Skip to Content

Crusting Buttercream

Thanks for sharing!

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! 

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.

Yield: 36 Servings (about 5 1/2 cups)

Crusting Buttercream

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

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.

Prep Time 13 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons flavoring extract (I used a mix of almond and vanilla extracts)
  • 5 Tablespoons milk (give or take)

Instructions

  1. Cream together butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. Add sugar and extract, beating slowly at first. Add a couple tablespoons of milk.
  3. Beat on low to medium speed for at least 5 minutes and continue to add milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please view my disclosure page for more information.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

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.

Thanks for sharing!

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. :)

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.

Unknown

Saturday 8th of August 2020

Carlee.. Hi.. I'm new to cupcake decorating.. How did you get that cute two tone swirl icing and ruffle to it..

Carlee

Saturday 8th of August 2020

Welcome to the world of frosting! ;-) Use a large open star tip, like a Wilton 1M or something similar. When you load your piping bag keep all of one color to one side and the other color to the other side. Then apply a lot of pressure while gently moving the bag up. You should get nice ruffly two tone frosting!

Unknown

Monday 22nd of October 2018

Hi Carlee, I ran across your site as I was searching for a good white cake recipe and white frosting recipe. The crusting buttercream took me back to days with my grandma. Thank you for sharing!

Carlee

Saturday 8th of August 2020

I love food memories like that. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

Skip to Recipe