Making Crisco Icing Taste Better

Baking By jenniferbw Updated 4 Jul 2015 , 7:08pm by Ohphelia

jenniferbw Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 4:15pm
post #1 of 31

Hi! I always use butter for my buttercreams and icing but am making a big sheetcake for a party that needs to be left out. Im in Florida (hello 100 degrees!) and will be using Crisco for the decorating and half butter and half crisco for the main and crumb coat. I just made a small batch of all crisco icing to test and it just tastes so bad to me..... Is there something bakeries or any of you put in an all Crisco icing to make it taste better??

30 replies
sugarpixy Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 5:26pm
post #2 of 31

I never use Crisco, it taste awful. Try sweetex shortening  and you will love it.

BakerzJoy Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 5:35pm
post #3 of 31

I had a crisco based buttercream before and it called for Dream Whip. It made all the difference. Try just an envelope of that. They sell it in the baking section sometimes on the top shelf. Hope that helps!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 7:23pm
post #4 of 31

The half butter/half Crisco that you plan to use as the crumb/main coat cannot handle 100 F. 

Winkinpa Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 7:35pm
post #5 of 31

I like the DreamWhip idea.  I will have to try that. 

 Because I use fondant and can't refrigerate the cakes after decorating I often have to use a Crisco based icing as well.  It's especially important if I want the icing to be a pure white (as in for my big wedding cake adventure!).   I use butter/vanilla flavor instead of pure vanilla and then I also add cream cheese emulsion (like extract but not so alcoholy tasting). 


Still not as good as the real thing, but it's pretty good! 

cakedout Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 8:00pm
post #6 of 31

I agree with the Sweetex - or even a store brand of shortening is sometimes better tasting than the 'new' Crisco.  I also use the Dream Whip recipe and it works great - - and try using other flavorings like suggested, I use a butter flavor, along with vanilla. 

jgifford Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 8:05pm
post #7 of 31

A small amount of almond flavoring does wonders.

Jedi Knight Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 10:28pm
post #8 of 31

Why "can't" you refrigerate your cakes after decorating? Are the fridge police out to get you?

littlejewel Posted 2 Jul 2015 , 10:53pm
post #9 of 31

Have you tried indydebi's Crisco based butterflies icing, it's right here on CC.

Winkinpa Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 1:21am
post #10 of 31

Quote by @Jedi Knight on 2 hours ago

Why "can't" you refrigerate your cakes after decorating? Are the fridge police out to get you?

refrigerating the fondant doesn't work well at all   

Apti Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 3:39am
post #11 of 31

Excellent, high-heat, high-humidity recipe CRUSTING BUTTERCREAM

[Important: Even though the recipe says "Crisco", recipe was used for years BEFORE Crisco changed their recipe to NON-TRANS-FAT. The current Crisco does NOT perform the same way it used to perform.]

Where the recipe calls for Crisco, substitute (if possible) the following:

BEST BY A MILE: High Ratio Shortening (this is only available from specialty cake stores or online. You cannot find this at a grocery store.)

2nd BEST: Grocery store brand white vegetable shortening that still lists 2-3 grams of trans-fat on the ingredients label

Use only as a last resort: White Crisco (not butter flavored). It will still work, and nobody else but you will know that it is a little grainy and not as smooth as it would be with one of the products in 1st or 2nd place above.)

INDYDEBI CRISCO-BASED BUTTERCREAM--(Excellent for hot/humid areas):

(IndyDebi is a very experienced decorator/caterer:
Single Batch Recipe:

1-1/3 cups Crisco 

1/3 to 1/2 cup milk, depending on consistency needed
3 Tbsp powdered Dream Whip (powdered whipped topping mix made by Kraft Foods)
2-3 Tbsp clear vanilla, depending on personal taste (optional: almond extract, or lemon extract )
2 lbs. powdered pure cane sugar
IndyDebi says: “There's no wrong way to mix this. I usually mix all but the powdered sugar & milk for a minute or two, then gradually alternate the sugar & milk, but the only reason I do this is to avoid the "sugar-splash" factor. The longer the mixer runs, the smoother it gets. Sifting the powdered sugar before blending helps with smoothness but is not necessary.”

NOTE: Based on recommendations from other users of her recipe: 1) I make a double batch so the beaters are totally immersed to avoid air bubbles, 2) I beat the shortening, milk, Dream Whip, and vanilla for 10-15 minutes BEFORE I add the powdered sugar. I refrigerate or freeze leftover icing.

sparkledee3 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 7:50am
post #12 of 31

Can this be used for decorating? I need to make a reflection border.

jenniferbw Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 12:04pm
post #13 of 31

I have seen the Dream Whip recipe out there and have been really curious about it. I will also add a little almond extract. thanks for all the feedback! I will be refrigerating the cake after its decorated. The only time Im worried about is transporting and letting it sit (indoors) for at least four hours- would you still advise against the half and half recipe for the base coat?

SquirrellyCakes Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 12:20pm
post #14 of 31

If the vehicle you are transporting the cake in and/or if the cake is left out anywhere where there is not air conditioning then you should not use the half butter and half shortening recipe. I make both all butter or half and half as you do so I speak from experience. It only takes a few minutes for these icings to be ruined.

Too bad though because you cannot beat icing that has real butter in it, real vanilla too, not that  clear stuff. But it sounds like Indydeb's recipe is popular.

sparkledee3 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 4:41pm
post #15 of 31

Meant to say in my post above I want to make a RUFFLE border (not reflection border LOL). Thanks!

Apti Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 5:21pm
post #16 of 31

@sparkleD  This is a crusting buttercream that can be used to make roses, writing, ruffles, and pretty much anything else possible with buttercream. 

Even though I prefer half- or all-butter buttercream for taste, I use the Indydebi recipe for anything outdoors. It tastes good, performs beautifully, and has the best chance to withstand hot/humid temperatures. 

(thanks again, Indydebi for freely sharing!!!)

sparkledee3 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 6:56pm
post #17 of 31

Thank you Apti! I did see that and copied the recipe down. I plan to make it later today to test it out. Its for a baby shower baby buggy made from cupcakes that my DIL saw on Pinterest and I traced it back to this site. Glad I found this place. Amazing information. Now, how to figure out how to do all the rest!!

Any suggestions where I can find a very moist, delicious Vanilla cupcake recipe on here? I'm filling half with lemon curd and half with some type of chocolate filling. I haven't decided which one I'll use yet. This is what DIL asked me to make for her shower on July 25, 2015. Have never done anything like it before and am a bit nervous getting the shape right.

Any help/suggestions from anyone would be great. Need a large board of some type to put it on. Plan to hold the cupcakes in place with buttercream. Hope that works.

Apti Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 9:51pm
post #18 of 31

@sparkledee3 ~~ I suggest you go to a craft store (Michaels, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby) and purchase a sheet of 1/2" foam core board (usually around the art supplies).  Lay out the empty cupcake liners on the foam core so see how they fit together and how many will be needed.  If the board is too large, cut to size with a carpet knife.

You may also wish to purchase some gold or silver Wilton Fanci Foil (use coupons!) to enhance the baby buggy display board.     You can further enhance the display board by putting ribbon around the outside edges of the board.  A beautiful display board makes a huge difference in the overall presentation.   

Don't forget to take photos!

If you use doctored cake mixes, you're welcome to use my go-to recipe:

Sour Cream White Cake – DOUBLE RECIPE

2 package Duncan Hines white cake mix (16.5 oz.)*

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cup sour cream
1 cup canola oil
6 large eggs
2 teaspoon pure almond extract (or use vanilla, lemon, etc.)

* Do NOT substitute any other cake mix, it won't be as good

* * * * * * *

Single Recipe:

1 package Duncan Hines white cake mix (16.5 oz.)*

1/2 cup flour

1/8 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond (you can also use vanilla, lemon, etc.) extract

* Do NOT substitute any other cake mix, it won't be as good

This recipe is very dependable, consistent, tasty, & durable enough to stack and carve. It also makes lovely cupcakes. You can use gel colors to color the batter of the white cake. This is a version of a cake recipe from the book: The Cake Mix Doctor, by Anne Byrn, ISBN: 0761117199. (Updated to reflect additions required with new, smaller mixes as of 2012)

sparkledee3 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 11:05pm
post #19 of 31

Thank you so much for the wonderful advice and recipe. Do you have any recommendations for a frosting for this project? I'm going to use 3/4" fondant hears with pearl center in place of the little flower shown in the center of the cupcakes shown in the photo. Just don't want them to sink down in the frosting. Thanks again! I'm off to the store.

sparkledee3 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 11:05pm
post #20 of 31

Thank you so much for the wonderful advice and recipe. Do you have any recommendations for a frosting for this project? I'm going to use 3/4" fondant hears with pearl center in place of the little flower shown in the center of the cupcakes shown in the photo. Just don't want them to sink down in the frosting. Thanks again! I'm off to the store.

sparkledee3 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 11:07pm
post #21 of 31

So sorry for the double posts!!

Apti Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 1:22am
post #22 of 31

They won't sink into the frosting. 

sparkledee3 Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 4:02am
post #23 of 31

Do I just mix everything together at once or follow the directions for timing on the box?

FrostedMoon Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 4:13am
post #24 of 31

A couple of thoughts:

1.  Definitely use a store brand shortening with trans fats, NOT Crisco.  

2.  Whip the shortening first and let it go a LONG time.  Maybe as long as 10 minutes or more, depending on your mixer.  You want it to look like stiff egg whites.  I do this with the shortening even if I am then adding butter to make 1/2 and 1/2.

3.  If you do end up with a crusting buttercream (which I'm guessing you will, since it's the sugar content and low water content that make them shelf stable), make sure you add the fondant hearts quickly after frosting.  If you wait too long and it crusts not only will the fondant not stick, but the buttercream may crack when you try to put the decorations on.

4.  I find it helps to use two different brands/kinds of vanilla in the frosting.  Both should be high quality.  I've found the higher the quality the more you can add without giving it a "too much vanilla" flavor.

5.  Be careful if you add almond flavoring and are not sure about food allergies at the event. 

Oh, and you can TOTALLY refrigerate fondant covered cakes if you are careful about how they come to room temp.  I do it for virtually all of my fondant cakes whether it's hot and humid out or cold and dry.

Hope that helps!

Jedi Knight Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 5:18am
post #25 of 31

I refrigerate all my cakes. 99% are fondant.

sparkledee3 Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 5:57am
post #26 of 31

Thank you Frosted Moon for all the info. I am new at this. Can you explain what a "crusting" buttercream is as opposed to buttercream. Will it have a "crunch" to it? That sounds so unappetizing! LOL  I don't want a hard frosting, but a smooth good tasting one that will hold up.

Apti Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 2:49pm
post #27 of 31

@sparkledee3 ~~ Good morning and Happy 4th of July!   One of the problems with a huge forum like Cake Central is that often there is absolutely no way of knowing the experience level when someone asks cake related questions.  It's ok--there are no dumb questions!  

Crusting buttercream simply means that you can use this frosting to do all sorts of fancy designs like you see in a bakery (roses, flowers, balloons, etc.)  We use the term "crust" not because it is crunchy, but because it stays soft and lovely but isn't sticky after about 20 minutes. 

Re:  Doctored cake mix --This simply means that someone uses a commercial product (like Duncan Hines) for the "base mix" for a cake recipe.  When you "doctor" the mix, you add all sorts of lovely ingredients to enhance the taste and texture.

With the Sour Cream White cake above, sift the contents of a box of Duncan Hines White Cake Mix into a mixing bowl.  Throw away the box.  NOW.... add the ingredients listed in the recipe above.  (Sift the flour.)  Mix for 2 minutes.  For cupcakes, allow about 15-17 minutes to bake at 350F.

Check the cupcakes visually (do they look "done"?) at about 14-15 minutes.  If they "look" done, check with a toothpick to see if the toothpick comes out clean.  If it does, remove from oven , remove from pan as soon as pan is cool enough to handle without burning your fingers, and place the cupcakes on a cooling grid.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 3:06pm
post #28 of 31

Apti, haven't made Indydeb's recipe but have made other crusting recipes with 4-5 cups powdered sugar to 1 cup fat ratio and of course flavouring and milk, cream or water. I found with these, that if I refrigerated or froze or didn't box and then bag, that the icing did get a bit crunchy. These were character cakes with starred decorating.

So looking at the fillings this poster is using and thinking she may well refrigerate the cake, will the higher fat ratio of Indydeb's recipe stop it from doing this? I am guessing yes but those of you that use it would know.

Winkinpa Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 4:19pm
post #29 of 31

I got an interesting icing tip from Winbeckler's video on - to make the smoothest icing without too much air, only use 1/3 of the fat at first. Beat until super smooth.   Then add the remaining fat and beat at high speed for two to three minutes.  It creates great volume with not too much air.  Great idea!

sparkledee3 Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 6:20pm
post #30 of 31

Thank you Apti! I did make your cake recipe last night (didn't think to sift dry ingredients though) and it is delicious! I am impressed with the texture and lovely flavor. My only concern is that it's quite sweet. Wondering if leaving out the extra 2 tbsp of added sugar would lesson it a bit or make any difference at all. My husband has a wicked sweet tooth and loved these.

I made a batch of your recipe and a batch from a famous cupcake bakery cookbook and TV show and my husband did a blind taste test and preferred yours! So did I but would like a bit less sweetness. Thanks for all your help and thanks to everyone for you input.

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