Crusting buttercream is used to frost the outside of cakes because it sets better than meringue-style buttercreams which are preferred for fillings. Shortening is used instead of butter which allows it to set firmer.
It’s more stable than other buttercreams and stands up better to warmer temperatures if a cake is left on display for a while.
You can add in a little butter for the flavour if you wish but if you want super white icing avoid this (just use butter flavoring instead) or else add some icing whitener with the butter (amounts vary according to the whitener).
Once a cake is frosted with this buttercream, takes about half an hour to form a crust.
Makes 6 cups approximately
(See our chart here on Quantities of Frosting to Fill & Cover Different Size Cakes)
Crusting Buttercream: Ingredients
- 2 cups of vegetable shortening or if you prefer to add some butter for the taste, use 1 1/2 cups of shortening and 1 stick of butter (softened/at room temperature)
- 2lb of confectioners’ sugar
- 1½ tablespoons vanilla extract (or clear vanilla if you want the frosting to be as white as possible)
- 1/8 cup of milk (but up to 1/2 cup depending on how stiff you’d like the frosting consistency)
Crusting Buttercream: Method
- Beat the butter, shortening and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Sift half the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl and mix on a low speed until combined.
- Sift the remaining sugar into the bowl and mix until fully combined.
- Add ⅛ cup of milk and mix on a low speed until combined. If you’d prefer a lighter consistency, add more milk.
- Refrigerate if not using straight away. Bring it to room temperature and then beat it in your mixer to bring it back to fluffiness.