Cake Central › Recipes › Fluffy Crusting Buttercream

Fluffy Crusting Buttercream

This is a foolproof, very light and fluffy, smooth buttercream. It almost has a whipped icing texture, but holds it's form. I have never had to, but it can be made stiffer by adding powdered sugar or corn starch. It spreads super easy and crusts over nicely. This is definitely my favorite "go to" recipe. It is an all shortening recipe, but doesn't taste "greasy". It is not too sweet and the taste is amazing! It does not need to be refrigerated because the high sugar content acts as a preservative.


Amount Ingredient
2 Cups Shortening
8 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Butter Flavor
1/8 tsp Almond Extract (optional)
6 Ounces Heavy Whipping Cream


In stand mixer, layer ingredients as follows: Shortening, sugar, salt, flavorings, and then cream. Mix on low until liquid is incorporated, then turn up to high and continue mixing for 8-10 minutes.

Comments (135)

Can I use butter instead, I hate shortening.
You probably could but would not be heat stable.
Structured enough to ice under fondant?
I have used it under fondant before with no problems. And I have never used butter in this recipe. I think if I was going to try I would use half butter and half shortening.
What size mixing bowl do you use & does it have air pockets?
I use a 5 1/2 quart Cuisinart Stand Mixer and use the paddle attachment to make this. There are no air pockets. The buttercream turns out super smooth and creamy.
Thanks Cbrosado. Can't wait to try it.
Does this icing crust over well enough to use in place of royal icing on sugar cookies?
Do you sift your powdered sugar before you put it in the mixer? Can it be used without sifting?
@susiq0623 I have used it on sugar cookies but I was afraid to stack them, because my cookies had intricate designs on them and I didn't want them to mess up. It does crust over so you don't have to be afraid of the frosting transferring to the other cookies, but buttercream just does not dry as hard as royal icing. @Niki412 I always use brand name powdered sugar (You will see that it has 10X on the bag, meaning that it has already been sifted 10 times). I do not sift before making the frosting and have never had any problems.
I will try this and let you know how it turns out.
I heard somewhere that 10X sugar means that it has been processed 10 times to make it very fine/powdery so I think I woud still sift it
I did some searching on the meaning of 10X on powdered sugar. It is hard to get a legit answer. Some say it is because it has been sifted 10X (This is what my instructor taught us), and some say that it is because it has been "milled" 10 times and is a much smaller grain. The 10X variety is mixed with 3% cornstarch so that it doesn't "cake" or form lumps. I have read that you can add the cornstarch to 6X powdered sugar to get the same mixture as the 10X, but you would still have to grind the sugar to get it finer, which is next to impossible unless you have the correct equipment. For those of you that get a gritty texture to your buttercream, it MAY be because you are not using a fine enough powdered sugar. I say MAY because it also depends on your recipe. I tried a buttercream recipe from cakecentral a few days ago using a high quality powdered sugar and it still turned out gritty, which is what prompted me to post my recipe. Either way, sifting is up to your preference. I don't sift with this recipe and it turns out perfect every time! I never have any always turns out nice and fluffy and smooth as silk ;-)
I sift all dry ingredients I bake with cause I leave nothing to chance, it is just a preference of mine, if u make a habit of sifting dry ingredients it is no big deal when u run into a recipe that calls for sifting but when u don't sift everything it leaves chance to forget an important step in the process! I'm just saying.
How much icing does this make approximately? How many cakes would it ice?
I just finished a batch. I took some out to make into chocolate buttercream (I mixed in some melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and some cocoa powder). I have the vanilla buttercream in a 7 cup container and it is about 1 1/2 inches from the top. I have the chocolate buttercream in a 5 cup container and it is about an inch from the top. I have filled and covered a triple layer 10-inch round and decorated and still had some left. I think it just depends on how heavy you go with it...
HI.. Can you use high ratio shortening with this?
yes you can use high ratio shortening.
Thanks so much for all the helpful powdered sugar info!!
What exactly is butter flavor?
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