.

Hand holding stainless steel mixer paddle filled with fluffy white crusting buttercream.

Crusting Buttercream

Carlee
If you need a frosting with staying power, crusting buttercream is it! You can easily adjust its consistency making it perfect for spreading or piping. It is also great for using with your Russian piping tips. This is a recipe you should definitely have on hand for decorating cakes and cookies.
4.67 from 33 ratings
Prep Time 13 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 Servings (about 5 1/2 cups)
Calories 200 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • cups shortening
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • Tablespoons vanilla extract or your favorite flavoring/extract
  • 5 Tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Cream together butter and shortening until smooth.
    ½ cup butter, 1½ cups shortening
  • Add sugar and extract, beating slowly at first. Add 2 tablespoons of milk.
    2 lbs. powdered sugar, 1½ Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Beat on low to medium speed for at least 5 minutes and continue to add milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 200kcalCarbohydrates: 25gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 23mgSugar: 25g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

Please share

Recipe Rating




Jean Fuller

Wednesday 19th of July 2023

I need this recipe, but I’m chocolate. Can this be adjusted for this. I need it ASAP. Please!

Carlee

Wednesday 19th of July 2023

No problem. My chocolate buttercream recipe will work. You can substitute shortening for some of the butter for even more staying power.

Emily

Friday 16th of December 2022

This was easy and piped very nicely onto my mini cupcakes. I used your instructions for baking mini cupcakes from a box mix, and must have overfilled them a little because I got 58 cupcakes. Half of this frosting recipe just barely covered my 58 cupcakes - I mean, barely covered with a nice piped pile on top! Even tastes good. Thanks so much!

candace

Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

want to make the crusting buttercream white choc. looks like a lot of butter/shortening and conf. sugar. How many mini cupcakes will this take? making this weekend😋

Carlee

Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

Your are right, this is a big batch. It would probably do about 120-140 mini cupcakes. You could easily cut it in half if you want.

Tracie

Monday 25th of October 2021

Hi Carlee, When you say butter, are you saying like REAL butter...salted or unsalted? Or can I just use my Country Crock margarine. I know, i've probably just cussed in baking world. :)

Rebecca

Wednesday 22nd of February 2023

@Tracie, never use margarine to make anything. Unless it calls for salted, always unsalted!

Carlee

Monday 25th of October 2021

😂🤣 I use real butter because I like the flavor. I've used both salted and unsalted. Really you can go 100% shortening if you want. I've never used margarine in buttercream, but I would think it should work fine.

Deb Miller

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Hi Carlee...What brand of shortening do you recommend for this recipe?

Carlee

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

I have used several brands with success. I usually use either Crisco or Aldi's brand.